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June 20, 2010
Salem News

Against outsourcing

of police department

To the editor:

I feel that outsourcing our Salem Police Department is detrimental to the health and well being of the citizens of our great city. Why should we pay our taxes to the county sheriff for services that he is not even able to provide the county residents?

Mr. Armeni sat on city council, before being appointed to the auditor's office, why didn't he as a councilman present an ordinance to repeal the pension pickup? Instead he sat on his hands and has let it be an issue for years. He apparently didn't do his job then and in my opinion he is not able to do it now.

Mr. Armeni is the protector of the city funds, he has sat back for years and allowed prior administrations to spend, spend, spend, knowing that the day would come when we would be in a crunch. Was this good policy? I think not.

Why is it that no one in his office was laid off, and the policeman were, and why was it there was no one laid off in the income tax department and the firemen were??What makes these departments any better than the police or fire department? Mr. Armeni was part of the discussions in these layoffs, so why didn't he start in his office first. Who is he protecting - it surely isn't the citizens of Salem.

If we set back and allow Mr. Armeni to continue to pursue this fiasco of gathering information to outsource our safety to the sheriff, then we are not doing our job to protect our families and the city we all love.

I also have a problem with Mr. Armeni, being as adamant as to not wanting another insurance company to submit a proposal for health insurance. Since when do we allow one company to have the monopoly??This is our money that is providing this benefit so why not get all the bids you can to try and lower the cost? Why is it not put out for bid after all it is over $25,000? I don't want to hear about your consortium, do what is right for the employees and the citizens who foot the bill.

Let's hope and pray that Mr. Armeni either doesn't seek reelection, or he is defeated because we don't need his vigilantism in our city government.

We as citizens of Salem who are paying for our safety forces need to come to council meeting and ask the hard questions. We may never get an answer because Armeni doesn't attend council meetings because he is afraid of the questions that will be asked, and he might have to explain himself. Come to council meeting and show your support for our safety forces, don't allow Jim Armeni to outsource our health and well being to the sheriff.



Beautification Committee

offers its appreciation

To the editor:

The Salem Beautification Committee held a program this spring called Adopt a Planter. It was open to individuals, groups and organizations to purchase flowers for the downtown islands and containers at various prices. We also offered to put a marker in them to inform the public who donated to each container/island.

Due to the poor economy, however, we were concerned if any of the planters would be purchased, hoping for at least a few. But much to our surprise and delight, people overwhelmed us with their incredible support both in Salem and out of state. We sold out in less than two weeks. But it didn't stop there, several people donated money for flowers to be planted anywhere needed. And many others, who not only purchased flowers, also volunteered to help us water them.

The SBC committee would like to express our gratitude to the following residents and organizations who financially supported our program this season, and for participating in our goal of planting pride-city wide-downtown.

Jock Buta, Butech Bliss; Carol Dawes, (Fairway Independent Mortgage Co.), Salem Preservation Society, Salem/Perry Democrats; Friends Roastery, Columbiana County Democrats, Bernice Melitschka, Joyce Carnes, Dennis and Mickey Cope Weaver, Ruth Harsh, Robin Heestand, Helen Sanders, Barbara Wright of Maryland, The Nyberg Family, Kevin Schaffer, Lowell Fleischer of Delaware, Quaker Paper, Atty. Earl Miller,, the Salem Post Office and the Salem News.

A special thank you to Salem Area Websites, Steven Rouse and Melissia Hartman, for making all the donor markers for the downtown planters at no charge; to Quaker Paper, Steven and Melissia, for designing our new SBC note cards; to Jon and Jennifer Arnold for a gift certificate; to Quaker Corner for the bows that go on the Home of the Month winner's basket; to Home Depot for their gift certificate.

SBC members could not complete, by ourselves, a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that is needed to be done in the spring. So it is important to acknowledge and thank the Parks Department director, Steve Faber; the Service Department director, Steve Andres; to Jim Phillis and crew for moving those heavy flower urns all around town, and to Doug Moffett for doing an outstanding job in painting all the posts, benches and railings in McCulloch Park. It is always a pleasure working with these gentlemen.

Also, a big thank you to Tammy at the Chamber of Commerce who did an amazing job in keeping the Adopt-a-Planter program so well organized. We could not have done this without her help.

Therefore, due to the generosity of all these donors, the service and parks department and the chamber of commerce; the citizens and merchants of Salem will have a beautiful downtown for all the special events that will be taking place throughout the summer and fall.



