Be proactive and say no to ever larger problems
To the editor:
Dear Salem residents:
I would like to comment on what is proposed for the property along Cunningham, Butcher and East Pershing streets of Salem.
1. At the meeting on Dec. 18, Councilman Nestic projected on the wall a copy of the lease agreement NRP Group would be using for this project that made reference to the fact that if one of the renters has a police record they would be evicted from the development.
My problem first is anyone with a record will have someone with a good record rent the unit. Do we want to be proactive or reactive? Reactive is the fact that this will draw a larger population that can bring a higher chance of drug problems, which anyone in the police or legal professions will tell you is the root of 95 percent of our criminal problems. So after this population move in, it is too late. To be proactive is to look long and hard at this development and decide if we want these problems invited into our community. Turn to the page of court news, do we already have a drug problem, do we need more?
2. NRP representative Mary Huda stated that the company will be asking for $14 million in tax incentives for the $18 million project which is the first phase of 120 units from the state of Ohio. Mrs. Huda also stated that with the tax incentive, it would require them to accept anyone who applies. They state they have a very strict application for entrance; she also stated if they have empty units they could make a business decision to consider government subsidy renters to fill those apartments.
3. Finally, we saw a picture of what the new building would look like which was very nice, but let's be reasonable. We should be looking at what a large subsidized complex looks like after 15 or 20 years. I have seen in my travels some of these large complexes that by the end of these time periods need to be torn down or boarded up. This complex will be Phase I 120 units, Phase II 180 units and Phase III 50 small single-family lots.
Mrs. Huda stated that a Salem study showed 1,200 people in Salem could afford the $600 for a one-bedroom unit and $800 for a three-bedroom unit. In my experience, calls in this market are for one-bedroom apartments maximum of $400 per month and the government rate is $380 per month. And renters want three bedroom houses for $450 per month. If there was this big demand, one of our local developers, of which the existing property owner has been for years, would have built the units.
I assume that is why NRP needs to get tax incentives from the state to make this a good business decision which brings in the state requirements to accept all comers. And if those prospective $600 to $800 renters are out there, they must be in our existing units which means they will move to a new shiny apartment.
My business sense sees this as causing the existing landlords, with mortgage, taxes and insurance to pay, to either lose their properties (more foreclosures), lower their rents, get less desirable renters and if the units are paid for, to let them set empty to keep the units from being destroyed by bad renters. This would lead to 300 units empty if these apartments are built. Do you want 300 empty units in Salem?
4. The supporters say we need housing to draw young professionals. Do any of the colleges, universities or trade schools advertise that when you get your diploma we will help you find good housing or do they brag about the placement rate in good jobs.
Please use and support our tax incentives to get good jobs into Salem and our young people will come home to work and raise the families that will make Salem a place where you want to walk down the street, join the service clubs, know the neighbors, shop our stores, attend our churches and have safe, drug-free schools for our next generation. A smart young professional would be buying with the low interest rates and the large number of houses available in the Salem market, not paying rent.
Let's hope our officials are proactive and say no to even larger problems for the future of Salem.
Description of the Humane Society
To the editor:
Due to the ongoing confusion about the role of HSCC in your community, I offer this description of our service.
The Humane Society of Columbiana County is a 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization. We sponsor trained humane agents that are sworn into duty by the probate judge in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.
Currently, we have two agents who investigate concerns for all 532 square miles of Columbiana County on a volunteer basis. Both agents have paid, full-time jobs outside of their humane agent duties and respond to leads on an average of 30 hours per week. All concerns that are received are reviewed by the agents and prioritized for maximum efficiency.
Our Humane Hotline (330-831-2613) should be utilized to report suspected animal abuse or neglect. All calls must go through central dispatch to maintain an accurate log of calls received. If a call is not answered live, please be sure to leave a detailed description of the complaint and the full street address and city where the concern is located; it is not uncommon for more than one city to have street names in common (i.e. Main Street, Maple Street, etc.) Should you choose to leave your number and we need additional information, you will receive a return call requesting further details. Failure to provide a full address may result in the delay or inability to respond to the concern.
Once calls are given to the agents and an investigation is opened, no details will be released. This ensures that the investigation will not be compromised. Due to confidentiality, agents will not discuss details of any case even with the party that made the report.
If the reporter receives additional information, this should be called into the hotline so that it can be dispatched to the agents for follow up. Agents spend their time investigating concerns; doing follow-up visits to help pet owners provide proper care (as define by the Ohio Revised Code); and providing resources, such as straw, food, dog boxes, and educational materials to the public.
