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June 2, 2013
Salem News

Letter to ed prompts reaction

To the editor:

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to read the letter to the editor in last Sunday's paper condemning Alchemy Acres! This letter not only hurt the people who work tirelessly at the sanctuary but questioned the ethics of the veterinarians, humane officers, lawyers, contractors, volunteers and public who have been through our facility.

I would love to ask someone who runs a foster-based program that adopts from homes, "would you be open to allowing 5-10 potential adopters daily wander though the foster homes where the pets have lived?" There is obviously a need for all rescues or we would not be here. This area could use more facilities as there are still so many pets in need who have nowhere to go.

I would like to address the reasons why Alchemy Acres does not allow people to walk through our facility.

We are located in Perry Township that has a noise ordinance that we have been found guilty of violating three times. We appeared in Columbiana County Court and were fined by the judge there. This is money that came from donations! If we were to have strangers from the public strolling through randomly, the barking would be endless.

It is true that our insurance policy does not allow the general public to walk through our facility. We are obtaining a letter from the insurance company that will be posted in our lobby.

Potential adopters who come to see a potential new family member often times come from other facilities that may not have used the extreme cross contamination protection that Alchemy does. This is a huge factor in defensive shielding from a world of parasites and diseases.

We are a sanctuary, not a petting zoo! The sanctuary is home to these animals, not just a menagerie to be gawked at. The stress that the animals would be under if this were the situation would have them cringing in the corners instead of playing in their kennels. And I repeat, kennels not crates, not tie outs, but kennels, most of which only have one dog per kennel and the remaining kennels with two because sometimes even in home environments life is more fun for a dog with a buddy!

Here at Alchemy we do environmental adoptions, this way we are able to place our animals in the best possible fitting forever homes available.

We really know our animals here, we know their likes and dislikes, we know their attitudes, their stances, their mindsets and it is from hours of working with them that we know them! We have a consistent staff of volunteers here that work with all of them daily.

We take this personally, we are families born and raised from this area and unfortunately the last time this happened my personal dogs were poisoned when someone threw rat poison in canned dog food and hamburger over our fence at home. This is not a situation to be dealt with lightly. When someone accuses anyone of any form of abuse, there are radical people out there that think they will handle it, that think they know best.

We want to thank the public who has rallied behind the staff and team members here, you know who you are!

Julie K. Sacco,


Alchemy Acres, Trustee


More on Alchemy Acres

To the editor:

Those deep in the animal welfare world know the daily suffering we witnessthere is more than enough and no need to create any unnecessary and certainly unfounded drama.

What is Alchemy? A question better answered with the question who is Alchemy? We are your teachers and teenagers, we are people who work and live in this community, and some from nearby communities, we are retirees, nurses and your neighbors, friends and families, we are the people who walk the dogs on the nature trail and the people who spread the mulch for that trail and weed that trail. We are the people who bathe the dogs and brush the cats, we are the people who clip toenails and play with tug toys. We are the people who love unconditionally, the blind, the disfigured, the old, the barker, the biter, the jumper, etc. We are the people caring for those normally euthanized elsewhere.

We are the people loving them and giving them a shot at a forever home. We are the people giving them a forever home if none is found, giving them sanctuary. We are the people who make ice bottles and knitted blankets and handmade pet toys. We are the people giving the animals those bottles and blankets and playing with them with those toys. We are the people who do the monotonous tasks such as paperwork, donation inventory, folding laundry, washing thousands of dishes, filling water pails, scooping poop, assembling new pens, painting, driving to pick up a ton of dog food each week, attending yearly sheltering conferences, fundraising, the list goes on and on.

We are the people who do this in our spare time. Time when others go out for fun or have a nice holiday at home, we are the people signing the log in sheet giving our evenings, days off, and holidays to be with the animals. And we are all a family joined in a cause logging almost 30,000 hours of volunteer service a year!

