Black teens have become quick targets
I cannot believe the atrocities that have been thrown upon some of our young black children. In some cities being black is as if you were born with a target on your back.
On Aug. 9, a Ferguson, Mo., teen along with his friend was merely walking down the street when a police officer racially profiled and fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. He complied with the officer's commands, yet he was killed.
He was not doing anyone any harm. He was not robbing anyone, he was not menacing, he was merely walking down the street with his friend.
From the pictures that I have seen on the news, he was a big kid. But his size should have not been a threat to the police, especially if he obeyed their commands. He even held his hands up in submission.
Michael Brown's family was supposed to be taking him to college the next day, but instead they have to plan his funeral. This is so wrong in many capacities.
I feel in some instances, and in some places, that our black children are an endangered species. Our children represent our future, but due to them being killed and killing each other, our future looks bleak.
In my humble opinion, a lot of these cities that have racial unrest have police departments with the Barney Fife mentality. They are always ready to use their ''one bullet to kill.'' Ask questions later. This should never be the case. A mother should never have to bury her child.
I have no sons. I have grandsons, great-grandsons and nephews. I pray that they can grow up safely and be judged by their merit and not by the color of their skin.
I am not saying that all black youth are on the straight and narrow. But the ones who are trying to do good, trying to make their mark in this world, I hope that they get the chance.
I think as parents we should always hold our children close. Love them and cherish them. The way things are going in some places in the world, it may be the last time that you may see your child.
Jennifer Y. Williams
Guinea fowl protect from tick illnesses
I read an article, ''Ticks can cause meat allergies,'' then went out back and rewarded my guinea fowl with a big bowl of fresh birdseed.
In the past my wife and I were constantly picking ticks off our bodies while taking a shower because we live in a partly wooded and high grass area that was loaded with ticks. About five years ago I read on the Internet about guinea fowl feasting on bugs in the grass. I went down to Rogers Market and purchased six guineas. They always have guineas to auction every Friday. The auction starts at 6 p.m.
Training the wild birds that this was their home and releasing them ended our tick problem. We have not had a tick on us since the birds were released.
It is fun watching the birds marching across the grass in a straight line like British soldiers, sweeping our lawn of critters then marching on to my neighbors' yards.
Guinea are wild birds so don't plan on petting or getting close to them. They will not stay in an enclosed area and like to sleep in the pine trees where they are protected from the winter snow.
They do recognize strangers and squawk at them when they come on the property. In the winter you must feed them due to the lack of bugs.
Is Niles annex trying to bulldoze zoning?
Why did Howland allow Niles to annex land on Route 46 recently? I'm sure many Howland residents are not aware that not only did Howland trustees vote to allow Niles to annex land on 46, Niles will be responsible for enforcing zoning regulations on that land.
Why was this allowed to happen? Particularly when one of the biggest zoning issues in the township has been some elements that want to change regulations against ''outdoor'' markets on Route 46.
Did Howland trustees realize they could never undo those zoning rules that protect residents from more over-development and not lose their seats? Was this Niles annexation done as a way to allow someone to perhaps move their business to 46, particularly a business that current Howland zoning prohibits?
I guess we'll see.
CRTs' answers only cause more problems
Watching the news lately I have taken notice of the child refugee development on our southern border with Mexico. It is interesting to watch the CRTs' (Conservative, Republican, Tea Party) reaction to all of this. And as usual, their answer to the problem, if implemented, would be unworkable. A humanitarian disaster!
Stick a gun to the heads of little kids and tell them to go back home. Really, wow, what a Christian thing to do. Where did they think this idea up, in church on Sunday morning? Under our own refugee laws, most of these kids would be eligible for asylum. There is a good reason why parents in Central America would risk their own children's lives sending them north to our borders, and it has nothing to do with President Obama.
Drug gangs and corruption rule a lot of the countries in Central America and if children don't join the multitude of small gangs down there, there is a good chance they'll be killed. Henceforth they are refugees, not illegal immigrants.
We in the United States help fuel the drug problem in Central America with our appetite for illegal drugs, so we in the United States should sit down with those countries and help fix the problem (which started way before President Obama came into office) then send these children home.
Just like the healthcare issue or the climate change issue or the jobs issue or the reproductive rights issue, the CRTs' answers are not feasible, won't solve the problem; usually their answer creates a larger problem.
I will say this, the CRTs are consistent on one thing, they sure know how to say no to every solution brought to the table that they didn't think of.
James C.K. Fell
Nixon's legacy of good negated by paranoia
''The Nixon resignation 40 years later,'' (Tribune Chronicle, Aug. 9, by Cal Thomas). The following is a quote from the Thomas column that is the reason for this letter.
''He (Nixon) thought he could get away with what other politicians had done, but forgot the rules are different for Republicans.'' Cal Thomas ends his Republican political paranoia with this ending statement, ''Still, he remains one of our most fascinating presidents and one we can be sure historians will 'kick' around for at least another 40 years.''
Richard M. Nixon was a shoo-in for re-election when his paranoia led him into a disastrous spiral of misadventures never before seen in partisan politics, despite Cal Thomas' statement "that other presidents had done this (obviously Democrats) before.'' The bard said ''that the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, but their evil lives on forever.''
