Thorns to reports of crumbling tennis and basketball courts at Centennial Park. The solution? Fix ’em. Taxpayers in Salem have always supported the parks. Reciprocate. Those – including high school teams – who use the courts deserve safe surfaces. Those involved had to have seen this coming. They didn’t decay overnight. We have a wonderful parks system. Let’s keep it that way.

Thorns to those driving with pets on their laps. Or with dogs hanging out the windows. Forget how cool it looks. Ask a cop or highway patrol officer how cute it is to have Scruffy on your lap while driving. We have enough distracted driving problems with cell phones. It is a huge safety risk. Wise up.

Roses to the Lisbon Dairy Queen. Ice cream treats were donated to members of the Salem and Lisbon football teams who participated in a scrimmage this past week. A nice gesture on a warm day. Salem Subway and Salem McDonald’s also contributed cookies and cheeseburgers.

Roses for fairs. They are part of the local fabric that makes up small towns and rural America. Low maintenance entertainment for sure. They are rewards too for dedicated youngsters raising animals for show just as their big brothers and sisters, parents and perhaps even grandparents did. Without any electronic devices around. How refreshing it that thought? The fair is for those hobbyists into crafts such as quilt-making. Also for those who bake and cook for judging. The Mile Branch Fair was held Friday and Saturday. The Ohio State Fair is under way in Columbus. The Columbiana County Fair opens today and runs throughout the week. And how difficult it is realizing that the beloved Canfield Fair – forget what the calendar says, basically signaling the end of summer for us – is only 32 days away! Extra roses for fair food and goodies. No explanation needed.

Roses for respective athletic boosters clubs of local schools. Busy times will be kicking off into high gear soon for club members as the school year and full sports schedules beckon. Salem has a great athletic boosters club. Among its many contributions is the awarding of scholarship money at school year’s end. This past May, the club awarded $1,000 memorial scholarships to the well-deserving Megan Lehwald and Mike Popa. We originally reported, based on a provided release, that the scholarships were for $125. A big difference for sure. We wanted to make sure to get that accurate figure out there because the boosters deserve recognition for their generosity such as the scholarships and many fund-raising endeavors.

Roses for the Salem Community Theatre. It is one of our fair city’s true gems. Managing director Gary Kekel and others at SCT passionately support the cause of exposing local talent to interested community members. It is a true venue for youngsters cutting their acting teeth in a nurturing environment. Such as Tyler Stouffer. The 2012 Salem High grad is directing the zany musical-comedy “The Producers” of Mel Brooks’ fame. Stouffer has a rich body of work with the SCT and also with high school productions. He is currently casting his lot out west, studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Tyler is yet another SHS graduate doing his school and entire community proud. We wish him the best of luck and a hearty “break a leg” – figurative, of course – while pursuing his dreams.


Roses for all of our hard-working and bright college students. On the previous page, we list of all our area president’s and dean’s list students from Kent State University. Those who regularly read our newspaper know that the page, called “Spotlight,” is used to highlight academic accomplishments. It is one of our most read pages and we are proud to acknowledge classroom accomplishments from day one in grade school right up through college. Yes, it does often times seem that misdeeds if not outright crimes and failures of young people end up in print. There has been a spate lately of underage drinking/and or pot infractions. It is our responsibility to provide the related police/court reports. Some people just don’t get that. It’s called public record. We would be remiss not to publish the reports. However, we have many good young people in our community. Catherine – Cassie as she is known to everyone – Davidson is such a student. She is listed in the KSU President’s List published today. She posted a 4.0 grade point average while employed at the Dairy Queen in Lisbon. Working while being a straight A nursing student is impressive enough. But she is more than that. Cassie has seven, count ’em, seven younger siblings, ages 6-through-15. She is more than a mere big sister. “They look up to her and she is their friend,” beamed mom, Cathy Davidson-Chuck. “She always helps them with their homework and always helps around the house. She is a great all-around role model and an amazing young girl.” Cassie, entering her junior year at Kent State, is a 2012 Salem High graduate where she participated in basketball, volleyball and track. She also helps her grandparents, Bill and Sue Davidson, with their well-known towing business. Does she deserve the column inches we just provided??Certainly. She is bright, responsible and ambitious – a splendid example of what is right with many of our young people. Be thankful for that.