We are the people who come in on short notice when a snow storm dumps 24 inches of snow and the caretakers cannot get to work. The people who find someone with 4-wheel drive and the people who leave their studies from college to come help shovel out the snow! We are the people who set our differences aside for the betterment of the animal welfare community and tried to launch Ohio's first no-kill coalition with the local humane society (sadly thwarted by ego and drama-driven naysayers).

We are the people who knew the importance of such an endeavor; again we are the people trying to build something great while refraining from tearing others down. We are the people who don't get caught up in that drama because we are busy saving lives.

Aaron Brothers, Amy Zepernick McDonald, Angel Williams, Angelo James, Bonnie Baker, Bonnie Maretich, Bonnie Mills, Brittany Stewart, Cindy Flick, Dave Ehrhart, David Bopp, Debbie Glosser, Debbie Olson, Denise Bopp, Emily Sacco, Ernie Mills, Harold Wilson, Heather Gorby, Jake Belair, Jerry Olson, Jill Farmer Weikart, John Matthews, Joni Summers, Juanita Baker, Julie Sacco, Kathy Mayer, Katie Sacco, Kristy Edwards, Lillian Wilson, Linda Gibson, Linda Smith, Marianne Bernard, Marie Hernandez, Michele Roman, Peggy Flick, Ralph Glosser, Ramon Hernandez, Rich Mayer, Robbie Roman, Sara Chamberlain, Sarah Olson, Shawn Brothers, Sheryl Raulin, Steve Sacco, Teresa Parsons, Tom Olson, Trudy Ehrhart, Trudy Nolder, Tyler Bradley.


Treating substance abusers

To the editor:

Recently, the Salem News published an editorial concerning the cost to the Medicaid program for transporting Medicaid recipients who receive methadone as part of their treatment for opiate addiction. Since there are very few methadone clinics in Ohio, all in metropolitan areas, transportation costs can be high. The editorial raised the possibility of opening additional clinics, perhaps in community hospitals.

It is important for your readers to know that methadone is only one tool in the treatment of opiate addiction, including heroin addiction. Recently developed therapies make use of different drugs and other interventions that are more accessible. In calendar year 2012, 37 Columbiana County residents with Medicaid coverage were served at a methadone clinic. An additional 377 persons (some with Medicaid coverage, some not) were served in Columbiana County, either at Family Recovery Center or the Counseling Center.

Nearly all the taxpayer dollars spent on substance abuse and addiction are not spent on treatment or prevention of these illnesses. According to the "Shoveling Up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on Federal, State and Local Budgets Report," (May, 2009) published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, $467.7 billion in taxpayer dollars was spent on addictions and substance abuse in 2005.

However, fewer than five cents of every dollar was spent on prevention, treatment, taxation to discourage use of addictive substances, or drug interdiction. The rest of the money was spent on the "collateral damage" of substance abuse. The two largest spending categories were health care costs for diseases that are caused by substance abuse and criminal justice costs.

Supporting prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery for addictions is a wise use of taxpayer dollars.


Executive director,

Columbiana County Mental Health

and Recovery Board,



Why weren't flags at half mast?

To the editor:

Hundreds of veterans and their families gathered all over the county to remember the men and women of our armed forced who gave the ultimate sacrifice. All veterans gave some but some gave all.

Memorial Day is a celebration to remind us that we must never forget the high cost that was paid in order to establish and maintain our freedom and the liberties we all enjoy.

The governor of the state of Ohio issued a directive that all flags be displayed at half mast until noon on Memorial Day. This is an honor that is granted limitedly because of the great significance that it represents. I am a veteran who, like others, holds this day with esteem.

As a veteran I was eager to join the celebration in Columbiana. Driving from Lisbon, I approached the Columbiana County Court House. I could see that two flags needed to be adjusted, one flag in Veterans Park and the other flag on the court house. I was shocked to see that the flags had not been lowered. I felt the best place to begin in getting this corrected was the Lisbon Police Department It turned out that no one seemed to know who had the authority to make the adjustment.

