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March 20, 2011
Salem News

Johnson supporters must be disappointed

To the editor:

Many of you voted for our new congressman, Bill Johnson, because you were "sure" he was different. You said he wasn't a career politician. You said he was a true believer in Tea Party ideals. That he would fight for "we the people," and that he would put our interests above his own. Based on his actions just a few short months into his term, how very disappointed you all must be. First, Johnson abandoned his home in Poland and moved to Marietta. While it's true that his wife's family is from that area, it is also true that redistricting is about to happen. When that happens, Mahoning County and Columbiana County will most likely be removed from Mr. Johnson's congressional district. The simple truth is this: Mr. Johnson is already thinking about re-election in 2012, and he moved to Marietta to preposition himself to run for re-election in a more favorable district. Next, Mr. Johnson didn't join the Tea Party Caucus in Congress even though he professed to be a staunch Tea Party supporter during the election. I sure remember him speaking at every Tea Party rally, don't you? Yet, Mr. Johnson wasn't alone. As reported in The Hill, "Fewer than a dozen Republican freshmen have joined the House Tea Party Caucus, so far - a relatively anemic number given the size of the class and the fact that many were helped to victory in 2010 by Tea Party activists." So much for standing up-or even showing up-for what you believe in, I guess. And, finally, there was the farce that Mr. Johnson had refused "government healthcare." Mr. Johnson announced he would not accept the healthcare package available to members of Congress, which (despite popular opinion) is the same plan offered to all federal workers from the postal service to the FBI. Mr. Johnson, you see, declined the coverage because he was already receiving government healthcare benefits through TRICARE, which is the healthcare coverage provided to America's active and retired military personnel. While we thank Mr. Johnson for his service, we question his need to manipulate the truth for political gain. No, Bill Johnson is no different from every other self-serving politician. Say whatever it takes to get elected and then do whatever it takes to get re-elected. You may still agree with, or even like Mr. Johnson, but don't tell "we the people" he's a different kind of politician.

PATTY COLIAN, Secretary, Columbiana County Democrats

Tired of negative, 'false' information about levy

To the editor:

I'm getting kinda tired of hearing all the negative and false information being thrown around about the levy being put on the May ballot for United to build a new school. As a person who has been involved in this process since it was first discussed over a year ago I wish you would all take the time to get the correct information, with an open mind, before you start trashing it. Yes we do want to build a new school. Yes a new school is needed. Yes our current building is OK, but it isn't going to stay that way. We do have cracked walls, windows that don't work and classrooms that remain cold through the winter. We currently have almost $4 million in repairs that have to be done over the next 10 years. Where is that money going to come from? Good question! It will come from us the taxpayers. The money that is being offered to us from The Ohio Schools Facility Commission, came from a lawsuit that Ohio won against a tobacco company. This money was set aside with the stipulation that it must be used for this purpose. This money isn't going to last forever. Our district will only pay back 21 percent of the cost to build a brand new building. And by brand new, I mean everything from landscaping to the most up to date technology. All new heating, better security, new desks and windows that actually work. If I was told for every $100 in debt I make I am only responsible to pay back $21, I'd be a happy woman. This is the opportunity our district has. All I am asking is that each of you take the time to be properly informed before you make your decision to be for or against this levy. My children and my community are worth the few extra dollars that it will cost me each year to make this a reality! On May 3 my vote will be yes because I have taken the time to get educated on what this is really about. You can choose yes or no, it's your right. But please, take the time to get educated and don't just go by hear say, our future depends on us making the right choice. Proud to be a United Eagle,


Feels betrayed by the YWR endorsement

To the editor:

I feel betrayed by the YWR (Youngstown Warren Regional) Chamber of Commerce with its endorsement of SB-5. What next, the "right to work" legislation against private sector unions? For years, as a member of the UAW, our union, along with other unions, have worked in unison behind the scenes with the Chamber on many projects. I was particularly involved in a committee called "Grow Mahoning Valley" since its inception in 1997, that promoted economic development through the development of our infrastructure. The whole idea was to bring together the political power of the unions and business with government agencies to lobby for funding for much needed highways, water and sewer projects. During my years on GMV we worked together to get funding for the Vienna Airport interchange on Route 11, the Route 711 Connector, and countless other water, sewer, and road projects in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties.

We had a gentlemen's agreement. We would seek common ground on issues and stay away from certain issues that were contentious with the other. It appears the Chamber decided it was time to hack the ties and declare war on labor. For those labor unions still working on the GMV committee, I don't think labor needs to join hands with the chamber anymore. It appears that the self-serving Mr. Humphries thinks he accomplished all these things by himself. I know the hours I spent with other GMV members on the back of a truck filming roadways and businesses to make a special presentation to the ODOT TRAC committee for funding of the 711 connector, and I didn't see him there. Why burn your labor ties now Mr. Humphries. What political promises did you get for your turncoat initiative? By the way, isn't the Chamber of Commerce a UNION of businesses? Should we seek to ban the chamber from representing businesses?

