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February 16, 2014
Salem News

Thorns to piles of snow around intersections, blocking sight lines for drivers pulling out from stop signs.?Not a whole lot you can do about it. At least this week's warming temperatures will help. We've heard plenty of complaints too regarding unshoveled sidewalks. Hard to argue otherwise. Then there is the keeping fire hydrants clear of snow issue. We get - but only to a certain degree -?the part about clearing hydrants being the responsibility of residents. But tell that to the 90-year-old who has one in front of his home. Here's a thought: create a court-ordered shovel detail from the inmates living in the county jail. Let them work off some of that taxpayer money being used to heat and feed them.

Thorns to sheer, unmitigated idiocy. Example number one regards the recent driver involved in the hit/skip/little girl brutally killed. You've read the stories. Olivia Thompson died a traumatic death. Her poor family is left to live with that. The driver - a father himself - fled before turning himself in the next morning. He got four years and community service. Sounds sparse to us but we are not a court of law. From what we understand too, the family did not want a protracted courtroom event and agreed to the sentence. Anyhow, we posted the story at Comments flowed. This one was borderline unbelievable: "Maybe someone should run over one of his kids and leave them on the side of the road, and then stop to see the damage on their vehicle, and then decide to go drinking the same night..." Yeah, sure, that's the solution. Let's see more innocent kids killed. This is a splendid example of why we sometimes disable the comments section. Posting comments is no different than texting, twittering or Facebooking. It can come back and bite you. A suggestion: Slow down, carefully assemble your words and only then post a message. That way you won't come across as insensitive, pompous, heartless, cruel and/or plain stupid. We have a number of online readers regularly posting well-developed comments. We don't always agree with them. But we aren't supposed to. That nourishes the concept of exchanging points of view. Please just keep them clean, on the subject, non-libelous and tasteful. Advocating innocent children being run down to exact revenge against their father is as bad of a comment you could post.

Thorns to sheer, unmitigated idiocy. Example number two involved an area school district. Apparently a student was ill and a parent felt the school building wasn't warm enough. School tells student to stay home. No harm, no foul, no big deal. Later a cyber wildfire begins to spread. Gossip is spread by someone claiming that the school district did not have heat at all in a building and - gasp! - students were being forced to stay in frozen classrooms. This rumor even reached a Youngstown TV station which contacted that district's superintendent. He then told us about it. In fact, he said the room temperature in the school as he was speaking was 69 degrees. So all this evolves from someone with too much time on their hands and not enough sense in their heads. Another example proving that idiocy and cyber access just do not mix.

Roses for the Lisbon BOE voting to add two days to the school calendar to make up for bad weather cancellations. Students will have neither Presidents Day nor the day after Easter off as planned. Officials stressed that students need the classroom time. More schools should follow Lisbon's lead. The state is considering additional calamity days off above the allotted five that most districts have used. Don't need them. Make the days up. Lisbon chose to emphasize education over more time off. Good for the board and administrators.

Roses for the city's plans to add six part-time cops. This will reduce overtime, bolster the force and help groom part-timers to someday be full-timers. You can never had too many cops. Especially in the drug-infested area that our city has become.



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