When I got to Columbiana, I was stunned again. Another government office, the police station, had not lowered its flag. I felt compelled to confront the station and again was met with no acceptable response. So why did I have to take it upon myself to go out and lower their flag?

I want this letter to stand as a reminder that this holiday is more than hot dogs and hamburgers and a game of corn hole in the back yard. We all enjoy those things but we must also never forget the deep meaning and significance that this day holds for veterans and families.

I suspect I am not the only veteran who felt a stabbing pain in my heart at the sight of two inappropriately displayed flags. May the conviviality of the day never erase the reason for it.


U.S. Army

CPT., Retired,



Unhappy with cemetery policy

To the editor:

I always thought of cemeteries to be a place for people to go to visit and honor their loved ones. Well, not at Oakdale Cemetery in Leetonia.

Last Saturday, my husband and I stopped and bought 20 geraniums, some topsoil and mulch. We were met by his daughter and granddaughter and together we planted all the flowers at his family member's graves. Just one geranium per person, nothing elaborate for Memorial Day. It was hot and humid and took us about three hours but we got it done.

Then we got a phone call from his brother on Monday saying all the flowers were weed-whacked down. My husband called the secretary who told him you are not allowed to plant flowers on graves.

We read the sign at the entrance and it said no trees, bushes, or landscaping. Every time we left pots of flowers they turned up missing. Also, many of the plastic flowers are still on the graves and should have been off on May 1.

All of the graves we did were far apart so they really had to search with that weed wacker. But then again, they were on a mission to rid the place of the "illegal geraniums."

Oakdale is not the type of cemetery with all flat stones or I could maybe understand their actions. Perhaps the board and the high princess secretary should take a little ride to Riverside Cemetery in Poland. At night the entire place twinkles with solar lights and at times there are traffic jams just trying to get to your families grave sites. I once saw where a girl had left her wedding veil on her Dad's grave after she got married.

I am so glad my family is not buried in Oakdale. Every time I visit there all I feel is "gone and forgotten." Not because of the family members but because of the rules enforced by the board members.

I only hope that someday when they are 6 feet under, someone plants a little flower at their grave only to be whacked off a couple of days later! Of course, I don't think we will ever have to worry about that, do you?


New Middletown


Appalled by misguided youth

To the editor:

A reporter who was on the site during the rioting in one of the Greece cities spoke to several of the young rioters. He asked them, "Why all this destruction, what do you expect to gain?" He received the same answer from all of them. "We want to get the attention of the government and have police on our side"

"What then?" the reporter asked. "Then we have a revolution." A revolution! Do those poor misguided people have any idea what they are talking about? Are they aware of what is going on in the world? That over 70,000 people have been slaughtered in the country of Syria. Many are women, children and noncombatant. This since less slaughter has been going on for two years with no end in sight. Power kegs are igniting throughout the middle east promoted by religious fanatics' bend on converting the world to their beliefs.

May first a day celebrated by the Communist countries, was also celebrated by small groups in several of our cities. These goons demonstrated against our capital system of government. The city of Seattle was one of the gatherings places. The First Amendment states peaceful gatherings are allowed but the destruction of government and private property and violent confrontations with the police are not peaceful. Several police were injured and 13 of the demonstrators were arrested.

What is behind these demonstrations in this country? Are these people so brainwashed they think the Socialist and Communist doctrines will fix all the woes they are so excited about? They should consider the possibility that by their exercising the privileges of the First Amendment to the extreme they might be taxing the patience of those who have done so much to keep the First Amendment healthy and strong.

These people are not stupid but, seem to be existing in their own little world which is being contiguously reinforced by the far left trash flowing out of our schools and colleges.

Fox News put a man on the streets of New York City. He talked to a few young people who appeared to be college age or slightly older. He asked several if they had heard about the Benghazi incidence. No one could say they had. One young man said he thought he had heard something, but knew no details. Another young man of college age could not come up with the name of our vice president. These are just two examples of the quality of answers he received from these young people.

The situation being what it appears to be, I wonder what we can expect from these young people when they again approach the ballot box?





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