Letters to the editor
Manufacturing policy must change in U.S.
I started in the steel industry with Armco Steel after graduating from Purdue in 1977. Over the years, I’ve had stints working for several other steel companies, and in 2013, I found myself in Warren managing Warren Steel Holdings. With every jump from one steel company to another, many things changed, but the economic pressures exerted from a broken trade system remained the same.
No matter where I’ve been in my career, the pressure on U.S. steel manufacturers from foreign competitors, using anti-competitive and illegal trade practices, has been overwhelming. China, in particular, has contributed substantially to a hostile economic environment for U.S. manufacturers.
Chinese manufacturers dump millions of tons of steel into global markets, at prices well below production costs. To further complicate the problem, the Chinese government manipulates its currency, making cheap Chinese steel and other products even cheaper. Meanwhile, our government stands by and allows U.S. manufacturers to suffer at the hands of their foreign competitors.
The Youngstown area was built on the back of steel manufacturing. For years, steel mills in the area have succumbed one by one to the pressures of unfair trade practices, and jobs have disappeared with them. As one more, Warren Steel Holdings, closes, I hope our government wakes up and our presidential candidates start talking about protecting American manufacturing.
Democratic Party must
open up to new ways
As a new member of the Trumbull County Democratic Party, I had the responsibility and privilege to vote for the endorsements of the Trumbull Democratic Party recently at the Jan. 14 meeting. I also have questioned why the party does endorsements in the past. Some of my fellow delegates mentioned that they thought these endorsements were not needed or correct at that meeting. My issue here is that even as a member of the “Trumbull Democratic Party,” I did not get to vote on all of the endorsements that were sought for to the party. I was allowed to vote for only endorsements that were in my precinct.
So the endorsements coming from this meeting are not actually from all of the members of the Trumbull Democratic Party but just those with a direct relation to the office that is being sought. I find that a bit deceiving. The endorsements really are only from the people in the party in that particular race and not the entire Trumbull Democratic Party, unless it was a countywide seat that was sought.
There was also one major absence from the endorsements, and that was for president of the United States, the most major race this year. Why is that? If we are to endorse, then why not the most major race in the primary?
As I said before, I am not a fan of the party endorsing. I believe it should be the party people voting in the primary who determine the endorsement. Many candidates simply drop out when they do not get the party endorsement, and that is a shame. For a party to be strong, it must have the support of the people and not control the people’s choices through endorsements. Parties must be open to new people and new ways if change for the better is to be fulfilled. Openness and debates are what people need, and the same is true for parties. After the primaries, that is when the party can truly say these are the endorsed candidates.
By the way, I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I hope I don’t get voted out for this letter, but one must do what one must do.
Leif P. Damstoft Sr.
Praise for local airport and for Allegiant Air
With all the negative things that we all have to digest every day, I decided to write about something positive in our community. It is our Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Allegiant Air.
I decided to visit my father and his wife in Clearwater, Florida. My girlfriend and I booked an extremely affordable flight for the two of us for the first week in December. This might not sound like anything monumental to most but it is the first time I have flown since 9-11, and since then, I have acquired a disability that has left me legally blind.
My neighbor picked us up and dropped us off after a less than 10-minute trip. Even with the airport being about five miles from my house, there was no worrying or anxiety about the weather in December and making the trip to Cleveland or Pittsburgh no gas, tolls or parking.
After being dropped at the terminal, we had to walk about 100 feet to check in. Next, we had to go through security and had to walk about another 30 feet. Wow! Going through security was a lot different than I ever remembered, but I was randomly selected to get the upgraded inspection from TSA. As a transportation advocate, I was very interested in the inspection process. The process took less than 10 minutes, and the agents walked me through in an extremely courteous and professional manner. I did not feel one bit put out or imposed upon. My new motto when I fly now is “TSA all the way!”
After clearing security, we had some time before boarding. You have everything you could need right in the gate area.
Being disabled, we had the privilege of boarding first. There is an enclosed ramp to board the plane now. The last time I flew out of our airport, you had to walk out on the tarmac and climb a ladder ramp. After getting situated and the rest of the passengers getting boarded, we departed right on time. We were flying an MD-80 series and the takeoff was as smooth as I can ever remember. The flight was extremely enjoyable, and from wheels up to wheels down, it took only two hours and 10 minutes. The flight crew was extremely courteous, and we landed right on time.
If you have not flown out of our airport lately, I would highly recommend it. It is a very accessible and valuable asset in our community that we should all support and be proud of. If everyone in our Valley gets behind our airport and truly supports it, another airline will come here and give us more flying access to the rest of the country. Then the rest of the world will know that the Mahoning Valley is “a happening place!”
