Letters to the editor
Stop relying on social media for news
I write this letter thankful for newspapers who still appreciate people who take the time to sit down and gather their thoughts and put them together on paper so others can read and think about them for more than the 15 seconds it takes to read a tweet.
Much has been said about the “mainstream media” during this election. What is the “mainstream media”?
To me, it’s newspapers, magazines, libraries, radio, television and the Internet. All of these are excellent sources of news and information. Most of them report accurately the events of the day. As for editorial content, some are on the left and some on the right, with some being centrist.
Then we have “social media.” In my opinion it was the driving force in this year’s election and the one with the least credibility. Twitter is the absolute worst with people using cute usernames to hide their identities while using 140 characters to lash out at the world. Doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to write and even less attention span to read. Facebook is not much better with users writing and reposting propaganda from pseudo-news websites which permeate the Internet like larvae on rotting flesh. I used to think Facebook was a nice tool for connecting with family and friends, but it’s become a propaganda machine for many whose only ability or attention span is to read a partial story and make a few keystrokes.
This is not to say that all those who use social media are stupid or ignorant. I use it myself. However, I think it should not be our only resource. A person needs to take advantage of the many resources available and take a little time for goodness’ sake.
Read a newspaper, watch a news program and stop relying exclusively on the little device that fits in the palm of your hand. You might find yourself more informed and more skilled.
Focus on solution, not problems
The American system has spoken. This election has all the earmarks of the opening line of a future bad joke: “A bully, a blonde and a communist entered a race …”
For the fifth time since its inception, the electoral college — not the American people — has elected the president of the U.S. This is funny because I always thought it was the electoral college that would prevent the very outcome it just delivered. I always thought if the people got crazy and wanted to elect an Adolph Hitler that the college would be a buffer between democracy and tyranny.
I am not saying that President-elect Donald J. Trump is an Adolph Hitler, but that the electoral college is a double-edged sword. What is peculiar about this election is that before it was held, the president-elect said it was rigged and he might not recognize the outcome as legitimate unless he won. Also interesting is that all five times the electoral college broke with the popular vote it has broken Republican.
Albeit the Republican party of John Q. Adams is not the Republican party of Donald J. Trump — the first and last benefactors of this democratic anomaly — it is curious that the most non-traditional Republican person (1) ran as a Republican; (2) won the GOP nomination over seemingly more qualified opponents; and (3) won the job over the will of the people.
We have a newly elected president, and unlike the treatment the outgoing president received, we must endeavor to help him succeed on our behalf. Not to do so would be like saying, “I told you the pilot couldn’t fly” to your fellow passengers as the plane you are riding in falls from the sky. The caveat is we can no longer afford to cast our vote and walk away for two or four years. It is incumbent upon us, the people, to work the process. As the owners of this country it is our job to make sure our employees do what we hire them to do. I am not sure how to do this effectively, but I hope we will start having the conversation.
The key is to be focused on solutions, not problems.
R. STEPHEN FORCE
Pain for four years
Our great country will be in deep pain for the next four years.
Cure — get off our duffs and throw out a bunch of Republican governors, U.S. senators and U.S. representatives. Hence, the pain will only last two years.
Final cure — get off our duffs in four years and return some form of decency, respect and honor to Pennsylvania Avenue.
Meanwhile, the pain and comedy continue.
ALFRED R DEVENGENCIE
Popular vote should elect president
Now that the elections is over, maybe we should revisit the electoral college. I’m a firm believer that the president should be elected by the popular vote and not by another entity. Hillary Clinton won the election by popular vote, yet lost in the electoral college. Should we take closer look at how this works and is it a benefit to the electorate?
The U.S. Constitution says “We The People.” Maybe that is what the founding fathers had in mind.
No one needs an AR-15 weapon
Prior to the election, numerous political ads for Rob Portman went out through the mail. One of these had President Obama and Hillary Clinton, their eyes blocked out with “anti-gun” masks. It contained the statement, “Some politicians want you to believe they can stop terrorists by restricting your rights.”
During the election, Hillary Clinton’s quotes were taken out of the context, saying she wanted to take all our guns away. She was actually speaking about states’ voluntary programs to buy back semi-automatic weapons from its citizens and restricting some of the purchases of semi-automatic weapons.
Most of the public, as well as the majority of NRA members, actually agree with her stance on this. Why? Because AR-15 automatic weapons were used in the following: July 20, 2012 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, 12 killed, 20 wounded; Dec. 14, 2012, in a Sandy Hook, Conn., grade school, 26 killed; June 7, 2013, in Santa Monica, Calif., college, 5 killed, 4 wounded; Oct. 1, 2015, in a Roseburg, Ore., community college, 9 killed; Dec. 2, 2015, at a San Bernadino, Calif., office party, 14 killed, 22 wounded; and June 12, 2016, in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub, 49 killed, 53 wounded.
