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April 11, 2010
Salem News

Kind words for a

local small business

To the editor:

In this age of little or no company service and aggravating automatic recording systems, I'd like to report a very pleasant shopping experience recently. I took some knives and scissors to Country Saw and Knife Inc. on West State Street about 2 p.m. on a Friday. They close at 3:30 p.m., so I fully expected to have to leave them. I talked to Eric and he offered to have them ready in an hour.

They not only did an excellent job and at a very reasonable price, but were very pleasant to deal with, both in the shop and the office. I highly recommend their service.

It was the most pleasant shopping experience I've had in a long time. Hats off to the employees at Country Saw-a local company.



Reminiscing about

benefits of library

To the editor:

Some of my fondest memories growing up are of visiting the public library and checking out books. The part-time job I had during my high school years was at my local library. Upon moving to Salem in the mid-1980s I was thrilled to find a wonderful public library here.

I have frequented the Salem Public Library a lot over the two decades I have been a citizen of Salem. My children looked forward to the day they could print their names by themselves because they knew this was the criterion for receiving their first library card.

As an educator I also appreciate the wonderful gift we have as a community in the Salem Public Library. Parents who read to their children and set an example of reading in the home are giving their children one of the most precious gifts they can. Studies show these two things are the main factors contributing to outstanding student achievement well into the adult years. The Salem Public Library is the best resource for parents to find a plethora of wonderful books to share with their children.

Did you know the children's librarians at Salem Public Library visit area preschools who have an interest once a month sharing books, songs, and rhymes with the children? What a wonderful outreach!

Our local library needs our help. Costs of books, periodicals and other resources are continuously rising, yet funding for this wonderful resource is being cut. The Salem Public Library needs our support to pass the levy on the ballot on May 4 so they can continue to offer the outstanding quality of service they do. Our library is there for each and every member of our community, not just parents and teachers. Please join me in showing appreciation for this excellent asset to our city and help to pass the levy to support the Salem Public Library.



To voters:?"Thy

library needs thee!"

To the editor:

The city of Salem is blessed with a public library that is an educational and reading "treasure!"

The current slump in the economy has forced severe reductions in staff and normal services. The income from the state, used strictly for operating expenses, has been severely reduced by 26.7 percent. This equates to a shortfall of $243,000.

As a result of this lack of funds, personnel hours have been reduced 15 percent; essential materials cut more than 25 percent; visiting hours shortened; normal building maintenance plus other important items pertaining to computer and electronic reference services have suffered serious reductions also.

In order to restore the fine quality operation that users of the library have been accustomed to for so many years, the board of trustees is requesting support for a tax levy of 1.25 mills in the next election. Cost of the levy to property owners for the library's service district for a $40,000 house would be $1.28 per month, and an $80,000 home owner would pay $2.55 per month.

There have been no bond issues or major requests for funds since 1982-nearly 30 years ago. I was privileged to be a Salem Public Library board member at that time. We were faced with a serious, general overcrowding of facilities, limiting not only the inventory of books but the availability of reading and reference rooms. Thus, in spite of a serious down economy nearly equal to this one today in 2010, we moved forward with plans to rally the community support for a bond issue of $1.2 million.

Dedicated citizens volunteered their time to help us carefully explain our purpose to various groups and service organizations. This gave us additional, honest support to help passage of this important bond issue.

To stimulate interest, a clever slogan was initiated and printed on bookmarks to be circulated around the Salem area. It pictured a very young Quaker boy wearing an oversized dark Quaker type hat. Several books were at his feet and one book held between his two hands. At the top of the bookmark were the words, in a Quaker dialogue:

"Thy Library Needs Thee" and at the bottom of the bookmark: "Thee Needs Thy Library."

The citizens of Salem supported that bond issue in 1982 and your present library building and ground site is the resulting "treasure" for which we are all proud. Hopefully, our community will once again rise to the occasion and vote for the levy on May 4.

"Thy library needs thee!"



More words in

support of library

To the editor:

Ever since we moved to Salem almost 18 years ago, the Salem Public Library has been a regular stop for our family. As our children were growing up, they were active users of the children's section. My wife and I borrow books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, use reference materials, and do research before we make purchases. From the moment we arrived, we realized what a valuable service the library provides.

The community should recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Library Director George W.S. Hays, now retired, and continued by the current director, Brad Stephens. They have managed the library's funds well, increased and improved services, and seen a resulting increase in visitors and circulation.