ALEX SNYDER, Former GMV Member & UAW Retired, Columbiana

Teacher offers input on Senate Bill 5

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the recent discussions about Senate Bill 5. I have had a very difficult time putting into words all the emotions felt by not only me, but by hundreds of thousands of middle/working class citizens of our state. Sadness, anger, disbelief, and fear are all feelings many of us have been feeling as we look to what our future holds. I cannot speak for other union workers, but I can speak of my experience as a teacher. As a teacher, I can tell you that the numbers being printed in the paper about how much we are making are grossly fabricated. They are reporting numbers that include our benefits, not our salary. When will the American people wake up and realize that just because something appears in print, doesn't mean it is the truth? It is called, "Propaganda." Sadly, it is a very useful, and effective tool in today's politics. As a history teacher and Air Force veteran, I find myself scratching my head and wondering how this can happen in America. How is it that I can carefully plan my future, work three jobs simultaneously to earn a college degree, only to find that the degree I earned may not be worth the paper it is printed on. I have a $100,000.00 education with a master's degree, and yet I'm told I make too much money. I did everything right. I joined the service and served my country for seven years. I then spent seven plus years in college to make sure I wouldn't end up unable to take care of my family, and not be a burden on the government. How can it be that I can be told that my salary will be cut in half because I am overpaid? There are 350,000 teachers in the state of Ohio facing this very situation. If this bill passes, I foresee many foreclosures in the future of our state. I also find myself asking why teachers are to blame for all the wrongs of society. During my 18-year career, I have faced children from all walks of life. I have had children from wonderful homes with supportive parents, but I have also had children from drug addicted parents, children that had been physically and mentally abused, children that had been ignored or neglected, and children raised by someone other than their parents.

And yet, somehow, I'm supposed to fix them during my day. I am supposed to undo all that had been done to them and make them pass a test. So now I'm being told that my wages are going to be based on whether I can get children from these types of situations to pass a test. Children who may be more worried about what they are going to be facing at home when they get off the bus, than passing a testchildren whose precious brains are damaged because of the drugs and alcohol consumed by their parents when they were in the womb. Why aren't parents being asked to step up to the plate and parent their children?

How many parents are there in this world with kids all over the place to numerous partners, and yet teachers are to blame for a failing educational system? So what does this mean? It means that the kids I take home in my heart because I know their lives are difficult may have it even more difficult when quality teachers choose to leave the profession. Not because we want to, but because we too have a responsibility to our own children. I have to provide my daughters with a home, good nutrition and happiness. I cannot do that and work for what the new governor considers to be a fair wage for a $100,000 education. He has decided to set the new wages at a starting salary of $17,000 with a maximum of $32,000. As parents I'm asking you to think seriously about what kind of person do you think is willing to spend that much money on a degree, to start out making $17,000? What kind of people are you going to be entrusting with your children for that many hours everyday? My prediction is that in five years there aren't going to be any real teachers. College kids around the state have already started switching majors and are leaving education because of what is happening. What will end up happening is you will find people that can't find work anywhere else, are going to take a couple of classes to get a temporary license, and they will be hired for $17,000 to babysit your children. If you think our educational system is bad now, just wait, it is about to get far worse. From a parent's perspective, as I am not only a teacher, but I am also a mom, I am thinking about what kind of education my girls are going to get down the road when all that I fear comes to fruition. I fear that it is a good thing I am a teacher, for I just may end up having to home-school my own children. That is not something I want to do, but I will if there ends up a teacher shortage and classrooms are filled with untrained teachers with questionable qualifications.


Seems Americans help everyone but Americans

To the editor:

It's wonderful how Americans helps other nations when they're in distress. But on the other hand it seems Americans can help everyone but Americans. Before Congress passed the health care bill they did not even brother to considered the hide-a-way paths across our borders. The 1969 miles of "don't fence me in" has not worked. With thousands more jumping on the free health care wagon. They will need health care too. I would say the insurance companies will hitch the health care wagon on to their customers. And let them pull the extra load.

CARL F. WELCH, Leetonia

To the editor:

The last plan that Ohio was following toward economic recovery wasn't working. Build casinos, borrow money, build up railways, borrow money, encourage business to borrow money, continue the state tax and borrow money, etc. Ooh, yeah!

Now the novel idea is to cut spending, cut taxing, quit borrowing, or just quit writing checks with your mouth (Democrats) that the body (private citizen) cannot cash!


East Liverpool



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