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January 4, 2009
Salem News

Vandals try to ruin Christmas

To the editor:

We want to wish the vandals that tried to ruin our Christmas decorations on Christmas Eve of all nights, a very Merry Christmas! My father, who is 75, works very hard on decorating for us each year-especially for his grandchildren. These vandals forgot the meaning of Christmas-to celebrate the birth of Jesus.



Asks for support of EFCA

To the editor:

Middle class workers are fighting a steep uphill battle. Today's system is horribly broken, skewed heavily in favor of big businesses and their super-rich CEOs. As it stands, corporations can effectively veto their employees' efforts to organize and bargain collectively-coercing, intimidating, or firing workers who try to form a union. Businesses shouldn't be allowed to bully their employees.

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) puts the power to organize back in the hands of hard working Americans. The EFCA prevents corporate coercion and intimidation, and makes it easier for workers to come together around issues like health care benefits, pension plans, and safe working conditions.

Unionized working men and women are the backbone of the middle class. It's time we give workers the tools they need and reform the system unfairly biased towards major corporations and their super-rich CEOs. It's time to pass the Employee Free Choice Act into law.



Reminiscing about Salem's past

To the editor:

Last week Salem lost someone who helped shape the youth of our town of the 50s and 60s.

Donald "Ducky" DeJane was the manager of the Salem Youth Center, or as we called it, the Canteen.

In the basement of the Memorial Building, the Canteen was the destination for highschoolers on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

We met up with our friends, danced to the jukebox, played ping pong and pool, and learned how to socialize with one another. The place was welcoming, safe, and most of all, great fun.

Ducky greeted everyone at the door, charged us a quarter, supervised and tolerated our adolescent behavior.

He was a wonderful presence in our world. He was funny, kind, and fair while never being a pushover. George "Chunky" Begalla can testify to the latter: he tried many times as an eighth-grader to gain entrance, but Ducky didn't buy it.

For many reasons, the Canteen will never be replicated. But because of Ducky DeJane, hundreds of us lucky ones hold memories of growing up and enjoying that special place.

Ducky, you earned your wings many times over. Thank you.



SHS Class of 1965

Stimulus must include housing

To the editor:

With our nation in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Congress must be willing to take bold and decisive action to spur a housing and economic recovery. Unless we are able to halt the slide in home prices, the nation's housing and economic woes will continue to grow even worse. This is why a robust housing component must be an integral part of the new economic stimulus package under consideration by the incoming Obama Administration and new Congress.

A failure to stem the decline in home values and jump-start home sales will result in more foreclosures, more problems with troubled mortgage assets and an increasing inventory (already at record levels), which in turn will drag down property values even more.

In order to break out of this downward spiral, we need to get skittish home buyers back into the market. To stimulate demand, Congress should enact a meaningful tax credit between $10,000 and $22,000 available to all qualified home buyers, coupled with an aggressive interest rate buy-down program to as low as 2.99 percent for those who purchase a home in 2009.

These measures will stabilize home prices, prevent future foreclosures, restore consumer confidence and start creating jobs. Congress enacted similar policies during an economic downturn in the mid-1970s. It worked then. And it can work again.



Home Builders Association

of Mahoning Valley



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