Letters to the editor

Black teens have become quick targets


I cannot believe the atrocities that have been thrown upon some of our young black children. In some cities being black is as if you were born with a target on your back.

On Aug. 9, a Ferguson, Mo., teen along with his friend was merely walking down the street when a police officer racially profiled and fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. He complied with the officer’s commands, yet he was killed.

He was not doing anyone any harm. He was not robbing anyone, he was not menacing, he was merely walking down the street with his friend.

From the pictures that I have seen on the news, he was a big kid. But his size should have not been a threat to the police, especially if he obeyed their commands. He even held his hands up in submission.

Michael Brown’s family was supposed to be taking him to college the next day, but instead they have to plan his funeral. This is so wrong in many capacities.

I feel in some instances, and in some places, that our black children are an endangered species. Our children represent our future, but due to them being killed and killing each other, our future looks bleak.

In my humble opinion, a lot of these cities that have racial unrest have police departments with the Barney Fife mentality. They are always ready to use their ”one bullet to kill.” Ask questions later. This should never be the case. A mother should never have to bury her child.

I have no sons. I have grandsons, great-grandsons and nephews. I pray that they can grow up safely and be judged by their merit and not by the color of their skin.

I am not saying that all black youth are on the straight and narrow. But the ones who are trying to do good, trying to make their mark in this world, I hope that they get the chance.

I think as parents we should always hold our children close. Love them and cherish them. The way things are going in some places in the world, it may be the last time that you may see your child.

Jennifer Y. Williams


Guinea fowl protect from tick illnesses


I read an article, ”Ticks can cause meat allergies,” then went out back and rewarded my guinea fowl with a big bowl of fresh birdseed.

In the past my wife and I were constantly picking ticks off our bodies while taking a shower because we live in a partly wooded and high grass area that was loaded with ticks. About five years ago I read on the Internet about guinea fowl feasting on bugs in the grass. I went down to Rogers Market and purchased six guineas. They always have guineas to auction every Friday. The auction starts at 6 p.m.

Training the wild birds that this was their home and releasing them ended our tick problem. We have not had a tick on us since the birds were released.

It is fun watching the birds marching across the grass in a straight line like British soldiers, sweeping our lawn of critters then marching on to my neighbors’ yards.

Guinea are wild birds so don’t plan on petting or getting close to them. They will not stay in an enclosed area and like to sleep in the pine trees where they are protected from the winter snow.

They do recognize strangers and squawk at them when they come on the property. In the winter you must feed them due to the lack of bugs.

Don Moler


Is Niles annex trying to bulldoze zoning?


Why did Howland allow Niles to annex land on Route 46 recently? I’m sure many Howland residents are not aware that not only did Howland trustees vote to allow Niles to annex land on 46, Niles will be responsible for enforcing zoning regulations on that land.

Why was this allowed to happen? Particularly when one of the biggest zoning issues in the township has been some elements that want to change regulations against ”outdoor” markets on Route 46.

Did Howland trustees realize they could never undo those zoning rules that protect residents from more over-development and not lose their seats? Was this Niles annexation done as a way to allow someone to perhaps move their business to 46, particularly a business that current Howland zoning prohibits?

I guess we’ll see.

Joshua Nativio


CRTs’ answers only cause more problems


Watching the news lately I have taken notice of the child refugee development on our southern border with Mexico. It is interesting to watch the CRTs’ (Conservative, Republican, Tea Party) reaction to all of this. And as usual, their answer to the problem, if implemented, would be unworkable. A humanitarian disaster!

Stick a gun to the heads of little kids and tell them to go back home. Really, wow, what a Christian thing to do. Where did they think this idea up, in church on Sunday morning? Under our own refugee laws, most of these kids would be eligible for asylum. There is a good reason why parents in Central America would risk their own children’s lives sending them north to our borders, and it has nothing to do with President Obama.

Drug gangs and corruption rule a lot of the countries in Central America and if children don’t join the multitude of small gangs down there, there is a good chance they’ll be killed. Henceforth they are refugees, not illegal immigrants.

