Letters to the editor

Winter left Warren dirty

DEAR EDITOR:

You’ve seen them. They’re everywhere.

Edge of streets, middle of streets, intersections, driveway approaches, garage floors, sidewalks, etc.

Each year the buildup gets greater and greater. What are we, the residents, supposed to do with the stones if we do clean them up – throw them back in the road where they came from?

This issue needs to be addressed. The city looks dirty!

Do you remember Warren, “All American City?”

I do.

Jack Harvey

Warren

Obama’s ideas questionable

DEAR EDITOR:

When he speaks, the world kowtows.

There is still a lot of talk about Obama’s trip to China in November. He claims China signed an agreement to cut pollution, praised by the likes of Gwen Ifill, Mark Shields, Eleanor Clift, Josh Earnest.

But.

Two months before his trip, China signed a deal with Russia to buy $400 billion worth of Russian natural gas to power their plants, thus reducing coal-burning fuel and coal emissions.

Obama must have read about the deal in the newspaper and thought, aah. I’ll add it to my legacy and maybe another Nobel Prize?

Here’s another article he might read. Russia is building two nuclear power plants in India. Another pollution reduction he can take credit for. Aah. But.

James Collins

Newton Falls

The job of elected officials

DEAR EDITOR:

They lie, they cheat, they commit fraud, they steal and get away with it, and these are the very people voted into office to run our government. Then when you want to talk to them or state a complaint, you become the enemy. Why? They think you are too stupid to know what is good for you and then there are ones who hope you never find out what they are truly doing to you. The liberals, always thinking about social issues, birth control, abortion, change our country, education and our health care.

Nothing to do with government, and despite popular belief, they do not create jobs. Their job is to take your hard-earned money by taxes to maintain their lifestyle you voted them into. And they just keep creating Ponzi schemes, Social Security, welfare, Obamacare and free community college, banking on the assumption the workers will pay for it all. It has become a vicious cycle and we become the enemies of our own doing!

They never own up to anything until they get caught; then it is “I am sorry,” and they never mean it, again, no accountability.

By voting in the same people, the Clinton Dynasty or the Bush Dynasty, and no, it is not time for Hillary Clinton. She will be too distraught to answer any questions, just like she was after four Americans died in Benghazi on her watch. While Mrs. Clinton hides her emails, she also cannot account for $6 billion that went missing in her State Department or misplaced due to improper filings of contracts during the past six years during her tenure. Wonder where that money is? How much more is secret?

This Iran nuclear deal is so much a secret also. It is a deal Iran can cheat; even if they chat they will get what they want. There is no assurance they will not get a nuclear bomb before 10 years, and finally, there is the Sunset Law saying they are not allowed to make a weapon for 10 years. Then what? Mr. Obama can, with a stroke of a pen, sign the treaty without the consent of the Senate. It is called Executive Agreement and has to do with an International Treaty, and it only needs to be signed by the president or the Secretary of State. And with this, our government has our lives in their hands.

Heaven help us all.

Ruth Lilley

Niles

A lot at stake in next election

DEAR EDITOR:

Most of the followers of the new hate Tea Party Republicans seem to have put what’s important to them on the back burner and seem to be hypnotized into believing that protecting and promoting the interests of big corporations is the way to go. They seem to be brainwashed by the very people who want to privatize their Social Security, eliminate their Medicare and Medicaid, cut food, drug and environmental regulations, fight against health care reform, push for more regressive tax policies and unravel their social safety net.

When you see these same people at tax day protests or Tea Party rallies dressed in colonial garb and are rabid followers of people like Sarah Palin, you have to wonder what goes through their minds.

I’m sure Republican voters don’t believe people like the Koch brothers and the Walmart clan need more tax breaks and more freedom to offshore their husbands’ and children’s jobs. That just doesn’t make any sense. So, why do they do what they do? I still can’t come up with an answer. Is it because you don’t care about your Social Security and Medicare or your parents?

