Kind words from family of late veteran who served at Iwo Jima
To the editor:
Dear Mr. Creer,
In 2009, you did an article in your paper for my father, Ralph Bartholow.
You came to Parkside Health Care in Columbiana and interviewed him about his experiences in Iwo Jima. He was going to be honored for Veterans Day at Crestview High School and receive his long-awaited diploma.
My father passed away on February 14, 2014 and after a very long fight with multiple sclerosis and a stroke. In his last weeks and months, he was still very sharp, although his physical state was deteriorating. I just wanted to tell you how much it meant to him that you told his story in your newspaper.
We talked about the graduation and the events leading up to it. A few weeks before he passed, we looked at the pictures from your interview and then graduation itself. Your article had made him cry... thanks for recognizing his service and the service of so many.
I am sure that being a managing editor of a newspaper can be rewarding, but it can also be difficult. People don't realize the work and time it takes to publish a newspaper. I think it is important for you to be recognized for your work and attention to detail. My family truly appreciates that you took an interest in his story and what a great job you did.
Best of luck as you continue to publish a quality newspaper. I hope your family is well.
DAHS grad concerned about state of education in our county
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the article entitled "A little help needed after high school," recently authored by staff writer Tom Giambroni. As a 2001 graduate of Lisbon DAHS and someone who has spent over 10 years in higher education, I am both concerned and disheartened with the current state of education throughout Columbiana County.
It is disconcerting when such an overwhelming number of graduates from public schools throughout Columbiana County need to take remedial classes in college.
Unfortunately, this has become a growing trend around the nation. I have been employed as a university professor for the last four years, and I've seen the growing number of incoming students who are required to take one or more remedial classes.
From my experiences, too often are students entering college with deficiencies in key subjects that they should have been taught in high school. As a result, many students lack, at least initially, the cognitive thinking abilities and fundamental knowledge needed to succeed in higher education. Ultimately, many students are therefore being set up to fail.
It is apparent, from the statistics reported in the article, that many students throughout the county are deficient in college preparedness and the general knowledge needed to be ready for the demands of higher education.
Should we cast doubt or put full blame on the student population? In short, I think we would be remiss and narrow-minded to embrace such a misguided way of thinking. Perhaps, then, we should question schools and the quality of education that students are receiving.
At the most fundamental level, high school is a place where students are taught core material in a wide range of subjects. Too often, however, students are taught only the most rudimentary content standards that are imposed and enforced by the state.
Many students are simply "taught to the test" and nothing more. They rarely have the opportunity to thoughtfully question, analyze, and critically reflect on material. The opportunity to think outside the box seems to be something of the past, and in its place is a strict emphasis on results from standardized tests. But why do many area high schools continuously allow students to sell themselves short in their academic pursuits?
I call on individuals throughout Columbiana County and beyond to come together and take ownership of this issue. I encourage teachers and administrators to continue to invest in our students, both in and out of the classroom. I encourage folks to engage elected officials about the state of education and what can be done to chart a successful path forward. We need to have a viable plan that involves strategic engagement, transparency, and perhaps most importantly, accountability.
Altering the current state of education and student preparedness throughout the county won't happen overnight, nor will it happen it we all don't take ownership. It is time to acknowledge that this is our county, these are our students, and we intend to do everything we can to make long term investments in both.
(Former Salem and Lisbon resident)
What choice does voter have when fed up with major parties?
To the editor:
Why do we even have political parties? George Washington, who some would argue was our greatest president, did not belong to or run on a party ticket. These days, with the exception of a couple of hot button issues like abortion and gay marriage which never seem to be resolved, is there any difference? Sure, the platforms state divergent "principles" but when it gets down to it, both are big government, endless wars of dubious merit, whittled down and diminished civil rights, and promoting job killing trade pacts which no one but their elite lobbyist donors seem to support. Talk is cheap and actions often reveal something quite different when the office is won.
In a "government of, by and for" the people, you would think that all citizens would have the widest possible mechanisms for choosing who "represents" them. Unfortunately - you would be wrong because the self-same two parties are the ones who set up the rules that allow a person to be on the ballot. They seem to view themselves as a "country club" who set steep limits on democracy and under the pretense of "non-partisanship" vetting their own groomed candidates for we the rabble to argue over. Certainly no "grass roots" or real choice here. Even the two parties who pay lip service to the "free-market" will not allow honest competition on our ballots.
Case in point, "Buck gets the boot." Libertarian state representative candidate, Martin Elsass had to conform to rules that required him to obtain a large number of signatures to get on the ballot. Since we have been brow beaten with the two party mantra that a third party vote is a "wasted vote" and hence we should pick among their meager offerings, only 11 people have "Libertarian" membership, thus precluding being able to secure the required number of signatures, Mr. Elsass tapped into the majority of people who are sick up and fed of the Duopoly, and sought "unaffiliated" voters (well over 45 percent) and obtained their signatures to meet the quota and found himself eliminated by doing so.
