Letters to the editor

Delphi salaried retirees still fighting


I had to take a deep breath and count to 10 before writing this.

I read the recent article about the visit to the UAW hall by Jay Williams, former Youngstown Mayor working for the Obama administration.

In the article, Mr. Williams said because of the auto bailout people have the ability to pay their mortgages, take vacations, send their children to college and save for a rainy day. I agree, but what about the lives of the Delphi salaried retirees?

In February 2012, we met with Mr. Williams to discuss the devastating effect of pension losses to 1,500 families locally (5,000 in Ohio and 22,000 nationwide) as a result of the unfair, Treasury-led auto bailout. We presented to Mr. Williams the YSU economic impact study, which showed $58 million dollars lost in the Mahoning Valley economy every single year and the result of the losses, which have been continuing into what is now the eighth year. At the time, Mr. Williams promised we would have a response from his office in two weeks. After waiting three months, he told us to utilize government programs to help find  jobs, they would not restore our earned pensions. Our pensions were well-funded, they said, and we didn’t need a taxpayer bailout.

The Obama administration has tried to hide their records of the decision to terminate our health pension plan since 2009. Steve Rattner of the Treasury’s Auto Task force testified in a Congressional hearing this happened to us because they believed we didn’t have any leverage. In other words, if you are too small or too weak or not helping bankroll a campaign, you are nothing, and they can just take everything. This means nearly all of us are vulnerable. What happened to the party that stands up for the little guy?

Over the years, Delphi retirees have met with many people all the way up to the vice president. Countless letters have been sent by city and state representatives as well as many local business owners and religious leaders, all asking that the president resolve this. Yet, rather than allow for this significant infusion of cash into our Valley of money that has been earned already by salaried retirees, the Obama administration turns its back rather than resolve the issue and help the retirees and our local economy. Imagine what this kind of money could do for local restaurants, hair dressers or other small businesses.

Or, as Mr. Williams said to the UAW members, people need to be able to pay their mortgages.

We are those people too, Mr. Williams.



Tax will help keep our house in order


I have never celebrated an income tax increase and I never will. However, I am pleased the Warren City income tax increase narrowly passed by less than 500 votes. A little more than half the voters have agreed to willingly pay more money to the city. It is more important to remember a little less than half of the voters are having their hard earned money taken against their will. This point cannot be lost.

There is no more important a task than the proper and responsible spending of taxpayer money. As part of the citizens committee, which will continue to meet with the administration, we will work diligently toward that goal. But it truly is not the committee’s responsibility to keep the administration on task. It is city council’s and it is yours, the voter. We cannot allow mistakes of the past to squander this second chance the voters have given the city. The administration needs to submit a responsible budget and council needs to review and approve it, not just rubber stamp it. These politicians asked for the job. Let’s make sure they earn their money and do what is in the best interest of we the people. After all, they are spending our money.

Downtown Warren is experiencing a resurgence, which is the first step in most communities’ return to prosperity. We cannot afford to blow it due to poor management. The election is over, but the work has just begun. We must hold the mayor and all of city council accountable.

All Warren residents need to stay involved with the community and particularly with the politics. The committee will be meeting with the administration monthly and we will provide a grade card each time on the progress being made. We will do this because no one five years from now wants to be back in the same bad spot of having a tax increase surprised upon us last minute with the threat of disaster if it isn’t passed. This is not acceptable.

If you truly love Warren, you will stop voting for a name or a party. If you truly love Warren, you will support the politicians who produce results, and you will vote out those who fail or do nothing. This is our house. We must put it in order!



Clinton lost;

don’t blame Trump


The election is over, and as the smoke begins to settle, people across the nation are protesting, echoing right-wing chants made in November of 2007, “Not my president.”

Fresh calls to scrap the electoral college are being made, an institution put in place by the founding fathers. This election will surely go down as one of the most decisive in recent memory.

But Trump did win. While it is true that he thoroughly upset the presumptive winner, Hillary Clinton, a more apt way of describing the election would be to say that the Democrats lost.

In the Democratic primary, the left establishment failed to live up to their reputation as the progressive party. Instead of running a true progressive, Bernie Sanders, Democrats decided to run a centrist with more baggage than a cross-country flight and a shaky record of supporting the liberal agenda. In May, even Fox News polls had Sanders beating Trump and Clinton losing. The consensus surrounding the election was the lesser of two evils; neither candidate really thrilled the average voter and each had strikes against them starting out.

Many people voted for Trump, not for his superior decorum, excellent foreign policy or concrete domestic strategy. They voted against Clinton, who many labeled a criminal (just as bad) or a piece of landscape in Washington, representing the worst of the elitist, political insiders. They were at least half right.