I know one thing for sure, if the American people decide to vote one of the group of presidential wannabees into office in 2016, this country is in big trouble. Get ready for another war and another recession and higher unemployment and please take care of your mother and father because they will lose a substantial amount of their hard-earned Social Security and health care.

Bud McKelvey

Hermitage, Pa.

Candidate is issue minded

DEAR EDITOR:

It’s a great privilege for me to spend a few minutes to let the voters know what an outstanding person that is running for auditor of Warren. His name is Andy Barkley.

I met Andy when I became active with the Greater Warren Federal Credit Union, where I served as the director for 15 years. Andy served the credit union as vice-president in charge of daily operations. During my 15 years as director, I worked very closely with Andy on various issues. As vice president, Andy was in charge of regulatory compliance which entailed performing audits, assessments and government reporting.

I also watched Andy as he was a Councilman representing Warren’s Third Ward. Andy was an issue-minded person and was a fact-finding person and expressed himself on most ordinances with the facts and what was good for the people of Warren. He was not an ego person and looked out for what was the best way to express his position on every issues. After two terms, he stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Andy and his wife, Leslie, and daughters are a great family. As one who served on Warren City Council for 12 years, I know how much time it takes to participate in local government.

I would encourage the voters of Warren to take the time to seek Andy out and find out what a gentlemen he is. He has a very long financial background. He is by far the best candidate for Warren auditor. Vote for Andy Barkley on May 5.

John Bennett

Warren

There’s egg on his face

DEAR EDITOR:

We sometimes hear other people making derogatory remarks about others, such as, “Yeah, all the lights are on, but nobody’s home.” Or, “Their elevator does not go all the way to the top.” It might just be possible that some days you’re not on your mark.

As age creeps in, we sometimes say, “I have had a senior moment.” I recall one time that I cannot blame on a senior moment.

I was young at the time. I went to Norwalk to visit relatives that I hadn’t seen in a while. Cousins of mine – nine children in the family – all a little younger than me. When I got there, everyone was home. We eventually migrated to the living room, sitting around talking, and bringing everyone up to date.

All my life, I’ve been interested in art. It started when I was a small child. I used to watch Jon Gnagy, a weekly art show, on television. You could draw along with him, step-by-step, back in the 50s.

So, I was chatting away, and I happened to notice a piece of art on the coffee table next to me. I inquired about it, only to find out that my cousin sitting across from me in the room had made it. I felt I should check it out more closely. It consisted of a glass fish bowl about six inches in diameter and maybe five inches tall. It had layers of sand filled to the top, each layer being a different color. So I picked it up and studied it closely. Then I started shaking it back and forth repeatedly till all the colors of sand were totally blended together. Finally I stopped, sat there, and waited for the sand to somehow go back to its former state of being. It didn’t move, so I gave it a little nudge to help it. It still did not return to its former state. I had related it to something I had seen in the past. Now, I started to think I had made a little mistake in my judgments.

Finally, I looked up and asked, “How does it go back to its former state?”

I noticed the rest of the family was sort of, should I say, unhappy and quite shocked with my actions. All together, they said, “It doesnt!” Well, you talk about a little egg on your face!

I reached in my pocket for a handful of change, pulled it out, buried it all in the sand, and returned the bowl back to the coffee table. May I add one more cliche? “He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer!”

Paul R. Lawson

McDonald

Litter along the riverwalk

DEAR EDITOR:

During my morning walk along the Mahoning River, from West Market Street to the Summit Street Bridge, I became disgusted and then outraged by what I saw. Littered on the west steep of the river were sinks, hubcaps, boxes, glass and plastic bottles, plastic bags, and every kind of garbage lying about in heaps. This man-made litter will eventually fall into the river, and destroy the natural habitats of the river wildlife. Who is responsible for taking care of the river? If the city Parks Department is, then someone should be held accountable.

