Govt. shouldn't back off-shore manufacturing
To the editor:
Whoever said, "it doesn't matter where is it made" was wrong. The theory of raising the livings of third world countries to create a new class of consumers failed. The end result is forcing our middle class live on third world wages.
Now our governments, local, state, and federal now must come to grips with a third world tax base for their support.
They all speak of tough decisions that affect others, yet their pay and benefits remain the same.
That flat area of rubble, once the Eljer Company says it all to any of the locals. All they see is flat land. They have no sense of loss or the lives ruined by this one event. All the government can do is keep or add laws that support off shore manufacturing like the MRT, Morris Relief Tax.
MICHAEL J. McAVOY, Salem
Kind words for kindness shown by local dealer
To the editor:
Last year I purchased a new vehicle from Stratton Chevrolet. Two weeks ago while in Medina, Ohio, I had a problem with the driver's side seat not retracting after being put to the full forward position. I called Stratton's to advise of the problem and that I was going to a Chevrolet dealer in Medina, Ohio. I went to the dealership in Medina and after approximately one hour of waiting in the room, I was told that I would have to contact my own insurance company for a rental car to get me home. I then called Stratton Chevrolet back and advised them of what this "big dealership" had told me. They asked me if I could get the car to them. I drove my car with 2,000 miles on it to their dealership. Upon arrival, Justin and Kirk in the service department had a paper for me to sign about my insurance. Justin then proceeded to go outside and meet me at my car with another car and keys in hand. I was on my way home with another car within four minutes. I commend this fine dealership for their job which was well done. We as local residents are fortunate to have such a fine dealership within driving distance I thank them for their assistance and hope others will utilize their business.
GARY POAGE, Salem
Writes on behalf of those receiving exit bonuses
To the editor:
I "escaped" mention in Mr. Giambroni's March 29 article on the "exit bonuses" paid to former Congressman Wilson's staff in the final quarter of 2010, and that is not right. As Congressman Wilson's district director and staff attorney, I also received the exit bonus and I cannot allow the Congressman's local staff to take the fall for decisions they did not make.
I am extremely proud of my district staff and the job they did. I'm biased, of course, but I know how hard they worked: the pride and the dedication that John Payne brought to work every day in securing medical treatment or well-earned benefits for area veterans; the tireless lengths Linda Persutti pursued to help people facing foreclosure remain in their homes and Denny Johnson's passion for bringing people together to move development projects forward as quickly as possible to promote our area's growth. These are good people who served you well, and who believed in Congressman Wilson's one standing order in the district staff: "Do whatever we can to help our people." And, that's what my staff and I did every day. That help included help for the Republican Chairman, Dave Johnson, who the article quoted extensively. As most will recall, Mr. Johnson complained quite loudly to Congressman Wilson when his company was denied the opportunity to bid on a government contract. Congressman Wilson gave his full support to Mr. Johnson. He did so without reservation but with full knowledge that Mr. Johnson would do everything in his power to see him defeated in 2010. He didn't care. Helping was the right thing to do; it was the right thing to do for Mr. Johnson's employees and the right thing for Columbiana County. So if the Republican chairman of Columbiana County and the Morning Journal (or the Vindicator) has an issue with the compensation package our staff received, then they should take aim at me, the Congressman and our Chief of Staff. We are the ones who made the decisions in question, not the staff.
We realize the larger controversy swirling around public employee compensation. And, I completely understand that many in the 6th District might be upset. That is their right, and one I fully respect. In fact, I have no problem with examining the issue. But, let no one say, as the article implied, that my staff did not work their tails off for the people of the 6th District during our time in office, or that Congressman Wilson was ever over budget. He wasn't. Not once, not ever. This is the problem with 'got ya' politics, of which I commend Mr. Johnson as a master practitioner. It distracts attention away from a serious discussion about real issues facing the nation. It places symbolic gestures over substantive action. Should I, for example, call on the new Congressman to donate a portion of his salary to pay down the national debt to demonstrate his commitment to its reduction? I would not do so because such a call, for purposes of political gain only, demeans the seriousness of the budget issues now facing America and would have no real impact on the debt.
The same is true about the exit bonuses and/or any of the benefit payouts made as we closed out our offices. But, Mr. Johnson saw an opportunity for political gain, and he took it, as was his right.
In closing, I understand that 'got ya' political charges - on either side of the aisle - is part of the game, for better or worse. But, I believe the players of that game have a responsibility to ensure the political bombs they throw minimize the collateral damage to good people, who wanted to serve their community, who did their jobs to the best of their ability and who fairly earned the compensation they received.
