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YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

Make it a ‘National Dog Bite Prevention Year’

To the editor:

In April, the United States Postal Service promoted National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I am writing to ask our customers to extend their efforts and help make this “National Dog Bite Prevention Year.”

Pet owners’ efforts are critical when you consider the number of Postal Service employees attacked by dogs last year reached 6,755 – more than 200 higher than the year before. Within the Northern Ohio district there have been numerous dog attacks since the beginning of the year.

My concern is not only for our employees, but with the general population as well. Here are three critical points to remember:

— If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.

— Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.

— The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.

I am asking everyone to become a responsible pet owner during the coming summer in order to ensure the safety of all of our citizens. Together, we can safeguard all from unnecessary and potentially devastating dog attacks.

Thank you for your help with this very important issue.

Brian Henderson,

Postmaster,

Salem Post Office

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Disappointed with city leadership regarding cultivation business

To the editor:

I’ve just returned from the Committee of the Whole meeting at City Hall, where the topic of discussion was the future of the prospective marijuana cultivation business in Salem–specifically whether or not the area was zoned properly. I have to say, the result is wildly disappointing. The committee decided not to move forward one way or another, and therefore the timeline associated with applications for state licenses doesn’t lend itself to waiting. Effectively, this means that this facility will not exist here and will now look to operate in another community.

What happened in the meeting is the elected officials of Salem turned their backs on the taxpayer, and we must never forget it. During the roughly hour long conversation, Geoff Korff made a very open, intelligent and thorough presentation to City Council. He answered all their questions. One of the members of his advisory board, Mr. Lee, the president of the major substance abuse recovery center, Signature Health in Cleveland, also spoke and answered questions from the Council.

I have to say, with all due respect to the members of our Council, of the maybe 40 or 50 questions asked, only about two or three were relevant to the issue. The vast majority of the conversation revolved around the topic of using marijuana. Keep in mind, the issue at hand was whether or not the city should prohibit a legitimate business from operating inside city limits. City Council can make no effort to impact the use of the drug — yet that’s what the conversation revolved around. Instead of a rational thought process that lead to the simple conclusion that we should obviously not prohibit a new tax-generating industry, irrational hysteria won the day.

Even in the face of Mr. Lee explaining the benefits that medical marijuana is having on the ever present opioid crisis nationwide, ignorance ruled the room. I do not make that statement lightly, and I mean it wholeheartedly. Not as a form of disrespect, but as a matter of truth. A room full of people, charged with the task of doing what is best for our city, openly chose to prohibit a legitimate, legal business for reasons unrelated to the operation of that business. Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed for the people of Salem.

I hope that no one forgets, that just a short time ago, this city asked us to voluntarily cough up more of our hard earned dollars, because keeping up the maintenance of our streets was a task they could no longer afford. We obliged. When each of these seats is up for reelection, we must not forget that after we obliged, they then turned their back on a multi-million dollar, tax generating business that wanted to locate in crumbling Salem. And when they inevitably ask us to make that quarter-percent income tax increase permanent when it expires, the opposition should be unanimous. A group of people, elected by the people and charged with looking after their best interests, has failed us miserably today.

When we see the results of the state’s new medical marijuana law play out, I can only hope that we will learn our lesson. As communities who embrace this industry are counting fresh dollars, paving their streets, paying their police, and serving their community better because of it, we must not forget what happened today. As citizens of Salem acquire prescriptions for marijuana that will help them and are therefore using the drug in Salem, we must not forget what happened today.

It is my hope that the members of Council who will read this and consider what they’ve forced out city to miss out on, rather than just get angry with the author. The latter is the easy way out, and it’s now beyond time that the members of Council stop taking the easy way out.

GRANT MINGUS,

Salem

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