So, to all of the Democrats that feel anger at the way this election played out, do not direct your anger at the electoral college, Republican voters, independent voters or even Trump, himself. Vent your frustration toward the Democratic establishment.

And to all the millennials, this election proves that complacency only serves the other side. Millennials are poised to overtake baby-boomers as America’s largest electorate.

They will inherit America, and they should be the loudest, not the most reticent. If the establishment refuses to listen, shake them from their lethargy, not by burning or rioting, but by donating, organizing and voting. Your future depends on it.



Provide choice

on GMO crops


This letter is in response to John Parker’s latest “On the Farm” column, “GMO concerns tied to profits.”

This issue involves much more than what Mr. Parker eludes to, and the reality is that this on-going debate about on the subject of GMO safety isn’t likely to be resolved soon.

There are numerous, valid concerns about the use of genetically modified crops. Herbicide resistance is one of the main characteristics that the biotechnology industry has chosen to introduce to plants. One of the serious concerns involves the fact that the plants uptake the herbicide into their systems and become a toxin in our food supplies. Some of these have been shown to have cancer-causing tendencies. The chief week-controlling chemical that GMOs are resistant to is glyphosate, better known as Roundup. This over-reliance on the use of these toxic substances has led to the glyphosate-resistant weeds. So fields must now be treated with multiple chemicals, which lead to the accumulation of the chemical residues in the crops, which end up in the food which we eat. One of the newest toxins to be paired up with the glyphosate is 2,4 D, a component of Agent Orange, used as a defoliant in the Vietnam war.

In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Drs. Philip Landrigan and Charles Benbrook recommend that the “national toxicology program should urgently asses the toxicology of pure glyphosate,  formulated glyphosate and mixtures of glyphosate and other herbicide” due to “comprehensive assessments of the toxicologic and epidemiologic literature that linked both herbicides to dose-related increases in malignant tumors and multiple anatomical sites in animals and linked glyphosate to increased incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans.”

While the research continues in this area, it is only prudent that those crops that appear in our grocery stores should be marked as “GMO” to allow consumers the choice in what they bring to their tables.



Take the time

to thank a veteran


Veterans Day was Friday, Nov. 11.

It’s inception began when fighting ceased on the eleventh hour of Nov. 11, 1918, of World War I, known as the “Great War” and regaled as the war to end all wars. Armistice Day was declared by President Wood Wilson 11/11/19, stating “… the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory… .”

President Dwight Eisenhower issued on 11/8/54 the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated “… in order to insure proper and widespread observance of the anniversary, all veterans, veteran organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve at home and abroad and sacrifice so much for the common good.”

America has seen many challenges of war since 1918, when going on to defeat the Nazis and the Japanese in World War II, sending troops to protect democracy in Korea and Vietnam and countless other places throughout the world and now the Persian Gulf. These brave men and women, along with their families, have served both abroad and at home serving heroically and helping others, often given the ultimate sacrifice.

On this Veterans Day weekend, please extend your heart and hand and thank veterans and their families for all their sacrifices to keep our country safe. Preserving freedom is a full time job and our service members never get a day off, even on Veterans Day.

To all our veterans, please join me when I say, “Thank your for your service and you are so appreciated!”

KAREN SHESKO, Unit 737 American Legion Auxiliary

Lake Milton

Make healthy

holiday choices


As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season quickly approaches, so do the cookie trays, eggnog and overindulgences that tack on the extra pounds we have been working hard all year to keep off. Most of us are aware that obesity rates have been on a steady rise for more than three decades, currently affecting more than 2/3 of adults in America. But do we know how this epidemic is affecting our nation’s children?

Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last three decades, currently affecting one in three children. Many factors have contributed to the progressively increasing childhood obesity rates, including a more sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. As a nation, we have transformed into a fast-paced society, where fast food has become a staple in the diet and Xbox is now the evening pastime.

So what can we do during the holiday season to keep our families healthy and on the right track? While holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones, for many of us they are centered around eating. We can begin with minimizing fast food and convenience foods in our day-to-day lives and incorporating more fresh protein, fruits and vegetables. By improving daily eating habits it will help balance the occasional indulgences during get-togethers.

Next, strive to make the effort to incorporate more physical activity in your family’s daily life. Try parking farther away and getting the extra steps in or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Last, integrate fun physical activities in your family parties. Try a friendly game of flag football or have activities prepared to occupy the kids rather than video games.

We can make healthy choices for ourselves and our families during these times. Small changes can have a big impact on the overall health of you and your family. Let’s start this holiday season by making healthy choices, because, after all, these changes are not only going to affect us, as parents, but our children too.