CHRISTOPHER J. GAGIN, Esq., Former District Director/Staff Attorney, Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-6)
Backing levy would show dedication to students
To the editor:
The oldest plaque in United Locals Schools reads in part, "Dedicated to the Youth of United Local District." It is dated 1951. I was one of those youth. Many of you were too. The school was well built and provided for all our "modern" needs. It had many features that the 12 schools that preceded it lacked. It had separate rooms for each grade level. It had indoor plumbing. It had a cafeteria where we could buy a hot lunch! It had a gym. It had all sorts of modern conveniences and the latest in educational features. It was really state of the art! As the population grew and educational needs changed, so did the school. The United community supported the building of additions. When I entered the new high school addition in 1967, it was a beautiful, modern facility and I received a great education. It was certainly "good enough for me." I am thankful for the voters of the 40s 50s and 60s who supported me and my peers.
After graduation, I went away to college. Like many people do, I finished school, got a good job, married and had children. I returned to the district when my two children were quite young. They both graduated from United and it was also "good enough for them." My children are now grown with children of their own. Who knows if those grandchildren will attend United Local? Whether they do or not, I must ask, will United be good enough for the next generation? Will it be good enough for the "Youth of the United Local District?" The once beautiful, state of the art elementary school is now sadly lacking. The once modern, original kitchen and cafeteria is now crowded and inefficient. It was not built to serve 700 people. Those classrooms for every grade level were not built with modern teaching methods in mind. There was no space allowance for teaching materials or technology or modern educational practices. Who could have ever imagined that televisions, DVD players, computers, projectors, Smart Boards, etc. would be common tools for educational purposes? I'm sure no one did or there would have been more than one or two electrical outlets per room! The 1951 building wasn't wired, heated, ventilated or plumbed with the needs of 2011 in mind. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, the oldest sections of United are no longer good enough. Just as the one room schools were no longer sufficient, neither is our elementary. It is a huge step, but it is time once again to provide for the youth of the United Local District.
The timing isn't perfect. It is true that interest rates are low. It is true that construction costs are low. It is true that money from a tobacco settlement will pay for 79 percent of a new school. It is true that we can have an entire facility for all grade levels for a fraction of the total cost. It is true that a new school will be energy efficient, totally furnished and will be complete with technology! But Economic times are tough, especially for those on a limited income, as I am; $9.75 million is a lot of money! And 37 years is a long time! That's a lot more than voters have ever been asked for in the past! Or is it?
In 1946 voters approved $206,995. Today's value is $2,457,030.60.
In 1952 voters approved $440,000. Today's value is $3,585,568.30
In 1956 voters approved $211,000. Today's value is $1,700,195.49.
Within a span of 10 years voters approved the equivalent of $7,742,794.39. This total built just the original elementary and current junior high. Then the high school was built.
In 1965 voters approved $512,000. Today's value is $3,543,778.46
This brings the total to $11,286,572.85.
The last time voters were asked to approve a bond issue was in 1984 for an elementary addition. The voters approved $133,815.00. Today's value is $799,416.34. The total is now up to $12,085,989.19. (Check my figures at www.dollartimes.com). Since 1984, all building projects have been funded with permanent improvement monies, equity money, and parity money. We now have the chance to get a bargain for the taxpayers by getting $30 million in tobacco settlement money. Can we really afford to turn this money down? Yes, 37 years is a long time. Personally, I'm glad. This way I can better afford it. Compare this to a home mortgage. 37 years makes sense. My point is this: Yes, $ 9.75 million dollars is a lot of money. But for that money we get a $38 million facility. Plus we keep the newest portions of our current facility which will safeguard us from "running out of space," due to educational changes/needs in the future. Doesn't it make sense to get all new instead of pouring more money into outdated, inadequate, deteriorating buildings? Those buildings really were "good enough for me." If we pass up this opportunity, I don't think we will be able to say the same for the youth of United Local. Those who came before us, provided very well for us. We need to do the same for the next generations. Please, don't bury your head in the sand. Go to United for one of the informational meetings and take a tour of the building. See for yourself. Decide for yourself. It was good enough for me and you. Doesn't the next generation deserve the same?
