Letters to the editor

Man torn between schools for Tressel


As a proud Youngstown State graduate and current University of Akron mid-level administrator, I feel compelled to give my opinion of Jim Tressel’s application to be the president of either YSU or UA.

I am personally torn as to which route I would like to see him take. On one hand, he would be an inspiration to my alma mater, which has been stunned by the departure of its former short-term president.

Conversely, the University of Akron is in need of his steady leadership during a time of transition and personnel turbulence. I have heard from friends, family and colleagues the concern that Jim Tressel doesn’t possess a ”terminal degree,” such as a Ph.D. or Ed.D.

I can say with confidence as a retired U.S. Army officer that you can’t learn leadership and charisma in the classroom. Some people possess these skills and attributes. Most don’t.

Jim Tressel possesses the persona of confidence and vision. He seeks advice and opinions, decides on a goal, and pursues it with passion. That is a leader.

Since spending my last 20 years in higher education after retiring from the military, I have seen academicians spend hours debating about subjects akin to the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. Jim doesn’t embrace that frivolity because he is too busy making things happen.

As someone who is approaching retirement, I don’t have a dog in this fight except for my affection for both institutions. I will tell you with the utmost confidence as someone who has seen Jim and his student success team on a daily basis that the university who gets Jim Tressel will be a ”winner.”

No great leader is perfect and Jim is no exception, but at this time and this place you will be hard pressed to find a better university president.

Mr. Tressel will make his decision on what is best for him and his family and I hope that he is given the opportunity to get his choice of these two fine schools.

Stephen M. Motika


Fracking causes quakes despite beliefs


Here we go again. You cannot pulverize the earth’s underlying crust (fracking) without serious consequence. State geologists have now proven what common sense already tells us: Fracking causes earthquakes.

But I’m sure the rabid right will crank up their slime machine to discredit all this as junk science, inserting their own self-serving explanations, as they have done with global warming and evolution. I do hope the local populace will run these corporate hacks out of town on a rail.

Jonathan F. Phillips

Warren Township

Amp should bring back Almost Queen


I saw all the new concert dates for the Amp. I really enjoyed a lot of the shows last year and plan on attending many more this year.

However, I think the best has been left out. I know many people that saw several shows at the amp last year, and we all agree, Almost Queen was by far the best show going. I just wonder why they aren’t coming back this year. I for one was really looking forward to it.

Tom Turturice


TNP seeks feedback, ideas from residents


We were very pleased with the turnout to the public meetings we held in the Southwest as part of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s (TNP) HUD Community Challenge Grant.

This week, we will be holding our next set of meetings in the central neighborhoods of the city: North End, Historic Perkins and Central City.

This phase of our grant project is critical because after completing our inventory of the housing and residential land use in the city of Warren, we want to share the information we collected and we want to get feedback from residents as we move forward with the project.

We need input and ideas from everyone so that we can create the best possible neighborhood plans. These plans will act as guides for residents, organizations and the city in improving our residential neighborhoods and making them fit the vision that the people in each area have.

Each community has strengths and assets, things that are beautiful and things that are exciting. We believe in taking those things and maximizing their potential. We want to engage folks in thinking about how their neighborhoods could be improved and how they can take things like vacant homes and overgrown lots and turn them into opportunities, rather than liabilities.

We have taken the time to really assess the situation in each neighborhood, and over the next few months we will be sharing that information with every area of the city.

We hope that everyone who is interested in making Warren stronger, interested in being part of a brighter future, will join us to take the next step in thinking about how we use the information collected to create a positive vision and outline the steps that it will take for us to reach that vision.

Thank you to all those who are helping us host these important meetings: Deliverance Temple Church, the USW Local 1375, and the Trumbull County YMCA.

The following are the times and locations for the meetings in the Central City Neighborhoods:

North End Area: Monday, 6 p.m., Deliverance Temple Church;

Central City Area: Tuesday, 6 p.m., USW Local 1375;

Historic Perkins: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., the YMCA;

Noon meeting (all areas): Thursday, noon, at the TNP Office, 170 North Park Ave.

I hope to see lots of folks come out to these meetings. These are important topics and we need more people to be active in talking about and acting on these issues.

Marissa Williams


Williams is Community Planning Coordinator for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

Yoder needs schooling on septic dangers


Mrs. Yoder, now Farmington Township Trustee Yoder, is entitled to the opinion she expressed in her recent letter to the editor. However, it is time to put the rhetoric of the campaign aside and begin behaving like an informed and responsible elected official.

Her letter is a mix of self-serving comments and misstatements. It is shocking that anyone would take such a backward approach by railing against basic public health measures as sewage abatement. That is not leadership.

She asks why the grocery owners were ”singled out” by the health department, as if their failing septic system was just sprung upon them. Those individuals have been locked in a dispute over their commercial septic system with the Ohio EPA since 2010. They should have resolved the issue of their failing system years ago.

The Ohio EPA revisited the property because the whole area was reassigned to a new EPA inspector. He chose that date and time to make the visit to familiarize himself with the property and to see for himself that a discharge (sewage) from the store still existed. No new accusations were made, or any attempt to pull something over on anyone.

