Roses for new Third Ward Salem Council member Geoff Goll. He will donate his monthly council pay of about $374 to the K-9 unit fund. Nice gesture. Roses for the K-9 unit fund picking up steam. Tax deductible donations have reached $8,000. The biggest scourge in our city is the drug problem. The K-9 unit will be another high-profile and viable weapon in fighting it. The program has our full support.

Thorns for anyone out there taking shots at our police department. The next time you need cops try calling anyone but them. Remember to let us know how that works out. We get the part of the first amendment and the whole Fourth Estate ideal. But some of the whiners out there should try running for office since they apparently have all the solutions. After all, Salem just came off an election with several unopposed races. Where were all those who think they can run the city better when it was time to file for office?

Thorns for Doug Phillips for abruptly vacating his position as superintendent of West Branch Schools. He had been formally on the job for less than six months. He actually didn’t burn any bridges because there wasn’t time to start building any in the first place. Really, really bad form here. We get the part – but only to a slight degree – of another opportunity arising. It happens. But you are dealing here with a perception sent to students and taxpayers. What about commitment to a cause? About loyalty, self-honor and giving your word – you know, principles that educators and coaches espouse frequently. Maybe he never should have applied. Presumably one of the questions the board asked during the interview process was: “Under what circumstances (besides family hardship/illness) would you up and leave your superintendent position before you contract was up?” Or in Phillips’ case, before new office drapes were picked out. Think of the worthwhile candidates who were overlooked. A new superintendent who would have been an impactful and stable addition to what already is a fine school district. Thank goodness the district had veteran educator and former superintendent Scott Weingart in the bullpen. He is a Warrior all the way through. So much for his retirement.

Thorns for the Cleveland Browns. No need to rehash. They just brought a baseball guy in from the Mets to help run things. Next up could be someone from the NHL to coach. Hey, don’t laugh. Those of us old enough to remember any of the wondrous glory days – from Otto Graham right up through Bernie Kosar – had better not get amnesia. It’s all we got because this franchise is in the stone age and hasn’t discovered fire yet. Face it, we are not getting any younger. Our grandkids might be around to see a winner but not us. How embarrassing was it to see all those fans waving “Terrible Towels” in Cleveland last Sunday? And what about Johnny a.k.a. “Billy” getting “caught” lathering it up in Las Vegas mere hours before the Browns-Steelers kickoff? He was wearing a disguise which shouldn’t be that surprising. After all, he has been impersonating an adult since he left college. First move of the next regime should be to get rid of him. Tumors need removed. Gosh, can’t wait for Josh Gordon to get back next season.

Roses for Steven Belding. The 1982 Columbiana High valedictorian had a great run on the popular Jeopardy show. He attributed much of his success to an education received when he was young and a yearn to learn – emphasizing reading. More testimony for what the simple act of opening a book has to offer. An encouragement to read is the best learning tool you can provide a youngster.


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