Accidents are caused and allowed to happen
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the Salem News "Our Side" column on Nov. 5, 2013.
Thirteen-year-old Dominick Nardo of St. Clairsville, Ohio, lost his life in an all-terrain vehicle accident. You questioned why adults allow their children to operate these ATVs when they know the danger involved.
Some adults are trying their best to be the child's friend. You can't be a friend and a good parent 100 percent of the time. A good parent has to make unpopular decisions once in a while in order to train their children properly. All parents want their children to have fun, just as adults do when they ride ATVs.
You compared the ATVs to power tools or firearms. All of these come with instruction manuals and safety warnings, as well as safety labels placed in appropriate positions.
During my 38 years working for E. W. Bliss Co. in Salem, I served on the company's safety committee. I learned that accidents do not just happen. They are caused and allowed to happen. How are accidents allowed to happen? The safety rules or warnings are ignored for some reason. The rules and warnings cover every situation in order to operate the machinery safely; such as operator training, protective equipment, age requirements, etc.
When a young rider is hurt, is it their fault? They are having so much fun sometimes that they forget the rules and warnings. Their lack of experience for the situation at hand may cause a wreck. That is the reason why adults need to closely supervise children to see that they have a safe ride.
We as responsible adults know what can happen. If you need to make an unpopular decision to save your child's life, isn't it worth it?
My heart and prayers go out to Dominick's family. I know the hurt too well. My family lost our 13 year old, Abby Walker, in April of this year to such an ATV accident.
County auditor offers info for coming year
To the editor:
As your county auditor, I appreciate this opportunity to inform you of happenings that likely will have an impact on my fellow residents of Columbiana County.
Recently, I placed a notice in the newspaper informing the taxpayers that the new values for 2013 tax year, payable in 2014 are available for inspection in my office and on my website at www.columbianacntyauditor.org. Now that the "equalization" has been completed, you have the right to file an appeal if you have reason to believe that your property has been valued incorrectly. Forms to submit the complaint are available in my office at the county courthouse. You do not need an attorney to represent you and there is not cost for submission of the complaint. However, you do need to submit evidence supporting your value over ours.
Along those lines, my office has received several complaints from residents regarding a firm known as "Tax Compliance Services" offering to file a complaint on your behalf for a fee. Many of the complaints filed are using erroneous information, and there is a chance that no one will show to represent you at our hearing. Remember, you can represent yourself at no cost.
Regarding new values, I am pleased to announce that the county's residential values decreased by approximately 2.9 percent from last year's values. Of course, if you have made major changes to your home, the new construction might negate the value loss.
On the other hand, state mandated changes in CAUV values resulted in an average increase of 40 percent for those agricultural lands on the program. While a substantial increase in value, the program still provides a savings over non-CAUV values for participants. For those wishing to file a complaint, please be informed that my office has nothing to do with the valuations of CAUV property. Any complaints must be filed with the state of Ohio, since they determine such values.
Those owning industrial and/or commercial property likely will see no change in their values except for new construction.
Regrettably, we are not yet able to tell you what your new taxes will be, since the State of Ohio has not yet provided our effective rates. It is important to remember that a percentage change in value does not necessarily mean the same percentage change in taxes.
I think we all realize that the valuation process, and the many associated taxing issues, can be very confusing; however, I remain committed to trying to answer any concerns that you might have. Therefore, feel free to contact my office at any time, because I believe that an informed taxpayer, while they may not like what they hear, is better equipped to accept the evidence, when understood by them.
In closing, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. If you see me out and about, please take the time to introduce yourself and ask any questions you might have.
Asks for support of fundraising effort
To the editor:
Hello. I am from out of town staying in Salineville. I came up about a week ago because my uncle was losing his battle with leukemia at age 57! He passed away on Christmas morning. He was such a great man and was willing to help anyone out, even strangers. He is leaving behind a wife, four kids and 12 young grandchildren.
We are looking for ways to help them with the funeral cost because everything they had went to trying to beat the cancer. We are also trying to give a cushion for his wife to get by for a few months.
