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OUR READERS WRITE...

February 20, 2011
Salem News

Reilly project deserves support from community

To the editor:

For 82 years the Reilly Stadium wall has been a landmark for Salem, a place to meet, a wall that provided beauty and charm to an ordinary sport field, a wall that provided dignity to sport history and political memories.

Time and many winters have taken its toll. Snow, ice and water embedded with salt has laid at its base for several months each winter. A redesign of the track caused another problem and piles of dirt laid against it while improper drainage compounded the erosion causing the wall to lean and to sink. Mortar has worn away and falling bricks have created holes. The condition of the wall was brought to the attention of the Salem Preservation Society.

After many discussions and meetings, the Salem Preservation Society partnered with the Salem Board of Education to start fund raising for the renovation of the wall.

The project is divided into two phases. Phase one will include rebuilding the entire north wall, the rebuilding of one ticket booth (both ticket booths were torn down in 1984), wrought iron gates and fencing facing East Pershing Street and a donor/dedication area with benches and brick paths will complete this phase.

The cost of this project will exceed $500,000. The school district does not have the financial resources to fund this project; therefore, the Salem Preservation Society has offered to raise the necessary money. We are hoping the SHS alumni and all those who have memories of the stadium, who played football, soccer, ran track, cross country, played in the band or sat in the stands watching the various events will help us financially to save this beautiful piece of history.

The following is a sampling of what events have occurred at this stadium:

JFK spoke there in 1960 while campaigning for the presidency.

The first high school night football game played under the lights.

Jesse Owens, Olympian gold medalist, 1936 ran track, friend of F.E. Cope.

Earl Bruce coached football, 1956-1959, later coached at OSU.

Lou Slaby, Kirk Lowdermilk and Rich Karlis became professional football players.

Wayne Russell Track meets were held for many years.

We understand the enormous task which is before us; however, the Salem Preservation Society feels this beautiful historic place in Salem is worthy of our time and effort to preserve it.

DAVID K. SCHWARTZ,

Salem

Observing murder trial was learning experience

To the editor:

After spending this past week and a half in court during the Emily Foreman murder trial, I have to say that I learned quite a bit.

The job of the prosecutor is not an easy one. Nor is the job of the defense. So many people are responsible for the outcome of a conviction. We heard from the detectives, DNA experts, blood specialists, not one but two coroners, the BCI agent, first responders, neighbors, family members, the murderer and others.

I was so engrossed by all of this, I don't think I even blinked during the entire trial.

One thing that hit me the hardest of course was the impact that going through something like this has on the families. All families. The victims, the defendants, and mine.

As I sat in the courtroom with Emily's family, the pain was very evident. Pain of having her gone, pain of hearing each and every detail of her death, pain of having to sit in the very same room as Emily's killer.

People often say after a conviction that "At least the family has peace." I myself have said that very same thing., but honestly, there will never be peace.

Emily's killer has been convicted. He will pay for his crime, but the fact is, it doesn't give the family "peace." Yes, I am sure it gives a certain amount of closure to them, but they will never know peace.

Emily is gone. Her family and friends are still left with that empty place in their hearts that nothing can ever fill.

The jury convicted him. The judge gave a fair sentence. The family was pleased.

Personally, I was impressed with the whole process.

But "peace" is quite a different story

BELINDA PUCHAJDA,

Lisbon,

Founder,

Columbiana County Families of Homicide Victims Inc.

Mother upset daughter was hit and run victim

To the editor:

This is in reference to a hit and run accident that occurred Feb. 10 at approximately 10:40 p.m. Just at the time the fire departments, police, etc. were en route to the gas explosion.

Our daughter was coming home from work on Depot Road between U.S. Route 30 and Route 172. Upon turning left into a private drive, she was clipped by someone traveling above the speed limit. Would you believe this person didn't even stop to see if she was OK? I cannot understand people today. Everyone is to provide insurance for their automobiles, but for whatever reason people still get away without having any insurance!

Why else wouldn't this person stop and give her his or her insurance information? Perhaps they were in a hurry to get to the explosion! Still they had no emergency lights, etc. Perhaps they were drunk? If anyone out there has information about new front end damage to someone's dark colored truck, please call us or the State Highway Patrol in Lisbon.

