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OUR READERS WRITE

February 8, 2009
Salem News

Thankful for a Good

Samaritan act toward her

To the editor:

Good Samaritan,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the gentlemen who stopped Jan. 28 at 6 a.m. near Buck Run to help me dislodge my car from a snow bank. I was traveling to work when I hit ice, lost control of my car, and rammed sidewise into the snow bank. This gentlemen stopped, offered a hand, and went to work helping me remove my car.

He went out of his way to help someone in need. We were able to get the car out and exchange pleasantries but I was unable to get his name.

I wanted him to know that his kind gesture helped turn a bad day and bad situation into one of thankfulness and soulful reflection. It is refreshing to see that there are still folks willing to help a neighbor in need. Thank you whomever you may be. God bless.

SHANE GIBSON,

Salem

Doesn't agree that

Palmer deserved a 'rose'

To the editor:

Salem City Councilman Justin Palmer was recently awarded a "rose" by the newspaper for moving up the political ladder.

Justin will be leaving Salem for the rewards of a bigger job in Washington, DC. I wonder if a "rose" is the appropriate award for leaving Salem in the financial mess Mr. Palmer has left us in.

When running for elected office in Salem he promised new jobs, while he was successful in defeating the proposed joint fire district.

Now, Justin leaves Salem with no new jobs as he promised, and not even a new piece of legislation to his credit.

"Roses" to Justin Palmer ... a real career politician at the expense of Salem taxpayers.

TAMMY KNOX,

Salem

With rising costs, what

incentive do students have?

To the editor:

Beginning in the 2009-10 school year, the college tuition freeze in Ohio will "thaw" and tuition to many state colleges, including YSU, will likely increase. As a college student, I must pose this question: What incentive do students have to go to a state university when the cost keeps rising? The average annual tuition for Youngstown State University is roughly $7,000.

This figure doesn't include summer semesters, which are priced per credit hour at $223.50. Considering that YSU is a commuter school, the yearly cost of $7,090 for room and board doesn't apply to the majority of students. When you consider residential schools like The Ohio State University though, the $8,073 charge for room and board on top of the annual tuition charge of $8,679 really begins to add up.

A majority of college students take out loans to fund their education and the rising cost of tuition could be a deterrent for incoming students to choose the universities they really want to attend. When the freeze is lifted for the upcoming school year, it will be unlikely to return due to rising operating costs for the universities and less state funding due to the projected $7 billion deficit in the biennial budget that commences on July 1.

If it is necessary that the tuition freeze be lifted, a cap should take its place limiting how often the tuition can be raised and by how much. This will prevent tuition from going up by the maximum 6 percent every fall, making it harder for students to pay the yearly charge. By doing this, college students will be given the edge they need against the rising cost of higher education.

LAUREN SHAUGHNESSY,

Columbiana

Opposes use of coal

for electrical production

To the editor:

The entire life cycle of coal is dirty and irresponsible. Our nation needs to stop building new coal-fired power plants, put an end to mountain removal mining, and reinvest in communities that have been harmed by coal. Here are some facts on the US coal cycle.

Burning for electrical production from coal:

More than 120 million tons of solid waste is produced each year from coal combustion.

Burning coal releases over 100 solid pollutants such as arsenic, selenium, lead, cadmium, chromium, boron, thallium and molybdenum in the form of fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and sludge.

Coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of air pollution in the US. Air pollution from coal-fired power plants cause smog, soot, and acid rain. This causes many health and economic issues. Smog pollution alone is estimated to cause $500 million in reduced crop production each year.

Coal-fired power plants represent the nation's largest source of carbon dioxide, the predominant human contribution to global warming.

All existing and proposed coal plants release 100 percent of their CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

In 2006, coal plants emitted 32 percent of the US's carbon dioxide emissions, about the same emissions as from cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes and boats combined.

Even the newest and most efficient coal plants emit more than twice as much CO2 per megawatt-hour as new combined cycle natural gas plants.

Burning coal releases fine soot particles, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes, worsen asthma, cause irregular heartbeat, and lead to premature death. Soot, or particle pollution, is also the leading cause of haze and reduced visibility in the US.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of sulfur dioxide pollution (acid rain) and the second largest source of nitrogen oxides (smog).

Coal burning is the largest source of human-generated mercury, contaminating lakes, streams, fish, and humans who eat fish.

Most coal waste is dumped into landfills and surface impoundments where they can leak out and contaminate water supplies (and have on multiple occasions in at least 23 states).

Approximately 39 percent of U.S freshwater withdrawals are for coal plants, taking water away from crop irrigation and human use.

This is the future Congressman Charlie Wilson wants for Ohio? This is what the BAARD Plant wants to bring more of to Columbiana County? I'll take solar, wind, and geothermal energy any day.

DENNIS SPISAK,

Struthers,

Mahoning Valley

Green Party,

Ohio Green Party

Teen dating violence is a concern needing attention

To the editor:

Governor Ted Strickland has declared this week Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week in Ohio. As the governor states in his proclamation, "One in three teenagers are affected by dating violence; and, nearly one in five teenagers in a serious relationship has reported being slapped, pushed, hit, threatened or coerced by a partner ..." Teen dating violence is much more than puppy love gone overboard. It is a sign of serious relationship problems and victims and abusive teens alike need our help.

