County better off without Hannis' political influence
If a stunning ignorance of the facts and the willingness to flat-out lie at the drop of a hat were the primary qualifications for the office of Mahoning County Democratic party chair, then Don L. Hanni III would undoubtedly be the hands down favorite in the contest for the post which, according to Vindicator political writer David Skolnick, the former school board member will seek next year.
Fortunately, those characteristics, possession of which Mr. Hanni amply demon strated in his letter to the editor of May 27, almost certainly -- and reassuringly for the community -- doom him to finish the race for chair where he belongs: in the gutter.
Of course, I'm not surprised by the fact that Mr. Hanni would engage in a scurrilous attack against me and current Democratic Party Chair David Ditzler -- after all, we've been beating the living daylights out of Hanni-backed candidates for the past three years:
Rick Durkin and Joe Rafidi, whose overtly racist campaigns against Sarah Brown Clark were nothing less than a disgrace; Debbie Taylor and her regressive view of county government; Sam Moffie and Kathy Miller, who teamed up in a ridiculous, but typically Hanniesque attempt to steal a commissioner's seat, along with others too numerous -- and distasteful -- to mention.
I was surprised, however, that Mr. Hanni would choose to lie about something -- that I have been paid handsomely by the Mahoning County Democratic Party after every election -- that is so demonstrably false.
The fact is, and the party's campaign finance reports will show, that I've never received one penny from the party for any of the work I've done since Mr. Ditzler became chairman.
I've provided my services free of charge in large part to ensure that talented, caring, ethical Democratic candidates defeated the ragtag crew of so-called Democrats, Republicans and Independents Mr. Hanni and his cohorts have supported in recent elections.
I would urge all concerned Democrats, as well as every citizen of Mahoning County, to summarily reject Mr. Hanni's quest to gain control of the party. The last thing we need in this community as we stand on the verge of ridding ourselves of the most visible and troubling symbol of our dysfunctional political system is a return to the racism, sexism, regression and tolerance of corruption that were hallmarks of the Democratic Party the last time someone named Hanni sat as party chair. Hopefully, this Hanni's willingness to lie will end his campaign before it begins.
LEO A. JENNINGS III
To stop cheating, schools need to change methods
The items you've run about cheating in college are very interesting. The most recent by a YSU teacher is interesting but offers not a single solution.
I suggest that schools abandon the term paper or research paper. Instead students should be sent to the library with projects which involve research topics and the use of various resources in the library. For instance a paper using magazine sources only. A topic using scientific journals only. A topic using newspapers only.
Do research and even involve original sources, but students would know that the exercise is to learn how to use as many library resources as possible. The papers could have topics as varied as the teacher's imagination.
After this is done, students would write in class on personally assigned topics giving them practice in writing and avoiding plagiarism.
This involves a great deal of work for the teacher, but it is my experience that if cheating is to be avoided, much work must be put into preparation of assignments and reading/grading extemporaneous writing.
The second part of that item about kids demanding credit because they paid their fees is silly. Those students should be kicked out of college physically.
Cheating on tests is yet another matter. This, like the question of phony papers, requires endless preparation by faculty members, which eventually drives many good teachers to quit the profession or to look the other way.