Thorns to continuing decay of our fair city. Hmmm, let's see, you can take a few minutes walk from, say, this newspaper building, and come to the sight of an apparent arson of a downtown building; the residence - God bless his soul - where a helpless infant boy stayed who lived a death sentence while beaten and brutalized before ultimately murdered and; take you pick, go to a number of locations where in broad daylight drug transactions have taken and take place on a regular basis including at a public park located smack dab in the center of Salem. You can't blame the cops. There aren't enough of them to cast a net over all the poison people. We have been staunch backers of the Salem Police and other local law enforcement agencies and will continue to do so. The hard crime element in our city and surrounding communities has become a plague. You can't possibly expect to eliminate all of the locust. Part of it is the infiltration of heroin and meth-based drug filth from Youngstown and other large areas. Part of it are absentee landlords who do not monitor their rental properties as long as the rent check is being sent on time. Take a walk around some of our neighborhoods and draw your own conclusions. Some of these places are scum magnets. Obviously crime has always occurred to some degree. But are we the only ones who feel that serious crime has become almost routine around here?
Thorns to the budget controversy stink wafting from the Columbiana County Recorder's Office. What part are we missing here when it comes to an elected official proclaiming he is running out of money and forced into layoffs after bumping a worker from part-time to full-time? As far as budget constraints go, live with it like so many staff/office managers across all professions including within the media have had to do. From what we understand perhaps more, you know, of an actual physical presence in his position - we've heard ongoing complaints - by the recorder himself wouldn't hurt. We have to side with the commissioners on this one.
Thorns to gas prices rising. Again. Just in time for the Labor Day holiday. And with Isaac bearing down on our area's gulf region, another excuse will be offered up for even more escalation. It was amusing Thursday afternoon to be part of a line of vehicles lining up like thirsty horses at a trough to get gas at $3.58 per gallon - while that price lasted - right after the place down the street had jacked its price up to something like $3.85. And again somewhere the oil barons loudly laugh.
Thorns to the new fangled LeBron?James X shoes being sold for - get this - $315. Apparently they contain sensors that measure things like how high you can jump and, presumably, how incredibly stupid you are for spending that much money on something worn on your feet. Absolutely amazing. We long for Chuck Taylors. No, not the ones they regurgitated a few years back to capitalize on the suckers who frequent retro fads. But the real ones from long ago. Lasted forever and were inexpensive.
Roses to the response - and we were glad to prompt it - to the news of a modified Reilly Project. We were told that within two hours of our story hitting the streets on the scaled-down but still impressive project, $7,000 had been raised. More keeps coming. The project is just past 50 percent of its target so please do so support it. The original plan was a too long reach. But there is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars and ending up in the clouds. It's a worthwhile commitment that many have made to preserve an important part of our history.
Roses for the Salem teachers and the school board reaching an accord over a two-year contract. This will avert financial disaster and actually put the district in the black for four long years. Well done.
Roses for school teachers who buy school supplies out of their own pockets for needy students. Roses for bright kids who tutor struggling kids. Roses for bus drivers and their Job-like patience. Roses for coaches who get their points across without screaming into a startled kid's face from inches away. Roses for the second and third-teamers who work every bit as hard as the starters and studs on a team. Roses for the parents who send off with a tear in an eye for the first time a child to kindergarten or first grade. Roses for the parents who send off with a tear in an eye for the first time a child to college. Roses for the young people who enter college at least a little naive and immature and emerge as full flung responsible adults. For those of us who have experienced such a metamorphosis with one of our own, yeah, it does bring a tear to an eye. And much pride to our hearts.