For Mrs. Yoder to insinuate that the EPA is afraid to inspect a property with the owner present, or worse, to suggest that they (or we, for that matter) would sneak around is utterly ridiculous.

To suggest that the Ohio EPA (or health department) would deny anyone their right to fair treatment is also repugnant. Just as important, though, is the expectation that the same consideration be afforded the public as well. In other words, the public has the right to expect the health department to see that sewage is disposed of properly.

Mrs. Yoder tries to minimize the problem at the grocery store by saying that it is only 4,400 gallons. How much of those 4,400 gallons of sewage would she want in the source of her drinking water?

Mrs. Yoder should also be mindful that the Ohio EPA sued this county once for violations of the Clean Water Act. The Ohio EPA was seeking a judgment in excess of $80 million from the county. That suit was brought because of problems created by the county’s handling of sewage nuisance abatement years ago. This process of sewage nuisance abatement settled upon by all parties nearly 10 years ago is what Mrs. Yoder only now is complaining about.

As Mrs. Yoder was not involved in these earlier legal proceedings, she may not realize or understand the gravity of the allegations made by the Ohio EPA, or the public health consequences facing this county. The reinstitution of these past practices could place the health of county residents at risk, and most certainly attract more attention from the Ohio EPA.

Mrs. Yoder should ask why the septic issue in our county grew to the magnitude that it did in the 30 years prior to the EPA lawsuit.

James J. Enyeart

Trumbull County Health Commissioner

Study up on GMOs for safe eating


In the conversation about GMOs, a recent letter suggested genetically modified organisms come from ”selective breeding” or ”natural evolution.” These two statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

Please do not confuse hybridization with GMOs. This is a new technology by chemical companies so they can sell more chemicals. GMOs are made by genetic engineers in a science lab. Scientists take DNA from one species, such as viruses or bacteria, and artificially insert it into another species, such as plants and animals, crossing all of nature’s barriers.

Some say GMO stands for ”God Move Over.” The GMOs affecting us the most are the herbicide tolerant, often referred to as Roundup Ready, and the pesticide producing. He talks of rinsing the chemicals off the food. He must not realize pesticide is produced in every cell of the GMO plant. It cannot be washed off! We have corn registered as a pesticide. It is true, the plants are becoming Roundup resistant from overuse.

We now have Generation Two GMOs plants that get sprayed with the active ingredient of Agent Orange. Unlabeled!

I suggest anyone who wants to know the facts about GMOs watch the documentary “Genetic Roulette” by Jeffery Smith. Until GMOs are properly labeled like they are in other countries, it will be survival of the smartest in the U.S.A.

Chew on that!

Robin Liddle


Rude photographer didn’t ruin evening


First of all let me go on record as saying that the evening at Packard Music Hall on April 22 with Kevin Costner and Modern West was a wonderful experience for my wife and me. Meeting Mr. Costner, hearing good music, spending the evening with friends and being part of something special for Chook Alberini is a memory that will last a lifetime.

I also want to thank Ken Haidaris for all the hard work he has done not only with this concert, but for all he has done to bring quality entertainment to Warren.

The lone blemish on the evening would come thanks to a photographer from the press. I had a seat in the front row next to the center aisle. As Mr. Costner entered down the center aisle, I was in a perfect position for a photograph with my phone as many others were doing. That’s when one of the photographers in front of the stage grabbed and shoved me aside rather than politely asking me to move.

Instead of making a scene as Mr. Costner was still coming down the aisle, I let it go. I was still able to shake Mr. Costner’s hand and my wife was able to give him a hug. Thus, we didn’t let this unprofessional and rude incident ruin our evening.

However, I do want it to be noted for the record that this incident occurred. This was an act of rude behavior that would not be tolerated in any situation, let alone during a special moment like I described. To the photographer who shoved me: I paid to stand where I was standing, you didn’t.

Tony Morrell


Sentences will deter low-level criminals


“Bogus refunds a growing problem,” Tribune, April 11, 2014. This is a problem that can be solved. I am reminded of a trip back to France many years ago. We had a tour stop in London for a few days, which included a stage show. When we arrived at the theater, I remarked that it looked like a nice area to walk around.

The tour guide remarked that a year earlier he would not have booked this area for a tour stop. Why, I asked. He said that there were at least two or three muggings a week in the area, then a pedestrian was mugged by three men and was robbed of $30.

The thieves were caught and brought to justice. The judge sentenced them to 10 years in jail. Muggings in the area dropped off, because the judge remarked in the sentencing that the muggers were now earning a dollar a year for the next 10 years, and any other muggers would get the same sentence. It was a year later, and there had been no muggings in the year.

A 10-year sentence will stop the fraud in a big hurry. But Attorney General Eric Holder wants a low-level criminal released with shorter jail sentences. We are sending the wrong message to all criminals at this time. With longer times there will be fewer persons trying to earn an illegal living.

Leonard J. Sainato


Democrats lie to African-Americans


As an American citizen, and not a Democrat nor Republican, I can honestly say that our government is dividing this country.