Even though many teens do not report abuse to parents or law enforcement, teens do report abuse in surveys. Twenty-five per cent of teen girls who have been in relationships report being pressured to perform a sexual act. Thirty percent of teens say they are sent text messages up to 30 times per hour by a dating partner inquiring about their whereabouts, companions, or activities. Clearly, teen dating violence and abuse should be an issue of concern.

Abused teens suffer the same types of injuries, emotional distress, and depression as adult victims of abuse. Teens who engage in physical or sexual abuse are in violation of the law and can face criminal prosecution.

Both victim and offender need the help of caring adults to overcome the effects of an abusive relationship. Healthy relationship role models are needed to guide by word and example. Intervention from friends, family, school personnel and religious leaders can help a teen find the help they need.

Education about healthy relationships can help teens see that there is a better way to engage in friendships and beyond. In fact, these types of educational programs should be in our schools and other educational venues during elementary and middle school years as well. Anti-bullying programs, dating abuse awareness programs, and healthy relationship education is available from many agencies in Columbiana County such as the Christina House and Family Recovery.

A community educator can come to your school and help you in the classroom or provide you with materials. You can call the Christina House office at 330-420-0845 or the Family Recovery education department at 330-424-0531 for information about available services.

Parents and teens can learn the signs of dating abuse and how to help by visiting websites dedicated to the problem such as chooserespect.org or teenwire.com. Get the facts and talk to teens that you care about. You have the best chance of making a difference.

NICKIE OSTICK,

Victim Outreach

Coordinator,

The Christina House

Stimulus package is

pork on a platter

To the editor:

Has no one noticed that the latest government stimulus package is pork on a platter? Usually, our representatives do their best to hide such spending from us by attaching the excess fat as riders to more important legislation. The economic crisis has provided them with an excuse to do openly what they generally keep under wraps.

The first $750 billion of our money was handed over, without strings attached, to the very banks and financial institutions that dragged us into this mess, and our money vanished into their vaults never to be seen again. The economy proceeded to get disastrously worse, and all us average folk have to show for it is enough added national debt to bankrupt the next three generations.

Anyone who believes that the next $850 billion dollars about to be handed out by the federal government to various branches of state, county, and local governments will end the crisis is delusional.

Government forking over money to other branches of government is a shell game. The legislators have taken what used to be called "earmarks" and "pork," renamed it "stimulus," and set up business as usual, passing out dollars to everyone except the folks that actually need it.

The powers that be have come at this problem from the wrong end since the meltdown began. If the billions of dollars in the first stimulus package had been channeled to the people who needed it-those who couldn't pay their mortgages or their utility bills or their grocery bills- real cash would have been spent where it would have done the most good. Instead Hank Paulson and George Bush funneled it to their cronies at the top of the pyramid as one final payoff for eight years of support. You did a heck of a job, Henry.

Tell me if this sounds democratic: Millions of people lose their jobs and their homes because the banks and other financial institutions the people trusted lost billions of the people's money in bad investments.

Rather than help the people by giving them back the money through tax cuts, refunds, rebates, and direct stimulus checks, the government takes another $750 billion of the people's money and gives it to the same banks and financial institutions who lost it in the first place. Where of course it promptly disappears. Now the government wants to do it all a second time, with $850 billion of our money.

We should be screaming bloody murder. Lead me to the barricades. When does the revolution begin? How do we have the gall to call ourselves Americans-heirs to Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington- if we just sit back and let them get away with this? Good Lord, when do we start fighting back? Come on, people. It's our money! Let your representatives know you want it back directly and you want it back now.

ALAN B. COHEN,

East Palestine

A different kind of

economic quiz

To the editor:

An economics quiz for the Kool-Aid drinkers.

Example A

Family A has an income of $30,000. They have outstanding debts of $100,000 and cannot pay the debt load they currently have.

To stimulate their economic situation, however, they decide to borrow $10,000 to buy a new pool this spring. Is their $30,000 income worth more or less and why? Can they afford their new debt load?

Nation A has revenues of $3,000,000,000,000. They have outstanding debts of $10,000,000,000,000 and cannot pay the debt load they currently have. To stimulate their economic situation, however, they decide to borrow $1,000,000,000,000 to buy new roads, bridges, and ports this spring. Is their $3,000,000,000,000 of revenues worth more or less and why? Can they afford their new debt load?

Example B

Charlie American is a hard working 18 year old in 1982. Charlie loves the hamburger industry and takes a job flipping burgers at McBurger Queen. Charlie works very hard, 10 hours a day, six days a week, earning $3.35/hour. A burger at McBurger Queen is 39 cents. Time passes and Charlie continues flipping burgers 60 hours a week, until he is now earning $7.25/hour in 2009. A burger at McBurger Queen is 89 cents. Charlie hears Nation A wants to raise his wages again to nearly $10/hour. Will Charlie be able to buy any more burgers long term with his $10/hour as he was able to with his $3.35/hour in l982? Why?

People, we better get our heads out of our cabooses or our country will be in ruins in a couple more generations, if not sooner!

DANIEL CHAPANAR,

Homeworth

 
 

 

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