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September 20, 2009
Salem News

Chamber responds to

Super Nationals topic

To the editor:

In the fall of 2005, Brian Caiazza and Corey Ward of the Steel Valley Super Nationals Core Promotions organization met with myself, Mayor Larry DeJane, Service Director Joe Julian and the Vice President of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Gary Abrams regarding the city of Salem hosting the Steel Valley Super Nationals event.

Quaker City Dragway was where the majority of the action would be, but Salem could possibly serve as the city for all of the "cruisin'" and after party fun.

The meeting was quite positive and discussion of Salem as the "host" city was agreed upon by all present at the table as a wonderful opportunity for our community to be recognized and appreciated by visitors who would be coming here.

Channel 21 from Youngstown interviewed Gary Abrams and myself and we gave a positive outlook for cruising in downtown Salem. At the time of that initial meeting, there was no mention of costs to Salem, other than extra police coverage for added security.

January of 2006 arrived and it was the dawning of Salem's Bicentennial year. It came to the attention of the chamber that the Steel Valley Super Nationals were definitely interested in coming to Salem in June of 2006, prior to the kick off of the Salem Bicentennial.

The Salem Retail and Business Association, a division of the Salem Chamber, was enthusiastic about this event, as it gave another opportunity for the city of Salem to be promoted, and to be at the forefront of summertime fun.

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce was in the midst of organizing and funding the Salem Bicentennial and many volunteers were quite involved with preparations for this once in a lifetime celebration. Planning meetings and preliminary fund raising had begun in June of 2004 for this huge community celebration that would have a budget for the chamber of nearly $85,000.

Information was given to the Retail and Business Association that $10,000 was needed for an "After Party" for the Super Nationals and that there would be additional, ("not yet determined") miscellaneous expenses, as well. No budget was given at that time.

The Salem Retail and Business Association had already committed $10,000 to a "Quakertown Cruise In and Parade of Decades" that would be held during the Bicentennial celebration, before realizing that the Super Nationals was a possible event that could be sponsored by the group.

Chaired by Tom Eddinger of Zeigler's Trophies and held on South Broadway Avenue, the S.R. and B.A. had the antique and vintage car event/parade in their budget. They needed to raise funding for it, since the "Quakertown Cruise In and Decade Parade" had previously been added to the 2006 Bicentennial event schedule.

Not able to commit to another $10,000 fund-raising endeavor, unfortunately the Salem Retail and Business Association could not financially back the Super Nationals event, at that juncture. The Salem chamber organization, having committed close to $85,000 to the Salem Bicentennial, also could not commit to raising another $10,000-$20,000 for the Super Nationals.

The Retail and Business Association and the chamber of commerce at this point were in an uncomfortable position; as the moral support was there to hold the event, but finances and volunteer power were obvious drawbacks to the Super Nationals event to be put on by the Salem Retail and Business Association.

Enter Barb Weikart-Kuder, past president of the Salem Retail and Business Association, Mike Grimstad, former board member of the Salem chamber and Dan Nye, former vice president of the Salem Retail and Business Association. With determination and the backing of many other volunteers, they were able to gather the resources needed to pull off a very successful Super Nationals event.

The Salem chamber lent assistance where it could, by answering hundreds of phone calls and by passing out numerous brochures and maps to the hundreds of inquiries directed to our offices.

Electricity was provided to the group for the food vendors via the chamber which owns several utility poles; (previously used during the Salem Jubilee).

The S.R. and B.A. was able to provide advertising in the Super Nationals printed map and they also strongly encouraged downtown, east end, and other local businesses to stay open later than usual, thus promoting retail sales in the Salem area.

Fast forward to 2009 and the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce was approached by the city of Salem, and our board of directors has said "no" to taking over this event from the group which has run the event for the past several years. City Hall has asked the Salem Retail and Business Association to help out, and the consensus of the group, is to assist in a stand-alone capacity, whether that be an event or a specific venue.

The chamber of commerce operates on a very tight budget and cannot take on the full burden of the Super Nats expenses. By no means has this ever been a negative vote of the Super Nats by the chamber, but instead, it has always been a financial one.

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Salem Retail and Business Association's mission is to be "The catalyst to promote the best possible business environment in Salem."

Let's get back to it, and work together for a better Salem!


Executive director,

Salem Area

Chamber of Commerce

Shame on those not

allowing Obama in classes

To the editor and local school districts:

As I write this letter, I am looking at the front page of the Salem News dated Sept. 9. Bomb hoax. Drug heist. Rape. Sexual battery. Reading on ...domestic violence. Underage drinking. Numerous drug offenses.