Co-chairmen, SBC,


Debt belongs to

Wilson and colleagues

To the editor:

After enduring another recent round of newsletters and carefully choreographed public sessions orchestrated by our esteemed Congressman Charlie Wilson on the alleged benefits of Obama-care (just why do the Democrats feel they have to keep selling us this so "obviously" wondrous legislation?) my inbox is blessed with yet another newsletter designed to promote his new found fiscally conservative perspective. All of a sudden after voting trillions of dollars for the Troubled Asset Relief Plan, The Stimulus Plan, and Health Care Reform, among numerous other tax and spend legislation, Congressman Wilson "shares the concerns many Americans have about our country's financial future." Yeah, right. He goes on about "the mountain of debt we've built up over the last several decades" without clarifying the fact this mountain has just about quadrupled in the last 16 months.

Congressman Wilson has proposed a "Check the Debt" Act whereby each us could contribute $3 towards paying off the national debt by checking a box on our tax forms much, he explains, like the current Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) option on IRS Form 1040. There is a distinction, however, in that the PECF option is a directed allocation of tax dollars already owed anyway (checking the box will not increase or decrease your tax payment) while the proposed Act will be a voluntary contribution of additional dollars on top of your existing tax burden. The IRS reports only 12 percent of tax payers ever click off the PECF option and less than half the people who file tax returns don't have to pay anything anyway so I doubt this proposed act is anything more than symbolic. Besides, if you feel inclined to personally pay down 0.0000000000004 percent of the national debt there is already a mechanism in place for you to do so through the Office of Public Debt. (Or just send a check and instructions to your congressman and I'm sure it will be appropriately applied). Unfortunately, even if this act were well supported by the public the amount netted would be no more than just an accounting rounding off error in today's government spending mode.

So, I'm sorry, I don't buy Congressman Wilson's goal to "enable and encourage all Americans to lend a hand in paying down the debt." He continues trying to solve debt problems with other people's money. The debt is his problem. He and his colleagues created it. They own it and they will be held accountable for it. "Check the Debt" will be history as voters "Chuck the Muck" out of Congress come Nov. 2.



Sorry Charlie! - Can't

borrow way out of debt

To the editor:

Is it possible to be a US Congressman and not have even the slightest understanding of mathematics, economics, or logic? I received the answer to that question this morning (6/11/10) upon opening an email from Congressman Charlie Wilson titled "'Check the Debt' is part of my plan to Tackle the Debt."

Charlie states, "My bill would add a 'Check the Debt' box to annual tax forms which would allow individuals to contribute $3 to help pay down the nation debt without adding to their tax bill." Yes, "...without adding to their tax bill." That is right, you are not making a donation, there is no additional tax, or revenue, and no reduction in spending-go figure.

Through sleight of hand in Charlie's shell game, we can pay down the national debt without additional taxes, without spending money out of our own pockets, and without cutting spending. There is one flaw in your "logic," Charlie: for every $3 that would go "...straight to the national debt." there would be a $3 reduction in revenues available for other government spending; therefore, government would borrow another $3 to make up for this lost revenue. This makes as much sense as my saying that I am going to pay off my credit card debt by reducing my income. Sorry Charlie, but you can't borrow your way out of debt-no matter how hard you try.

Charlie estimates that his "Check the box" scheme will raise nearly $100 million per year. He goes on to say that "Paying off that much of our debt every year would not solve our problem..." Charlie you got that right. If we assume no additional debt, and no interest on existing debt then, it would take only about 130,000 years to pay back that debt with your estimated $100 million per year. We are paying nearly $1 billion per day just on interest for current debt-yes per day. This means even if your $100 million per year were additional monies-which it isn't, it would pay less than three hours of interest on the debt. Charlie, how can you not be embarrassed to put your name to such a scam?

While the $13,000,000,000,000 ($13 trillion) existing debt is a big number it pales in comparison to the unfunded liabilities such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and government pensions. By the way, Charlie, you voted for that increased ObamaCare cost, and that massive bail out of the Bnaksters-didn't you?

Charlie, the answer is simple (doing it is difficult)-we don't need you wasting your time on feel good "check the box" shell games-we need you to cut the government spending! The longer you wait to cut government spending the fewer options that there will be and the more painful they will be-look at Greece.

There are two scenarios: Either Charlie doesn't understand that his feel good, "Check the Debt" box scheme is just "smoke and mirrors," or worse, he believes that his deception can fool the American voters-I will leave that for you to decide and remember your decision in November.

"Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us."-Pogo



NCAA softball didn't

get deserved attention

To the editor:

It amazes me how little attention the sports media has neglected to cover the NCAA Women's College World Series. While several people may scoff at the ideal of this year's tournament was ideal for sports fans and writers, the storylines behind the games prove otherwise.

