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June 14, 2009
Salem News

Says downtown merchants

need to get act together

To the editor:

I am a strong advocate of downtown Salem. I grew up in Salem. When I was a kid going into town was a treat. There were stores of every variety. Would you believe we had a meat market, a fresh fruit and vegetable store that was open year round, a hotel, two movies and two large clothing stores, a men's hat shop, two groceries and a water fountain? Downtown Salem was an exciting, wide awake place populated by stores managed by merchants who were inspired to make a success of their enterprises.

Things do change. Along with change is often apathy, disappointment, and in this town a disregard for customers.

Here is something we have all experienced that resulted in a trip to Walmart. We stop downtown to buy something only to find the store closed. There is a wide variety of "store hours." Some stores are closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Some close on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We cannot depend upon hours . I have stood in front of stores and read their open and closed notes on the windows only to find those lists of hours don't mean a thing. Recently I approached a store who's sign on the door said "open to 5 p.m." to find the merchant either didn't come in that day or he chose to go home early. That gave rise to another trip to Walmart.

I have a message for our downtown merchants. Unless you get your act together, I will stop playing games with you who operate your business as a part-time hobby, and just pass through downtown Salem like the semi trucks.



Reader impressed with

staffer's Indy story

To the editor:

Memorial Day weekend I picked up the sports page and started reading one of the articles on the upcoming Indy 500. I got about a quarter of the way through before I looked up to see it was a byline by Larry Shields.

I thought to myself that this was every bit as good as a national AP story or a piece from a national sports outlet. It was informative and showed a great deal of knowledge and insight by Mr. Shields.

As a kid growing up in central Illinois the 500 was always "the race" and it still is to me. The Salem News, its editors and writers have won many awards for their work and this is just another example of the fine paper we have here.

Oh and next year if you need somebody to go along and carry cameras and bags, get sandwiches and be a gofer, I volunteer.



Expresses thanks to

the Reilly School p.t.o.

To the editor:

The Reilly School staff would like to personally thank the Reilly P.T.O. for their phenomenal job this year. The purchases you made and the programs you provided gave our students a unique opportunity to learn and made for a memorable year for our third and fourth graders. Your time and dedication was very much appreciated. You are a great group of people and we appreciated all of the support you gave the staff and our students.


And the Reilly staff

Laid off reader upset

with gas price escalation

To the editor:

I'm writing in regard to the gas prices that keep rising and nobody can seem to explain why, since we have an ample supply of oil and gas.

I've been laid off since May and don't have a lot of extra money and now I have to pay more and more for gas each week. It makes it hard to go job hunting or even driving to interviews when gas is starting to sky rocket. And now that there is a new president in office I don't hear anybody complaining that President Bush is responsible for the high gas prices.

I'm glad to see that the oil companies are still raking in billions and billions of profits while over 9 percent of Americans are out of work. I think its time for our Congressmen and women to step up and say enough is enough.

Thank you.



Has a need to explain

purpose of Tea Parties

To the editor:

Let me start out by saying thanks to all of the Democrats, Independents and Republicans that spoke at our last two Tea Parties and the local Democrat office-holder that helped us get the first one off the ground. I keep finding myself having to explain what these Tea Parties are all about; we believe, like our founding fathers;

1. Our government should be limited in size and power.

2. We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights ...

3. Our elected officials should be men of integrity, and strong moral character not the lesser of two evils. Strong penalties should exist for those who betray the trust of office.

4. The people and not Hollywood or the media should choose our candidates.

5. Our media should be open, honest and objective.

6. The United States of America was founded as, and meant to continue a democratic republic and not a socialist or communist state.

7. Our legislators must present, for approval bills that are direct and to the point, with no room for hidden language or agenda.

8. The creation of new bills and laws should not be hidden or undertaken without the knowledge and consent of the American people, not merely someone bought and paid for by a special interest group.

9. Our legislation must be free of wasteful or excessive spending.

10. There must be term limits for all branches of government, no lifetime positions.

11. There must be an end to the "tax code" as we know it. A fair tax on consumables would prove to be much more effective and productive.