Our daughter called them as she sat in that driveway last night, only to be told everyone is at the explosion, come in tomorrow.

A person tries to do the right thing and obey the laws, only to be slapped in the face again and again and again! We would appreciate any information anyone out there has!

Thank you for your time.

KAREN and ROBERT COPE,

Lisbon

Urges local support for 'Wounded Warriors'

To the editor:

As a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), I regularly receive the VFW magazine. The magazine contains, in addition to stories of past battles and wars, many stories about today's veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Each issue contains a complete list of the names, units, and hometowns of all the service members killed in those two battle zones during the previous time period. For example, in the latest issue were listed 65 of these heroes who paid the supreme sacrifice from Sept. 25 to Oct. 24, 2010, including members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

However, the most heart-rending of the stories concern men and women who are not dead but horribly wounded, with missing limbs, ears, eyes and noses, or severe brain injuries that leave them almost helpless to care for themselves.

One such story tells of 35-year-old Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris who was in command of a scout Humvee that struck an IED in Iraq in February, 2007. The blast left Sgt. Harris badly burned on his face and hands, and with fractured vertebrae and collarbone and three missing fingers. But that wasn't the worst of it -as Harris tells it, "I lost both ears, [and] I didn't have a nose for a long time." After many medical procedures, and a pair of prosthetic ears, Harris allows that, "Nowadays, they've got me looking pretty good."

Another story in the same issue is about 20-year-old Marine Corporal Todd Nicely from Missouri. In March of 2010, Nicely stepped on a mine and became the Afghanistan War's second quadruple amputee. The young corporal lost his right leg at the knee, and the left above the knee, while his right arm is mostly gone and his left at the wrist. Nicely's young wife Crystal, is with him at Walter Reed while he struggles to learn to walk and perform the myriad other tasks that those of us with hands take for granted.

It brings tears to my eyes when I read of these brave young people who have been thrust violently into a life they never imagined. And, although the news media talks a lot about the number of deaths that have occurred in the war, we don't hear much about our "Wounded Warriors."

To quote VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard Eubank, "More than 41,000 Americans have been physically wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of them were severely disabled, suffering lifelong scars, burns, traumatic brain injuries and amputations. To a large extent, they are truly the forgotten casualties of these wars."

Nearly all wounded service members from Afghanistan or Iraq pass through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, where the 149-bed facility's personnel treat an average of 700 to 800 patients per month. The average stay for those who are critically wounded is less than 72 hours before they are on their way to the U.S., although less severely wounded may be there for three to five days, and approximately 20 percent are treated and returned to duty.

Many of the wounded have had their uniforms destroyed in the traumatic events that caused their wounds, or in the initial combat medic's treatment, and they arrive at Landstuhl with nothing. Although their personal possessions from their base camp will catch up with them eventually, it takes a while. Meanwhile they often have no shoes, clothing, or toilet articles and that's where Landstuhl's Wounded Warrior Ministry Center - nicknamed the "Chaplains' Closet" - comes in. Much larger that a mere "closet," the shelves are filled with clothing, toiletries and shoes, even single shoes for amputees.

There are about seven chaplains and six assistants assigned to Landstuhl and they, along with a group of local community members and the families of service men who volunteer their time, administer the closet. If a wounded warrior is too badly hurt to visit the closet, someone delivers the things to him or her. One of the chaplains said in 2009, "We have distributed over $2 million of financial support in these last seven or eight years." In addition, the chaplains use some of the money donated to the "Closet" to take wounded warriors on trips in the local area every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, to relax and sightsee.

There are several agencies and funds that have been set up to help these deserving men and women who have sacrificed so much for their, and our country, and I urge you to locate a "Wounded Warrior" program and help out in some way.

We should all be as proud of our Wounded Warriors as their families are. Before Sgt. Harris had prosthetic ears, his 7-year-old daughter Elizabeth would proudly tell her little friends and schoolmates, who were somewhat frightened of Harris, "My daddy got burned in Iraq. He's a soldier!" Later, the two were together in a crowd and Elizabeth was sad because people were staring at him and that's when Harris decided to get his ears.

