Roses for the Salem Super Cruise. Despite a rainy Friday it was a big success. How popular is it? Estimates were pegged at 20,000 people within the city limits last Saturday. For contrast, the Cleveland Indians are averaging 16,833 per game this season. There were some minor issues and nuisance stuff. Idiots too. Like someone calling a local TV station claiming the Cruise had been called off.?Or the knucklehead on a motorcycle making like Evel Knievel with cops in pursuit as he raced out of town. But if it didn’t go well you wouldn’t keep getting thousands of people back each year. You wouldn’t get all the vendors back. And, most importantly, you wouldn’t have the city supporting it. Fix any wrinkles that need smoothed and keep bringing it back. Thanks to the city leadership, the police, the sponsors, the volunteers, those showing their classics and all of those who attended, enjoyed, appreciated and behaved.

Roses for downtown banners. Specifically for the downtown banners finally – finally? (at least we think) -being settled upon. Goodness, the bickering and back-and-forth nitpicking that went on!

Granted, hanging downtown banners is harmless and well-intended. Civic pride and all. Cosmetically they are nice to look at. All at no cost to taxpayers. Realistically though, the guess here is that most of us don’t shop somewhere because of pretty banners. Also, is there any way we can get a really big banner to cover up the scaffolding on State Street that will probably still be standing when the Martians finally arrive to colonize Earth? It was amusing watching all the Cruise goers making like sardines and funneling their way underneath the scaffolding, arms tucked in against their sides to wiggle past each other.

Thorns, getting back to the Cruise, for this true story. Heard by a certain editor’s ears as his inquisitive 2-year-old grandgirl innocently reached to pet a dog held by its owner. “Don’t worry,” said the idiot. “She might nip at her but she won’t draw blood.”?Think about it. Might nip but not draw blood? Are you kidding? Now this isn’t a referendum on people and dogs, so heel to all pet owners who might start yapping. We like dogs. But not the nippers brought around children. Even if they don’t, wow, draw blood. This is a complaint about those bringing dogs into large crowds. Oh, did we mention a Cruise-goer getting bit in her lip? Keep them home next year. Why put anyone -especially little kids who don’t know any better – at risk? Not to mention the nature calls that were made by dogs downtown during the Cruise.

Roses to Annette Jermolenko and the Salem Saxon Club for stepping up and sponsoring the pet parade and decorated vehicles parade in Salem. We presented a thorn last week regarding the demise of the parades. Quickly came responses. A call was issued for any civic-minded groups or individuals to take on the challenge. Well, it sure didn’t take long. Kids definitely will be pleased that the Saxon Club got the ball rolling to continue this fun and friendly tradition on the Fourth of July. The Saxon Club will be assisted in its endeavor by the kind and generous donations of Attorney Geoff Goll who will purchase assorted gifts for children, potato chips from Utz-Herron Foods, a coupon for a free movie from Family Video and additional items provided by Dr. Vicky Brooks of Adamson Veterinary. Trophies will be awarded by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce from Zeigler’s Trophies. “I am thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to help support our great city and continue supporting our children and their pets,” said Jermolenko. We are too. Anything for kids is good by us.


Thorns for the apparent end to the pet parade and decorated vehicles parade held each Fourth of July in downtown Salem. It began years ago at Memorial Park and recently has been held along South Broadway. Very popular with kids. Mary Lou?Popa, a disgusted Mary Lou Popa, was the longtime organizer. She informs us she will no longer be involved. That is a bummer because outside of the fireworks show held the night before, that means there isn’t a July 4-related event planned for our fair city. “This is pathetic for a city the size of Salem, she said. Popa thanked donors over the years including the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce which paid for trophies; Atty. Geoff Goll who provided Twin Cinema tickets; and, Herron Foods which supplied potato chips for the goody bags provided to each participating child. Candy in each of those 50 or so bags was provided by Popa with money out of her own pocket. She thanked her “faithful”?judges including Bob Merry, Elizabeth Thatcher and B.J. Abrams. She thanked this newspaper for its coverage. She is bitter. “If you want to see a real Fourth of July Day and fireworks, go to Columbiana where everyone cooperates. I got no cooperation from the (Salem) administration – council members, etc. How sad!” She is right because it is the kids who enjoy dollying up their pets and decorating their bikes who are going to lose out. It’s still two weeks until the Fourth. Maybe some other civic-minded individual or group will step up.

