Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Library

I am feeling very political today. I found out this morning that Governor Ted Strickland's proposed budget for 2009-2011 includes cuts to many, many worthwhile and vital Ohio programs.

The ELI (Early Learning Initiative) will be eliminated. There will be cuts to mental health funding. Physically and mentally handicapped individuals will not receive as much aid as they currently do. It sickens me that the people who need help the most are the people who are losing the small amount of help they already have.

One issue stuck out as directly affecting me and my family is the 50% cut to the Public Library Fund. This would cause many libraries to close, cut hours, cut programs. We attended a program today and the librarian told us they already have a book buying freeze. This cut would eliminate way more than just new books.

I emailed the Governor, my representatives and the budget committee members. I also emailed the director of the Toledo Lucas County Library to see if there are any plans for a rally to bring more attention to this issue for those who don't know what is going on.

The budget needs to be finalized by June 30. There is only seven days to make your voice heard, so email or call if you feel strongly about this.

In case you are curious, this is the email I sent. Usually, when I write about issues I send form letters. I'm lazy like that, and it's all politicians do in return anyway. This time, I actually wrote my own letter. Must be a special cause to me, eh?

I am saddened to hear of the proposed cuts to the Public Library Fund in the Governor's 2009-2011 proposed budget. I understand that cuts need to be made somewhere, but I feel strongly that this is not the place to make them. The library system is not a luxury, an extra piece of fluff that can be cut out. The library is important to many people for many reasons, myself and my family included.

With the economy in the state that it is, our state can not afford more job loss. Our unemployment rate is nearing 11%. It is at the highest point since October 1983. Cutting funding to the PLF would not only add to the unemployment in our state, it would also limit access to necessary resources for those who are already unemployed to look for work, including the Internet and resume writing materials.

The library system is important to families. I have a four year old daughter who is already reading. If not for the story times, programs and reading materials available to her, I do not think she would be this advanced. Being summer, a loss of programming would hit us especially hard. While I am lucky enough to have my husband gainfully employed, times are still tough for us. The library affords us the opportunity to attend programming that is both fun and educational without taking money away from our budget. Just today, we attended a program at the Sylvania Library which kept her entertained and out of the ninety degree heat. She absolutely loved it and is ready to go back next Tuesday to see what the new program is.

I realize making a state budget is hard work. I realize there are cuts that need to be made. Please don't make those cuts to our library system. Libraries are not a luxury - they are a necessity. Don't take this valuable resource away from our families.

Thank you,
Jamie Ritchie

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm taking my toys and going home!

Or, in Ivy's case, she's leaving and going to Guh Guh's.

Guh Guh is my mom. It started when Ivy couldn't say Grandma... but now all the other Grandma's are "Grandma" and my mom is still Guh Guh.

Ivy plays ToonTown online. I wish I would have never let her start playing, but she loves it and I supervise her while she's playing, so what's done is done. She loves her some ToonTown so it makes a fantastic bargaining chip. Not listening? No ToonTown. Won't pick up her toys? No ToonTown. Won't give me a massage put her plate in the sink? No ToonTown.

So last Sunday, she wasn't listening and the computer was shut off for the day. She huffed away, then came back and asked for a pen and paper. Then she huffed away again.

She returned with a paper rolled up like a scroll and told me solemnly, "Tomorrow, you have to take me to Guh Guh's."

I could see where this was headed, so I reminded her that she had swim class the next day.

"Fine, you have to take me the next day."

"But the next day you have T-ball AND swim class."

HUGE SIGH. "Fine. Next week."

She gave me the paper and told me not to open it until she left forever, but of course I did. And then I scanned it. And then I posted it on the internet so I can make sure I have a record of it for the future.

Click image to see it larger. It's freaking hysterical.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anticlimactic much?

Sooooo.... three months later, here's the follow up. Totally not important anymore, but I know y'all are hanging onto the edges of your collective seats.

Ivy was obsessed with the toilet. For a good couple months, whenever she couldn't find something she would ask, with tears in her eyes, "It's not in the toilet, is it?"

Of course, it never was, and she is basically out of this phase. At the time I wrote the last post it was really a major concern to me. She was SO preoccupied with the toilet. It was actually disruptive to our existence. But things have balanced out and we rarely get asked if something is in the toilet. Ahhh, kids.