Carl F. Clemens III
Don’t let loneliness make you a victim
Senior citizens’ loneliness: Is it possible for their loneliness to lead to becoming a victim? Makes you wonder.
A place as comfortable as McDonald’s to go relax alone or with friends, you think you feel safe. Maybe, maybe not.
If you are a widow, there just could be someone who is waiting just for you. Do not take him home. He may never have owned a home; he may ask you to marry quickly. These are all red flags. Do not alienate your children. You need them. Please be careful. Watch for signs.
No matter your age, love can still bloom
I am 84 years old, and love is still alive.
My husband of 48 years had passed away. He was a pastor in Geneva. I was attending church in Niles. There was a good-looking man there. He had been married 50 years and lost his wife. He was, and is, a deacon in that church.
I had noises in my attic and asked my Sunday school class whether they knew someone who would come out and check it for me. They knew someone and sent Mr. Lawrence out. He set a trap up there. Never caught an animal, but I caught him. It has been a hilarious ride. Ten years of happiness, sharing ups and downs. Never an argument. I was married to a preacher; now I am married to the deacon.
By the way, my children and grandchildren all love him. I have a daughter in Georgia who has stage four cancer. I always ask anyone who I come in contact with to pray for her. I am asking you all to.
Let’s vote big spenders out of Congress
Did you see the pictures of the three big spenders on the front page of the Tribune a few weeks ago? Congressman Tim Ryan with Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. They were telling us about the $9.4 million to upgrade the firing range at the Vienna air reserve. You must be kidding. What can you do that would cost so much? Seems to me that a relative of someone will get a fat government contract.
They passed the $1.1 trillion Omnibus bill, grabbed a big handful of gold coins and left for a holiday vacation. (You can’t say, “Christmas.” You must say, “holiday.” They say that if you use the C-word next year to celebrate His birthday, you will be fined.)
Omnibus bill is defined as “a bill containing miscellaneous unrelated provisions.” In plain language: Spend, baby, spend. None of the Congress members read the 2,200-page bill. Just vote and enjoy. In fact, when Congress goes to vote, they have an adviser who briefs them on the bill and tells them how the parties vote. Makes it easy. To think they get paid $174,000 a year to handle these tough jobs. Oh, they do spend time on many committees. Maybe you will go to Spain for a week and see whether they still speak Spanish there. Perhaps you will go to Madagascar and see whether the spotted lemurs are really spotted. The biggest committee is the one helping Emperor Obama reach his goal of a deficit of $10 trillion before he leave office.
Soon we will have the primaries and general elections. Don’t be a Democrat, Republican or independent. Be an American, and vote all these big spenders out. Don’t tell me that your vote doesn’t count. One vote leads to 100 to a million, and soon they are gone. Join me and Ms. Ruth Lilly and others at your polling place, and let’s clean up Washington.
William E. Heston
Letters to the editor
Appointments equal dictatorial action
Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
Republic definition: A form of government in which power is explicitly vested in the people, who in turn exercise their power through elected representatives.
What is going on in Michigan is the state’s governor is taking away Republican forms of government and installing dictators called emergency managers. It’s happening here in Ohio, as well, but on the school level by this governor. There needs to be a case sent to the Supreme Court of the U.S. that defines this article in the Constitution so that it also applies to Republican forms of government within the state.
It is unbelievable that anyone accepts this action by governors as lawful or even right. The argument for it, I assume, is because the governor was elected in a Republican form then his actions are valid because it is the state’s Republican form that has authority over the local governments. However, that is ridiculous. One can also then say that since the president and Congress are elected in a Republican form then the president should be able to throw out entire state legislatures and governors and put in who he wants to manage the state. The only time the federal government steps into state’s business is when the states are violating the Constitution. Fiscal issues are not cause for removing elected officials. If that be the case, then Congress should be removed for their lack of fiscal responsibility.
To make matters worse, in nearly all the cases where emergency managers are forced upon the people, the people end up in worse shape. Just look at Flint, Mich., and what happened there with their water. All the fault of the emergency manager and the governor of Michigan. This is also what the Nazis did in Germany. It is really unsettling to see that it is mainly one party that is doing this, Republicans. The ones who brag about wanting local control of government are the ones abusing their power and taking away that control.
When a Republican form of government is set up anywhere in the U.S., it should be protected by Article 4. The only way to remove a Republican form of government should be by a vote of the people directly affected by that government. Once a state acknowledges a Republican form of government, it should be protected from such non-Republican forms of action, actions like emergency manager appointments.
Leif P. Damstoft Sr.
Which candidate will form stronger union?
