Apologizes for any misunderstandings
To the editor:
My apologies for any misunderstandings about my letter about the teachers and community's affect on Salem High School.
I in no way intended to degrade all the teachers of Salem High School but merely mention the wonderful ones I did have and still talk to today.
If I were to name all the great teachers at Salem High School the list would go on and on because I have heard about so many others from my brother's experience at SHS. However, I did not have them as teachers myself thus they didn't touch me as deeply. All I was saying is those teachers I mentioned stood out to me, again, I'm sorry for the misconceptions. All the teachers are not terrible.
Reaction to letter to the editor
To the editor:
Shame on Ms. Skiba. In a recent letter to the editor, the Salem alumnus offended and outraged the community of Salem and the students and staff of Salem High School. She claims that Salem is "embarrassing" for her and that the high school has "terrible teachers." As a current student at Salem High School I am outraged by her insensitive and offensive attitude toward her hometown and high school.
She has even the gall to point out the good teachers, as she sees it, while leaving those not named with a feeling of being slapped in the face. Oh the snobbery! It is comical that she chooses to express her feelings away from the threat of being tarred and feathered. However, in all this, she is wrong.
Does Ms. Skiba forget that Salem High School and Buckeye Elementary were rated excellent in the 2008-09 school year? And how it must irk her that Salem's head football coach, Mike Kopachy, led the Quakers to major victories last football season!
Her complaints fall on deaf ears for her accusations are that of either a jealous or spiteful intent. Never before have I been so happy for the community's support in the activities of Salem High School. Whether they are sports or not. The foyer to the high school auditorium was so packed with Salem citizens in anticipation of "Seussical" it was hard to breathe. Were you even there, Ms. Skiba?
When people ask where I am from I am not afraid and may even have a little patriotism when I tell them I am from Salem. Since Ms. Skiba's letter, it is ironic that now I be embarrassed for Salem for her own selfish attitude. She has hurt more than she has helped in this lashing out. I cannot say for sure why she chose to hurt her teachers and former supporters. But I can say for a fact that Ms. Skiba is now an embarrassment and disappointment of Salem in her immature behavior.
More response prompted by letter
To the editor:
(In response to thorns/letter to editor, 5/30/10):
I must be too optimistic, I was unaware of the "downfall" of Salem City Schools. Our school system, like many others in the area and across the country, has had their share of financial problems. But I feel the community supports all aspects of our school system. Our school levy renewal was just passed by a wonderful margin.
I did some searching on the Salem News website and saw many instances of names, other than in the sports section, that students' names were printed. The honor roll list posted every nine weeks to congratulate the students with all As or A/Bs. There are articles about the victories of our academic challenge team, pictures of Key Club events, announcements of the plays and pictures from the band and choir concerts. Sports has its own section, unlike the other school activities that are sometimes scattered throughout the paper. The newspaper also recognizes once a week "School is Cool" page and features all the schools in our district each week.
I have not met every teacher in Salem School district , but I haven't met one yet that didn't care about the students. Mrs. Cochran is an excellent teacher who challenges her students as well as her athletes. Mr. Kopachy doesn't make exceptions to you if you're an athlete, you take his English class, you do your work or your grade will show it. Mr. Viencek and Ms. Yereb go without explanation; they are totally knowledgeable in their subject of expertise. As for the grade schools, Mrs. Ruth Newman, one of our kindergarten teachers, came to our home three times a week when my son broke his leg to teach him so he wouldn't be behind, and that was kindergarten!! Mrs. Dean and Ms. Shivers are other dedicated and devoted teachers in our system.
I'm sorry you feel that way about your hometown and school system. I hope you can be open-minded and recognize that in many ways our community recognizes both the academic and arts of our students, whether it be GPA scores, plays, band or choir concerts.
Salem Class of 1983
Don't let the Salem police be taken away
To the editor:
Don't let the puppet (our city auditor) take our police department away from us. It troubles me that the city auditor would even think about destroying our safety forces. With all the unsolved murders and other criminal activities in the county I would think the sheriff's department would have enough to do without taking over the problems in Salem.
Could someone be advising the auditor thus making him no more then a puppet? We pay our taxes in Salem to keep our safety forces here in Salem. Don't let a few persons that could be behind the scenes ruin our small town way of life.