We in the United States help fuel the drug problem in Central America with our appetite for illegal drugs, so we in the United States should sit down with those countries and help fix the problem (which started way before President Obama came into office) then send these children home.

Just like the healthcare issue or the climate change issue or the jobs issue or the reproductive rights issue, the CRTs’ answers are not feasible, won’t solve the problem; usually their answer creates a larger problem.

I will say this, the CRTs are consistent on one thing, they sure know how to say no to every solution brought to the table that they didn’t think of.

James C.K. Fell


Nixon’s legacy of good negated by paranoia


”The Nixon resignation 40 years later,” (Tribune Chronicle, Aug. 9, by Cal Thomas). The following is a quote from the Thomas column that is the reason for this letter.

”He (Nixon) thought he could get away with what other politicians had done, but forgot the rules are different for Republicans.” Cal Thomas ends his Republican political paranoia with this ending statement, ”Still, he remains one of our most fascinating presidents and one we can be sure historians will ‘kick’ around for at least another 40 years.”

Richard M. Nixon was a shoo-in for re-election when his paranoia led him into a disastrous spiral of misadventures never before seen in partisan politics, despite Cal Thomas’ statement “that other presidents had done this (obviously Democrats) before.” The bard said ”that the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, but their evil lives on forever.”

Instead of trying to place blame on others for the resignation of President Nixon, he should have dwelt on the legacy of the good that he had done. Unfortunately, it was Nixon’s paranoia that did him no good.

Forty years from now, maybe, less partisan writers will tell about some of the better inroads that Nixon brought to the nation as a whole, and forget about trying to blame others for what was solely Nixon’s misbehavior.

Leonard J. Sainato


Fire dept. concessions should be enough


The recent announcement from Youngstown City Hall about taking one fire truck and eight firefighters off the streets shouldn’t sit well with anyone inside the city. It says the savings would be a hefty $1 million. And the mayor assures the cuts will come without jeopardizing the safety of residents and businesses because no firehouse is going to be shuttered.

What about the safety of your firefighters?

The mayor also noted it’s a good plan because fires are declining, down from 412 in 2012 to 326 in 2013. If you take a look back through the year 2000, the lowest structure fire total was 338 in 2002. Does this really show a decline?

On Sept. 22, 2013, WFMJ-TV had a story that showed Youngstown leads in arson for a city its size. The chief said, ”Until you get control of and reduce the fire problem, it’s understandable why you have the staffing. To have two, sometimes three, fires at a time is not that rare here.”

On Oct 8, 2013, on WKBN-TV, the chief stated, ”The key is to make sure all the trucks in the city are operational. We found 138 personnel fits well.”

In The Vindicator on March 13, 2014, an article stated the chief is taking a wait-and-see approach, because one year of a downturn does not mean there is a trend.

So, why now do the mayor and chief feel personnel should be reduced to 130 and idle one truck? Does shutting down one truck and reducing personnel sound like a good idea? HARDLY.

As far as saving the city money, let’s see what the firefighters have done. In 2002, the safety forces got a .5 percent income tax passed; 45 percent for police, 35 percent for fire, 20 percent for capital improvement. This was to bring the department to a full staff of 140. Staffing never got to 140. A cost saving to the city.

Forward to 2008, firefighters stepped up again and accepted a 10-year step program. That’s 10 years before a new hire reaches full pay. The city showed a savings of $1.4 to $1.6 million during the first two years.

As of today, there are 55 firefighters in the program. All are between step 1 ($24,000) and step 7 ($42,000). If you compare their wages to their veteran counterparts, it shows a savings of over $570,000 next year, with an additional $231,000 being saved by using firefighters as inspectors.

Firefighters have taken pay freezes since 2009, a savings of $1.425 million over five years.

Instead of cutting the muscle out of daily operations, why not cut the fat, starting with city hall? Firefighters have and always will do what’s best for Youngstown, while City Council continues to do what is best for themselves, as is evident with the fight over redistricting.

John Casey


Casey is a captain in the Youngstown Fire Department.