Clean up this garbage! If it’s those who live on those properties that abut the bank, they should be fined. The most egregious places are the houses on Tod Avenue and the apartment complex that rises there. This is an embarrassment to the people who live in the city. When we can’t use the river for our enjoyment and pleasure due to bureaucratic indifference, or the slovenly-self-centered prejudice of ignorant people, then changes need to be made. It’s a quality of life issue that’s at stake. Other cities with river access use those waterways as a source of pride and enjoyment. Our city’s administration and some citizens apparently validate the use of the river as a dumping ground.

First impressions stay forever. Visitors witness this and they become embarrassed (for us).

Ron Book

Warren

Choice for auditor

DEAR EDITOR:

As a resident of Warren, I applaud the progress we’ve been able to make in our community over the past several years. But we also continue to face social and economic challenges. I have worked in finance for the past 27 years as a local credit union CEO, Chief Financial Officer and currently as Controller for Unity Catholic Credit Union. As a professional, I understand that the City of Warren needs an auditor who can rise to our financial challenges using not only academic knowledge, but utilizing real business and financial experience as well. I know firsthand that Andy Barkley has those qualities.

I have had the opportunity to know Andy, both personally and professionally, for the past 24 years, working as his colleague in the local credit union industry. As a member of the senior management team, serving as a vice president, Andy has successfully managed projects, employees, departments, and budgets during his lengthy tenure. I know him as a hard-working professional and critical thinker who thrives on the challenge of solving problems. He is also dedicated to expanding his qualifications through continuing education and service on professional boards such as the Ohio Council of the Credit Union Executives Society.

As a councilman, Andy devoted his energy and expertise to attacking many of the biggest problems faced in our community. He led the process to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan – for the first time in more than 50 years. He continues to assist and support the dedicated residents who continue to work toward implementation. Andy has been a community volunteer for more than 20 years, most recently assisting the Wean Foundation by organizing and incorporating the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in and around Warren.

We have a choice for auditor on May 5. By choosing Andy Barkley, we are selecting someone with decades of business, financial and civic experience; and a leader who has already proven his dedication to making Warren a better place to live.

Brian McCue

Warren

Letters to the editor

Silence is

equally evil

DEAR EDITOR:

It was once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I disagree. Given the nature of evil, I believe for evil to triumph, it is necessary for good men to do evil things. To remain silent when evil is being done is to do evil.

In an earlier letter, “Deadly force should be a last resort,” the author and a friend of mine touched on some of the solutions to the seemingly apparent increase of white police shooting unarmed minority suspects and violators of less than capital offenses; while I thought the letter was well stated, in my opinion it didn’t get to the root of the problem. While I believe that the reasons for each shooting are as varied as the different officers involved, the preponderance of white police shooting unarmed minority victims speaks of a greater underlying and shared motivation.

First, it should be recognized that not all who join the police force join to serve and protect. Again, the reasons are as varied as the officers joining. Secondly, the primary reason white police shoot unarmed non-white people is that we let them, and the reason we let them is the same reason the police, white or non-white shoot anybody: fear. The fear the police have of being killed or harmed is the same fear that keeps us from holding them accountable. The greater the privilege, the greater the responsibility, and the higher the standard to which one should be held. No one wants to be Jesus; nobody wants to be nailed to the cross for trying to do what is right. It is the fear to hold those responsible to a higher standard that is the evil that we do.

The result is that if they can get away with it they will keep doing it. To paraphrase Proverbs 13:24: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Race, sloth and cultural history also contribute to the way we have handled these events, but it’s fear, the great inhibitor, that keeps us silent and therefore repeating our mistakes.

I believe that fear is at the heart of the problem and can be attenuated by doing one or both of two things. Finding an effective way to police the police, and or by taking to heart the words of the founding fathers, “All men are created equal.” And thusly should be respected and treated as such.

Stephen Force

Warren

Officers trained to act quickly

DEAR EDITOR:

This letter is in response to the letter titled, “Police Officers don’t shoot first” in the March 29 Tribune and written by Leif Damstoft. Mr. Damstoft wrote that he thought it should be law that police officers cannot shoot first when facing an individual with a firearm. So by that logic, every police officer should wait to possibly be murdered before he or she is allowed to react to possible deadly force.