We, as a town, have some serious problems and a change needs to start with our children. Why then, I ask, would so many local school districts deny our children the opportunity to watch President Obama address them specifically.

His speech to the nation's school children was profound and a much needed message for all to hear. Stay in school and get an education. Set goals to make something of yourselves. So many in our communities have not lived up to their abilities and have succumbed to drugs and alcohol which is literally tearing apart our neighborhoods.

The only way the President's speech was political in nature, was by the fact it wasn't shown. Shame on the minority who were so afraid to let the majority hear from their President.



Takes offense with

Salem News op piece

To the editor:

In reference to yesterdays (9/10/09) editorial in the Salem News - I fail to see how our president encouraging the students of this country to stay in school, set goals, work hard and take responsibility for their own future is something that is political in nature and is placing children, parents and educators in a bad situation.

There is a lot more to be concerned about in our public schools then worrying about our president encouraging our children to get an education.

Tom Butch,


Calling smaller schools

'lower tier' is insulting

To the editor:

The recent Leetonia at Lisbon football game marked the renewal of one of the longest running rivalries in Ohio. The teams are now members of what is known as The Inter-Tri County League, a consolidation of the former Inter-County and Tri-County Leagues. The Inter-Tri County League consists of two tiers, the upper and lower. The larger schools compose the former and the smaller schools, the latter.

The current league name is awkward at best. I am offended that, under the current system, the smaller schools are referred to in the media as "lower tier" Schools. The reference is unfavorable, unfair, and unnecessary.

I would like to respectfully suggest that the following be considered: The league be re-named the Multi-County Athletic Conference and that the designation of the tiers be abandoned in favor of the Blue and Gold Divisions. The Blue Division would be composed of the bigger schools with the smaller in the Gold Division ("G" for going smaller). Under this arrangement, the league name would not sound like two prefixes that do not belong together and no student athlete would be labeled as "lower tier."



SHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Committee appreciative

To the editor:

On Aug. 27, Wayne Russell, Lou Slaby, George Begalla, Dan Russell, Brian Petrucci, and Dave Plegge were honored during the fifth annual Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held at the Salem Community Center.

With all of the reminiscing, the visual highlights, the ring and award presentations, and the great food, it was a wonderful evening.

The Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee would like to express its sincere gratitude to the following companies and individuals whose support helped to make the fifth induction dinner and ceremony such a success:

Bailey Financial Planning, Butech Bliss, Chappell and Zimmerman, Vehicle Victories, Julian Electric, Jesko Associates Inc., Salem Giant Eagle, Tolson Comfort Systems, Bridgett Cutlip-State Farm Insurance, Morris Financial Group, Quaker City Castings, SHS Class of 1971, Salem Boys Basketball Team, Dental Express, Dental Health Group, Dr. Matthew Yerkey, Salem Computer Center, Wings Warehouse, Insurance Center of Salem, Gene's Drive-Thru, Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, InstaCopy, Mindy Wertenbach, The Salem Community Center, Zeigler's Trophies, Nick Cool, and Lorrie Weingart and her staff.


Thank you also to the Salem News for all of their coverage.

We look forward to starting the process all over again and working toward the Class of 2010.











Salem in need of

hospitality businesses

To the editor:

This is response to an article in the News, dated Sept. 9. The article titled "Some not resting easy with bed and breakfast request." Well some are not resting easy with the city of Salem! We need hospitality businesses in Salem.

With over regulation and taxes, a business cannot survive in the city. As stated by Steve Andres, (city service/safety director), "She just bought the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood." Mr. Andres you are right, not only did she buy the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood, she bought a house in the wrong city!

Now we are going to deal with the mess of the "Quaker" City Super Nats and trying to buy a race track.

Since when does the city have the right to take over private businesses? They don't. They have no business getting their paws on private domain. I know the city is just trying to survive, but please stay out of my pockets to fund these harebrained ideas.

How many of you are not resting easy with the city of Salem?



Family of Kimberly

Poisson is grateful

To the editor:

We, the family of Kimberly (Steves) Poisson, would like to thank all the merchants and individuals for their contributions for her benefit dinner and white elephant sale.

Also a thank you to all the people who put their time and energy into making this benefit possible. Thank you for all your prayers and sympathy during our time of sorrow.

The family of

Kimberly (Steves) Poissson,




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