Both churches and casinos have their place
The Rev. Jay Alford, pastor of Highway Tabernacle in Austintown, who led the 1996 fight against riverboat gambling, is again leading the way against local casino construction. In the July 26 Vindicator, Rev. Alford said, "The people who are most impacted on any of the gambling initiatives are the poor and underprivileged, who look for a way out -- a quick fix -- and it's not there."
Hasn't that always been the way for these people, with or without casinos?
Aren't these some of the same people that we see at the pastor's tabernacle and at thousands of other houses of worship every Sunday? The difference: The pastor's "casino" does not bring employment or cash to our community. It provides another type of vitality that we all hope for.
It is remotely possible to leave gambling establishments with some of "their" money. But that won't happen at Rev. Alford's casino unless bingo is part of the offering.
Does the reverend fear that a Las Vegas-type casino would draw his crowd to the evil wheels and leave him alone to tend the light?
The casino industry is a service industry, and some believe that it is the country's future, especially since more and more jobs are lost to cheap labor in other nations. Service employment cannot be exported like other employment.
If Pastor Alford can employ at least 5,000 people and inject millions of dollars into a local weak economy, God bless his soul, but in the meanwhile, let's sin a bit to pay the rent. And it is just possible that a few of those poor and underprivileged would end up becoming privileged since most of the casino jobs pay well.
FRANCIS J. RAYMOND
Salem Humane Society deserves second chance
I sat on the floor beside "Champ" while he rested his chin in one of my hands and let me stroke his head with the other. His eyes closed as he dozed and listened to the voices in the background describe the events of his former life. I wondered how this beautiful dog who'd endured a lifetime of abuse could be so trusting of humans. But as I talked to the staff at the Salem Humane Society I soon learned why.
While many would give up on Champ as merely another candidate for euthanasia, he's been given a second chance at life at the Salem Humane Society. Because of medical care, love, attention and time given to him by the staff, he'll make a perfect pet for someone.
There are many "Champs," each with his own story, who've been given a second chance at the Salem Humane Society. Because the animals are well cared for now in a clean and loving environment with caring people, I believe the Salem Humane Society deserves a second chance too.
JOYCE L. CANNON
Thanks to park police
I am writing to commend the Mill Creek Park Police Department. I am visually impaired, and on July 19, I lost my wallet in the area of Bears Den Meadows The officer and dispatcher acted in a very kind, considerate and efficient manner. My wallet was located and returned in a very timely manner. Hats off to them.