Last week I watched two very different political debates. Not only were they different perspectives of the State of the Union, they were as fundamentally different as salt and licorice. I would have said salt and pepper but they are both spices, and these two debates didn’t belong in the same family. I could have said cinnamon and oranges and been as equally diverse.
Almost eight years ago America was offered a chance to make a move in a direction toward the greatness our forefathers envisioned at the foundation of this nation: A greatness not in deed but in principles, principles so far ahead of their time that 200-plus years later, although we have killed, died and bled for them, we still have not been able to fully embrace them or fully realize their potential; President Barack Obama ran a campaign in the spirit of those principles, its overriding theme “Yes we can!” Immediately on the other side of the aisle a campaign of “No you won’t!” politics was waged. The American people responded overwhelmingly to “Yes we can.” Four years later and after four years of “No you won’t!” politics in spite of traditional politics, and in the face of a sluggish economic recovery, the American people reaffirmed its desire to embrace the spirit of unity and equality and re-elected President Obama. Again, on the other side of the aisle we got four more years of “No you won’t!” politics. Last week as I watched the Republican and the Democrat debates it became clear to me that we have a choice. We can as the owners of this country continue to take steps in the direction to unify and strengthen this nation, and truly become the United States of America, or we can take a step backward and away from our founding principles and remain as we have been since before the civil war: “The Divided States of America.”
The question I would ask Americans to ask themselves in the upcoming elections is not whether to vote Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, but which candidate is going to move the nation closer to the greatness the founding fathers envisioned for this country, “To form a stronger and more perfect union,” and which candidates are espousing values that undermine our core values and strengths and will keep us divided. Then to do what our politicians seem unable to do; that is, do what is in the best interest of the country, not our parties.
R. Stephen Force
Who determines what is self evident?
I have a problem with George Will’s column “Creationists of the Secular Kind” that appeared in the Dec. 27 Tribune.
In it he said religious creationists “are mistaken but inconsequential.” The founders of our nation were religious creationists. Their ideas have not been inconsequential. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights …” If we are not created beings, then where do our rights come from, George?
That we are created beings was obvious to our founders. It was self evident to them. Yes, the Declaration of Independence was written 83 years before Darwin published his “Origin of the Species,” but the founders’ idea survived the onslaught of those whose faith was in Darwin’s idea. Then 102 years after Darwin’s book, JFK said in his inauguration speech, “And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the glob,e the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” If we are not created beings, then our rights do not come from the hand of God and they are not unalienable. Are we created beings or not George?
In my search for the answer to this question, I always start with the origin of life itself. How did life come from non-living material? At this date 156 years after Darwin’s idea, there is no empirical evidence that proves life can or did come from non-life. I was taught in school that Louis Pasteur proved that life only comes from life. It is called “the law of bio-genesis.” I am still looking for some empirical evidence that proves Pasteur wrong.
Paul Davies, who is not a creationist, stated in his book “The 5th Miracle,” “Yet in the absence of a miracle, life could have originated only by some sort of spontaneous generation. Darwin’s theory of evolution and Pasteur’s theory that only life begets life cannot both have been completely right.”
The Rev. Dr. M.L. King would have been classified as a religious creationist. He agreed with the creeds of our founders the same revolutionary beliefs that JFK proclaimed. His point was that we had not lived up to them. He was not inconsequential.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20.
George, it is self evident. Read the rest of Romans 1, and you will see what the consequences are for refusing to see what is self evident.
Jon P. Hall
Backyard windmills are Obama’s wish
Emperor Obama met in Paris with 200 countries to create a pact on climate change. Negotiations for our country’s behalf were carried out by members of the executive branch, which means Obama made the agreement for all 300-plus million Americans.
A deadline of 2050 is set for participating countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to levels that trees and oceans can absorb. This would require virtually all coal, oil and natural gas use to cease within 35 years. That means no more autos that run on gasoline. No more winter heat that is run on natural gas. All your power would be from electricity of some sort. Windmills solar panels and such.
Secretary of State John Kerry said, “If every American biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels, if we each planted a dozen trees, it wouldn’t be enough to offset carbon pollution from the rest of the world.”
So enjoy your nice hot natural gas shower and your nice new gasoline-powered car because the emperor will see to it that each of us has a windmill in our back yard to give us warmth, and the cool electric car you drive will replace that gas hog.
Remember these things next election and see who has the most interest for the common folks.
William E. Heston
New programs are not socialist
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw that millions of Americans were suffering, he acted. He implemented a series of programs that put people back to work, took them out of poverty and restored their faith in the U.S.A., and guess what? His programs were called “socialist” by the Republican Party.