Persistent lawbreakers will pay in the end


I had a relative that worked 20 years at the zoo taking care of animals. Every day he watered and fed them: a bond of man and beast. Being around there for so long, he felt he had earned the animals’ respect. Time spent was his reasoning for this belief.

I recently found out that he had lost his job at the zoo, or so the story goes. One day he finally decided to put all the animals on the honor system. Before he went home, he unlocked and opened all the cages and told them all, ”Stay.”

The next morning, when he came to work, he was surprised to see all the animals had left their cages.

People in society are on the same honor system. We somehow expect them all to comply. As we can see, a large amount of people do what they feel is good for themselves, just as the animals in the zoo.

The story I told about the zoo is purely fictional, but dishonest people in society are real. There are people in this world that feel laws do not pertain to them.

Their logic is, ”as long as I don’t get caught, I can do what I feel is right for me.”

This kind of thinking will, sooner or later, catch up with you. A good person is always at peace with themselves, but a self-serving lawbreaker can never escape guilt, knowing someday, justice will be served.

Believe it or not, there are people in this world that can’t figure that out.

I truly wish life had a happy ending to it. In reality, that is not to be. Your last hope is judgment, if you are a believer, based on what you did in your life to others.

The ”Law of the Jungle” is null and void in heaven.

Paul Lawson


Letter writer has food chain backwards


Cathy Lukasko has done it again! Shown a complete lack of knowledge to facts in her ”Government never made it on its own” letter to the editor.

First off, the factory never would or did come first. The roads to build it and the money to make it happen always comes from the government before groundbreaking is done. It comes in the promise of loans, or even better, grants to help the company build it.

In fact, the bigger the factory, the more the government will put in. She has the whole concept backward. Remember when an automaker was looking for a spot to build its new car? States gave hundreds of millions of dollars to get that factory built in their state before any groundbreaking was done. The money never comes after the plant is built from the government. It only slowly, if ever, ”trickles down” to the people in the way of a job. The taxes are paid for not as much by the company, but from workers.

We see that with the over $4 billion given to subsidize workers at Walmart.

Corporate America is draining the taxpayer money that is meant for fixing roads, building schools and helping the people. And we have people like Cathy supporting and promoting more of it. It is no wonder people who believe or follow such logic will never get it. They are stuck on themselves and think the world or people owe them.

Leif P Damstoft Sr.


Letters to the Editor

Commissioner pick smells like politics


Here’s my take on the new commissioner: it was already decided before the vote was taken, that’s why it was done in secret.

To me, it should have been open with information on all candidates, their qualifications and ideas for this area available. The pick of Mauro Cantalamessa smells a little fishy, and shows, once again, politics is a sneaky, behind-the-door business.

There should be term limits on all political positions, from city to national, and just maybe this country might get fixed. We’ll have an end to lifelong politicians living off the people with lifetime health care pensions and all the other perks.

Thomas Wilson


Nostalgic customers want to help


There is some history unfolding in Warren at this time. It is unfolding at Andrews Shopping Center at the corner of East Market Street and Route 46.

Many years ago, Andrews started out as a full-service gas station that also sold many other items, including ice cream. When I visited the store in the 1970s, the gas pump service worked like this: when a person drove up to the gas pumps, the person at the counter would see the new customer and yell out, ”ONE UP!” This indicated to the many clerks in the store that a customer was waiting at the pumps and a clerk from the store was expected to pump gas for them.

The first time I was checking out with the cashier and I heard her shout, ”ONE UP!” I was not sure what was happening. I soon realized that we were not being robbed, but that someone was pulling up for gas.

After I got used to the system, it seemed quite normal and comforting. It was a good system, quite simple and very effective. Often, I was the customer waiting for the gas service.

The store has changed since those earlier times. There have been no gas pumps for years and no one calls out, ”ONE UP” anymore. The store is owned by the third-generation of Harmon Andrews. It retains its hardware and household shelves along with hobby and train merchandise.

But, all those ”ONE UPs” from the underground gas tanks added up to an accumulation of petroleum in the ground near the tanks. Whether from spillage or leakage, some of the contaminated ground had been left, even after the tanks were removed years ago.