12. The House must not allow legislation to pass by that is loaded with "pet projects" and excessive taxes to pay for it.

13. The unconstitutional 16th amendment, imposing income tax must be repealed.

14. A federal government that is reduced in size and power will not need as much revenue to operate; therefore federal taxation could be greatly reduced for the most part.

Since these Tea Parties have begun, and I have become involved, the first attack was directed at me because I am a minister. And my values are not Judeo Christian, but my kind of "Christian values."

Actually I consider myself a Messianic Christian minister who strongly supports Israel, I believe that "whoever blesses Israel will be blessed and whoever curses Israel will be cursed." I find many have insinuated that I must be a bigot, but I voted for Ken Blackwell for governor, I have many black friends, and I greatly admire the works of MLK Jr. who was in fact also a minister and a Republican, none of whom I admire or respect because of their color, but their character.

Too many people are only concerned with the issue of two letters D or R, beyond that they are largely uninformed and completely ignorant of the facts. This is not a Browns vs. Steelers thing; there are many, much more important issues at stake. Making personal, slanderous attacks and blackmailing the messenger does not void the truth of the message. Not only are they childish, but criminal as well. The personal, threatening mail I have received has been surprisingly few but has strengthened my resolve and proven to me that there is a lack of descent argument against what we are doing. I only pray that people will start opening their eyes to see what is going on around them and then stand up, speak out and get involved.



Upset with congressman

Wilson missing votes

To the editor:

Last week Charlie Wilson again started missing votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to the Internet site Mega-Votes:

Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act - This bill would authorize programs, advisory groups and spending to improve security at U.S. airports and rail systems. It also prohibits the TSA from using whole-body imaging machines at primary security checkpoints of airports. Rep. Charlie Wilson voted Not Voting

Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act - The House approved this bill that would provide paid leave to federal employees for four of the 12 weeks of parental leave available to them. Rep. Charlie Wilson voted Not Voting

Why do we pay Charlie Wilson $174,000 a year if he won't show up and represent the district on House votes?

Charlie Wilson is in the House on my tax dollars. I expect him to be there in the next week to vote on the following issues:

Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 - H.R.2346 - The House and Senate are both expected to vote on final approval of this war supplemental bill.

Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 - H.R.2410 - The House is scheduled to vote on this bill that would authorize funding for the Department of State and the Peace Corps through fiscal year 2011.

Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009 - H.R.1886 - The House is expected to work on this bill to authorize democratic, economic and security assistance to Pakistan.

If Charlie Wilson doesn't want to do his job, which is to vote and represent the district, he should be removed from Congress in 2010!



Enjoys following the

Women's Softball WS

To the editor:

One of my most favorite sports events of the year happens at this time. It's not the Stanley Cup Finals, but the NCAA Women's Softball World Series. This seven-day event is one of the most exciting events of the year, and this year's was one of the most memorable.

Not only did the games keep my eyes glued to the television, with this year having the most lopsided game in 27 years and most runs scored in a game, with Alabama giving a 14-0 attack on my beloved Arizona Wildcats, a single home run game record, and an attendance record set, but the players throughout the games showed class and great sportsmanship, more than I've seen in any sport in years.

One example was when one team from the SEC walked over to wish another SEC team good luck before their game during warm-ups. Can you imagine the Duke basketball team wishing North Carolina good luck before a game during the NCAA Tournaments just hoping that their conference would be well represented in the tournament? These young women take pride in their team when they put on their uniforms, from supporting each other after every play, to the cheers and chants that the players make up in the dugout, which proves how close knit the players are after spending a season with their fellow teammates. Even during interviews, especially the senior classmen, tear up when talking about putting on their colors for probably the last time, since there are only five professional softball teams in the United States, and with the recent decision of eliminated the game in the Olympics (for now), which makes it rare for their careers to continue.

I am proud to see that there is still sportsmanship and class in sports and a focus on teamwork, which is so rare nowadays when sports seem to be all about individual players and accomplishments.

Thank you to ESPN who broadcasts this event, and to all the players in the tournament who show all the followers of the sport, especially the young girls that look up to these athletes, that you can still be show sportsmanship without having to lessen the desire to win.





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