Social Security, which brought new life for the elderly, was called “socialist;” minimum wage was considered as intruding into corporate America and called “socialist.” Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining and job programs that put millions back to work were also called “socialist.” All of these programs have helped sustain our nation and are the foundation of the middle class.
These programs are under fire from a new breed of anti-middle- class Republicans and they would just love to put someone like Ted Cruz, Chris Christie or Marco Rubio in charge of their new oligarchy type of government.
One of their heroes, G.W. Bush, drove this country into the worst economic meltdown since the Depression, and it seems like this bunch wants to keep us there, with the Koch brothers running the show and kicking in a couple of billion, which the corporate-owned Supreme Court said that “They are people, too.” I don’t think they are even human. Ordinary people don’t vote mainly because of harassment and a feeling that they don’t count.
We are the wealthiest nation in the world, but the problem is most of the wealth goes to the people at the top. When we have 47 million people living in poverty, don’t you think it’s time to get rid of the worst Congress ever in the U.S. and begin to renew our No. 1 status in the world?
Ordinary people do count and they have to step up and prove it. Vote, and vote Democrat.
Is this the best the Dems have?
I watched in amazement the Democrat debate the other evening on TV. I listened to the two main characters on stage and shook my head in disgust. Are you telling me that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are all you got? This is the best the Democrats can do?
I thought the Democrat Party stood for youth, progressive ideas, excitement and the promise of getting things done. Instead I saw a stodgy old devout socialist in Sanders that wants to dismantle this country and turn it into 1960s USSR. Then I listened to Clinton and I truly cannot believe one word that comes out of her mouth. Her 40 years in public service can be classified as checkered, at best. From her beginnings in defending rapists to the Whitewater scandal to Benghazi to her questionable foundation money to her email troubles. Is this really a person you’d feel comfortable voting for and running this country?
Based on what I heard, Hillary has hitched her horse to the Obama wagon and all its miserably failed policies. No one, I mean no one, is better off in this country than they were seven years ago when Obama took office. And she wants to continue his policies and add to them? Are you kidding me?
I’ll ask this once again of the Democratic Party and all its liberal dyed in the wool followers, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton? This is the best you got? God help us all.
Letters to the editor
Councilman defends Newton Falls decisions
It has been my pleasure and a blessing to serve on the Newton Falls Council for the last two years.
Lately much has been said about council and Mayor Waddell in social media and letters to the Tribune. Unfortunately much of that is not “fact checked” for verification, but that is how sometimes politics works. Our team is capable of dealing with these issues.
The financial problems that festered over the years have fallen into this council’s lap, and regardless of how unpopular our decisions, we deal with them. Newton Falls is run like a business. If a business does not have certain revenue streams coming in, cuts are made.
I respect the right of free speech. Our friend, fellow citizen Werner Lange, uses that right on a regular basis in letters to the editor to castigate and criticize elected officials. He also used that right in backing the forgiveness tax in Newton Falls, and the voters have spoken.
Elections do have results and consequences – sometimes very unexpected ones. Mr. Lange claimed in his latest letter “this council was void of any social ethics, civic pride, and we were taking a punitive action against the citizens of Newton Falls,” in regards to the closing of the community center.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Like most Ohio communities, funds coming into our general fund from the state have been severely cut. Our police department has gone from a budget of close to $1 million per year to about $640,000. The voters defeated two police levies. We now have four full-time officers and some part-timers. If we have a major incident, quite frankly, we are in trouble.
The community center, which, ironically, is the hot issue, had an operating cost of $50,000 per year with a revenue stream of only $20,000. Some groups pay nothing to rent it. Ironically those are the groups who have complained the most about its shutdown.
We cannot expect the Newton Falls residents to subsidize operations of the community center for those who don’t wish to pay.
Mr. Lange is a noted community protester, the strategy of which is to plant seeds of deception and discord without merit or truth to make those being targeted appear to be doing something wrong. It’s a shameful strategy, and I question Mr. Lange’s social ethics and civic pride. I encourage him and others to get a copy of the budget from our city manager’s office to review the facts.
TARRY A. ALBERINI
Council at Large
Celebrate increased cancer funding
Cancer patients and their families have something to celebrate. Congress just passed the largest budget increase for cancer research in more than a decade. This new funding will play a pivotal role in our ability to discover new cures and find new ways to prevent and treat cancer.
The 2016 budget deal passed by Congress included a $2 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health and a $264 million increase for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute. The boost will help put lifesaving research back on track after years of flat funding that stifled innovation and forced researchers to abandon promising projects. We can now begin to restore resources that are critical to the development of early detection tests and cutting-edge therapies.
Cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones nationwide commend lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who made this funding a top priority. I would especially like to thank Representative Tim Ryan who championed cancer research funding this year and helped make this victory possible.
We are all no more than #OneDegree from cancer, so this win impacts all of us. Saving more lives from cancer – I can think of no better way to celebrate the holiday season.
I would like to ask the people of our great community to come out and support a local family who is going through the fight of their life as their 15-year-old son is fighting a rare form of cancer. There will be fundraisers going on throughout the community, please take the time to attend one if you are able. Remember we are all just #OneDegree away from cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Noble family. #TannerTuff
Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
The news media is very predictable
‘Tis the season to be jolly, the most wonderful time of the year. We enjoy seeing and reading about the love and giving of friends, neighbors and strangers. But on Dec. 23 of this year, I was very disheartened.
The Tribune had printed an oversized picture of a suspected teen killer, rapist, thief on the front page. This story was voted #5 by Tribune staff of the top 10 stories of 2015.
But in B section was the story of another teen. There was a smaller photo and less sensational story of how this young teen wants to give back to the community and is giving up spare time to make others happy.
Is there a reason the media is so predictable and would it still sell papers if the stories were reversed?
The teen in B section has my vote.
Civilians don’t need military weapons
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This is the Second Amendment.
Nowhere in this does it state that this amendment is for the people to overthrow their government. In fact, it says the exact opposite.
The first phrase is “A well ‘regulated’ militia,” which means laws regulating the militia and those in it. This amendment does not say “a unregulated bunch of individuals” who want to just kill people to be famous or for their own “political” reasons because the votes did not add up the way they wanted, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This amendment was for the defense of the new government because it did not have a real standing army at the time.
The Constitution has in it the way the people can overthrow the government without violence and the people can do this every two years with the House, every four years with the president and every six years with the Senate. It’s called “elections.”
People will and have argued falsely that this amendment is for the people to keep the government in check. They cite the arguments made by some founding fathers about the worry of government and the people need to have a means by which they could attack the government. The phrase “Second Amendment remedies” is sick. That phrase means if you don’t like that you lost then shoot to get your way. This, however, is not the language that is used in the amendment and for good reason. That argument was rejected because of the reason that the people have a way to change the government within the Constitution, elections.
Gun violence in the U.S. is ridiculously high. Some say idiotically that more guns in more people’s hands will solve the problem. That’s like saying getting more cigarettes, and more people smoking will reduce lung cancer. Since it is impossible to get simple common-sense “regulations” on guns the only real answer is to repeal and replace the second. Replace it with one that guarantees people the right to own some types of guns.
Give the government the power to regulate. You don’t need military-style weapons as a civilian. You can debate the types of guns to be allowed, hunting rifles and personal sidearms and size of magazines. It can be done and much of what we see today will not happen nearly as often if ever. Australia did it more than 15 years ago and hasn’t had a mass murder since.
Leif P Damstoft Sr.
Republicans disregard facts
I’ve been doing a lot of watching, listening and reading this campaign season, and what amazes me is how the Republican Party and most of the constituency have total disregard for facts and total disrespect to people who present those facts.
What about the video of Planned Parenthood don’t those people on the right understand? It was a doctored video, edited to suit anti-abortionists’ agenda. It was proven by video experts to be doctored. If you are anti-abortion that’s fine, that is your right, but deceiving the public is just downright pathetic.
Climate change is all around us. Almost every governmental body on the planet is in agreement that there is climate change and most of it is man-made, except the Republican Party here in the states. What is absolutely mind boggling is more than 90 percent of the climate scientists on the planet are in agreement that there is climate change and most of it is man made. The National Geographic has said “to get 75 percent of a group of scientists to agree on anything is hard, to get over 90 percent to agree is unheard of.” What about this don’t you Republicans understand?
Our own Pentagon has budgeted climate change into its budgets for the foreseeable future. Since business is the supreme god in a conservative’s eyes, then what about Bill Gates jumping on the climate change bandwagon don’t you Republicans understand?
I could go on and on where cities, states and countries are already dealing with climate change and are going for a more greener and sustainable present and future.
Oh, by the way, billions of dollars have been spent on clean coal technology in the U.S., Canada and China with over $6 billion spent on a project in Mississippi alone. The results are not very promising. Natural gas is cleaner than coal or oil but is still adding to the problem just at a slower rate.
Always, always remember the fossil fuel industry is by far the most lucrative economic endeavor in the history of mankind and will do anything and spend any amount of money to keep their cash cow no matter what the damage.
It’s pretty obvious the fossil fuel industry has bought the soul of the Republican Party, lock, stock and barrel, as the saying goes.
James CK. Fell