Roses to family of Natalee and Jock Buta. They are taking over the recently-closed Salem Twin Cinema. The entire revamping will include state-of-the-art technology and amenities such as new seats and upgraded considerations for the handicapped. This isn’t some rinky-dink makeover. It will be a complete overhaul and a huge investment for the community-minded Butas who have done a lot for our area with their generosity. The newly-named Salem Digital Cinema will open in August, maybe September. It promises to provide a movie experience unlike any we’ve seen in our parts. This is good for the city.

Roses, passed along, for the Leetonia Fire Department. The Washingtonville Cemetery Association informs us that FD members went out of their way in placing flags on the Washingtonville deceased firefighters’ stones for Memorial Day as there is no longer a Washingtonville Fire Department. “We would like to publicly thank the Leetonia Fire Department for going above and beyond their call of duty. Their kindness was recognized and appreciated,” ?writes Jenna Greiner of the Washingtonville Cemetery Association.

Roses to the San Antonio Spurs. If you need this explained, then you aren’t a Cleveland sports fan.

Roses to Annette Jermolenko, bingo manager at the newly-opened Wednesday Night Bingo at the Saxon Club. Jermolenko devoted a great deal of research, planning, hard work and dedication in getting the bingo up and running again, after a 25-year absence. And, under her guidance and organization, it is a roaring success. The idea of bringing back bingo started in the women’s branch of the club, which Jermolenko said came out of their desire to help the scholarship fund. The club as a whole decided about a year ago to start the process, with the scholarship committee paying for the bingo equipment and startup costs. Proceeds will benefit the Salem Saxon Club Scholarship Fund, which benefits youth from the entire area, not just Salem. Any endeavor advancing the education of our children is good by us.


Roses to start off this Sunday morning to all of our veterans who fought in any war. You can never give out too much praise especially to those World War II veterans, most of whom are well into their 90s. Hundreds are dying each year. WWII was in the spotlight this past week and deservedly so because of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It’s absolutely pathetic that only 70 percent of college students surveyed knew D-Day was part of WWII. In another survey fewer than half of those taking a multiple choice test knew Franklin Roosevelt was president at the time and 15 percent identified the location of the landing as Pearl Harbor, not beaches named Utah and Omaha. Pearl Harbor for crying out loud! Can you believe that? Why is our history being phased out of classrooms? Are our kids even being taught about the great World War? Let’s not forget that this Saturday is Flag Day. Show your true colors. Make sure your kids and grandkids do too.

Roses – and this should bring a smile to you – to an anonymous young lady for a touching and kind act. And for her parents for obviously stressing some history to her about all who have served our nation. Salem resident and Korean War veteran Hank Allenbaugh relayed to us that on Sunday morning May 25 he was stopped at the Mullins Street railroad crossing. He was waiting on two trains, something we all do in town. Often. Then a man came up and knocked on his window. He explained that he and his daughter were in the car behind Hank’s. His daughter saw a bumper sticker that reads: “Korea: I served.” She wanted to do something to thank Hank for his military service so she gave her dad a dollar bill, asking him to give it to Hank. “This gesture touched me deeply and it means more that I can say,” a humble Hank told us. “I will remember it all my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t get their names but I would like to thank them now and say it was my privilege to serve.” Let’s hope they read this. God bless that young lady. What a wonderful patriot she is going to grow up to be. Thank you too Hank for your service and for being proactive in making us aware of such a kind act by a youngster. You can bet she knows where the D-Day landing was.

Thorns to the punks in our fair city. The only thing we have more of is black squirrels and the vandals are gaining on them. Of course, the nicer weather brings them all out. Both punks and squirrels. We hear complaints and read the police reports pretty much on a daily basis. They – er, the punks – inflict damages to our great parks. If and when a skateboard park – great idea but make sure it comes with a 24/7 manned machine gun nest – is built, get ready for it to be damaged. The punks already take up a lot of our precious police time and we don’t need anything increased. If a park is built, as a council member suggested, make sure it is self-funded. Make sure there is some kind of security surveillance installed. If not the punks and bullies will assume ownership of it.

Roses for the Salem High School Alumni Association. To those who have donated throughout the years and to those who volunteer to keep it well-oiled and thriving. Donations by generations of Salem High School graduates and friends have made it possible for the Salem High School Alumni Association to award 2,364 scholarships totaling $5,849,936.50 since 1908. That ranks with the top such associations in the entire nation. Two weeks ago, the association awarded 104 scholarships with a total value of $326,125. Think of all the tuition worries mitigated by the generosity of SHS graduates appreciative of a great education received.