I just watched what the former speaker of the House and a Democratic congressman said on TV about how Republicans are racist. That’s appalling; the Democratic party is hurting the African-American people more than anybody. I guess they feel they have control of them by demonizing the other party.

If you ask me, the Democratic party is lying to the African-American people. Shameful!

Nick S. Boxler

Newton Falls

Cartoon draws unjust conclusion


The so-called cartoon in the Saturday, April 12, 2014, Tribune Chronicle was really a slap in the face for the minority voters. It showed that the only way a minority could cast a ballot was to follow a maze.

This, then, in fact demonstrates that for a minority to vote, the bar is set so much higher when in the course of voting, we all enter the same voting precinct set forth by all of our lawmakers, Democrat, independent and Republican.

Therefore, if the playing field is tilted, can only one party be to blame? Or for that matter, one color, one nationality, one gender?

If the maze is a true factor, then can we reverse this call and request the playing field be changed when it comes to athletics? How about when it comes to academics. Or for that matter, when gender comes to the front in the military?

The fact that the Declaration of Independence says imperatively that ”all men are created equal,” and it doesn’t specify which is more equal than the other. And now we should all respect that equal means women and minorities, too. Plus, our Constitution and its amendments guarantee this to all.

Answer this if you can: Should we allow anyone, male or female, majority or minority as the bloodlines flow, to be more equal when it happens to the school valedictorian, or the drum major? Then who will quarterback the team? All of this is nothing more than ability, desire or practice.

Now when I see, as the cartoon showed, that an elephant, the symbol of the Republican Party, guides the minorities to a maze, I get disturbed. Then to see a symbol of the Old South, a sign stating, ”Whites Only,” I cannot believe this cartoonist really can sleep at night with such hate in his head as to draw such a crazy insolent picture and allow us, in this day and age, to believe he is not playing a race card.

Why do some people think that to prove you are who you are in order to vote, that a jumbled playing field or a change in the setting of a bar is the trail they have to travel?

Don’t we all, at any given time, have to show identity in order to get a permissible action to happen? I have a driver’s license with my picture on it to prove I am me. I have a veteran’s card with an identifying picture of me on it. I had to show proof and identification to get a blue and white invalid parking permit.

With all the requirements necessary to show identification, why is it a bloody bad thing to show ID in order to vote? Why is this such a separation of the races or colors when we vote for equal justice under law when we elect a candidate?

Patrick M. Liste



Supporter disappointed in JFK’s handling of Pompelia coaching situation


(Editor’s note: This is a letter originally sent to Randy Rair of the Youngstown Diocese)

My name is John Richards. For eight years I have faithfully served as an assistant basketball coach at Warren JFK, seven of those years with Shawn Pompelia. I moved back to the area from Indianapolis, Ind. in 2003 so I could serve on his staff and give back to the school I love. I was also fortunate enough to play for Shawn while I was a student at JFK from 1990-1994. He was by far and away the best coach I’ve played for and continues to be a valuable friend and mentor.

My father, Attorney Charles L. Richards and my mother Janet Richards, sent our entire family, one brother and two sisters through the catholic school system, St. Pius, Blessed Sacrament, St. Mary’s and finally JFK from 1970-1994. My father is also a 1960 graduate of Cardinal Mooney and a 1964 graduate of The University of Notre Dame. My grandfather, Charles Richards, was an impactful booster and fundraiser for Mooney while my grandmother, Stella Richards, was a long time employee in the Diocesan Administrative offices while working for the late Bishop Hughes. As you can see, there is a long lineage of support and service from our family to the Youngstown Diocese and Catholic School system.

I can not begin to express the disappointment and sadness in which this matter has been handled with respect to Shawn’s status as head coach. I guarantee you will not find a more qualified and loving coach, teacher and supporter of JFK than Shawn Pompelia. I’m sure you are well aware of the Pompelia’s support for JFK covering decades. From the enormous amounts of funds raised by his father Dom, to the 20 years of service and fundraising Shawn has done on his own.

What I find most troubling and difficult to understand about this entire process is the lack of leadership, support and loyalty that has been shown to Shawn this year. Families who have 30-40 years of money and support, with hundreds of hours of time and service dedicated the school and it’s students have been pushed out the door with little gratitude or chance for finality on good terms.

When a few disgruntled parents who have been on the scene for just a handful of years can navigate and manipulate their way to the top, with sensationalized and fabricated claims against a successful coach with 19 years of experience and service is upsetting and very concerning. Instead of having the back of a well-respected coach, business professional, husband and father, the easy route in today’s day and age is to dismiss him while making some irresponsible, vague and suggestive comments to the local papers. Not once has anyone ever approached me or another assistant coach to get more insight or information relative to claims made by players, parents or administrators. I find that to be odd considering the serious nature of the things that have been alleged and suggested all while being monitored by administrators for the majority of the season.

Shawn’s contributions do not begin or end on a basketball court. The impact he has on his players and JFK outside the boundaries of the court can not be measured in wins or losses, personal achievements or awards. Every year, Shawn gives back to the community and school in numerous ways. From raising funds to refurbish the gym and school to feeding the poor on Thanksgiving Day to donating funds to students who are not even on the basketball team for mission trips are just a few examples.