Law enforcement officers are trained with the use of force continuum. The use of force continuum starts with an officer’s presence on scene, to using verbal commands and going all the way to the use of deadly force. Basically, it means the type of force a police officer uses to handle a situation should directly correlate to the type of force being used against that officer. So if someone is possibly going to shoot an officer, that officer should not be reaching for the pepper spray on his or her belt.

Studies have shown that in most officer-involved shootings, the officer has about 1.26 seconds to decide whether to use deadly force. That’s 1.26 seconds to perceive the threat, analyze and evaluate the threat, plan a course of action and then commit the action itself. That’s 1.26 seconds to decide if you need to possibly take another person’s life, or possibly risk losing your own.

If Mr. Damstoft’s idea came to fruition, what would he have a police officer do when the officer sees a suspect pointing a gun at someone? Should that officer wait until that victim is shot and killed by the suspect before that officer can shoot the suspect? Firearms-related deaths of police officers in the line of duty rose by 56 percent in 2014. If the current pace of shooting deaths of officers continues in 2015, that percentage will be even greater in 2016.

Mr. Damstoft stated he supports police. If, by sending a letter to the newspaper filled with anti-police rhetoric constitutes his support, he can keep it. A better way to support your local police force would be to join or start a neighborhood watch group, enlist in a citizen’s police academy, or even sign up for a ride-along with your local department. See first-hand what officers must encounter and deal with on a call-to-call basis during their shift.

Mr. Damstoft’s letter did nothing more than attempt to further drive a wedge between law enforcement and civilians. Now more than ever, we need to be searching for ways to bridge the gap of understanding and communication between police officers and the communities they have sworn to protect.

Jeff Edmundson

Howland Police

Department

Niles needs

a change

DEAR EDITOR:

I read the Tribune’s recent editorial on the Niles mayoral race (“Niles race needs more aggressive approach”) with great interest. I was disappointed by the questions you did not ask Mayor Ralph Infante. As a Niles resident, here is what I want to know from Mayor Infante:

What specific steps did you take five years ago, when the city’s financial decline began?

While we welcome Cafaro Company and Toyota of Warren, it’s been five long years since Amweld and General Electric left Niles. What specific steps did you take to bring large business to Niles in the interim?

When you took money out of utility funds, why wasn’t it imperative to replace those funds?

The city makes money on lights, power and sewer services. Where does the money go?

Why has it taken so long for Niles to get automated billing, why have there been so many delays in launching this automation, and how much money have those delays cost Niles taxpayers?

What is your plan for improving city services, including essential services like full staffing for fire and police departments and quality of life services like reopening the swimming pool at Waddell Park?

While the Tribune’s editorial staff may want candidate Tom Scarnecchia to offer “aggressive” ideas that can grab headlines, I prefer common sense solutions that can actually work. Tom Scarnecchia has experience making Niles work and he has valuable experience making businesses run. He knows from experience that thoughtful, strategic actions make a difference. Aggressive rhetoric doesn’t.

Finally, we hope your editorial, however well meaning, does not discourage Niles voters from going to the polls on May 5. Niles citizens have a real choice for the first time in many years, and Niles needs a change. If Niles voters decide not to turn out on May 5, they can expect another four years of sad decline.

Nancy Francis

Niles

Resurrection not just about Jesus

DEAR EDITOR:

The question for Easter Sunday is not “Was Jesus Christ resurrected?” There can be no dispute that He was resurrected. The question for Easter is, “Have you been resurrected?”

We were dead as sinners, but now we are “alive together with Christ.” Resurrection defines our lives. We were sin-dead; are we resurrection-alive? Are we living in the resurrection? Are we actively participating with all our bodily senses? Resurrection life is totally different from what we are used to, as different as death from life.

Have you experienced God’s grace? Paul went to great lengths to ask us these questions. Just look at Romans 5:12-17 and 6:5-11, Eph. 1:20 and 2:1-6.