A city that is looking to attract new business and wants to expand to a new industrial park, plus all the drugs that are pouring into our town we can't cut or shift our safety forces to another entity. Please note, we are now short seven policeman and two firemen (five firemen) since the 1980s. Don't let a few people or one person destroy the safety of our fine city. People of Salem stand up and let your voices be heard, go to the next council meeting or call your council person or the city auditor to tell them that you want our safety forces left in intact.
Always remember that it takes two sides to sign a contract between the safety forces and the city. Our auditor has always been part of this. I have been a resident of this city for 44 years and have appreciated the services of our safety forces when I have needed them. They have always been professional and courteous to me and my family. I think we have the best safety forces in the country.
In closing maybe we should cut the puppet's (auditor's) strings and vote him out of office next year or outsource his job.
Claims mayor taking income from city
To the editor:
Praise the mayor of Salem for his outstanding accomplishment to change a "No Parking Anytime" sign to a "No Parking From Here to Corner " sign. The "No Parking Anytime" sign was put into effect in the 1990s on South Union between East State and East Pershing.
One "No Parking Anytime" sign was placed on the curb lawn at 146 S. Union in front of the stone triplex the mayor owns. His tenants and company parked on the curb lawn for many years at this rental property with the no parking signs very visible.
The police have been notified many times of this parking violation which could bring in as much as $100 for a parking violation, plus a minor misdemeanor punishable up to a maximum of $100 fine plus court cost for driving over a curb lawn.
So, for the mayor's own good and convenience, he felt the city did not need a $100 or so extra in parking violation income.
His rental income is more important to his own pocket, than parking violations is to the city coffers. So, the order was made to change the sign.
The curb lawn in front of the mayor's rental property is a real eyesore, or should I say a mud hole.
The mayor had no concern for a two-ton vehicle parking on top of gas and water lines under the curb lawn.
Rental units are to provide off-street parking according to zoning laws. I lived on South Union when this no parking ban took effect. I did not take this personally because I could not park on the street in front of my house.
I did talk to the Salem Police Department, and then Safety Director Hank Willard about the change.
They explained to me the safety concerns for the welfare of the city-the big emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, plus school buses, to get though more easily. We know how the mayor feels about the city firemen. (He led the charge to abolish them).
Also since the Salem News gives the mayor roses whether he is right or wrong (remember they endorsed him). They should give him a dozen roses for taking violation income from the city and praise him for his rental income with no safety concerns for the public.
When you're the mayor you can do what you want whenever you want for your own benefit. Maybe this is one of the mayor's 12 point plans or should I say 13-point plan to recover the city of Salem.
GARRY L. MORRISON,
Tired of people picking on the handicapped
To the editor:
I think people need to understand the mentally handicap. Some of them aren't like me and you, doesn't mean you need to pick on them.
People with handicaps sometimes have no other way to express themselves other than having behaviors with periods of yelling. This doesn't mean they are bad people. I wish people would just take the time and get to know them, they are are just like us.
When we have a bad day we find a way to release our stress, whether it's by yelling, punching something or counting to 10. They have a hard time expressing themselves and what's wrong. As an adult you tell your children not to bully or pick on people especially someone with a disability, but in return you do it.
So please take the time to realize this and quit calling the police when you hear them acting out, when there is a park just 100 feet away and that noise doesn't require you calling the police. There are other reasons you should call the police, not because you have a mentally handicap person for a neighbor. Why is it you could see and hear a domestic violence and not do anything or call police, but you don't even hesitate to call the police when a handicap person has a behavior.
I would like people to understand the mentally handicap have every right to live in your neighborhood, they pay their bills and their rent just like you and me. So leave them alone, they won't hurt you, they are just trying to live their life just as you do.
Clarifications regarding the Banquet in Salem
To the editor:
I would like to clarify some questions regarding the Banquet in Salem. Interested sponsors often ask how much does it cost and how many volunteers do we need to serve the meal?
The cost of the meal is directly related to the meals and whether the sponsor prepares the foods. Some sponsors buying wisely and serving meat loaf or chicken or casserole-type meals could spend as little as between $500 and $600. This could feed more than 200 people. Caterers could cost more than this amount.
In response to needed volunteers it takes abut 25 volunteers to staff the meal. The Banquet, however can assist the sponsor in providing volunteers. That is never a problem.
It is possible for a sponsor to give a designated cash gift and the program can provide al of the volunteers. There is also a $100 meat grant, if needed.
I hope this information clarifies the answer to the two often asked questions," What does it cost to sponsor a Banquet, and how many volunteers are needed to staff a meal?"
