Governor's staff brought helpful info
I want to take this opportunity to thank the local chamber of commerce for hosting a small business seminar March 25 at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. It provided several small business owners the opportunity to hear firsthand from the governor's staff as to what direction Ohio is going and its achievements thus far.
Here are just some of the highlights that his staff presented.
Having a total of 89 cents in the Ohio rainy day fund when Gov. John Kasich first came into office, to a $1.48 billion surplus is a feat in itself. All I can say is this is a great example for our federal government to follow. Fantastic job to Kasich and his staff.
Along with balancing the state budget, the governor has also implemented a small business tax cut of 50 percent of the first $250,000 of Ohio net business income. He also is implementing a 10 percent individual income tax cut over the next three years.
Through the Bureau of Workers Compensation, they have instituted safety grants and Grow Ohio, which are all geared toward improving workplace safety while providing business owners with discounts for providing and implementing safer work environments. Coupled with workplace safety, there is another program called Destination Excellence that emphasizes the well-being of injured workers and how they can become healthy and return to work sooner.
There are several development services that the governor is establishing to assist or encourage new businesses and help grow existing businesses. Here are some that were presented during the seminar: Invest Ohio, Vacant Facilities Funds, Brownfield Fund, Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.
What impressed me the most was the willingness of the staff to listen to concerns and issues that hinder small business. They all seem to recognize that filling out additional forms and submitting paperwork to government agencies can be cumbersome, complicated and time consuming. All of this is a detriment to growing your business and hiring additional staff due to the time spent complying with all the regulations and not focusing on your business. They are working to streamline the process by first asking: is this really needed, is there a better way, and why do you need this?
I want to thank David Goodman, Marjorie Kruse, Mark Clendenin and Mark Hamlin for taking time out of their schedules to come to our area and explain what they are working on. It was a great presentation.
-- Tim Santell, Kinsman
Fetanyl-laced heroin killing area users
I wish to inform the public that Dr. Clark, MD, director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has asked me to make citizens aware of the fact that SAMHSA has put out a national alert regarding increased deaths as a direct result of contaminated heroin in our area.
Fentanyl is a strong opioid narcotic that has been mixed with heroin. This combination of opioids can rapidly induce severe injury and death. The national center indicates that since Jan. 24, 2014, more than 17 deaths from the Pittsburgh, Pa., area were linked to heroin contaminated with Fentanyl. During Jan. 1 to 14, there were 22 reported deaths in Rhode Island. There have been documented deaths from this heroin also in Vermont and New Jersey. The origin of the Fentanyl-laced heroin has not been identified.
There is great concern that this trend can rapidly advance across the nation, which will result in more heroin-induced deaths. Risk of infections from HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, along with other infectious diseases, and the possibility of overdoses are increased in individuals who are addicted to heroin and use it intravenously via injection into their bloodstream. Heroin frequently contains other contaminants that render it extremely dangerous and lethal.
Hospital personnel and emergency department physicians need to be on high alert and include in their differential diagnoses opioid overdose from Fentanyl-contaminated heroin. There are increased risks for fatal overdose from this heroin. Ample medication supplies need to be on hand to handle this serious crisis.
The best treatment for opioid addiction is Buprenorphine HCL in the form of Suboxone or Subutex. Opioid addiction is a terminal disease if left untreated; therefore, medication assisted treatment is still the most effective method for prevention of opioid overdoses.
Individuals who are inflicted with opioid addictions need not be afraid to seek treatment and help.
Police officers and other safety personnel need to be aware of individuals under the influence of these opioid substances.
America is in an opioid addiction epidemic.
People who are addicted to any opioids can find treatment through the website www.samhsa.gov/treatment.
Opioid addiction is not a choice; it's a disease. It must be medically treated and psychotherapy for behavior modifications is essential for long-term remission.
-- Gina Reghetti, Warren
Clinton: Remember Paul's blathering
Well, here we go again. We have the Tea Party's No. 1 bag doing what he does best, talking about things that have nothing to do with job creation or anything else that would benefit the elderly, veterans, women, minorities and middle class Americans in general. It's Rand Paul, and he's going off on Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Somewhere in his mind he must think that if Bill was messing around, Hillary had to be having an affair with someone, maybe it was with Al Gore or with Ted Kennedy, or maybe it was with his dad, Ron Paul.
Can you believe the people in Kentucky elected this guy to represent them in the Senate? He even has aspirations of running for the presidency, wow! Rand Paul for president, Donald Trump for vice president. What a ticket!
When Hillary becomes our president in 2016, I hope she remembers all of the garbage that was spread around about her by people like Rand Paul. Hopefully the good people of Kentucky get rid of Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell; if not, then I hope Hillary remembers why she was elected and shoots down everything that the Tea Party Republicans try to do to middle-class America.
What Bill Clinton did while in office has nothing to do with Hillary, but Rand Paul will put all important legislation aside and try to dig up something. Hey, let's check up on Rand Paul. I'll bet he has a few skeletons in his closet.
-- Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa.