Here is hoping you had a resurrected Easter if you have not yet found God’s grace! He loves you and wants a neverending relationship with you.

Mike Jones

Kinsman

Pain could trigger addiction

DEAR EDITOR:

Almost every day I read an article about the heroin problems in Trumbull County. A recent article was about buying Narcan for officers to carry to save an overdose victim, and watching a dealer’s house for a month or more to collect evidence to make a bust and convictions.

When will people open their eyes and realize that the heroin epidemic we are in the midst of is an issue of supply and demand, and fault lies within the medical community and lawmakers.

I moved to Ohio in 2012 from another state, along with my medical records and MRI – the proof needed to access pain medications – and was unable to find a doctor to treat me. If pain management is not made available to the public, what are people supposed to do? Most people I know want to lead healthy, productive lives, but sometimes cannot because of injury or illness.

If patients cannot access narcotic medications that have been prescribed for them for chronic conditions, they will withdraw and become sick. This is where and why heroin gets involved.

I was lucky to find an alternative for myself; however, not everyone is able to do so. It’s time we place blame not on the dealers and the buyers, but on the doctors who got the patients addicted, and the lawmakers who have made it impossible to get pain medications.

Tracie Jones

Warren

Don’t limit

police ability

DEAR EDITOR:

A recent Letter to the Editor stated a new law should be made that police officers cannot shoot first. The letter says many police unions and officers will object. I am neither in a police union nor an officer, but I also will object. This is the dumbest idea I have read about in a long time.

Robert Spitler

Mecca

YDC story

must be told

DEAR EDITOR:

Before long the residents of Youngstown Developmental Center will be gone. Nothing will remain to tell the story of those who lived there, nor of those who died there. But before they go, their story needs to be told. For now they are unaware of the battle which surrounds them.

Nestled into a quiet neighborhood in Mineral Ridge is the home of 85 individuals living on a spacious campus they call home. It is there where they can spread their wings and be who they are: people with intellectual disabilities. Home is the ‘no judgment zone’ as it should be. No one is considered lesser than because they cannot walk, talk or run. They are here for various reasons. Many have fragile medical needs, while others strive to deal with complicated thoughts and violent behaviors. Some have families; others have no one. Majority are profound with IQs of 20 or less and others are higher functioning but at risk of harming themselves or those around them. One thing they all have in common, they need to be in this environment with a consistent team of professional nurses, therapists, psychologists and an ample amount of direct-care staff, on a daily basis.

Then politics came into view. Advocacy groups were started to destroy the credibility of the ‘institution’ system by referring to gothic structures and lobotomy wards. They twisted historical documents like the Americans Disabilities Act and the Olmstead Decision, converting them to fit their needs. In reality, they work with a few politicians who wish to get out of the business of caring for people. Our government is allocating waivers of money to private corporations to build group homes in our neighborhoods and ‘house’ people into community settings. They expect all individuals, including the profound, to go out and get jobs, eventually closing sheltered workshops. There are many intellectually challenged people who can thrive in community settings and hold jobs, but there is a segment of the population who cannot.

After more than 30 years this center, which was designed and built for those with mental disabilities, will lose its residents. They will be separated and shuffled to other developmental centers, which will eventually close, or be placed from one group home to another. Private companies will race to bring in those with drug problems and mental illnesses into this center they call home. But before they go their story needed to be told.

Becky Vanscoy

Cortland

Bad roads,

bad drivers

DEAR EDITOR:

The lady from Warren, Rosemary Moronti, in her recent letter to the editor, was spot on about the so-called repairs to the roads around here. I have always wondered why the road repair crews would just throw some cold mix into the pothole and not use some type of a hand tamp to at least pretend to level it out. As she pointed out, there may be two holes a few inches a part, but only one of the two will be filled.

While on the subject of “why,” why are so many drivers in Warren not aware of the right-turn-on-red law in Ohio? I have been behind some drivers that sit there, with the right turn blinker of their car operating and no traffic coming, but they sit there awaiting a green light.