I encourage people to contact our representatives and end easy access to semi-automatic weapons. None of us needs an AR-15 to hunt game or defend ourselves or our homes. I resent the misleading ads run by Mr. Portman. We need politicians who will take a strong stance on issues like this, not twist the words of those wishing to protect us, our children and our communities from gun violence.
Fighting the drug battle
We all have loved ones that make decisions we don’t agree with. But what if your loved one was addicted to prescription opioids or heroin? Obviously if they were to overdose, you would want them to get naloxone, also known as Narcan, to help them survive their overdose. Would you want them to be saved and then let back out into the world that almost killed them?
Per the Ohio Department of Health, overdose deaths in Ohio reached 3,050 in 2015. This rate has been steadily increasing though out the years. It’s great that we can save people from near death with Narcan, but what about saving them from getting into this situation in the first place or helping them with life after an overdose.
I want to propose two ideas. My first idea is to focus on the problem at hand. People are doing drugs that are easily available to them. Heroin is all over this area, as well as other drugs. We need to focus on bringing down the people who are bringing this garbage into our neighborhoods and communities. We need to have a stronger drug task force across the U.S. or possibly stronger boarder control to prevent it from coming into our country. We need to try to catch the people who are passing these drugs out to our citizens. Breaking the chain at the top may cause fewer drugs available for the streets.
The Ohio Department of Health indicates Ohio spent about $5.4 million a day on medical and work loss costs resulting from drug overdoses in 2012.
My second idea is if someone were to overdose, we do not let them immediately return to routine life. I believe if we give Narcan to someone and save a life, there should be an automatic inpatient rehab sentence. If someone were to escape from rehab, a one-year jail sentence would be warranted. Using unprescribed drugs is illegal, and if someone were to escape from a place trying to help them, they may need a place with higher security while keeping their sobriety.
This is all food for thought. We are moving in the right direction on the drug epidemic, but maybe we need to step back and look at the bigger picture. We may be fighting the wrong battle in a much larger war.
Scouting teaches leadership
I am a first class ranked Boy Scout of Hartford Troop 90. I want to express my enthusiasm for scouting so that other boys will become interested in scouting by seeing all the benefits that I see.
Most people think of Boy Scouts as a group of boys camping and earning merit badges, but there is far more. Boy Scouts teaches leadership, honesty and more. This is the scout law: A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
These things can truly improve what a boy can be. Our scoutmasters teach us this by helping us progress through ranks and teaching us to help our fellow man. Also, being in the Boy Scouts is a great addition to a resume. Our skills are accepted in almost all jobs. Plus if you become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting, and join the military, you instantly will be raised to the rank of private first class.
To join, a boy must be at least 11 years old or in the fifth grade. Younger boys can join Cub Scouts, which is slightly different. The Boy Scouts will accept all boys. There are local troops — Hubbard Troop 100, Boardman Troop 60, Warren Troop 101, Kinsman Troop 93 and Hartford-Orangeville Troop 90, which meets bi-weekly, every Tuesday night, at the Hartford Methodist Church.
Troop 90 does many service projects to benefit the community, including installing benches and pavilions in local parks and trophy cases in local schools, raising money at the Hartford Apple Festival, selling popcorn and working the concessions at the Hartford Optimist Baseball field. We also have a flag retirement ceremony in Hartford Center every year.
A frequent and worrying question is money. I will not lie, it’s not cheap. But the costs are worth it. Yearly cost for our troop can vary depending on what camps you go to. Typically, yearly cost is about $300. The money you pay is for food and for the camping spot you stay at, annual fees and equipment. The big cost is for merit badge camp. Our troop goes to Beaumont Scout Reservation in Rock Creek, Ohio. That cost is about $275. We also have some extremely cool merit badges like ATV Riding and Safety, Shotgun Shooting, Video Game Design and over 200 others. We are always welcome to take any boys interested in a fun program who are not afraid of a little work.
Hartford, Troop 90
Keep opinions out of classrooms
This letter pertains to teachers in our public schools and to the professors in our colleges.
They should take note and learn one thing: keep your political opinions and views out of your classrooms unless you are teaching your students how our government works and not how you think it should work.
If they are teaching math, English, chemistry and calculus, they should keep their opinion out of the classrooms and teach that particular subject. Parents send their children to learn these subjects, not teachers’ political ideas and thoughts.
I am sure that parents who pay for their children to attend college do not care about college professors’ political views either. Parents do not spend their money for their children to be indoctrinated to professors’ way of thinking on politics unless there is a debate when taking a course in politics and they debate each of their views.
I would never want to take a course in geology and listen about the professor’s views on anything but geology. I went to Youngstown University and not once during the Vietnam War did one professor discuss his views on the war. So teachers of America should keep their opinions to themselves and just teach! And parents letting children younger than 12 watch TV politics, you rob them of their youth. My parents never allowed us to watch it growing up and neither did my children watch the news until they were an appropriate age.