Explains flag policy at Grandview
To the editor:
In reference to the article printed in letters to the editor, on June 21 by Judy Heston. The flags at the cemetery are not removed by the cemetery employees after Memorial Day. They are put on by the military clubs of Salem, and the second Wednesday after Memorial Day these clubs come out and take them off.
Anyone wishing to put their own flag on at that point is welcome to do so. We are proud to recognize the veterans of our community. We at Grandview Cemetery take great pride in making our cemetery look nice for Memorial Day, and throughout the year.
We at Grandview Cemetery want to let the readers know that this is not the policy of the cemetery, and that you are welcome to put your own flags in the flag holders if you wish to do so, and that they will not be removed unless they become weathered or damaged through time.
THOMAS W. WRIGHT,
More on the same topic
To the editor:
The Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association is the responsible organization for providing the American flags on the graves of veterans in the cemeteries of Salem during Memorial Day and removing the flags. (This task would not be possible without the assistance of the local Boy Scout troops and packs which assist the veteran's groups.)
The Patriotic Association follows and adheres to the National Cemetery Association Directive 3220 which prescribes policy related to displaying, handling, storage and disposition of flags in Veterans Administration National Cemeteries.
(National Cemeteries allow for grave decorating flags only on Memorial Day.) This directive says, in part, that "graves may be decorated the weekend before Memorial Day and the flags should be removed shortly after Memorial Day. This will result in unilluminated flags during non-daylight hours; however, this is an authorized deviation from the flag code made necessary by logistics."
The Patriotic Association must walk the fine line between absolute American flag protocol and emotionalism. Small American flags should be available from cemeterians for special occasions; however, directives must be followed at given cemeteries realizing that the protracted exhibition of the American flag could result in its own desecration.
This budget cut would be painful
To the editor:
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and the General Assembly are making state budget decisions that will affect millions of lives. We know that is an awesome responsibility and ask that our leaders invest wisely in healthcare that saves lives and millions of taxpayer dollars.
As the state budget cuts are passed on to local communities, Ohioans without access to mental health care or substance abuse services are experiencing these cuts in profound ways. While the cuts have led to thousands more jobs lost, they've also led to long waiting lists of people who now have nowhere to turn for help. Because of this, people are dying in Ohio at rates which have never been seen before. The incidence of murder-suicide events is two times higher this year than it was in the same time period two years ago. By the end of May, 47 children and adults had died violently and needlessly.
With increased pressures caused by the economic crisis, accidental overdose deaths have climbed to more than 1,300 a year. That's like crashing three 747 jumbo jets, one in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus with everyone dying. Cutting funding to the Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services is cutting the lifeline for men, women, and young people desperate for care.
In announcing his budget framework on June 19, Governor Strickland stated, "we must minimize the impact on our most vulnerable, especially children, the elderly and disabled." However, based on the Governor's numbers, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) will be cut by an unbelievable 28 percent, all of which will come from dollars that were to go to the community to care for Ohioans with substance abuse.
The governor's numbers would cut the Department of Mental Health (ODMH) an overall cut of 17 percent, and it must be noted that with this cut and the ODMH plan to hold money back for state hospitals, state funds for community-based mental health services will be cut by an astounding 34 percent. The end result will be that thousands of people will go without services and hundreds if not thousands more Ohio jobs will be lost.
Making huge cuts to community-based services for people with mental illness or addiction does not "minimize the impact on our most vulnerable citizens."
Invest wisely in Ohio. Behavioral healthcare is healthcare that keeps people working, paying taxes, and caring for their families.
My request is that Ohio's House and Senate will continue to stand by Ohioans who have mental illnesses or addictions by appropriately funding alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services.
PAUL MERZ, Chair
Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery
Cap and trade bill would hurt you
To the editor:
I was watching the news today and was amazed (but not shocked) to find that most of our lawmakers on Capitol Hill are not reading the legislation they are voting on. If they had, this cap and trade bill would have gone down 435-0. No one who really checks into this legislation could possibly want this for themselves, let alone represent other people's vote this way.
This bill (if passed) will be the largest tax and power grab in our nation's history. Now it's time the glamour and glitz fell off this Democratically-controlled House and Senate. The Republicans that went along with this ... shame on you, but since the Democrats took over in 2006 our country is on a path to destruction from within.
It is time we as Americans (Rep\Dem\Libertarian)people of all faiths stand up to this bunch in Congress and tell them "no" put up the hand and yell loudly "stop!" This atrocity that is being done to our children and grandchildren must stop. Our forefathers would not recognize what we have let ourselves descend into. Other than the fact that it looks terribly similar to what they rebelled against.
Now we need to put these folks up in Washington on notice "now"... Republican or Democrat, you must stop! This is our individual right, and responsibility. Read your bills before you vote, and stop sending this nation over the falls before it is too late. If not, there will be changes coming in 2010 and beyond, no matter what party you belong to you need to support this as an American. Call 202-224-3121 (the Capitol switchboard) ask for your rep, be respectful, but be firm, this has to stop.
As an American (with children and grandchildren) I am pleading with my fellow Americans to help wake these folks up.This cap and trade bill can be stopped in the Senate, but we need to insist (by phone or email or written letter) that it ends there. Get involved folks, before its too late. If this bill passes it will means massive increases in energy cost. We cannot afford this.