Roses&Thorns

Thorns and stiff traffic citations to those — and you know there will be some — who drink and drive today during America’s unofficial holiday known as “Super Bowl Sunday.” Call a friend, cab or just sleep it off until you are able to get behind the wheel.

Roses for those who will not watch the Super Bowl and couldn’t care less about it. Enjoy your Lifetime, Hallmark and PBS offerings. Nothing wrong with that. You bring equilibrium to our nation.

Thorns, and you know it is coming, to the politicization spiels that will be advanced before, during — think halftime show — and after the Super Bowl. It is one of our country’s biggest stages and many prey at that particular altar of American consumption. There is something to be said about those who actually mute the audio during such a grand sporting event to avoid listening ad nauseam to all the garbage. Remember when sports and the broadcasting of sports was just about sports? Yeah, it’s been a while.

Roses for city leadership discussing placing the .25 percent additional income tax on the November ballot. The city came through on a promise for street, sidewalk, curb, alley and storm sewer improvements when it asked voters to back the additional tax in 2015. It will continue through 2020. More work off that levy’s passage will be done this year. All you have to do is drive around town to see how that extra tax money went toward good uses. Let’s continue to improve our fair city.

Roses to Susan Motherwell, secretary of Church Women United of Salem, and other members of the organization, who were instrumental in obtaining the truckload of 128 new mattresses to be given away to needy families in Salem whose children are sleeping on the floor. Roses also to the wonderful, amazing, anonymous couple that donated the money to purchase the mattresses. Roses to Dave Halverstadt II and his staff who volunteered to provide free storage for the mattresses and provide trucks and manpower to deliver the items. Roses also to Halverstadt’s business manager, Brenda Melott, a former bus driver, who has offered to work out logical routes for the delivery. Roses to Sister Rene at St. Paul Catholic Church for her assistance in identifying recipients in the Hispanic community and arranging appointments for the delivery. Roses also to the Community Food Pantry and the Banquet in Salem for their help in getting contact information from potential recipients and to Simmers Crane Design Services for the donation that covered the cost of the new sheets. The mattresses are scheduled to arrive this month. Each mattress will be presented to the recipient along with a new flat sheet, fitted sheet, blanket and pillow. The children receiving these mattresses will eagerly look forward to going to bed at night knowing that their community deeply cares for them as they lay their little heads on the pillowcases handmade by members of Church Women United using colorful, kid friendly fabrics. As hard as it might be to fathom, not every one out there has a warm bed to climb into each night. There are those who sleep on floors, often without mattresses. This was a very humanitarian gesture by so many folks. God bless all of you.

Roses for those serving as warming locations during the recent ice age. That includes the Salvation Army in Salem and Abundant Life Fellowship in New Waterford. Also to Brooke and Brandy Pidgeon. The couple owns the Stables Inn & Suites at the Timberlanes Complex. They offered free rooms for the homeless this past week because of the frigid weather. That is called being solid members of your community and looking out for others.

Roses for Salem seventh-grader Rylee Hutton. She recently won a juvenile division gold medal at the 2018 Pittsburgh Figure Skating Championships. Add another gold at competition in Buffalo, NY, a silver at the Hershey, Pa. Open and a top ten at the national level Great Lakes Regional Championship. Rylee and her family have put a lot of time and commitment into her passion for skating and it is nice to see the results. Hey, who knows how far she can go?

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