Shawn’s detractors can say all they want about his ability to coach basketball with respect to in game decisions, strategy, personnel, etc. One thing that can not be disputed though is his love for every single player that he has coached.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been able to coach at my beloved alma mater for eight years. At the same time, I am disappointed in the final outcome for a second time. I am also very frustrated that we as a staff will not be able to coach a promising team next year. The time and effort that has been put into assembling this current group warrants that opportunity in my opinion considering all that Shawn has done for JFK. History certainly has repeated itself and not in a positive way.

My heart aches and my mind is uneasy for the current young men who Shawn has greatly impacted and even more for the young men who have yet to realize how lucky they were to have had a coach like Shawn once they step into the real world on their own.

John C. Richards


Fellow coach ‘wowed’ by JFK’s decision


I am deeply disturbed after reading your article on Warren John F. Kennedy dismissing one of their own – Shawn Pompelia – as head basketball coach.

Why am I disturbed? I’m deeply concerned about the future of high school athletics. Do parents always coddle their children? If they did, the end result is a spoiled kid. Coaching is no different. Sure, we as coaches all make mistakes, but isn’t it a pillar of Christianity to forgive and continue to love? I’m not condoning foul language, but if that is the metric in which high school coaches are fired then by all means please call my athletic director and put me in the class of coaches who have used a “potty word” and have me dismissed.

Let me tell you what I do know – I have known Shawn Pompelia for three years. Shawn Pompelia is a good coach. I’ve always been impressed with how hard and smart his teams play. Warren JFK has not been very talented. I’ve often said if he coached somewhere else (say Villa Angela-St. Joseph for example) he would be considered one of the best coaches in Ohio. He has built that program up from ground zero as a graduate of Warren JFK and this is what he gets? Wow.

Shawn Pompelia is a family man. He is not doing this for the money. He treats his team like his family, like they are his sons. His team went to church together, they did fundraisers for the school together. He has a high profile job outside of coaching with an amazing family that supports him in giving back to the school that he loves and this is what he gets? Wow.

Shawn Pompelia is a good man, one of the best I have ever met. Last year, his team went and fed the poor during Thanksgiving. In a day in age when coaches often self promote, Shawn never does. He tells me all the time, “It’s about team, Kwas … It’s about Warren JFK.” If I were in a leadership position at Warren JFK, I would tell the students this is a man we should emulate. Yet this is what he gets? Wow.

What you learn in coaching is that it is a thankless profession. What makes it worth it is the young men and families you get to interact with. You can either manage or lead your team. When you manage them, you always do what is politically correct in order to not upset one or two parents that will try to get you fired. When you lead, you make the best decisions for your players and your program regardless of what others may think. This is a risk you take when you are not supported like Shawn obviously thought he was. Like a parent, you have to teach your players and sometimes these lessons are not enjoyable experiences. What parents need to try to understand is that coaches are not just dealing with your child – they have to make decisions based on the entire family, the team, and in my good friend Shawn Pompelia’s case – Warren JFK.

I truly feel for the kids at Warren JFK. They lost a good coach, a good leader, and a great man.

Guys like Shawn are at a premium these days. Best of luck trying to replace someone who cares about Warren JFK as much as Coach “Pompee” does.

Babe Kwasniak

Head boys basketball coach, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School

Why some sports should switch seasons


(Editor’s note: This was originally a letter sent to the Ohio High School Athletic Association and commissioner Dr. Daniel Ross).

My letter concerns the switching of softball and soccer/volleyball seasons and why they should be reversed.

1. First and foremost is weather. Our springs (in Northeast Ohio) are, as a rule, wet and very cool. This causes many games to be postponed or cancelled (our local high school team has had four of six scheduled games cancelled, one replayed). The spring weather would, conversly, have had little effect on soccer and no effect on volleyball.

Our autumns, by contrast, are warm and dry, perfect for softball, yet that hot weather can be brutal for outdoor soccer and make non-air conditioned gyms quite stuffy.

2. The other fact is that the girls would be coming off summer softball and be at “peak performance” level when the season begins (mid-August). Soccer (and volleyball also) would similarly benefit because the girls would be coming off the many indoor winter leagues that run from November through March.

I realize there will be conflicts (i.e. with track and tennis), however, we have those now (spring track and softball). No solution will be perfect, but the benefits of switching seasons far outweigh the minuses.

Tim Stamm

Newton Falls

Letters to the editor

Is anyone in Warren paying property taxes?


It is a wonder anyone in Warren actually pays their property taxes. First the Sunshine Inc. mess, where the city partners with a company that rents homes and does not pay property taxes. And now this story involving Councilman Jim Valesky.

It basically sounds like Mr. Valesky has been acting as a property manager for his parents’ estate, allowing people to live in two city homes while property taxes accumulated for a decade. A decade! For homes that I would assume have taxes that are just a few hundred dollars a half-year.

Is it even legal to have people living in a home that they do not own and that is not licensed as a rental?