However, state funding has changed, resulting in far fewer dollars to support the excellent services the library offers. It is no surprise that the library's usage has increased in the current recession as citizens use the library to research jobs or career changes and seek out less expensive forms of entertainment. Just as the library services are needed most, the funding for the library from the state of Ohio has been decreased.

The state funding is not coming back. If we want to maintain our library, we must step up to provide local funds through the proposed Library levy.

The Salem Public Library is a gem in our community. Along with the schools and the parks, it is one of the cornerstones that make Salem what it is. Please join us in voting "yes" for the Library Levy in the May election.



Urges backing of parks renewal levy

To the editor:

May 4 is coming soon and before long Salem street corners and yards will be filled with signs, debates will be held and the local newspapers will be printing all the readers' and candidates' pleas, opinions and arguments. Some will be asking for our votes, others for our support and still others will be asking for our money.

Voting for and supporting your favorite candidate or issue is one thing. Giving up some of your hard earned money is something else altogether, especially during these tough economic times.

This May there will be at least three local issues on the ballot of which are asking us to support them with our tax dollars. They are Salem City Schools, Salem Parks and Recreation and the Salem Public Library. I think most people would agree that these are all important services for a strong community and are all worthy of our support.

There are many families and individuals in Salem that can afford to and will almost always support our community in any way they can, especially when it requires a financial commitment. You are the strong backbone of Salem and you have my deepest respect, thanks and appreciation. Without you we could not and would not survive.

Unfortunately there is also a segment of our local population that is truly struggling financially and simply can't afford to give up any more of their tax dollars, no matter what the cause. As much as they would like to help, they have to watch and save every penny they can in order to make ends meet. I've been there myself. To you I say hang on and keep fighting. Have faith that things will improve with some hard work on your part and some strong and wise leadership from our elected officials.

For the remainder of us who fall somewhere in the middle of these two groups, some decisions need to be made. What should I support and why? I start by asking myself three basic questions. 1) Does it make my community a better place to live and work? 2) Do they spend my money wisely? 3) Can I afford this? When I ask these question as it pertains to the Salem Parks and Recreation 1 mill renewal levy, I can answer yes to all three.

Yes, it makes my community a better place to live. I think I have received a lot from this organization over the years. From early childhood Easter egg hunts to the many playgrounds, to sled riding, to family picnics, to the swimming pool, to the little league baseball games, to football practices, to basketball games, to softball games, to tennis matches, to Sunday concerts, to Relay For Life events, to nature trails, to cross country meets, to outdoor dances, to Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall displays, to family reunions, to craft shows, to church socials and all the way to fireworks displays. I have certainly benefited from a strong local parks program and I'll bet most in our city have also.

Yes, I think they spend my money wisely. I believe that parks Director Steve Faber, along with the commissioners and his workers stretch as much out of each dollar as they possibly can. I feel that Mr. Faber is aware that it is my tax dollars that he is using and he realizes that waste or mismanagement of this money would be unacceptable. I am confident that he and the commissioners are fiscally responsible and are trying to get the most out of every dollar they receive.

Yes, I can afford it. This is a renewal levy. I am not being asked to give them more money but only to continue giving what I have been in the past. In fact, for many families that may be less than before as many property values have decreased.

Our community cannot thrive or even survive without strong and healthy public services. They need my help and I believe it is now my responsibility to do what I can. On May 4 I hope you will join me and vote yes for the 1 mill renewal for the Salem Parks and Recreation Department. I urge you to support the schools and library also. Thank you.



Upset Ryan ducked

due to a 'threat'

To the editor:

I have had some really disturbing experiences recently. I went to meet Tim Ryan (March 30) and he didn't show up where he was supposed to be pushing his ideas on the Obamacare bill. He claimed he got a death threat so he didn't show up. I was one of the youngest people there and I'm in my late 40s and I don't think any of the older folks there were the "death threat type." Guys like Ryan are trying to stereotype and marginalize the people that disagree with them by calling us a "threat."

Because I (and over 60 percent of Americans) see Obamacare as a bad thing, we are called anti-government, radicals, terrorists and mobsters. Two thousand pages of unread legalese pushed through with bribes and sweetheart deals and they wonder why we don't trust them? If this thing was so good for America, why do they need all of the secrecy and shady deals to get it passed? You would think that if it was as good as they want you to believe, they could be completely open and honest with their intentions, I mean, people only hide things, they're ashamed of, right? So why all of the secrecy, especially after Obama promised everything would be done out in the open with C-Span cameras running, and Nancy Pelosi promised the most ethical Congress in history? Perhaps they are living in my grandson's "Opposite World."