I have created a "youcaring" fundraiser that has links for facebook and twitter. In the upcoming month my other cousin is going to try to get a fundraiser at their local church by hosting a dinner. I was hoping that you would be able to pass along the word of the fundraiser. Below is a link to the fundraiser that has a really nice video that was made in honor of my Uncle John Wade. He really was one of the best men I have ever known. Below is the link. Please if you could share it we would be so appreciative. Thanks.
Some have earned right to government assistance
To the editor:
I wasn't completely shocked that the federal government chose not to extend unemployment benefits. I find it astonishing that the government doesn't see fit to continue benefits to individuals who have earned the right to assistance. These unemployed have held a position in the workforce and are entitled to continued financial support.
The federal government will continue to pay assistance to individuals whom have not held a job and are not in the market to find a one. The United States government will continue to pay billions in assistance to non-working individuals and discontinue support to individuals who in most cases will be back in the workforce soon.
The inalienable right not to be offended
To the editor:
In today's America is there a more egregious crime than to offend someone? Utter the wrong word and you will be immediately indicted, convicted, and sentenced. No presumption of innocence, no reasonable doubt, no trial. The only evidence necessary is that someone from a protected class could have been offended. Proof that no one was offended or even evidence that no one was in earshot is inadmissible in this court.
In the United State of Political Correctness there can be no more shameful a penalty than to be sentenced to the label of boorish, crass, insensitive or ignorant.
While most of us don't expect a life where we will never be offended or have our feelings hurt, there are those who refuse to consider that thin skin is a character flaw. The vast majority of people think adherence to these restrictions is insanity. However, that doesn't stop the self-appointed language-Gestapo from attempting to create a world free of individuals who believe in the inalienable right to freedom of speech.
This movement has little to do with its stated intent, not offending the litany of sainted "victims" groups, but rather is an attempt to control peoples' thoughts, ideas and expressions; defining acceptable behavior that is manipulated for political purposes. To these liberal busy-bodies the only acceptable world is one where everyone thinks exactly as they do. Their weapon of choice is ostracization but their quiver also includes speech codes, legal rulings and corporate policies.
The roots of Political Correctness can be traced back to 1920's Germany, where communist academics sought to impose their Marxist views on students.
It is currently championed by left-wing academics and sociologists who popularize the notion that western culture promotes systemic oppression against some groups by marginalizing them with labels. They identify ideas and expressions and use intimidation to eliminate them from popular discourse.
The 1949 novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell, introduced a concept, called Newspeak, of using language to limit thought. In the book, an omnipresent government using surveillance and public mind control, persecutes all individualism and independent thinking which were known as "thought-crimes." The tyranny was justified in the name of a supposed greater good.
In America today we can see evidence of this tyranny in the destruction of individualism. Competition is unfair, everyone gets trophy, everyone has to be included and treated the same.
Singling out an individual's accomplishments excludes others, so that is unacceptable. When you remove the connection between success and reward, praising people when they have not earned it, in time, they feel like they deserve it. That's the source of our growing entitlement culture. Lost is individual responsibility and accountability, the drive to compete and win, the motivation to be recognized for achievement and superior performance. The very character traits that made this country great are being decimated by this ideology.
Currently, people are not being hauled off to prison for what they think or say, but that day is quickly approaching if something doesn't change. Managers can no longer give employees truthful feedback because of the fear of being sued for harassment or discrimination. You cannot say anything without concern that the PC police are lurking in the shadows. People are being forced to live a lie.
While most Americans believe in the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and understand that language shouldn't be policed, the PC crowd are violating that right virtually unimpeded.
Typically, Americans quietly fall in line with this unwritten speech code. In fact, most of the time we enforce this unwritten speech code among each other. The First Amendment is our front-line safe-guard against the imposition of tyranny, which is why any restriction on expression such as libel and slander are considered extremely serious only to be decided by the courts; not by the dictates of a mob.
It is easy to defend speech with which you agree, the true test of a commitment to the First Amendment is to defend speech that you abhor. The PC crowd obviously has no regard for the First Amendment. It's time Americans stood up and reclaimed their right to free speech. Boycott the mainstream media that bombards us with subtle messages about what we should believe and what "appropriate speech" consists of.
As Benjamin Franklin warned us, "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." They have begun, will we let them succeed?