JOAN GIBSON, Salem
More words in support of passage of United levy
To the editor:
As a parent of three children in United Local I have attended several "Project Future" school meetings. The board and superintendent invited us to answer all questions and tour the facility so we as residents can make an informed decision. Now is not the time to be too stubborn, busy, or lazy to attend a meeting. Over the next 10 years our school is in need of approximately $4 million of repairs or for $9.75 million (our portion) we can rebuild. The $4 million will get us major renovations on old buildings some originating in the 50s. The $9.75 million buys new buildings, heating and cooling, and windows all more energy efficient. Since the school has been built in phases the heating and electrical were not originally designed for the current capacity. Yes children can be taught using only chalkboard and pencils, but computers and technology are now used in every aspect of life and they require power. Power we currently do not have. I also wish all of our problems could be fixed by $10 laborers but dealing in the real world I know that is not the case. I also hear people grumble about wasted money. We have a school board with open meetings to address concerns. As opposed to just whining, go to board meetings, run for board, and get involved. It is our money and we have an obligation to get involved.
I own and run a business and costs go up on a quarterly basis. I know school cost is no different. I have not seen where money has been lavishly spent. This choice was passed over about 10 years ago. Today we can get 79 cents tobacco settlement money for every 21 cents we provide to build a new school. State rules will not provide the 79 percent additional funding if we do not rebuild. Due to the financial troubles of the state, I think it is a safe bet to say this 79 percent offer will soon disappear. There is not one person in this community who would not pay 21 cents to get an additional 79 cents in their own pocket. This year my income is down 30 percent. Do I need an additional bill? No. However, I have learned in life to look further than my own arm's length. All would like to have something for nothing, some are even lucky enough to get it. Today this is not the case. This will cost us 21 cents to get 79 additional for our community; we are talking $30 million free for our project. If this doesn't pass how soon are we going to be asked for another $5.75 million in patches? What does our community have to offer other than a good school system? We have no major businesses and little means of attracting them. Business look for tax breaks, utility services, and educated workers. People move into or out of an area based on a school system. My experience with United Local has been dedication that does not end at 3:30 p.m. We are a blessed community to have an excellent school system. My children will have little time remaining at United if a new school is built. Times are tough and money is tight. The question is $4 million to repair old or $9.75 million over 37 years to get $30 million free. The choice is ours. At least make it educated.
KENT SALMEN, Kensington
United Local coaches, players thank community
To the editor:
To the United Local community: I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the United Lady Eagle basketball team, to thank the community and our fans for their continued support during this season and the last several seasons. The number of fans we have at our games, whether home or away, far outnumber our opponents. It is awesome to see our fans standing when the players are introduced, stand and cheer when they come out at halftime and stand and cheer for them at the end of a game plus all the support during the game. I have had several coaches express how impressed they are to see how many fans and supporters we have. They say they don't have that at their school. They also commented how exciting it is that our fans do not sit down until the team scores their first points. You, our fans, need to know that not only does the team notice you, but so do the other schools, their fans, players and coaches. We have and will continue to work to get a tradition at united that other teams will know when they play united they are going to face continued pressure for four quarters of basketball. They also know that we play the game the way it should be played, with respect for our opponents, officials and fans. As a coach, I also appreciate your support and know that you care and enjoy how these young ladies play the game. They spend many hours working hard and dedicating themselves to being successful. They play their heart out not only for themselves, but for you, our fans, and the United community. They are proud to wear and play for the name on the front of their jerseys. They are making United girls basketball known around the area as something special. These young ladies are proud to be from and play for United. They enjoy your support.
So to the community, board members, staff, fans, fellow students and Eagle Crazies, we thank you for all your support. with your continued support in the future, as in the past, we can continue this winning tradition. Remember as we always say when we break the huddle, "We are United."
COACH ROGER ZEIGLER and the UNITED LADY EAGLES basketball team. Hanoverton
Commend Living Faith Church for movie
To the editor:
Saturday, March 26, the Living Faith Church on Vine Street sponsored a movie, "Rediscover God in America." One nation under God. Every minister and Christian should have attended. It was the history of the founding of our nation, how we started and where we are going if we are not vigilant. Their Pastor Brian Weimer should be commended for bringing this to our town and our citizens should be sorry they did not take advantage of the opportunity to see and hear it.
DORIS BOUGHTON, MARGARET SWEITZER, Salem
East Liverpool resident unhappy with leadership
To the editor:
I thought this might be of interest to our leaders of this town. I was standing in line at a local business when the man behind me asked if this town has been under mortar attack. He said he does a lot of traveling and he has never in his life came across roads like we have here in East Liverpool. He told me he was from Maryland. Yes our local government is saying they are to start work on them now the end of May. But could someone tell us why it has taken so long and why did they get this bad? You want tourism in this town? This is not just one single comment. Many others have expressed their comments as well. Do you think they will ever come back? What a laugh!
JUDY REYNOLDS, East Liverpool