That does sound like a nice deal. You can live in a house for free in Warren while a member of city government pays the utilities. This is almost as pleasant a prospect as the law department acting as transitional employment for people who have arrest and drug histories.

Does every member of city government think that property taxes are a joke? Or is it just this councilman-at-large and an administration that lets their contractors ignore taxes?

Perhaps Mr. Valesky should put every cent of his monthly council salary toward this debt. His pocketing city taxpayer money while owing taxes is a ridiculous proposition.

Helen Hader


GM not the bad guy; owners at fault here


I’m troubled by the charges against General Motors over the ignition switches. Everyone I know, including myself, keeps multiple keys on their key rings. While driving, these keys create a pendulum motion, and during evasive accident braking, the swinging is severe. I fail to see how a customer’s overloaded and swinging key ring is GM’s fault when the pendulum cancels the ignition function.

Where does customer responsibility come into the equation? A famed actor hit a light pole at excessive speed. Is the automaker being sued over the car’s ability to attain that speed? If the ignition shuts off with only one key in it, that would be a reason to sue, but everything I’ve seen says overloaded key chains, even holding cellphone cases, are in play at these events.

If this is the case, how is General Motors responsible?

Buck Hornberger


Poll workers needed to maintain integrity


Ohio is the most important swing state and we have the best election system in the nation. As chief elections official, I am grateful for the hard work of the more than 40,000 poll workers, or precinct election officials (PEOs), it takes to administer an election in the Buckeye State.

A PEO is a dedicated citizen who serves his or her community and our democracy by working on Election Day to ensure their neighbors can vote with ease. These individuals safeguard the process by helping to operate polling places so all Ohioans can have confidence in the results.

Serving as a PEO can be a very rewarding experience and many choose to return election after election.

Why sign up to be a PEO? Being a PEO offers a unique opportunity to be on the front lines of democracy and earn a little extra cash. It is also very easy to sign up and elections officials across the state, including in Trumbull County, are always looking for individuals who want to serve their community by working at the polls on Election Day.

I encourage any interested Trumbull County resident to either visit www.PEOinOhio.com or contact the Trumbull County Board of Elections to learn more and sign up.

It is my hope you will consider signing up to be a precinct election official.

Jon Husted

Ohio Secretary of State

RN tries to set medical record straight


This letter is a response to letter to the editor ”Medical money goes up in cigarette smoke” submitted by Jeri Karr on March 23, 2014.

”Most hospitalization (90 percent) is caused from substance abuse, mainly cigarette smoking, heart disease, lung diseases, etc. Some of these people are on some form of public assistance. Who do you think pays for all this?”

I don’t know where Ms. Karr got her statistics, and I don’t appreciate her comments about public assistance and her ”you people” attitude. As an RN, I know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S., Ohio and Trumbull County related to modifiable risk factors (including smoking).

21.9 percent of adult residents smoke

25 percent of residents are obese

77 percent report a sedentary lifestyle

37.5 percent of residents surveyed have high cholesterol

27.5 percent have elevated blood pressure

9.6 percent have been diagnosed with diabetes

The public needs to be educated, but not by people like Ms. Karr.

Patti Fitzwater


Time for report on Lordstown turbines


It is the end of March again. Is it not time to have another annual report on the performance of the wind turbines at the Lordstown Village Administration Building?

They have been in service for three years now; how are they doing? What is their average annual production of electricity?

Three years ago, Lordstown paid $131,700 of local, state and federal tax money to Wind Turbines of Ohio LLC in Alliance for two wind turbines manufactured by Bergey WindPower Co. of Norman, Okla.

How well is this investment of taxpayer funds performing?

Jerry Graf

Berlin Center

Falls man upset with judge’s move


In a recent, shocking decision regarding the unlawful repression of a referendum on an imposed tax hike in Newton Falls, Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Kontos suffocated a cry for justice by aborting this vital case before it could be brought to trial.

Echoing the lies of Newton Falls village officials, Kontos claimed the issues raised in the case were moot. Violations of voting rights are never moot, and denying a whole town the inalienable right to vote on a tax hike is certainly not a moot issue, at least not in a democracy.

Government is supposed to express, not repress, the will of the people, and the judiciary is supposed to punish, not promote, unlawful behavior. In the sordid case of Newton Falls, voters were unlawfully denied their day at the polls, and residents were unjustly denied their day in court.

With his profoundly anti-democratic ruling, Kontos made a mockery of the last three words of our Pledge of Allegiance. How utterly shameful.

Werner Lange

Newton Falls

Joyce the right choice for congressman


May 6 is the Republican primary election, absentee voting has begun and in my opinion, re-electing Congressman David Joyce is the right choice.

Joyce has voted to de-fund and repeal Obamacare. He has helped to reduce discretionary spending and has Washington on a budget for the first time in four years.

Compare that to his opponent who voted against balancing the state budget, against a $2.7 billion tax cut for Ohioans and included earmarks in the capital budget.

Please join me in re-electing Congressman Joyce this May.

