Roses to Salem council member Dave Nestic for this: "People at all income levels have the right to quality housing." His words came during Tuesday's city council meeting when rezoning requests were discussed regarding the proposed apartment complex on the east end. Might come as news to some but not everyone toiling for low wages is living via Section 8 subsidized housing which, incidentally, the proposed Salem Pointe development won't be. Low income doesn't mean no income. Low income housing isn't always slumming. Many of those with low incomes aren't bums or deadbeats. Most keep up with their homes and yard. There are hundreds of upstanding citizens - hard-working and good Salem people?- who don't make much money. But they pay their taxes. They raise their families just like some of our town's more affluent. Sometimes even better. They deserve to live where they want to live and can afford. Despite facing daily economic restraints, some somehow manage to squirrel away money to send kids off to college. They don't live off the government dole of so-called entitlements. The last time we checked there wasn't a caste or some kind of social strata - at least not officially - system in place in Salem. Although some out there would probably support one. Those passing unfair judgments on others all the time should expel their energies on more important goings on. Like the rampant drug problem in our city. It is affecting rich, poor and all in between.
Roses of sympathy to the families of Brittany Gulu and Kiersten Renee Bernier. Young people tragically dying is brutal. It is startling - a constant reminder of the realities of this thing called the cycle of life. Death is the harshest of wake-up calls. The 17-year-old Brittany was a very active and vibrant Salem High School junior. She died in a car accident. The 6-year-old Kiersten was a lovable Knox Elementary School student who likely died from flu-like sickness. How helpless their families must feel right now. Our hearts go out to their broken hearts.
Roses for the Salem High boys basketball team for finding the wherewithal to concentrate on a district tournament game held shortly after the Gulu calling hours on Wednesday. The Quakers won to advance which was good. But somehow it didn't seem as significant considering the loss of a fellow student. Roses to the United Local girls basketball team for a season that included a school record 24 wins and district semifinal berth.
Thorns to Sports Illustrated for putting Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller on its cover this week. Those familiar with the legendary SI cover jinx are cringing. It's only March and the season is now doomed.
Roses to Dr. Willard Stamp. He recently retired as an optometrist. He practiced for a remarkable 57 years. Think of all the people he saw eye-to-eye with!
Roses to NiSource Inc., the parent company of Columbia Gas, for donating $50,000 to help get the popular Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail closer to the Mahoning County line.
Roses for East Palestine opting to provide a village police officer part-time to the county Drug Task Force. That came through the willingness of county commissioners to provide money and wages received as tax payments from Ohio's first casinos. Commissioners are offering local departments $10,000 for part-time local officers and $20,000 for full time officers to join the DTF. Money well used.
Roses for the success of the income tax amnesty program initiated last year by the city. Nearly $74,000 had been collected with more on the way from payment plans. It's a win-win: the city gets money it is due and tardy taxpayers can avoid collection actions.