First, last year's national champions, the Washington Huskies, along with two-time Player of the Year winner, Danielle Lawrie, were eliminated without a win in the double elimination tournament. The tournament also set a record, beating last year's, in home runs by the eight teams. The semifinal game between Washington and Arizona was one of the strangest games in recent history, due to several of the officials' calls which possibly determined the outcome of the game.

Second, the championship games proved what sport lovers dream of. The 10th seed Arizona Wildcats faced the fifth seeded UCLA Bruins, where between the two going into the finals have 18 titles between them, along with the fact that the teams are heated rivals, made it more exciting. These two are the equivalent in softball as a Yankees/Red Sox rival in baseball. Game one went into extra innings, with nine ties or lead changes. But even more than these statistics show excitement, the players themselves show great storylines, from Arizona's Brittany Lastrapes was playing with Mononucleosis, and she had to play two games on Saturday and two more on Sunday just to reach the finals, a long with her teammate, Lini Koria, who faced the death of her mother earlier in the year. Another notable athlete was UCLA's Megan Langenfeld, the pitcher and also a first baseman, had two home runs in one game.

While most of the sports writers are still following whether or not Lebron James was seen in Chicago, Florida, or New Jersey, most of the media have only used this tournament as a footnote, instead of covering all that is great in the sport; great rivalries, great players, and exciting endings.



Understanding our

past is key to future

To the editor:

Someone mentioned recently, that they had read a book titled, "Original Intent - The Courts, the Constitution and Religion," by David Barton. I checked out a copy from the Salem Public Library.

For those who aren't familiar with, "Original Intent," it is a chronicle of reference material and court cases regarding the issue of "separation of church and state," beginning with the Founding Fathers and ending with more recent religious case citations. It also includes a copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and brief biographical information on many of the founders. It is a demanding and difficult read, but worth the time it takes to pore through it.

There isn't any nonsense in, "Original Intent." Its pages contain objective evidence which supports the framers positions regarding government and religion, namely that their intent was not to install a wall of separation between the two. Rather, religion was to be the mortar which cohesively and inextricably bound together the principles of government. The current precedent setting reference to "separation of church and state," was the result of a 1947 court case, where the words of Thomas Jefferson were taken out of context from a letter he had written in 1802. The spirit of Jefferson's words were ignored by the courts in 1947 and continue to be ignored today. Barton eloquently demonstrates how the courts have systematically neutered the Constitution, stripping it of everything but words. He shows how the Supreme Court has assumed a role that was never outlined by the gifted, passionate and courageous individuals who framed our Constitution. If you pick-up no other book this year, read this one.

We are today, as our founders were then, on the cusp of great change. But we can only wisely charter our future if we understand our past. "We hold these truths...," or do we?



Appalled that jobs are

shipped out overseas

To the editor:

To My governor, senators and representatives:

I just called the 888 phone number to ask some questions about the Sallie Mae loan I cosigned for my daughter's education. The address on the letter informing us about repayment is from : Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18773-9500.

The phone number on the bottom of the letter is 1-888-272-5543. The person who answered had such a strong accent that I could not understand him. After asking him to speak slower, and to repeat his previous comments, I asked where he was located. He said "The Phillipines." I ended the call and decided to try again to perhaps get someone whom I could understand. The first thing I asked was where he was located. Again "The Phillipines!" Since I could understand him I asked my questions and hung up.

Why is a government agency using people in the Phillipines to answer calls?

I personally am a disabled CPA who would love a job answering questions about this type of loan. I find it appalling that our own government would ship jobs like this overseas when Americans are having a hard time making ends meet. I am writing this letter also to be published in newspapers to urge people to contact their government offices to protest this situation.



Upset that reservation

for room was canceled

To the editor:

It is surprising how far some will go to please people of status. I am a native of the Hanoverton area and in my retirement I operate a small jewelry store here in town.

This small village has a rich history and we are fortunate to have a beautifully renovated inn and restaurant that enjoys a reputation for fine food and accommodations.

In March, I decided to give a friend of mine from Broadview Heights a special July birthday present and I reserved a room for her at this establishment where I planned to have dinner with her as well.

In mid-May, the manager returned my check and informed me that my July reservation had been canceled and the room I had reserved was given to a person of importance.

Let me offer this warning: if you are planning an event there and reserving party rooms and hotel rooms, you might want to touch base periodically with the manager to make certain your accommodations haven't been commandeered by the important people.





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