Chairman, public relations
The Banquet in Salem
On separation of church and state
To the editor:
The belief that separation of church and state is restrictive and in denigration of religion is a falsehood propagated by religionists who hope to enlist government support for their causes. Our concept of separating church and state is credited to the English philosopher John Locke, whose writings on the "social contract" greatly influenced those drafting the U.S. Constitution. His theory is not one for government participation, but a theory of individual rights opposed to government intrusion.
Locke believed that government lacks authority in the realm of individual conscience and that no rational person would concede such authority to government. For Locke, each person possesses a natural right to liberty of conscience, to freedom of personal belief and thought, which must be protected from government control. It is the importance of an individual's free conscience that expresses itself in religious tolerance and choice wholly separate from government interference.
This is the theory upon which our separation of church and state is based.
Such a separation is not a restrictive theory, as religionists would have us believe, but instead, it is a theory meant to insure a maximum degree of religious freedom by guaranteeing government will never participate in religion, or favor one belief over another. Those who want to eliminate the separation of church and state pretend to favor religious freedom when, in truth, what they want is government support for their own agendas. They fail to see that a separation of church and state assures a secular and impartial government in order that individuals under that government will enjoy the freedom to believe and worship as they choose.
Those who hope to dismantle the wall of separation always argue "original intent." Like Laura Gans, they are reluctant to directly quote the Constitution, which reads as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." One can understand their reluctance; there is little room there for ambiguity. Those words are not buried deep in the document, or hidden in an obscure clause. They are the very words the framers chose to begin our Bill of Rights, preceding even free speech, freedom of the press, due process, and all the others. What "intent" can we understand from that?
Because it is contrary to their purpose, religionists also always conveniently forget the earliest reference to separation in our laws. In 1797 Congress ratified a treaty with Tripoli that stated in part: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion . . ." That was then, and still is, as the Constitution says, "the supreme Law of the Land."
The separation of church and state was, in fact, originally urged on our Founding Fathers by Christians themselves, who feared government intrusion in their religion. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would now want to tear down that wall. I'm with Mr. Locke: What rational person would invite government into their religious lives?
ALAN B. COHEN,
Thanks for generosity toward scholarship
To the editor:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many generous individuals to the Hickey Metal Fabrication Vocational Scholarship of the Salem Alumni Association Scholarship portfolio.
In the summer of 2006, Bob and Nancy Hickey, Leo Hickey, Nick and Lois Peters and the Hickey Metal Fabrication Corporation donated money to the Salem High School Alumni Association to establish a vocational scholarship in the name of Hickey Metal Fabrication.
This scholarship was developed to recognize the non-traditional career paths and potential skills in a specific field of employment. This scholarship was first awarded in 2007 and is given each year to one or two graduating seniors from Salem High School who are accepted in a trade, vocational, or technical training program school and has shown financial need. The programs available for this scholarship include, but are not limited to, such things as auto repair, nursing, plumbing, welding, dental hygienic, electrical, cosmetology, computer tech, and HVAC.
Being a manufacturer right here in Salem, Ohio, we saw a need to help provide some incentive to these graduating seniors whose parents can't necessarily afford to provide any type of continuing education after high school. With today's economic conditions, we struggle daily to find qualified people who are educated and want to work.
May 30th of this year marked the fourth year Hickey Metal Fabrication Vocational Scholarship was awarded to Salem High School students. It also marked the 60th class reunion of Bob's graduation in 1950. Some members of his class have thoughtfully donated to the Hickey Metal Scholarship. Last year, also marked the 55th class reunion of Nancy's graduation in 1954 and her class also kindly contributed monies to the Hickey fund.
And a huge surprise at this year's alumni banquet was that the Class of 1960 who were celebrating their 50th class reunion this year and raised $21,350 of which they graciously chose to contribute half to the Hickey Metal Fabrication Vocational Scholarship fund and half to the Salem Alumni Scholarship fund. We would like to thank them all for their wonderful contributions and particularly to the Class of 1960 for their very generous contribution.
Our thanks go also to all individuals who have donated to our fund these last several years. It is our intent to see this scholarship continue to grow so that more Salem graduates can have to tools they need to get an education and then go to work. Again, it is with our heartfelt appreciation that we thank all who have contributed to the Hickey Metal Vocational Scholarship fund.
BOB and NANCY HICKEY,
NICK and LOIS PETERS,