Melissa Pope

Saybrook Township

(Pope is a state central


Bible brings up question of blessings


Once again the issue concerning gay marriage arises. Here are a few passages from the Bible concerning homosexuality.

Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13, says, ”If a man lie with man, as he lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood be upon them.”

Corinthians chapter 7, verse 2, says, ”But since there is so much immorality, each man shall have his own wife, and each woman shall have her own husband.”

Matthew chapter 19, verses 4, 5 and 6, say, ”That he that made them at the beginning made them male and female, for this cause shall a man leave his mother and father, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

How can people keep asking God to bless this country if people refuse to follow his commandments?

Basil Putnam


Writer takes pride in Mathews, to vote yes


Why we are voting yes on the Mathews school bond issue?

It’s time. We are relatively new to Vienna, but we are proud to call Vienna our home and Mathews our school district. We are voting yes to a new school because when you take pride in something, you want to see it grow, mature and develop into something better.

Isn’t that what we all should want if we are residents in this district?

We have heard the argument: ”It was fine when I went there.” Well, step into that building and you will see instantly, it is not fine anymore. Baker and Currie are not far behind.

Don’t we want better for the next generation? At some point, district residents saw fit to build the existing high school. It’s time to make the same investment for future generations.

Dustin and Kacy Rath


GMO debate spurs misconceptions


There was a letter from a person in Southington who almost had the facts correct. The writer is upset about GMO foods, but has a misconception of what GMO is.

Over the years, a cattle rancher, a farmer, a dog breeder or a racehorse owner will have noticed that there are some specimens of what he is producing that have outstanding characteristics, be it a more weather tolerant feature, or faster moving or nicer looking in their viewpoint. So by selective cross breeding, they improve the future offspring, be it plant or animal.

I have read about a species of grass that tolerates briny water, such as along a coastline. The geneticists are crossing it with rice that will allow farmers in the areas such as India to raise more crops where they could not. That is one example of genetically modified foods.

There have been GMOs that will crowd out weeds without use of something like Roundup, as that product has been shown to gradually become ineffective after some years.


Because not all of the plants sprayed with it die off, and the survivors will cause a modification in their DNA to allow the weeds to come back again. That is GMO by nature, or you can call it natural evolution. So before the writer decides we should all stop eating anything that has any signs of GMO in it, perhaps a more reasoned approach is needed.

Allow me to comment here about so-called organic produce. The latest issue of Consumer Reports has an article about eggs, and they compared the nutrition of a variety of brands and also the way the chickens were raised, and the color of the shell. The net result is that higher priced eggs are not any better than the lower cost eggs.

There have been videos shown with ”non-organic” foods (and that is a misnomer, as all foods we eat are organic), compared to ”organic” foods in taste tests. Almost every time, the person who is asked to taste the foods and try to identify which is the organic verses non-organic, will select one as better than the other. The kicker here is that all the food is ”non-organic,” just divided into two or more portions.

So some of us, not all, have fallen for the advertising gimmick of paying more for food no different than the lower cost foods. If you think I am making this up, do your own fact checking. The main thing is to rinse off the fruits and veggies so the chance of any contamination from whatever source is minimized.

GMO foods are safe to eat, as we have been doing that to them since we learned to cook.

Elias Vujovich


The right has right to question record


This is in response to Bud McKelvey’s letter in the Tribune Chronicle last week. He is upset that Rand Paul has questioned some of Hillary Clinton’s past actions as well as her qualifications to run for president. Mr. McKelvey suggests that Mr. Paul and the tea party back off on Hillary and focus on jobs, the elderly, veterans, women, minorities and the middle class.

I find it ironic that Hillary and her party leader Barack Obama have done nothing in five plus years to create jobs or help the elderly, veterans, women, minorities and the middle class. Every group he lists above are worse off than when Obama took office in 2009. This country is financially in much worse shape than when they were elected and appointed to their respective offices. The debt and deficit is so big I cannot comprehend it.

Mr. Paul and any other elected official has a right to question any other politician, candidate or potential candidate as they see fit. It’s called freedom of speech and the right to know. I’d like to know as well.

What accomplishments does Hillary have on her resume during her eight years as senator? As secretary of state of this country for four years, I see absolutely nothing that she has done worthwhile. Our borders are a mess, our foreign policy is non existent, our standing in the world has been diminished, and she absolutely has the blood of four dead Americans squarely on her hands for the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

Yet there is no accountability for that. Her famous quote ”What does it matter anyway?” will go down in history right next to her husband’s ”I did not have sexual relations with that woman” as one of the most ridiculous and insulting of all time.

What Bill Clinton did while in office has everything to do with Hillary. Their Whitewater investment scam cost the federal government $73 million. Then she conveniently lost all the files pertaining to it. Real nice.

And also remember shortly after he was elected, Hillary proclaimed ”We are the President.” Mr. McKelvey has Hillary running, nominated and elected as our next president in 2016.

I guess you can add not being able to keep Bill on a short leash during his presidency to her great list of achievements as well. But please don’t mention any of this or bring up anything negative. You just might upset members of the very tolerant, liberal Democratic Party.