Why did so many drivers not take a few seconds to clean the snow from the rear window of their cars?

Why are so many driving in early morning heavy fog with no lights on at all?

Why are there so many defective cruise controls in the cars going around on the outer belt – or do the drivers have a spastic condition in their right leg, since there is no constant speed even being attempted by some “drivers?” Or are they just along for the ride?

Elias J. Vujovich

Southington

Letters to the editor

U.S. meddling in Israeli election is wrong

DEAR EDITOR:

President Obama has stopped sucking his thumb in the corner of the Oval Office and finally called to congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu on his re-election as Prime Minister of Israel. Obama’s excuse for not attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was he didn’t want to influence the upcoming election. Really?

He sent his top campaign advisor to Israel to work with the opposition party to defeat the Prime Minister. With a lot of help from the media and U.S. tax dollars, thankfully this shameful attempt to influence a foreign election was not successful. Never before have we witnessed such in-your-face meddling of another country’s democratic process.

Even to the degree of bussing in left-wing voters to the polls. Sound familiar?

There’s no secret of Obama’s disdain for the P.M. of Israel.

Netanyahu knows that Iran is the greatest threat to the world.

The world should be grateful for the results of the election and thankful that 47 Republican Senators sent an open letter to Iran’s Mullahs telling them not so fast with any nuclear deal with Obama.

Unfortunately no one knows what’s in the deal; I guess we have to wait until Obama signs the deal to know what’s in it. Sound familiar?

Iran is America’s sworn enemy and committed to the total destruction of Israel.

God said he would not abandon Israel or her people – obviously Barack Hussein Obama is not familiar with God’s promise.

Debbie Clair

Warren

Do better job on road repairs

DEAR EDITOR:

We all can see how bad the weather has been on Warren’s roads. It will be nice to see them fixed. But I wish a better job was being done to fix them.

They dump blacktop in a hole and leave it for the cars to pack it down. As we have all seen, the cars cause a dip and a bump. Then when the snow plow hits these bumps, they become holes again. Whoever decided the blacktop doesn’t need tamped down at the time they’re filled has no pride in his work nor care about the citizens of Warren.

Warren is the only city I see do this. This is done all summer, even when there isn’t pressure to fill the holes. A four-inch hole about a foot away from an eight-inch hole being filled is not filled. You know what happens! In a month, that four-inch hole has become an eight-inch hole, making it necessary to return to fill it. Our roads are never smooth unless they are fully paved. Our roads are always terrible due to the method of filling them.

Maybe a trip to Girard to see what a good job they do filling potholes would be a good idea. Pretty soon, every car in Warren will have bent tire rims. What a shame! This city could and should do a better job.

Rosemary Moronti

Warren

Better ways to spend state money

DEAR EDITOR:

Ohio is planning to spend $2 million on a new logo to attract tourism through a new marketing plan. Does it not concern the citizens of Ohio that our schools have not been provided equitable funding, that our facilities for the disabled are being prepared to close because of a lack of funds, or that our communities are begging the governor to release rainy-day funds to fix our roads?

Yet we have $2 million to spend on a logo?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

It seems to me someone’s heart in Columbus isn’t where it needs to be.

Nancy Kujala

Braceville

Public safety always concerns highway workers

DEAR EDITOR:

I really take offense to Atty. Subodh Chandra’s response in the March 6 article implying all the other engineers (in the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office) didn’t make us work.

First, we are all public servants, and each one of us is concerned about the public’s safety because not only does the public drive our county roads, but our mothers, fathers, kids and grandparents also drive these roads. So maybe Atty. Chandra can explain if a public official waits till the day before his second term, can he hire his wife, kids, business partners, do mail fraud, and it doesn’t count in his second term?

Kendell Lee Stauffer Jr.

Employee, Trumbull County Engineer’s Office

Coach should receive support

DEAR EDITOR:

I saw a story that needs to be brought into the spotlight and debated, and it looks like time is going to be a factor.