In this, the 10th year of the war, it seems to me that most of us have tuned out the sacrifices our service members have, and are making for us. Please don't forget them and help out wherever you are able.

SAM MOORE,

Salem

Citizens need to be pro-active with country

To the editor:

The financial condition of this country is deteriorating by the day, by the hour and by the minute. If those in the senate and Congress are not aware of this, then they lack plain common sense. And if they are aware of this condition, why in the name of heaven aren't they taking action? Not five years from now, but now. Are those public servants of ours afraid to stand tall, face their public and tell us the truth? Afraid to tell us this wonderful country of ours is in deep trouble and if we are to survive it will mean some form of sacrifice from every one of us.

A wise man once said "People can govern themselves only if they are enlightened. If we want to survive as a republic or even as a nation we must get involved. Find out what's going on. Call, write, use the Internet to contact your senator or congressmen and demand positive action now.

The news from Washington is not good. They are still playing the name and blame game. Republicans verses Democrats. Each side apparently fearful to make the first move. The public wants and deserves the truth. We don't wish to hear it only from the news media, but from the lips of those who have allowed this terrible mess to formulate. Do they possibly think were not capably of handling the truth? We have dealt with the truth in the past and survived and we can deal with it now.

It is not my intention to spread fear in the heart of those who read this, but the current events now taking place in Egypt, Greece and other European countries could be a preview of what could happen here if our system is allowed to collapses and our government is unable to meet its monetary commitments. People rioting and screaming for their retirement checks when there is no money to pay them. God forbid that this could happen here.

LEON J. WHITE,

Columbiana

Writes on behalf of state employees

To the editor:

Public service isn't just a job, it's a calling. State employees care about the work we do - just ask those who've served for 15, 20, 30 years or more. Like so many I work with, it's been hard to see services to Ohioans decline. That's why state workers have made sacrifices over the years just to maintain the services we provide.

I take issue with the argument that the right to bargain a contract and have a say in our working conditions hamstrings state government budgets. Look at what's happened over this last decade. State employees have taken pay freezes for five out of the last nine years; we've taken furlough days and freezes on steps and personal leave as well as increases in our health care, in an effort to help the state balance its budget.

Contrary to what you've heard, it's collective bargaining that has allowed for this flexibility and collaboration with the state on financial fixes. When times are tough, we all know there are sacrifices to be made - and we've made them under Ohio's collective bargaining law.

MELANIE GOOD,

Cambridge,

Formerly of Salem

Fracking process needs a thorough review

To the editor:

While I've never considered myself a tree hugger or a fan of "big government," I'm appalled at the things I've learned recently about well fracking.

Well fracking is the process of using water, sand and an expansive list of over 500 chemicals (many fall under the term "proprietary" and are unknown) to drill into (fracture) shale to get natural gas.

While the detrimental affects to the environment from fracking have been well documented in states in the west and south west, there seems to be very little being done to regulate, monitor and hold accountable the drilling companies. In fact, the fracking process does not fall under the regulatory rules of the Clean Air or Clean Water Act.

I've done a fair share of research recently and also watched a movie called "Gastown" after hearing about more and more of our local communities and individual property owners considering signing drilling/non-drilling leases with drilling companies.

The idea of receiving a large sum of money and not allowing a company to drill on your land certainly has an initial high appeal factor. What harm could possibly come from that? Do some research because the truth will (should) scare you!

With the economy in its current state, who in their right mind would turn down "free money," right? Well, if you haven't learned by now you just may never, nothing is free. The potential risk to our environment, particularly our water supply, is something one needs to seriously consider. While we can survive weeks with out food, water is our planet's sustenance.

Certainly there is a plus side to fracking, I assume. The only one I can come up with is that we lessen our dependency on foreign resources: but at what price? Short of hitting the fracking jackpot and being able to move from your property to an area that has yet to be encroached upon, what can you do when your land is full of toxins?

I don't claim to have the answers but it would make sense to me that the fracking process needs to be reviewed and more thoroughly regulated.

JAY KLEIN,

Salem

 
 

 

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