It has taken years of testing to try to determine if the contamination was truly a health hazard. The present owner, Harm Andrews III, has recently decided to end the speculation and remove the problem soil. Harm estimates that the soil removal will cost him well in excess of $45,000.

Maybe it is time for Andrews customers to step up for Harm and give him business . . .

And when you step up to pay for your purchase, you might remind Harm that you want this one to be ”ONE UP.”

Donald Butler


Woman’s death among forgotten


One year ago, a woman in my neighborhood was murdered in a truly horrible manner. To date, I have not heard of any arrests having been made, and the case seems to have been forgotten.

How different it would be had the victim been someone affluent rather than a very poor woman who struggled with addiction.

Does anyone else remember what was done to poor Lori Wishart?

Benjamin E. Reed


Zebra mussels aren’t still clearing Erie?


Big talk about algae in Lake Erie. What happened to the stories about the zebra mussels cleaning up all the algae and clearing up the water?

It changed the way people fished for walleye in the Western Basin years ago. Instead of pitching Erie dearies, they started trolling, like is done in the central and east, because of the water clarity.

Are the zebra mussels gone? I don’t think so, so what’s up?

Ray Gargano


Community missing out on musicians


Where are all of the people?

Packard Music Hall had yet another lovely, three-day event of free, high-quality and lively music performed by musicians the weekend of July 18. How fortunate this community is to have such a gift bestowed upon us by W.D. Packard.

The sad note about this precious gift is that each musical venue was poorly attended. It is disheartening to attend a quartet of local saxophone talent with less than 25 people in attendance.

Kudos to the local musicians of the Packard Dixie Land Band, Packard Saxophone Quartet and the Packard Concert Band; they work so hard to contribute to our community.

If you were to attend a similar event in a large city, you would pay, easily, $50 or more. At a time when money buys so little, why are you not attending these free events?

They are well-advertised, easy- to-find parking for, plenty of seating, pleasant people to help you find your way, talented musicians that have invested in long practice sessions, and all are willing to provide top entertainment.

It takes a community to turn out and support these events. Please, make an effort to support our local musicians. It will only cost you the time to show up and will provide you a lasting moment of pleasure.

Carol Braden


Johnson got it right going to Congress


A dour half-century anniversary has rapidly approached and passed. Allusion is made to the beginning of the prolonged military entanglement known as the Vietnam War.

On Aug. 2, 1964, President Johnson announced that U.S. vessels had been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese craft.

On Aug. 7, 1964, Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the chief executive ”to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States.”

From an historical perspective, a formal declaration of war still seems better than warfare by the commander-in-chief.

William Dauenhauer


Death penalty fits the crime just fine


I am writing today in reference to ”botched executions,” death penalty setbacks, because of an Arizona killer on death row that was being executed and just so happened to be gasping for breath for 90 minutes.

Well, isn’t that just too bad? I wonder how long his victim was gasping for air?

They say he gasped and snorted before he died. A reporter who witnessed the execution said he gasped more than 600 times. Boo-hoo.

I feel so bad for this murderer – not! He got exactly what he deserved. So what if he had to snort and gasp for air?

Ohio is now having death penalty setbacks because of this. In California a third lethal injection has gone awry, so death penalty opponents say any killing is an unnecessarily cruel punishment.

Don’t these people think about the victims? No. Do you know why? Because the victims are dead, buried and forgotten.

Bring back the electric chair, the gas chamber, the firing squad; we had all of those 30 years ago. But we had those death penalty opponents, didn’t we?

When someone is convicted and sentenced to die, get it over with. Don’t let them sit on death row for 20 to 30 years. I don’t call that death row, I call it getting away with murder. Because the criminal is still alive and breathing, the victims are gone, dead, no more.

Another thing, what in the world is Danny Lee Hill still doing alive? Come on, Ohio, Miriam Fife has had a life sentence already, of pain, anger and confusion, all because her son’s murderer is claiming he is retarded.

The states in this country need to get back to the basics of execution. And so what if they have to take a few gasping breaths or snort? So what! They are gonna die eventually, so do what is right, governors, put these murderers to rest once and for all.

