Letters to the editor

Warren ‘business

as usual’ must change


I am making an appeal to our city leaders that the way business has been conducted in Warren must change.

I want to be clear I am not advocating for or against the tax increase on the ballot in November. But what must be realized is if we do not make ourselves a business-friendly city, then we might as well tell the safety personnel we hire after the increase passes that their time is limited.

Not too long ago, the city passed an income tax increase that had a promise attached to it that we would never worry about losing safety forces. No one would have thought much of our manufacturing, that was already sparse, would be gone. No one would have anticipated government-mandated health care under the Affordable Care Act would drive up the costs for insurance the way it has for the private sector and government.

I’m here to warn every Warren resident if we truly do not change the present course from a business standpoint, it will not only be asked of us to make the increase permanent in five years, but an additional increase will be requested at that time as well. I don’t write this out of fear mongering, I write this out of seeing how the history of this community has unfolded.

Over the past 40 years, we have lost, on average, 1,000 residents every two years. We cannot afford to lose more people and we must strive to do all we can to keep our current residents, as well as draw in new ones.



Here’s how to cut Warren costs


Here are just a few suggestions to cut city costs:

(1) Administration and department heads take a pay cut. Any volunteers? The average pay is $30 per hour at the top, plus benefits;

(2) Eliminate use of city cars;

(3) Eliminate seven council seats and replace with four; this will be representative of each side of town. Have one council-at-large. Retain president of council as decreasing population supports;

(4) Combine WRAP and community development with Trumbull Land Bank. Eliminate positions;

(5) Merge city and county health departments;

(6) Hire a qualified individual who can properly and effectively write federal grants. Our depressed area is losing federal aid.

The citizens of Warren have passed two income tax levies in past years, specifically for police and fire. The money was swallowed up in the general fund.

Let’s not be duped by the administration a third time.



Facts, ironies about presidential race


Fact: In 2008, when the housing market crashed and caused the Great Recession, most economists said it would take 15 to 20 years for the economy to recover and half of the economists surveyed said it may never totally recover.

So it rings hollow when Donald Trump and Republicans proclaim President Obama has ruined the economy. How would they know? The recovery is maybe halfway, and that’s with no help from the Republicans. Remember, Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate leader, said the Republicans’ main objective when President Obama came into office was to make sure he was a one-term president.

Question: Hillary Clinton and family are being asked to divest themselves from the Clinton Foundation, which is a nonprofit charity organization – 89 percent of the foundation goes to the recipients intended. Will Donald Trump and family divest themselves from all Trump-owned companies? And if, heaven help us, he makes president, will he be allowed to make decisions that will benefit his companies directly or indirectly?

Question: Who is going to pay for his free market-based health care insurance?

Irony: Rob Portman, Republican senator from Ohio; Trump; and the Republican Party are hammering Ted Strickland, Democratic nominee for Senate in Ohio, Hillary Clinton and President Obama about a so-called war on coal. They got the coal miners union backing Portman and Trump and, here is the irony, natural gas is cleaner and cheaper than coal. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet. Climate change is already taking effect throughout the planet, yet, Portman and Trump choose to ignore the obvious about the future of coal and pander to the coal miners about increasing coal production. Clinton and Strickland know the realistic future for the coal miners and have a comprehensive plan to train them for different careers and bring new companies with jobs to coal mine country. So who really is looking out for the coal miners?

Irony: Do all the working-class people in the Mahoning Valley voting for Trump and the Republicans realize that if the Republicans had their way, in 2008, GM Lordstown would have ceased to exist? That, my friends, is a fact!



Donald Trump is

not the answer


Over the years, I voted with either party. It is not possible for me to feel comfortable with this year’s Republican presidential candidate.

The demands of the presidency require national and global leadership. The president needs to be knowledgeable, not impulsive, and not ego-driven. The issues in the world have become more complex. The experience and exposure of the candidates to a vast array of government processes and their short- and long-term impacts, therefore, have become even more important.

When President Obama came into office, he was in the U.S. Senate for four years and served on five Senate committees and 12 subcommittees, chairing one.

Hillary Clinton served for eight years as a U.S. senator from New York. She served as secretary of state for four years and negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. She worked tirelessly on health care reform.

Climate change has been a major issue, as well as more middle-class growth in the economy.

Donald Trump has had no experience in the process of governing or any meaningful background other than a spotty record in the hotel, casino and real estate business. In his attempts at the clothing business and others, he utilized out-of-the-country companies. Yes, he has had celebrity ventures. The complexities of government are not part of his awareness or understanding, yet he says all the other parties’ efforts are “the worst.”

He had experience at divisive, untruthful commentary. Elevating anxieties and frustrations directed at the “other” groupings – racial, religious, ethnic or gender-based – is not a healthy direction to travel. We are better than that.

By refusing to release income tax information, Trump defies the American public’s right to examine what little facts we do have. It certainly appears he is concealing something. Just a few of his numerous irrational statements should not be forgotten: John McCain not a war hero; appeal to Vladimir Putin to dig up emails on Clinton; ridiculing a physically challenged reporter; building wall between U.S. and Mexico at Mexico’s expense; he knows ISIS more than our generals; climate change is not a serious problem, just a money-making scheme; about a protester, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Terrorism is a legitimate threat. Trump’s categorical negative comments about Muslims make it easier for susceptible young people to be influenced by ISIS internet appeal. We need to send positive messages about our Muslim families.