"We the People" in the Tea Party movement are not anti-government, we are anti-socialism and anti-corruption, it just so happens that corruption is status-quo for our elected representatives and socialism is the avenue they are choosing to hold on to their power. Just like when we hire someone to paint our house, or lay carpet for us, we don't want murderers, thieves, liars, rapists, perverts or child molesters to be working for us there, because you can't trust them. Why on earth would we want to have anyone that we can't trust running our country? I mean they do work for us, don't they?

Several college-educated people, in the media and elsewhere, have told me that we elect our "leaders" to go to Washington and "decide what's best for us." Their decisions are based on what, their outstanding wisdom and moral integrity? That's a laugh! This is not how this country was meant to work, this nation was meant to be a "Representative Republic." Under this form of government, we the people elect a man or a woman from our communities or districts to represent our ideals, values and beliefs when voting on any legislation that comes before them. I don't see this happening, I see corrupt and greedy politicians clinging to their power and money, pushing legislation that benefits nobody but themselves and well funded special interest groups at the expense of the voters that put them in that position in the first place.

If being an educated and an informed voter with common sense makes me a threat, then I am guilty as charged.



Claims father

was harassed

To the editor:

It has recently come to my attention that my father, Robert D. McCluggage has become involved in a legal situation in Salem, over the annexation of 99 acres of land adjoining his home for 42 years after an illustrious career in the Air Force and after retiring from teaching 17 years at West Branch High School. He graduated from Kent State University with honors in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in education. Before the Armed Forces, he served our state in the State Highway Patrol.

When my father was first approached about this proposal, he was paid an unannounced visit by Mr. Greg Oesch and a notary. They assured him that if he signed their papers he would be helping the community acquire a grant for industrial development. They did not have current diagrams of the properties involved, nor adequate information concerning easement/right-of-way attachments to the property. (Before my parents purchased the property, there was an easement on the east border, but that no longer exists.) The visit was frequently interrupted by my mother, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, adding to my father's concerns and attention that day. He is her full-time caretaker, after great disappointment in the quality of care she had been given in area nursing homes. Caring for my mother and watching her demise has been very hard on our family and especially my father. Adding this legal entanglement to his life by the town he has loved and supported for so many years is unbelievable!

He has lived a peaceful and contributing life in this community after giving so much to our country and while leading young people in this area. He is one of the oldest veterans of three wars and has been honored several times in that capacity by local groups, speaking eloquently to them about the moral and patriotic ways that our citizens can serve the cause of freedom and justice. My parents could have settled anywhere in the world after their retirement: they chose to come home. Is this how Salem treats its own?

Over the years, I have witnessed industrial development around Salem, and have heard that several of those facilities have since been vacated. Property owners were promised evergreen plantings to buffer their properties from the industry, but many never received that. Many of them have since vacated those homes because of the noise and pollution involved in that development. We have all watched Walmart and Home Depot move into this area; now I understand that tax abatements were granted them so that Green Township receive no tax monies through that "improvement." Recently your paper has carried stories about the layoff of police and firemen. I know that your schools have money problems. Salem, how is the acquisition of my family's property going to help this town's poor track record of fiscal responsibility? Who are the entities so eager to develop in this area?

What this administration is trying to do seems like a quick-fix, grabbing for stimulus money through deception and poor research. Now my father has to spend precious time and money defending his property and rights! An elderly gentleman who still loves to be active and productive, who cares about his property and family, who would help in any situation if he could, who loves and cares deeply-this describes my father, and many, many other older citizens who deserve our respect and consideration. Anyone with thoughtful and moral respect for family rights is now seeing Salem as threatening and unconcerned with the welfare of those citizens. Who is next? At least one petition has been circulated among area citizens with least 700 signatures and among those, no one approves of this annexation. (Each one is a voter) My father rescinded his participation after he gave the situation more thought and before the annexation application was approved by the Columbiana County Commissioners. Now it seems your paper is painting my father as "some kind of mean person because I don't want to give up my property." He said this to me today, and he has been hurt by this town and its greedy political agenda. The paper mentioned "Alice and Robert McCluggage and Trust." However, my mother is incapable of signing or input, and I am executrix and power of attorney for my father: why was I not consulted as well? The devious and deceptive practices of Mr. Greg Oesch and his Yes Man has had grave consequences in my family's life. I suggest that everyone reading this ask themselves "How could this happen?"

Instead of harassing my father, Robert McCluggage deserves the consideration and respect of this Administration.

Teresa C. McCluggage




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