Suggest Salem Parks Comm. considers a sprayground
To the editor:
There was recently an article regarding the Parks Commission suggestions for usage of shale lease money that has been set aside for council members to use for projects to benefit constituents.
I agree with Vice Chairman Terry Hoopes who said a parks project would benefit everyone, but question whether a dog park is needed for Salem and if it would truly benefit many.
We were recently in DC and took advantage of one of several spraygrounds they have in parks. (I won't try to describe them, but you can go online to see several that various cities have.)
A sprayground would benefit parents/grandparents of young children by providing a free cooling water/play experience for the kids.
I believe anything we can do to add a benefit to young families in Salem would be a plus for the community. If we can provide something unique for little kids, that would surely be a positive step to help get/keep families with little ones in town.
Should keep informed on college loan rate hike
To the editor:
If it seems like you have heard this story before you have. Last year the proposed student loan interest rate hike issue was being addressed in Washington. A year later that issue is being revisited.
College students taking out new loans for the fall term will see interest rates twice what they were in the spring - unless Congress fulfills its pledge to restore lower rates when it returns after the July 4 holiday.
Subsidized Stafford loans, which account for roughly a quarter of all direct federal borrowing, went from 3.4 percent interest to 6.8 percent interest on July 1.
Efforts to keep interest rates from doubling on new Stafford loans fell apart last week. But if an agreement remains elusive, students could find themselves saddled with higher interest rates this year than last.
The only silver lining is that you really can't take out student loans more than 10 days before the term starts. But that is little consolation for students looking at unexpected costs waiting for them on graduation day if Congress doesn't take action before it breaks again for the month of August.
In April, the Democrats solution was setting interest rates at the cost of the 10 year treasury note, plus a 0.93 percent margin, with no cap on the maximum interest rate that students could pay. Also called for locked-in interest rates for the life of the loan, meaning that the interest rate that you pay today on the loan would be the same as the interest rate that you pay in 10 years.
In mid-May, Republican Congressman John Kline proposed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which was very similar to the previous suggestion. Kline's bill would set the subsidized rate at the cost of the 10 year treasury note, plus a 2.5 percent margin, and would be capped at 8.5 percent. The bill was recently approved in the House of Representatives by a vote of 221-198, but was rejected by the Senate along with the Democratic solution above.
No matter which solution you support, if you have a student in or about to enter college and if they will be borrowing for there education you will want to keep informed on this matter.
Thanks for those helping with Salem Super Cruise
To the editor:
I would like to publicly thank those individuals, organizations, and departments who once again contributed to the success of the Salem Super Cruise; and there were many.
As the planning committees for the Cruise are established six months prior to the event, these individuals spend many hours working to make certain that deadlines are met and results are achieved. That is how this has worked successfully with the following: Ron Waite, advertising; Mick Orosz, concessions; Sam and Judy Sicilia, and Tom and Patty Hall, parking and the Show & Shine. And so it was with Dominic and Mark Righetti with the addition of the Auto Cross and Steve Rouse for developing our new website (salemsupercruise.com).
For preparing and maintaining our city's appearance, a big thank you to the following: the Salem Beautification Committee, the street department, traffic and safety department, and the city electrician. The Salem Police Department, fire department, Columbiana County Sheriff's Department, State Highway Patrol, Salem Police Auxiliary, and the Salem-Perry Township Crime Watch, all worked very hard to make this a safe event for the many thousands of visitors to Salem. Also, thank you to Salem Community Hospital for providing bottled water for the cruise attendees.
A special thank you to our Administrative Assistant Debbie Bricker, Auditor Betty Brothers, and Phyllis McKinley, who spent countless hours covering many bases to ensure the overall success of the cruise weekend. These ladies, along with Mayor Berlin and his wife Chris, Council President Mickey Weaver and husband Dennis, and my wife Cindy, made up the early morning clean-up crew.
Thank you once again to Salem Tire for organizing the appearance of the Goodyear Blimp, Expert Tire for bringing in "Big Foot," and Stadium GM for hosting Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race car.
Larry Shields of the Salem News provided excellent coverage of many of the events throughout the weekend, as well as coverage of the Cruise since January.
Last but not least, I want to thank the citizens and businesses of Salem and surrounding areas for their participation and cooperation, as well as all of the "car cruisers" that made this year's event one of the most successful weekends yet. We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year's cruise - to be held June 19-22, 2014.
Service and safety director
Appreciates participants in July 4th pet, vehicle parades
To the editor:
At this time I would like to acknowledge all of the participants in the pet parade and vehicle parade on the Fourth of July.
There was a lot of work put into the parades by the kids, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas. I was very impressed an delighted at the turnout of everyone from the contestants as well as the spectators.
I need to thank Herron Distributors and Attorney Goll for their donations, as well as the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce for funding the award medals.
Each year I need three judges for the event. Bob Merry, Elizabeth Thatcher and B.J. Abrams, have always been there for me. Last of all but not at all least, I thank the Salem News for the fantastic coverage leading up to the event. They always come through starting with the pre-picture by Mary Ann Greier. I thank J.D. for coming out on the holiday to take many photos, I'm sure he had family to be with and celebrate. Again, thanks to all for a great day.
MARY LOU POPA,