Letters to the Editor: Feb. 5

The article in the Dayton Daily News on Aducanumab, the new Alzheimer’s drug, provides an important opportunity for discussion. Alzheimer’s disease has devastating medical, psychosocial, and economic consequences for the people who have it and their family and friends. Understandably, when a new drug becomes available, it is accompanied by feelings of relief and hope on the part of patients, their families, their healthcare providers, and advocacy groups. However, administering this new drug in the setting of a clinical trial may be the best approach even though it seems unfair to people who either do not qualify for trials or who cannot reasonably access a trial site. Approval of Aducanumab by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was controversial. A panel of independent experts advised against FDA approval, and a number of professional organizations have suggested using it cautiously for two reasons. First, there is risk of small areas of bleeding and swelling in the brain. Second, the drug targets only amyloid and not other substances, such as tau particles, that may be contributing to the disease. Closely monitored clinical trials should provide valid and reliable information about Aducanumab’s safety and efficacy and about the characteristics of the people most likely to benefit from it.

- Larry Lawhorne, Kettering

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there are many Americans who see no reason to get involved with Ukraine at any level beyond negotiations and possibly sanctions. Unfortunately, the current government is unable to muster up the kind of “tight-fisted” control that it freely exercises stateside. Why should we express concern over the protection of the sovereignty of the borders of a corrupt nation that we have little in common with when our own southern border is kept open for people coming here illegally?

- Kenneth Brust, Springfield

Last Sunday’s in-depth reporting, Coronavirus: The Latest, reveals the commitment and the frustration of our local health care providers who, like me, are stymied by the vaccination hesitation crowd. As a public health educator at Sinclair Community College, my students learn about the various reasons individuals and groups are hesitant to adopt or even thwart behaviors which in past pandemics would have been eagerly and even gratefully embraced. The polio vaccine is a classic example of a thankful nation eagerly awaiting and then getting the vaccine. Not so today with COVID vaccines.

So why are is there such resistance to the COVID vaccine? Putting aside the political arena, there is a social construct called “omission bias” wherein an individual would rather not undertake a beneficial action and suffer the negative consequences as opposed to actually doing something which potentially could render similarly bad consequences. The psychology at play here is that if something bad occurs, at least you did not knowingly cause it.

I try to teach my students to examine all the pros and cons, costs and benefits and use the scientific methods to deduce and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Unfortunately, the vaccination hesitation crowd decides to do nothing. Hiding under the bed of ignorance will not make this bogeyman go away. Get the shot.

- Jerry A. O’Ryan, Centerville

A few notes as I watch the massive, contemporary apartment complex, the “Flight”, rising on Wyoming Street. First, Historic South Park, and the UD residential neighborhood which surround the “Flight” development site are not in “the core area of downtown,” as claimed by Mr. Fiorita.

Mr. Fiorita is correct when he notes “there is nothing like it in this part of Dayton.” He is not accurate in calling our neighborhood “the core area of downtown.” The core area of downtown is many blocks north and across US 35, which effectively provides a boundary between Historic South Park and intense, large scale commercial development.

In his presentations to Dayton planning authorities, Mr. Fiorita compared the Flight development site to the OSU campus area in Columbus. As a former resident of Columbus and city planner who worked on High Street development plans, Wyoming Street is nothing like High Street. Single family homes are predominate on Wyoming Street, and it is a front door for the Historic South Park neighborhood. Individual residents have invested in South Park and brought the area back to a pleasant, walkable and desirable family neighborhood. The Flight will be a “big foot” style, dense development that would be appropriate near the ball park, or perhaps on the former site of the Dayton Daily News near the Arcade, the core area of Downtown Development.

The Flight project will soon be a dramatic addition to Wyoming Street and impact our neighborhood for many years. Hopefully, lessons will be learned to ensure that future development on the many vacant properties in this area will be more harmonious with the surrounding environment of residents and small business.

- Jim Wahl, South Park