Adding plows to city garbage trucks
The garbage trucks in the city of Warren look pretty heavy duty. One came up my street to get the garbage one snowy morning and had no trouble getting around.
How about putting plows on the garbage trucks? It would help out with all the side streets that rarely get plowed because the garbage trucks go down every street in town each week. So, eventually, after a big snow like we have had, all the streets would have had a plow down them at some time.
I wouldn't make it the garbage trucks' priority to plow, just leave the plow down while they do their normal routes. They don't need to salt, that attachment most likely would not work and get in the way of their job. But a plow, I believe, would not be in the way.
-- Leif P. Damstoft Sr., Warren
Joyce needs to avoid party's rabbit holes
I have always considered the honorable David Joyce one of the saner Republican reps of the House of Representatives, but now I see he is aligning himself with the wacko opinions of Tea-Partier Jim Demint and his Heritage Foundation.
His signing of the Stop the Overreach of this President bill is about 170 years too late.
Executive orders are arguably unconstitutional, but past presidents really abused this privilege.
Andrew Jackson forced the Cherokees off their native land even though the Supreme Court said he couldn't. Abraham Lincoln closed newspapers opposed to his war policies and suspended the right of trial and to confront accusers. Franklin Roosevelt forced 100,000 Japanese Americans into concentration camps.
President Obama's executive orders on immigration and the ACA pale in comparison.
Mr. Joyce talks about how President Obama should work with Congress, but he knows that is impossible with the Tea Party pulling the Republican members too far right.
Their agenda is to oppose this president and to deny any Republican to negotiate a reasonable solution to this country's problems with this president under the threat of well-funded Tea Party candidates against an incumbent.
Though executive orders may be unconstitutional and have many times gone against the will of Congress, they have, in fact, become, as you may say, a tradition in Washington, and probably will never be overturned by congress.
So please, Joyce, stay center right in the policies facing the nation and don't fall in the rabbit hole of the Tea Party. They will only throw you a shovel and you will dig deeper.
-- Ian McAleer, Cortland
Education starts at home with parents
When did parents quit being parents?
Parents are not responsible for educating their children about poor eating habits, drug and alcohol abuse, and the importance of good grades. That is the responsibility of the local educational system.
No, it's not! It's the sole responsibility of the parents, not teachers.
Teachers are paid to educate students, not to be parents.
What is astonishing is that many parents seem to be more obsessed with the quality of food in the school vending machines and the cafeteria than that of their child's education.
The majority of students are going to have one meal and maybe a snack while in school. This certainly doesn't contribute to a child's chance of becoming obese. Childhood obesity starts at home.
''Society is to blame for my child's drug and alcohol abuse problem. My local school system should be educating my child about the importance of a drug- and alcohol-free life.''
Yes, the school systems can continue to inform students about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. But it's the parents' responsibility to communicate to their children, at an early age, how important it is to avoid drugs and alcohol. Educating children about drugs and alcohol starts at home.
Over the years I've heard parents express their outrage over their kids failing grades, blaming it on teachers, layoffs and bigger classroom sizes. Children need to be educated at home as well as in school. In fact, it's more important that a child has the continuing educational support, at an early age, of his or her parents or guardian.
The importance of a good education starts at home.
-- Richard Teter, McDonald
Guidelines, limits needed for legal pot
I write this letter in response to the letter written by Joann Horn of Cortland urging people to vote in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio.
I am not writing in an attempt to oppose or argue any potential merits of marijuana as medicine. I am writing this letter to express concern over the language, or lack thereof, in the proposed constitutional amendment.
Yes, this is a constitutional amendment being proposed, not an ''issue'' as Joann states. If this amendment passes, legalized marijuana would become a part of Ohio's constitution. What I find concerning about the amendment is:
The language of the amendment does not indicate who can write a prescription for marijuana. This leaves it open for anyone to distribute marijuana, anywhere.
The amendment does not place any restrictions on marijuana advertising, making it possible for billboards to be placed in front of schools or playgrounds.
The amendment creates a new Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, with six of the nine members chosen by the writers of the amendment, and mandates taxpayers to fund this new sector of government and the costs to implement the amendment.
The amendment makes it impossible for employers or public safety officials to prove impairment with current testing. So if you are in a car accident with somebody high on marijuana, there is no way to prove it and you will likely incur the costs.
Eligible residents will be able to ''dose'' anywhere it is not illegal to smoke, i.e., their home, the ball field, the park, etc. Children, both their own and yours, will be exposed.
Joann pushes the amendment for compassionate use, but we know from the states that have gone before us that less than 5 percent of people using medical marijuana today are patients with a terminal or chronic condition.
While I have the deepest empathy for anyone who is suffering from a terminal or chronic illness, I do not feel that the current proposed amendment is the right way to get this done.
This amendment seems to be backward. BEFORE the amendment is voted on, shouldn't rules about who can prescribe and from where marijuana is dispensed be determined?
There is a lot of information about the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment on the Internet. I encourage voters to research the amendment and know exactly what they will be voting for before signing any petition or going to the polls. This constitutional amendment affects ALL of us.
-- Lauren Thorp, Cortland