The BOE and the state said, "hey, just following the rules" but when the majority of the people despise or distrust the top two parties as being unprincipled careerists, what real choice does the lowly voter have? Is it any wonder so few people trust the government when "they" (the duopoly) make it such a difficult club to access by we peons who pay the bills and suffer the consequences of their limited choices?
Upset that candidate denied ballot access by election board
To the editor:
Not many people want to hold public office. Those wanting to run for office should be encouraged, not blocked from ballot access. What kind of message are we sending to our youth by making it difficult to become a candidate for public service?
Martin "Buck" Elsass has been denied ballot access by the Columbiana County Board of Elections over a mere technicality. All of those voters who signed Martin's petitions are now disenfranchised.
In 2012, 68 percent of registered voters in Columbiana County were Independents, 18 percent were Republicans, and 14 percent were Democrats. These numbers show that voters in our county have awakened to the shenanigans of both major political parties and are looking elsewhere for solutions to saving our Republic.
When I ran for state legislature in West Virginia, a candidate gained ballot access by simply paying a registration fee. No petitions were required. It is time that an open Democratic election process be instituted here in Ohio.
Appreciates a Democratic candidate willing to 'slug it out'
To the editor:
I'm pretty impressed with Democratic candidate Nathan Walker's announcement article. It is about time the Democratic Party has a candidate that is willing to slug it out in an election.
Good government is a result of competition. It has been a long time since the Democrats have fielded a candidate that is willing to fight for what he or she believes. Walker isn't afraid to contrast himself from Mike Halleck.
It really amazes me the lack of political competition in Columbiana County, and it is just getting worse. Look at how many office holders never get challenged at election time. Is this the way Democracy is supposed to work? Is the culture of no partisan political competition working out in Mahoning County?
The Democrats should be thankful for this kind of candidate. Maybe he can remind the Democrats of the party they once were. The democrats are supposed to challenge the status quo. They are supposed to be fighters.
It looks like Nathan Walker is a Democrat ready to compete with the opposition. Let's see if the Democrats are up to the challenge. Are they ready to face Halleck and the county republicans by supporting a guy that wants to wage a real race and put up a real fight?
We need legislation protecting our children from toxins
To the editor:
Infants and children are more vulnerable to the effects of chemical exposure from products than adults because of their rapid growth and development. Toxic chemicals such as BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, parabens, and flame retardants have been shown to cause cancer, learning difficulties, ADHD, type-2 diabetes, obesity, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, and infertility.
As a parent, I should not have to try to be a detective of chemicals when purchasing products for my child and family. Yet with the outdated Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, I am forced to do this every time I purchase a new product.
When shopping for a new toy, feeding item, or personal care product for my toddler, I spend hours reading packaging fine print to see if the product contains a known toxic chemical such as BPA, PVC, lead, Phthalates, flame retardants, or Parabens.
Any mother can tell you how hard this is not only because of the deception from the manufacturing companies, but because of the limited time a mother has when they have a toddler in tow who has a short attention span.
In addition, store placement of children products that contain these harmful chemicals are at the children's eye level prompting them to request that item. This places a parent in a difficult situation to deny their child a toy because of the harmful chemicals it contains, but this is the only way a parent can help protect their child's health.
As the House Energy and Commerce Committee discusses reforming TSCA, it is my hope that Representative Bill Johnson, who is part of this committee, will support a bill that learns from the mistakes of the senate's failed chemical policy reform bill and helps protect the country's most vulnerable population, children.
The Democratic way of democracy is un-American
To the editor:
Currently the mayor of New York City is going to push for a valid ID card to be issued to anyone/everyone in his city, regardless. The emphasis is on "anyone/everyone" making NYC an official sanctuary city which opens the door to "free-for-all" voting. Should this attempt to secede from the union prevail it is only natural for the president to follow suit.
The "fundamental change" needed to correct the unjust founding of America is only moments away. Saying that this is impossible is just typical leftwing heretic blather since the president has acted unilaterally on immigration anyway. Besides, he has the entire (and growing) government behind him.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission tried unsuccessfully to determine who gets to be a minister for a Lutheran Church. The National Labor Relations Board (with its unlawfully appointed members) will always side with the union bosses.
The IRS determines who gets free speech and who doesn't. The NSA will decide what a private conversation is and what isn't. The DOJ already decided that the Civil Rights Laws don't apply to white people.
The state department decides who is worth the bother to save (refers Benghazi). The EPA is winning its war on coal so your energy cost continues to rise and the Keystone Pipeline will be scrapped.
Obamacare that was passed with only Democrats voting for it has made it illegal for any American not to buy health insurance all the while destroying current plans.
The entire federal government is controlled and operates as a Democrat democracy that orders you to "sit down," "shut up" and "have a cookie." Along with this the Democrats add, "Don't worry folks, there are plenty of cookies to go around."
Those cookies were once yours but the government will redistribute them as they seem fit. Democrat democracy is un-American, so win the Senate and hold the house.
WILLIAM E. EARDLEY,