Trump shows his true self when he speaks off the cuff and is not scripted. We need clear, well-conceived messages of planning, inclusiveness and caring, not inaccuracies and hand waving, as we work patiently toward improvements over time.



GOP nominee Trump

insulting to veterans


I have a problem understanding how any veteran can support Donald Trump.

I was watching one of his rallies when a veteran and Purple Heart recipient decided to give his award to Trump. Trump, making a joke said, “I always wanted one of these. I didn’t think it would be so easy.” I was so shocked that he would disrespect a Purple Heart veteran by making a joke of it. I don’t remember if he even gave the man’s name. He just sort of brushed him off.

Personally, I would never accept an award such as that from a vet who earned it, even if I saved his life. That award is very special and a personal thing to the service man or woman who earned it.

Then there is his statement that John McCain is not a hero because he was “captured.” Does he think McCain voluntarily surrendered? If I recall, Sen. McCain was shot down while providing air support for our troops in Vietnam and was severely wounded as a result. I believe he even voluntarily traded places to let another soldier be released ahead of him.

Trump does not deem that heroic? I guess you have to come home in a body bag for him to consider you a hero.

And don’t forget his disdain for our military leaders, saying, “I know more than the generals.” I wonder what someone like Gen. Patton would say.

Anyone who’s been around for a while should recognize a con artist when he sees one. He will promise anything to get what he wants, saying “believe me” and “trust me” and “I can tell you this.” But do you really believe he can deliver? All I will say is I am a proud veteran, and Trump doesn’t have enough money to buy my vote.



Not standing shows disrespect, division


In the recent weeks, we have seen so many professional athletes refuse to stand for the national anthem, and now it seems to be spreading to the college and high school events.

How outright disrespectful can you be? You disrespect the Marines who put the flag on Mount Suribachi. You disrespect all who died at Pearl Harbor. You disrespect all those in Arlington National Cemetery.

How dare you ungrateful people turn your back on those who have died to give you the rights you have?

You protest in the name of oppression! You don’t know the meaning of the term oppression. Go to North Korea, the Islamic Middle East or Venezuela. Here you will find the true meaning of oppressed.

You live in a country that has given you everything, by people who have given everything, so you can burn its flag, disgrace its name and riot in the streets.

Yes, there are things wrong in this country, but this type of action only shows our enemies how divided and vulnerable we are.


Beaver Township

Action, not promises, solves problems


Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles recently joined several other NFL players in protest during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games. Jenkins told USA Today he does it to show the disadvantages African Americans face when it comes to police brutality, wages, job opportunities and education. President Barack Obama chimed in that it’s the most politically correct way possible, that this is a conversation we can have.

Well, then, Mr. President, let’s sit down and have a real conversation about these topics. But don’t you think you’ve gotten a late start? Nine years ago, you promised fundamental revisions in this country with hope and change. You promised shovel-ready jobs, but instead, you spent more than two years on the Affordable Health Care Act that is unaffordable. I see no positive change anywhere.

Let’s talk about police brutality, but let’s also talk about education, job opportunities and wages that Jenkins mentioned. Education does not start by handing out money to a person or group in a certain category. Education starts at home and day one of a child’s formal schooling. Parents must be involved in that process by getting children to school every day and assisting them with studies and discipline. Education, right up the ladder, is directly proportional to job opportunities and wages. That is a fact.

East High School in Youngstown is a 9-year-old facility with excellent curriculum. It is an urban school with a student population where more than 80 percent is minority. Because of so many problems in the school last year, prior to the school opening this year, East High called a parent- teacher-administrator meeting. All families were notified via mail of the meeting at their last known address on record. The night of the meeting, not one parent showed up. Not one. How can you have conversation about solving problems when people directly involved refuse to discuss it?

Obama is just giving you rhetoric on this. He’s too busy taking $3 million vacations and playing golf. He doesn’t have time for that. Jenkins will never call police and African-American leaders together to start dialog. He will never make an appearance at East High and talk to parents and students about doing what’s right for their children. He doesn’t have time for real conversation. Think of the good these two could really do if they were serious about their concerns. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Show me.


Newton Falls

It is still

a primitive world


It seems the USA has NFL players and others who are expressing their liberty of speech that millions of soldiers have died for.

I truly believe in your purpose, but this is not the correct way – slapping the most sacred, a great nation like the USA’s national anthem.

I served in Vietnam, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom, and I have met and worked with some remarkable men and women while serving. I went through some prejudice while growing up, my many civilian jobs and a few while serving in the military because I’m Puerto Rican. I still communicate with my Band of Brothers, as I call them. They’re my brothers, more than they know. We have served in many tours together. The total respect and devotion they have for the flag and the national anthem beyond compare.

Here’s a little history lesson. Our flag sustained repeated cannon shells from British ships, and after all the dust cleared, our flag still was flying. Remember the iconic photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima? Our flag survived the 9/11 terrorist attack and firefghters raised her up. I could go on, but I pray all of you got it.

There are ways that will bring true respect or resolve to your cause. I will not lay it out here, but I would be glad to meet with those to discuss it.

The reality is that the true cause or blame is the people. We’re not as smart or intelligent as we think we are. Yes, we have gained in enlightenment in computers, space lab, medicine, better weapons to kill each other quicker or faster, better cars, etc. It’s still a very primitive world. We’re still killing one another.

The probability is next to none that we will see human beings get more intelligent in our lifetime. That’s when we actually learn to live peacefully together – the whole world.

So try another way to show your cause that I pray falls or leads in living peacefully together.

God bless America and its people.