Our goal is to try to help animals remain in their own home whenever possible. The majority of the calls we receive are able to be resolved through education and follow-up visits. If these visits do not yield improvements in care, then by law, the animals may be removed by the agents and charges may be filed against the owner.
With your help, we can work together to improve the lives of animals in Columbiana County.
Director of operations
Humane Society of Columbiana County
Here's an idea:?Bring prayer back to schools
To the editor:
This country has seen its share of senseless shootings and killings at our schools. After every event school officials, parents and political leaders get together and express their grief and sorrow over what happened. Our country mourns as it should over the lose of lives both young and old for no reason.
Most of the time the killer is not around to give us any insight why they wreaked havoc and brought such sorrow to our communities and nation. Our school leaders and others try to come up with a "plan" to ensure that it never happens again. Well it's quit clear that all the training of staff, studying of earlier shootings and trying to get tougher gun laws passed that none of these solutions has worked.
As a nation we cry out to God our creator and ask "why" would he let this happen? We always turn to Him after these senseless acts of violence happen.
Here's an idea, bring prayer back to our schools. Turn to God before these senseless acts occur. Nothing else has worked I think we can all agree on that. Maybe a child or even worse an adult who is supposed to protect our child will hear a prayer and turn back from what they are getting ready to do.
For those parents that do not want their child to hear or participate in a 60 second prayer before class starts those children can be placed in a room where the prayer cannot be heard. We have all said that in the 40s and 50s we never had this violence in our schools.
Prayer in schools ended in the early 60s and things have gone downhill from there. We took God and his protection out of our school systems. I'm not saying that bringing prayer back to our schools will end all violence or correct everything that is wrong in our school systems but how can it hurt? We have brought guns into our schools to try to stop the violence by having our school hallways monitored by armed police officers.
So we are telling our children that the way to stop violence is to create a violent atmosphere. I hope all school officials, political leaders and board of education officials see this article and give very serious thought to bringing back prayer to our schools, and maybe bring back a sense of peace to our students and parents as well.
JAMES C. KING,
Parent concerned about content of book
To the editor:
As most parents would be, I was excited when my eighth-grade daughter came home saying she wanted to participate in the English Festival at YSU. For this event she would need to read seven books listed.
She found out about the festival from her English teacher at school and was given the book list by the teacher. She did not have to have a signed permission slip to sign up. She was struggling to read the book "King of the Mild Frontier" by Chris Crutcher. To help, I decided to read the book. I am so glad I did. There was much content I felt was questionable. Mentioning of pornographic magazines, unsafe use of a gun, humiliating hazings, just to name a few. Until I read toward the end of the book. The most offensive event depicted involved a boy's private parts and a popcorn bag. I was appalled that this book was given to my daughter at school by a teacher without my prior consent.
Schools complain that children are exposed to much violence and sex, that parents should monitor what they watch, read and play. Yet they give this to my child. Upon looking into it further there are three books marked by YSU to be questionable. I would expect the school to know what they are giving out, as well as directly inform the parents. Until now, I would have felt a book provided by the school in any fashion should be acceptable.
In our home I do monitor what my children watch on TV, the movies they see, and video games they play or watch being played. I teach my kids what is appropriate behavior and what is not, at age appropriate levels. I normally wouldn't consider myself an overly conservative parent. Trying to teach values and morals in these times is challenging, we would expect that if our child is doing a school encouraged activity they would not be given material that would give them ideas or information above what is appropriate for their age.
Upon speaking with the school principal, I was told she was not aware of the content and apologized. I was told she didn't have to read the book. However if I am still to let her participate in the English festival she will still hear discussion of the book, and scene acted out about it. If eighth grade is invited to and encouraged to participate in this event, they should be given age-appropriate material.
A public thank you for all first responders
To the editor:
An open letter to all first responders (Fire, EMS, Police public, private, paid, volunteer):
In light of last weekend's horrific events, both in Newtown, Conn., and in Alliance, I feel compelled to say thank you to the men and women who are first responders. I have had the distinct honor and privilege of working alongside many of you for the last 11 plus years.
This has given me a very unique insight into just what you face and endure on a day to day basis. I am amazed at your courage. I am moved by your perseverance.
And I am humbled by your love for your community and fellow man. I am not sure if the average citizen really knows and appreciates the sacrifice and effort that you offer daily. I fear that too often your contribution to your community may go unnoticed. The job you willingly do is one that cannot be done by just anyone.
You embrace a tremendous responsibility each time you answer the call for help. I, for one, want you to know that I am grateful that you are where you are. I am grateful that you run in when others are running way. Because you allow God to use you on behalf of your fellow man, those that are hurting and in danger have hope.
MARK C. REICH, pastor,
Beloit Evangelical Friends Church
Beloit Fire and Rescue