Finances led to the
closing of Kyes Homes
To the editor:
On Wednesday, Nov. 5, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my tenure as director of the Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services-I recommended to the board of county commissioners that they close the Kyes Home in East Palestine and abolish the youth leader positions from our table of organization, thereby making the closing permanent and final.
The announcement of this decision came as quite a surprise to many people. One member of the media who sees me nearly every Wednesday said, "You could have knocked me over with a feather." It was not my intent to either shock or surprise. The continuing operation of the Kyes Home had been on my mind for some time.
Financially, operations were problematic. In order for the Kyes Home to be a cost-effective method of providing foster care, we must maintain a resident count of a minimum of six girls-that is our "break even" point. In 16 of the past 18 months, our resident count fell well below that number, making the operations a losing proposition from a purely financial perspective.
As most people familiar with the work we did at Kyes would agree, the home was about a lot more than just the dollars and cents of the operations. We made a home for girls whose families could not care for them. We provided one-on-one day-to-day care for hundreds of girls over the years. Kyes became their "home."
In addition, the support of the community for the Kyes Home was phenomenal. Every time we had a need, some group or individual from somewhere in the community or county-at-large stepped forward to help us out. We forged friendships and partnerships, met and worked with so many good people as we strived together to meet the needs of our Kyes girls.
In the end, sentimentality and wishful thinking had to succumb to practicality and the pure, hard fact that it is no longer cost effective for us to operate a Group Home like Kyes. Most of our girls who cannot live in a family need much more than we could provide at Kyes.
With the failing of the levy on Nov. 4 came the realization that we must make every effort to be as cost effective as possible. Closing Kyes will save over $100,000 per year. This step alone will not close the funding gap between anticipated revenues and anticipated expenses. We have much more work to do. I have already met with leadership at both the court and the prosecutor's office to solicit their support and assistance in diverting children from foster care whenever and wherever safely possible. Safety of children must always be our first priority.
The closing of the Kyes Home has left us all a little saddened. But even as the closing of the Kyes Home was finalized, new opportunities to use the facility as a site for services geared toward meeting the needs of children and families began to present themselves. We now envision the "Kyes Family Services Center" continuing to provide services to children and families and continuing to fulfill the vision and gift of the Kyes family so long ago.
In closing, I want to express the enduring and heartfelt gratitude we here at CCDJFS hold for all of those acts of generosity, kindness, and concern which so many good people of our community performed for our girls at Kyes. Thank you and stay tuned... With any luck, we will be back in the spring with a kick-off for our new "Kyes Family Services Center."
Department of Job and
West Branch Choral
To the editor:
Recently the West Branch Choral Parents held a fund-raiser, in which they sold authentic Petrucci's pizza. Many, many community people, from the West Branch Community pitched in and helped.
We would like to thank everyone who had a "hand" in making pizzas. Your time and hard work were greatly appreciated! A special thanks to the former owners of Petrucci's Restaurant: Mary Jane Grandolfo and her daughters Patti, Carmel, Sue and Tina. Thanks a million! The pizzas were great!
The Fine Arts Department at West Branch and The West Branch Choral Parents
Where are all the
reports on the Fair Tax?
To the editor:
Although bailouts and stimulus packages are topping the news, there is an absence of reporting on a bailout and stimulus plan that surpasses previous proposals by over tenfold. That plan is the Fair Tax.
The Fair Tax is a tax reform proposal that un-taxes American investment and business and makes America the world's tax haven. Alan Greenspan is reported to have said that, of the $12 trillion of American capital sitting offshore, $10 trillion of that capital would come back onshore in a matter of months if we had the Fair Tax. If that happens, our liquidity crisis would be solved almost overnight.
The Fair Tax replaces corporate and personal income taxes, estate and gift taxes and federal payroll taxes with a progressive national retail tax on all consumption, once and only once, in a way that is fair to low-income people and gives the federal government the same real spending power it has today. Twenty-three million dollar's worth of research says the plan will work.
The Fair Tax lets you decide through your purchasing decisions how much tax you pay and when you pay it. It lets you keep your entire check free of federal taxes and withholding. You skip the April 15 filing date and "do your taxes" at the checkout counter-and walk away with no chance of an IRS audit.
Tell President-Elect Obama, Congressman Wilson and Senators Voinovich and Brown that you demand the Fair Tax.