Families like Miriam Fife’s need to finally have justice served.

Michael Adkins


Pelosi, Clinton

need a reality check


Nancy Pelosi said last week that the terrorist group Hamas that occupies the Gaza Strip and that has been attacking Israel for over a year was a humanitarian group that needs to be recognized by the U.S. This is the organization that straps bombs on the backs of 8-year-old children and detonates them on any busy street that they deem fit to further their radical Islamic causes.

Last Sunday, Hillary Clinton was interviewed on one of the morning news talk shows. She was asked about the conflict between the Israelis and this terrorist group Hamas.

Israel has recently returned missile strikes against Hamas’ launch points in a counter-attack. It is a documented and well-known fact that Hamas is using schools, hospitals and residential areas as shields for their launch points from their rockets and other military operations.

Specifically, Mrs. Clinton was asked if Hamas was such a humanitarian group, why would they be using innocent men, women and children as human shields. Her response was that Gaza is such a small area that they don’t have room for their military operation in any other places.

Even with all her out-of-touch wackiness and ridiculous comments, Pelosi still wields a lot of power in the Democratic party. Why is she still in that position? And if Mrs. Clinton truly believes this, is she the person the liberals really want to be the next president of the United States? She sure appears to be the Dem frontrunner at this point.

It’s a shame that this country is falling apart before our very eyes.

Rod Zeck

Newton Falls

Letters to the Editor

History shows why Mickey’s is closing


”Heartfelt goodbye to Mickey’s Army-Navy,” Tribune Chronicle, June, 24, 2014.

It was only a matter of time. On Main Street when I started working at Second National Bank, there was a grocery store across the street, several stores and restaurants, the Savoy Bar and Grill next door. Betty was the chef for the Canzonetta brothers who ran the bar. The Blackboard Hardware store and Berk’s coin shop also did business in the same block.

If you want to know more about the decline of the downtown area of Warren, ask Jim Economos of the Saratoga Restaurant, started by his father in 1916. The Village Cafe next door that was run by John Payiavlas, who went into the vending business in a big way, helped in the flourishing business in the Warren area in those days. It would not last.

When C.D. Betters bought RG Steel, I wrote that he would sell the mill for scrap. This was the last vestige of the manufacturing base that made Warren a thriving community.

The start of the decline had roots much further back. The repeal of the Steagall-Glass acts of 1933 and 1934 did not help. It took away all the regulations that to some degree kept bankers from becoming too greedy.

Education does not give us insight into what happened to the manufacturing, especially on steel that was slowly becoming obsolete in this country over the last several decades.

After 1950, the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company published a book on the first 50 years of its business. During the deep days of the Great Depression, the company was continually upgrading its facilities with new equipment and methods making the best steel that could be made.

The steel industry stopped modernizing the process while the rest of the world was building better and more modern methods of making steel easier and cheaper.

Increases in wages won by unions helped, but the reason was deeper than that. Steel owners took huge profits and ran with the money.

The deregulation of the banking industry allowed banks to indulge in practices that helped bring the Great Depression. Banks were not to be investment bankers, they were not to be stockbrokers, and they could not be sellers of insurance.

In addition, they were not allowed to pay interest on checking accounts.

It did not take long before the economy began to feel the effects of this change in the banking laws. World Com and Enron went down the drain, and before long the foreclosure of homes and other businesses followed. Investment in equipment and new steel industry facilities were no longer possible.

What entrepreneur would want to invest in a multibillion-dollar enterprise, and have the bank in every aspect of his business? What bank could put billions into a virtually new enterprise with Mr. Betters at the helm?

Without manufacturing, we no longer have a support for the services provided by the Marty Cohens of our community.

— Leonard J. Sainato, Warren

Stolen shirt won’t dampen spirit


I just returned from River Rock at the Amp. What a great night. Jersey and Elevation were the featured performers and so was the rain. But many of us hearty concert-goers stayed.

I went alone, because my family is not rock and rollers, but being a 1970s girl, I am. I felt safe walking in alone, and with my beach chair with the pocket in the back, I set up to watch the show.