Instead of trying to place blame on others for the resignation of President Nixon, he should have dwelt on the legacy of the good that he had done. Unfortunately, it was Nixon's paranoia that did him no good.
Forty years from now, maybe, less partisan writers will tell about some of the better inroads that Nixon brought to the nation as a whole, and forget about trying to blame others for what was solely Nixon's misbehavior.
Leonard J. Sainato
Fire dept. concessions should be enough
The recent announcement from Youngstown City Hall about taking one fire truck and eight firefighters off the streets shouldn't sit well with anyone inside the city. It says the savings would be a hefty $1 million. And the mayor assures the cuts will come without jeopardizing the safety of residents and businesses because no firehouse is going to be shuttered.
What about the safety of your firefighters?
The mayor also noted it's a good plan because fires are declining, down from 412 in 2012 to 326 in 2013. If you take a look back through the year 2000, the lowest structure fire total was 338 in 2002. Does this really show a decline?
On Sept. 22, 2013, WFMJ-TV had a story that showed Youngstown leads in arson for a city its size. The chief said, ''Until you get control of and reduce the fire problem, it's understandable why you have the staffing. To have two, sometimes three, fires at a time is not that rare here.''
On Oct 8, 2013, on WKBN-TV, the chief stated, ''The key is to make sure all the trucks in the city are operational. We found 138 personnel fits well.''
In The Vindicator on March 13, 2014, an article stated the chief is taking a wait-and-see approach, because one year of a downturn does not mean there is a trend.
So, why now do the mayor and chief feel personnel should be reduced to 130 and idle one truck? Does shutting down one truck and reducing personnel sound like a good idea? HARDLY.
As far as saving the city money, let's see what the firefighters have done. In 2002, the safety forces got a .5 percent income tax passed; 45 percent for police, 35 percent for fire, 20 percent for capital improvement. This was to bring the department to a full staff of 140. Staffing never got to 140. A cost saving to the city.
Forward to 2008, firefighters stepped up again and accepted a 10-year step program. That's 10 years before a new hire reaches full pay. The city showed a savings of $1.4 to $1.6 million during the first two years.
As of today, there are 55 firefighters in the program. All are between step 1 ($24,000) and step 7 ($42,000). If you compare their wages to their veteran counterparts, it shows a savings of over $570,000 next year, with an additional $231,000 being saved by using firefighters as inspectors.
Firefighters have taken pay freezes since 2009, a savings of $1.425 million over five years.
Instead of cutting the muscle out of daily operations, why not cut the fat, starting with city hall? Firefighters have and always will do what's best for Youngstown, while City Council continues to do what is best for themselves, as is evident with the fight over redistricting.
Casey is a captain in the Youngstown Fire Department.
Persistent lawbreakers will pay in the end
I had a relative that worked 20 years at the zoo taking care of animals. Every day he watered and fed them: a bond of man and beast. Being around there for so long, he felt he had earned the animals' respect. Time spent was his reasoning for this belief.
I recently found out that he had lost his job at the zoo, or so the story goes. One day he finally decided to put all the animals on the honor system. Before he went home, he unlocked and opened all the cages and told them all, ''Stay.''
The next morning, when he came to work, he was surprised to see all the animals had left their cages.
People in society are on the same honor system. We somehow expect them all to comply. As we can see, a large amount of people do what they feel is good for themselves, just as the animals in the zoo.
The story I told about the zoo is purely fictional, but dishonest people in society are real. There are people in this world that feel laws do not pertain to them.
Their logic is, ''as long as I don't get caught, I can do what I feel is right for me.''
This kind of thinking will, sooner or later, catch up with you. A good person is always at peace with themselves, but a self-serving lawbreaker can never escape guilt, knowing someday, justice will be served.
Believe it or not, there are people in this world that can't figure that out.
I truly wish life had a happy ending to it. In reality, that is not to be. Your last hope is judgment, if you are a believer, based on what you did in your life to others.
The ''Law of the Jungle'' is null and void in heaven.
Letter writer has food chain backwards
Cathy Lukasko has done it again! Shown a complete lack of knowledge to facts in her ''Government never made it on its own'' letter to the editor.
First off, the factory never would or did come first. The roads to build it and the money to make it happen always comes from the government before groundbreaking is done. It comes in the promise of loans, or even better, grants to help the company build it.
In fact, the bigger the factory, the more the government will put in. She has the whole concept backward. Remember when an automaker was looking for a spot to build its new car? States gave hundreds of millions of dollars to get that factory built in their state before any groundbreaking was done. The money never comes after the plant is built from the government. It only slowly, if ever, ''trickles down'' to the people in the way of a job. The taxes are paid for not as much by the company, but from workers.
We see that with the over $4 billion given to subsidize workers at Walmart.
Corporate America is draining the taxpayer money that is meant for fixing roads, building schools and helping the people. And we have people like Cathy supporting and promoting more of it. It is no wonder people who believe or follow such logic will never get it. They are stuck on themselves and think the world or people owe them.
Leif P Damstoft Sr.