Roses for the initiative of community members in exploring the feasibility of a skate park. This is very preliminary. But if a park can be erected and maintained at no taxpayer cost, good for those involved. We have aforementioned concerns about the punks taking it over -?bullying, loitering and destroying property. Drive through our parks some evening and you likely will see some of that. Having a skate park built near the police station would save time and gas money when cops are inevitably called to the skate park because of the punks. Another concern would be the whole volunteer thing. Once the excitement buzz of a spanking new project wanes will volunteers still be as eager to keep up the park week after week, month after month? Or will it be destined to become yet another eyesore in our fair city? Those who think that a lot of essential upkeep will come via sweat equity from skate park users themselves are dreaming.

Roses for the Salem High School football program. The Quakers, under the guidance of head coach Ron Johnson and his staff, follow a philosophy emphasizing mind, body and spirit. They got the mind part right. As mentioned in a Thursday edition story, the team has the second highest overall grade point average in the entire state among high schools. Team members are ardent weight lifters. As far as spirit, they are as community-conscious as any sports program that we can recall – having volunteered many times to help with different projects such as that this past week in the Salem Community Center. Johnson had success as a playoff coach in Canton prior to coming to Salem. He is building a foundation which should reap on-field success with patience and diligence. Most importantly, ingrained values and character have already been built. Those are most important.


Roses to our readers. Thank you for supporting the Salem News. We are celebrating our 125th anniversary. That takes us back to 1889. Benjamin Harrison was president, fresh off a win over incumbent Grover Cleveland who would come back to decisively reclaim the White House during the next election. The Eiffel Tower was dedicated. The first crude Kodak camera was sold. Bayer introduced aspirin. Over 2,200 poor souls were lost in the Johnstown flood. Sherlock Holmes came to be and John L. Sullivan won his last bare knuckles fight. Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture and the jukebox made its debut. Back then our readers relied on the Salem News as their primary source for local information. Nothing has changed. That constant remains. We are the foremost source of local information for this community. We appreciate those who appreciate the crucial role this newspaper serves in our city and surrounding communities, both as a print and online information conduit. We appreciate those who understand business decisions, especially in this rampant ever-changing cyber age and choose to stand steadfast in support of us. You can’t buy a simple candy bar these days for less than what this newspaper costs. And we don’t give you cavities. We happen to think the Salem News is a pretty good bargain. We thank those who value that notion.

Roses for the Salem Community Center. Plans for a huge $3 million expansion were recently announced. It will be constructed using Community Foundation money. It will benefit current members and foster development of competitive sports, boasting regulation basketball courts and running tracks. Those assets should help drive membership from within Salem and outside our city limits. Membership – not counting days passes and those visiting the facility through special programming – stands at 6,600. That is astounding considering the size of our fair city. To think that just over a dozen years ago, when the idea of a community center was bandied about, there were critics. Then again, aren’t there always in this town? From practical and aesthetic standpoints, the community center is a gem. It is called the Salem Community Center but is really a regional center. The expansion will attract programs such as AAU basketball. Anyone involved with AAU is very aware of the sheer number of participants involved. And the money spent during weekend tournaments, frequenting nearby restaurants and the like.

Thorns – just can’t let this pass – to those deeming anyone who could care less about the United States’ participation in World Cup Soccer as unpatriotic. Would it have been nice to see the Americans advance? Sure, guess so. Why not? End of the world because they didn’t? Kidding, right? A frenzy of fad/the usual bandwagon effect of nationalism over the American team reached amazing and amusing levels. Let’s forget that many of these “fans” couldn’t locate Belgium -which beat the U.S. -on a map if you spotted them a continent. There’s just something unappealing about a sport played on a field the size of Wyoming without potty/beer/snack run breaks and in which ties are apparently something to celebrate with unbridled rapture. To think there are those who claim baseball is boring? What too was up with adorning the American goalie with superlatives such as “courageous,” “valiant,” and “heroic” for his play against Belgium? We prefer to reserve those kinds of high praise words for, oh you know, people who truly deserve it. Like soldiers, cops and firefighters. Consider how it would’ve been if the Americans had actually won one of their three final games instead of losing two and tying their other? Think about it. How do you lose and still advance? Figure out that logic. Take your time. Give us college football and the NFL anytime.