First, let me say I do not know Kevin Cylar nor live in Liberty. Names and towns are irrelevant – substitute Jim Tressel and Youngstown State University. This is a story of humanity, not locality.

Mr. Cylar’s job as Liberty football coach is under scrutiny. He chose to speak at the trial of Darrell Mason, an ex-player. Oh, how easy it would have been to say ‘No, I think this could hurt my career.’ Mr Cylar did not take that easy way out. He lives his life like he coaches: expecting his players to give 110 percent and caring about his players long after the game ends.

How many movies or best sellers have recently received popularity? Warm-hearted stories of teachers or coaches who believed in their students? How often when someone is receiving an award do they thank a teacher or coach? That one person who saw something special and believed in them and made a difference? Liberty High School, do you only support those stories if they are scripted?

Liberty is making us aware Mr. Cylar was warned at a basketball game about his conduct and coached some games with questionably high scores. It is sports from a professional level to peewees; emotions run high.

Chrissy Keirsey

Mineral Ridge

Gambling awareness crucial

DEAR EDITOR:

I am writing this letter to bring awareness to the issue of problem gambling. Now that there is a casino / racino located within the Mahoning Valley, I think it is important, now more than ever, that we realize gambling is not just fun and games for everyone. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 15 percent of Americans have gambled in the past week. Trumbull and Mahoning counties have a combined population of roughly 350,000 people older than 18. So, approximately 53,000 Mahoning Valley residents have participated in some form of gambling in the past week.

According to Ohio problem gambling prevalence rates, at least 2,000 of the 53,000 people did not gamble for fun and games. They gambled because of an uncontrollable need or urge to gamble. Signs that you or someone you love may have a gambling addiction are:

l Borrowing money to gamble;

l Going without basic needs to gamble;

l Becoming argumentative or defensive about gambling;

l Unexplained absences for long periods of time;

l Lying to loved ones about gambling behavior.

Gambling can be fun and games as long as you treat it as a form of entertainment – just like going to the movies or a nice dinner. As with those activities, it should just be one of the activities (not the only activity) you do for fun, and should be paid for with money that is intended to be used for entertainment expenses. If you are worried about your or someone else’s gambling, call 211 for contact information about local resources.

Lauren Thorp

Trumbull County

Mental Health and Recovery Board

Old Avalon hardly ‘on course’

DEAR EDITOR:

With the condition that Old Avalon Golf Course was in last year, I don’t see how the place is ‘on course’ as was stated by city leaders in an article back in January. At least the course was open, which was a step in the right direction.

By the end of the year, though, the course was still not in very good shape. I played it a few times to see how it was progressing. Some bunkers were left to grow over with weeds and grass. The other ones that have sand in them have very little. It is difficult just to play out of them. Weeds were growing in the fairways and tee areas, which means to me not enough spraying and fertilizing. I even saw a weed or two on the greens. Hole locations looked like they needed changed each time I played. Greens weren’t even mowed one day. I didn’t see many workers on the maintenance crew out there. The clubhouse has basically nothing in it except for a few shirts and some tables. No golf equipment for sale and looked like no one to teach lessons if you wanted to learn the game. The range balls were terrible, with many having cuts in them.

I don’t believe many leagues play there since re-opening. It would have been hard for leagues to come back last year not knowing what shape the course was going to be in. The winter months are when someone should be trying to get leagues back and find outings for this year. I drove by the course recently and it looks deserted, even in March when the golf season is about to start. It’s hard to find out anything about the place when the phone is disconnected and the course’s website doesn’t exist any more. The course’s Facebook page wasn’t updated all summer last year, either. I found a new Facebook page awhile back which has an email address and phone number. A friend of mine sent an email inquiring about a job two months ago. He still hasn’t received a response.

The operators said last year was tight because of the long winter. I see the course not being maintained properly as the reason. As a result, not many people seem to be playing it. City officials say to show support for the course by coming out to play. It’s hard to support a course when the operators aren’t making the effort to make me want to.

Sam Murphy

Youngstown