I came prepared with an umbrella and poncho. Several nice people around me took me under their wing by talking to me. The couple next to me even gave me chocolate chip cookies. That made my night. I love cookies.

Jersey was great. And then I went down to get my free stuff, playing corn hole to get a free t-shirt. I went back to my spot. I placed the shirt in the back pocket of the chair and continued to watch the next band, Elevation.

As the night went on, it poured and stopped and poured and stopped. The people who stayed had a great time. And then the concert was over. I turned around to put my stuff in the chair to leave, and the free shirt was gone.

Someone had lifted it as I was enjoying the show. How sad, I was going to give it to my daughter. My joy was snuffed out, but not for long. I thought to myself, maybe someone needed it. Maybe they grabbed it to not get wet. Or maybe they just outright took it.

Anyway, whoever did this will not prevent me from going back. Warren is a great place and has a lot of wonderful things going for it, River Rock being one of them. The rest of the people were great, especially the couple who gave me cookies.

So, whoever took the shirt that I won for my daughter, I hope it fits you. But you will not prevent me from enjoying the things that this great little city has to offer. I am not scared of you. Just sad for you.

— Cathy Santiago, Cortland

Mayor is example of a good politician


In this day and age when nothing gets done in Washington, D.C., it is a welcome change to ask a city official for something of them and have it come to pass.

I live on Packard Street N.W., and I wrote the mayor about the road that we live on. In my letter I advised the mayor that our street was in very bad condition and full of potholes. I am a homeowner and was asking him to look into this situation to see if he could do some patching and resolve this problem.

Once the holes were patched, I wrote him again to tell him that the cold patch did not stay in the potholes and that what they had done was a waste of money.

The next thing I know the city crews came out and repaved the entire street. So I am saying thank you to the mayor for being a responsible city official and for going above and beyond the call of duty by solving this problem.

There are so many problems that can be resolved if these politicians would just do what they were elected to do, and that is just do the job. Our so-called leaders in Washington should stop playing games with this country’s needs and do the job that they are paid to do. If we don’t work we get fired, so why is it any different for them? They seem to think that they are above the law.

So, for you big fat professional politicians, I say take a page from our little town’s play book and do your job before our great nation goes down the tubes because of your inaction.

— Terry M. Placer Sr., Warren

Government never made it on its own


All of us remember the infamous quotes to the American people by Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren who stated, ”You didn’t build that.”

Barack Obama quote:

”Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own …

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Elizabeth Warren quote:

”You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory – and hire someone to protect against this – because of the work the rest of us did.”

The fact is their argument is completely baseless. It doesn’t even meet the standard of ”which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

That is because we know which came first: the factory.

Then, and only then, the company that invested in and owns and operates the factory made a profit, and then paid federal and state taxes. Their employees worked, earned an income and paid federal and state taxes.

And then, and only then, did the federal government and state government acquire the money to pay to build the roads, build the schools to educate the workers and hire the police, teachers, etc.

The state and federal government didn’t receive the funds to educate the citizenry, build the roads and hire policemen by producing a good or service and then selling such products or services at a profit, taking the risk inherent in such an endeavor.

Instead, the funds they receive are taken. They are in the business of confiscating their funds from the citizenry. Granted, it is written into the Constitution as their right (at least the federal government’s), but the whole idea she posits is completely upside down.

The government and its employees are completely free of and exempt from the risks that businesses take by participating voluntarily in the free market system.

The government’s revenue is guaranteed. It is inexhaustible as well and can never even become bankrupt or shut down, because they can always print money via the Fed or issue U.S. bonds to keep things going.

If there is any entity that never made it on its own, it is the federal government.

— Cathy Lukasko, Brookfield

Who is really to blame for mess?


There was a poll recently in the Tribune Chronicle: ”Who is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian plane?”

Sixty-four percent said Russia. I disagree with the results. You see, if you dig deep enough you will find the answer. Before Mr. Obama was elected for a second term, he had a meeting with Mr. Putin. Leaning over, Mr. Obama said, ”I will have more flexibility after I am elected.”

No one knew at the time what this statement meant.