'No' vote was aimed
at BL superintendent
To the editor:
I think that the recent Beaver Local levy non- renewal needs to be addressed. I know I speak for myself and many others. Our "no" vote was a vote against the administration, specifically the superintendent Sandra DiBacco. This woman has wreaked havoc within the Beaver Local Schools and needs to be removed. She is disrespectful of the students, teachers, parents and alumni. She shoots off her mouth without full knowledge of the facts. I know that any future levy of any kind will fail, as long as she is superintendent.
When is cruelty to
animals going to stop?
To the editor:
When is this cruelty to animals going to stop? This is an outrage how Brenda Austin and her gang are finding more and more ignorant, careless and heartless people. I agree with Becky Sterns' letter saying the law needs to step in and start doing something about these people instead of nothing. They need to be punished. These "low lifes" need to be chained outside without any food, water or shelter for a couple of days and see how it feels. If you cannot take care of the animal(s) you do have, don't neglect them and make them suffer, that is the coward's way.
Needs help in forming
a U14 soccer team
To the editor:
My name is Parker Zamarelli, and I am looking for a U14 in door soccer team to play on or enough players that would like to join together and make our own team. I have two United High School seniors willing to coach, we just need a team. We would play and practice in Salem. (Jon and Joe Karmazin).
If you are interested, please call 330-337-316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I really enjoy playing soccer, indoor and out, and just wanna play. The next session at the Community Center starts soon, so hurry!
Local Goodwill thanks
community for help
To the editor:
Each year Goodwill designates the month of November as Thanks for Giving Month.
This year your local Goodwill would like to thank our community for their generous support. Your contributions help us to provide employment, vocational services, Radio Reading and other important services to people with disabilities, disadvantages and other barriers.
I'd also like to thank people who shop in our stores, our customers for whom we provide janitorial services and contract work, and the referral agencies and funders of various services.
As the tight economy impacts legitimate charities, your donated items and support are increasingly important so I am urging donors to know to whom they are giving.
Many charitable organizations like Goodwill utilize your donations locally to provide services to our friends and neighbors.
Thank you for your continued support. Please donate wisely and well.
MICHAEL W. MCBRIDE,
Let's embrace the
season of Christmas
To the editor:
Christmas has always been an important time of the year for me.
As a child we celebrated Christmas just like everyone else. Over time the biggest difference was when we started that celebration, when we ended it, and how much money was spent.
We live in a completely different society today. Yes, Christmas is still the most important season of the year and most of us celebrate it, but we certainly do it in many different ways. As we know the time element and money spent is quit different.
When I was a child, one week before Christmas the tree went up, and one week after, the tree went down. Now we see them in September and October in the stores and November in our homes. I made a wish list and was thrilled to get even part of that list. Today our children feel entitled to the whole list.
We live in a feel good society. Many think that whatever brightens us up or makes us feel better is OK. I used to think that putting all the Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving was wrong. Why would we be ready for one holiday when the nearest one isn't even here yet? I hear people say we are dishonoring Thanksgiving and Christmas by doing so much so early. It seems like we go from one holiday to the next thriving on the excitement. But right now, I am looking at this in a different way.
Our times are troubled with economic hardships, joblessness, loss of homes, illness, some without insurance, depression, broken hearts and everything we face, we need some feel good time more than ever before. If someone wants to put up decorations early or play Christmas music all day, go for it! It might remind others of the real meaning of the season. Anything a person can do to remind or teach another the meaning of Christmas, not just for the week before and the week after, then do it. You won't get my criticism. It thrills me to think that even through all the commercialism we might be able to get the meaning of Jesus Christ's birth celebrated for as many days as we possibly can. If someone is thinking of Christmas in October, then great! We thank people with gifts, we show love with gifts, we share, we sing, we praise, we eat great food, we help those in need and we give of ourselves during this time. All because of the Baby Jesus.
Maybe you are not a Christmas person. Maybe you are a scrooge. Maybe you are not in one of the situations I have described, money is not a problem, you have a job, good health, surrounded by loved ones, your cupboards are full, and everything is OK. Then share with someone else. It might just be what they need and they can have some good feelings for a change.
The season is all about faith and hope and love. Just one song, or light, or candle, cookie, smile or gift could give someone the lift they need that day. So, clean your house, dust, sweep, bake, do whatever you do and decorate if you want!