Rod Zeck

Newton Falls

Letters to the editor

Governor’s staff brought helpful info


I want to take this opportunity to thank the local chamber of commerce for hosting a small business seminar March 25 at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. It provided several small business owners the opportunity to hear firsthand from the governor’s staff as to what direction Ohio is going and its achievements thus far.

Here are just some of the highlights that his staff presented.

Having a total of 89 cents in the Ohio rainy day fund when Gov. John Kasich first came into office, to a $1.48 billion surplus is a feat in itself. All I can say is this is a great example for our federal government to follow. Fantastic job to Kasich and his staff.

Along with balancing the state budget, the governor has also implemented a small business tax cut of 50 percent of the first $250,000 of Ohio net business income. He also is implementing a 10 percent individual income tax cut over the next three years.

Through the Bureau of Workers Compensation, they have instituted safety grants and Grow Ohio, which are all geared toward improving workplace safety while providing business owners with discounts for providing and implementing safer work environments. Coupled with workplace safety, there is another program called Destination Excellence that emphasizes the well-being of injured workers and how they can become healthy and return to work sooner.

There are several development services that the governor is establishing to assist or encourage new businesses and help grow existing businesses. Here are some that were presented during the seminar: Invest Ohio, Vacant Facilities Funds, Brownfield Fund, Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.

What impressed me the most was the willingness of the staff to listen to concerns and issues that hinder small business. They all seem to recognize that filling out additional forms and submitting paperwork to government agencies can be cumbersome, complicated and time consuming. All of this is a detriment to growing your business and hiring additional staff due to the time spent complying with all the regulations and not focusing on your business. They are working to streamline the process by first asking: is this really needed, is there a better way, and why do you need this?

I want to thank David Goodman, Marjorie Kruse, Mark Clendenin and Mark Hamlin for taking time out of their schedules to come to our area and explain what they are working on. It was a great presentation.

— Tim Santell, Kinsman

Fetanyl-laced heroin killing area users


I wish to inform the public that Dr. Clark, MD, director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has asked me to make citizens aware of the fact that SAMHSA has put out a national alert regarding increased deaths as a direct result of contaminated heroin in our area.

Fentanyl is a strong opioid narcotic that has been mixed with heroin. This combination of opioids can rapidly induce severe injury and death. The national center indicates that since Jan. 24, 2014, more than 17 deaths from the Pittsburgh, Pa., area were linked to heroin contaminated with Fentanyl. During Jan. 1 to 14, there were 22 reported deaths in Rhode Island. There have been documented deaths from this heroin also in Vermont and New Jersey. The origin of the Fentanyl-laced heroin has not been identified.

There is great concern that this trend can rapidly advance across the nation, which will result in more heroin-induced deaths. Risk of infections from HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, along with other infectious diseases, and the possibility of overdoses are increased in individuals who are addicted to heroin and use it intravenously via injection into their bloodstream. Heroin frequently contains other contaminants that render it extremely dangerous and lethal.

Hospital personnel and emergency department physicians need to be on high alert and include in their differential diagnoses opioid overdose from Fentanyl-contaminated heroin. There are increased risks for fatal overdose from this heroin. Ample medication supplies need to be on hand to handle this serious crisis.

The best treatment for opioid addiction is Buprenorphine HCL in the form of Suboxone or Subutex. Opioid addiction is a terminal disease if left untreated; therefore, medication assisted treatment is still the most effective method for prevention of opioid overdoses.

Individuals who are inflicted with opioid addictions need not be afraid to seek treatment and help.

Police officers and other safety personnel need to be aware of individuals under the influence of these opioid substances.

America is in an opioid addiction epidemic.

People who are addicted to any opioids can find treatment through the website www.samhsa.gov/treatment.

Opioid addiction is not a choice; it’s a disease. It must be medically treated and psychotherapy for behavior modifications is essential for long-term remission.

— Gina Reghetti, Warren

Clinton: Remember Paul’s blathering


Well, here we go again. We have the Tea Party’s No. 1 bag doing what he does best, talking about things that have nothing to do with job creation or anything else that would benefit the elderly, veterans, women, minorities and middle class Americans in general. It’s Rand Paul, and he’s going off on Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Somewhere in his mind he must think that if Bill was messing around, Hillary had to be having an affair with someone, maybe it was with Al Gore or with Ted Kennedy, or maybe it was with his dad, Ron Paul.

Can you believe the people in Kentucky elected this guy to represent them in the Senate? He even has aspirations of running for the presidency, wow! Rand Paul for president, Donald Trump for vice president. What a ticket!

When Hillary becomes our president in 2016, I hope she remembers all of the garbage that was spread around about her by people like Rand Paul. Hopefully the good people of Kentucky get rid of Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell; if not, then I hope Hillary remembers why she was elected and shoots down everything that the Tea Party Republicans try to do to middle-class America.

What Bill Clinton did while in office has nothing to do with Hillary, but Rand Paul will put all important legislation aside and try to dig up something. Hey, let’s check up on Rand Paul. I’ll bet he has a few skeletons in his closet.

— Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa.