Mr. Obama then convinced Ukraine to give up its defense weapons to Russia, and the world would live in tranquility.

At one time, Ukraine had the third-largest number of nuclear weapons. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, they were convinced by the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France to get rid of them with the guarantee that these countries would protect and defend them.

How well has that worked out so far?

Then all hell broke loose across the Middle East, known as the ”Arab Spring” and chaos across the world.

But with Mr. Putin, the only thing he was focused on was the Olympics. Right after the first athlete left Russia, Mr. Putin invaded and took control of Crimea. The Russian rebels invaded parts of Ukraine and took control with the help of Mr. Putin, with little to defend themselves and making them vulnerable. Those parts of Ukraine are now under their rule. And now we have 298 lives lost.

Think about the answer, it should come to you.

— Ruth Lilley, Niles

James doesn’t deserve respect


My thoughts on James coming back to Cleveland, yawn.

Loyalty – what exactly is it? James had it all before he left Cleveland. Money wasn’t why he left; faith was the issue. He had no faith that he could win a championship in Cleveland so he left for less money to pursue his only real dream. He went to a team where he relied on other stars to get what he wanted – a hollow victory even if he doesn’t understand it.

James had his own personal dream and pursued that regardless of who he hurt. Loyalty means nothing to James except the loyalty of those fans who follow the athlete and not the team. James showed, and is showing, that which we have all come to accept from people, serve yourself not others.

Professional sports have lost that which was its mainstay, team support or loyalty. There are still the fans who are loyal to their team through thick and thin, Cleveland fans are a prime example of that kind of loyalty. They will take back the one who abandoned them like the prodigal son, even if the son doesn’t act as the prodigal son acted in the famous story from Christ. James has shown no remorse for what he did and, in fact, claims to have expected to come back some day to finish his career in Cleveland. Sounds more like a planned mission than a change of heart.

James will not get back my respect. Everyone has the right to pursue their happiness as they want to. You can use people or serve them but you cannot do both. The vast majority of people today choose to use people and accept that as the way and the truth and the light. James is no exception even though he is an exceptional player.

We have to start having people who are exceptional resist the temptations of using that for their own personal gain at the expense of others. Sacrifice can be hard or easy.

Like Art Modell taking the Browns out of town then Browns fans watching the team win a Super Bowl. Painful. But bringing the Ravens back to Cleveland to win a Super Bowl – I don’t think many fans would want that.

I would rather wait and be a fan of the new Browns until our time comes. I may die before it happens but I will still have my soul.

— Leif P. Damstoft, Warren

Group deserves praise for spirit


Much has been said about ”community spirit” in the city of Warren for a number of years. As mayor, I’ve often encouraged citizens and organizations alike to become more involved and participate in community projects that improve the appearance and quality of life of our residents – and visitors to our community as well.

When I see that community spirit at work, I feel it is important to thank those who continually step up to the challenge of improving our community. Recently, one group in particular went above and beyond that challenge and I want to give them extra praise for their hard work.

After two months of planning and discussions to deter illegal dumping at the Thomas Road and Burton Street bike trailhead, a neighborhood clean-up day was scheduled for the bike trailhead as well as surrounding neighborhood areas.

On Saturday, June 28, under the leadership of the Rev. Avan Odem and Deacon Donald McMillan from Brother’s Keepers Men’s Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church, 43 volunteers came together to help with the cleanup, including the Salvation Army volunteer team, Councilman John Brown (3rd Ward), Councilman Greg Bartholomew (4th Ward), Councilman Eddie Colbert (7th Ward), Butch Butcher, members of Local 935, the Kenmore Neighborhood Association, Interfaith Group and the Southeast Side Community Association.

This small army of volunteers made great strides in the improvement and beautification of the southeast side of Warren.

Of note: 83 tires removed, 12 corner lots mowed and trimmed, overgrown brush along Thomas Road cut back, and the landscape of vacant commercial property on Niles Road improved. Most importantly, this group is a shining example of collaboration, volunteerism and community spirit.

That said, I personally thank everyone who participated in the southeast side cleanup, and ask others in the community to follow their example.

— Mayor William D. Franklin, Warren