Adding plows to city garbage trucks


The garbage trucks in the city of Warren look pretty heavy duty. One came up my street to get the garbage one snowy morning and had no trouble getting around.

How about putting plows on the garbage trucks? It would help out with all the side streets that rarely get plowed because the garbage trucks go down every street in town each week. So, eventually, after a big snow like we have had, all the streets would have had a plow down them at some time.

I wouldn’t make it the garbage trucks’ priority to plow, just leave the plow down while they do their normal routes. They don’t need to salt, that attachment most likely would not work and get in the way of their job. But a plow, I believe, would not be in the way.

— Leif P. Damstoft Sr., Warren

Joyce needs to avoid party’s rabbit holes


I have always considered the honorable David Joyce one of the saner Republican reps of the House of Representatives, but now I see he is aligning himself with the wacko opinions of Tea-Partier Jim Demint and his Heritage Foundation.

His signing of the Stop the Overreach of this President bill is about 170 years too late.

Executive orders are arguably unconstitutional, but past presidents really abused this privilege.

Andrew Jackson forced the Cherokees off their native land even though the Supreme Court said he couldn’t. Abraham Lincoln closed newspapers opposed to his war policies and suspended the right of trial and to confront accusers. Franklin Roosevelt forced 100,000 Japanese Americans into concentration camps.

President Obama’s executive orders on immigration and the ACA pale in comparison.

Mr. Joyce talks about how President Obama should work with Congress, but he knows that is impossible with the Tea Party pulling the Republican members too far right.

Their agenda is to oppose this president and to deny any Republican to negotiate a reasonable solution to this country’s problems with this president under the threat of well-funded Tea Party candidates against an incumbent.

Though executive orders may be unconstitutional and have many times gone against the will of Congress, they have, in fact, become, as you may say, a tradition in Washington, and probably will never be overturned by congress.

So please, Joyce, stay center right in the policies facing the nation and don’t fall in the rabbit hole of the Tea Party. They will only throw you a shovel and you will dig deeper.

— Ian McAleer, Cortland

Education starts at home with parents


When did parents quit being parents?

Parents are not responsible for educating their children about poor eating habits, drug and alcohol abuse, and the importance of good grades. That is the responsibility of the local educational system.

No, it’s not! It’s the sole responsibility of the parents, not teachers.

Teachers are paid to educate students, not to be parents.

What is astonishing is that many parents seem to be more obsessed with the quality of food in the school vending machines and the cafeteria than that of their child’s education.

The majority of students are going to have one meal and maybe a snack while in school. This certainly doesn’t contribute to a child’s chance of becoming obese. Childhood obesity starts at home.

”Society is to blame for my child’s drug and alcohol abuse problem. My local school system should be educating my child about the importance of a drug- and alcohol-free life.”

Yes, the school systems can continue to inform students about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. But it’s the parents’ responsibility to communicate to their children, at an early age, how important it is to avoid drugs and alcohol. Educating children about drugs and alcohol starts at home.

Over the years I’ve heard parents express their outrage over their kids failing grades, blaming it on teachers, layoffs and bigger classroom sizes. Children need to be educated at home as well as in school. In fact, it’s more important that a child has the continuing educational support, at an early age, of his or her parents or guardian.

The importance of a good education starts at home.

— Richard Teter, McDonald

Guidelines, limits needed for legal pot


I write this letter in response to the letter written by Joann Horn of Cortland urging people to vote in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio.

I am not writing in an attempt to oppose or argue any potential merits of marijuana as medicine. I am writing this letter to express concern over the language, or lack thereof, in the proposed constitutional amendment.

Yes, this is a constitutional amendment being proposed, not an ”issue” as Joann states. If this amendment passes, legalized marijuana would become a part of Ohio’s constitution. What I find concerning about the amendment is:

The language of the amendment does not indicate who can write a prescription for marijuana. This leaves it open for anyone to distribute marijuana, anywhere.

The amendment does not place any restrictions on marijuana advertising, making it possible for billboards to be placed in front of schools or playgrounds.

The amendment creates a new Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, with six of the nine members chosen by the writers of the amendment, and mandates taxpayers to fund this new sector of government and the costs to implement the amendment.

The amendment makes it impossible for employers or public safety officials to prove impairment with current testing. So if you are in a car accident with somebody high on marijuana, there is no way to prove it and you will likely incur the costs.

Eligible residents will be able to ”dose” anywhere it is not illegal to smoke, i.e., their home, the ball field, the park, etc. Children, both their own and yours, will be exposed.

Joann pushes the amendment for compassionate use, but we know from the states that have gone before us that less than 5 percent of people using medical marijuana today are patients with a terminal or chronic condition.

While I have the deepest empathy for anyone who is suffering from a terminal or chronic illness, I do not feel that the current proposed amendment is the right way to get this done.

This amendment seems to be backward. BEFORE the amendment is voted on, shouldn’t rules about who can prescribe and from where marijuana is dispensed be determined?

There is a lot of information about the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment on the Internet. I encourage voters to research the amendment and know exactly what they will be voting for before signing any petition or going to the polls. This constitutional amendment affects ALL of us.

— Lauren Thorp, Cortland