Mill Creek ice rink shouldn't be confined to history

Mill Creek ice rink shouldn't be confined to history
It was a great disappointment to see a letter in last Sunday's Vindicator from the Mill Creek Park's Board of Commissioners defending the decision to close the outdoor ice skating rink at the Wick Recreation Area.
If the ice rink was a liability to the park and couldn't make money or break even, that is one thing. But then to add an excuse about a 1 million investment required in upgrades that included a "protective roof" is ridiculous. If the rink didn't have a roof above it for 34 seasons, then why would it need one now? Isn't it an outdoor ice rink? I would think that a roof over an entire ice rink would be most of a 1 million investment. If a roof is such a necessity, then why doesn't the ice rink at New York City's Rockefeller Center have one?
Even more disappointing was to read that Rick Shale is part of the group defending the closure of the rink. For those that don't know, Rick Shale is a YSU professor and co-author of the 2005 book "Historical Mill Creek Park." The book is a historical account of the park with over 200 photographs. My impression of Shale was that he was someone dedicated to preserving the park's history. Though not as old as the rest of the park, the ice rink has served about three generations of Youngstown area residents with the experience and thrill of outdoor ice skating. Since the ice rink is now history, maybe it does make sense that Shale is involved. He can include it in a future book of his.
My wife and I used to frequent the ice rink before we were married in 1998, and up until it was closed in 2001. Each time we went it always seemed crowded with at least 50 or more skaters at any given time, even on week nights. We used to talk about how fun it would be to someday bring our kids there. Now in 2007, we have 2 young boys. It saddens me to realize that they will not have the chance to enjoy the brisk wind in their faces among the old pine trees and have a hot cup of cocoa around the real stone fireplace. I guess we'll just have to drive somewhere else for them to experience this. But it just won't be the same, either for them or for us.
How much disarray are we prepared to accept in Iraq?
During my 30 years of active Army duty, I attended the U.S. Army War College, where many courses on international and military strategy were included in the curriculum. I had a chance to put what I learned into practice during two assignments in the Army Chief of Staff's Office and Secretary of the Army's Office.
One of the most important techniques I learned in evaluating an international situation was using a formula. The formula is ends (objective or end state) equals ways (courses of action available) and means (resources available to implement a course of action selected). Putting aside whether one agrees with the president's proposal of Wednesday last, I believe he clearly spoke to the formula described above. I have noted, however, that most who criticize the proposal (while well meaning) by calling for an immediate pull out or phased withdrawal do no speak to the three parts of the formula choosing to speak about ways (course of action) while failing to say anything about the resulting end state that would satisfy them or the American people.
For example, would the American people be satisfied with an end state after we left that resulted in a Shiite/Sunni civil war resulting in several hundreds of thousands people being killed, or a major interruption in our oil supply due to a wider regional conflict? If the American people are willing to accept these kinds of possible end states, then the course of action of withdrawal is viable. If they are not, then withdrawal, phased or otherwise, is not a viable course of action.
My point is that whatever course of action one supports, the end state must be spoken in the same breath.
I know the pain of losing a soldier. It is a crushing blow to a commander and other unit members. Our elected leaders are honorable men and women all. We must hold them all to a full explanation of their view, not just a way -- a course of action.
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
A little respect would help make America beautiful
I am a freshman at Jackson-Milton High School. I've noticed since the 2004 election that most of the time our government is more concerned with picking on each other than running our government properly.
Please consider this example as seen through this 14-year-old's eyes: If my mom (we'll call her the Democrats) made a mistake and my dad (we'll call him the Republicans) brought it up every single day and continued to bash my mom about it, do you think that I (the American people) am going to enjoy my life at home? Will they be focused on raising me (the American people) and maintaining our household (the country), or will they continue bashing each other until their marriage (Democracy) ends in a divorce?
I see the government being run like this everyday. Through the news and newspapers, all I hear about is how this politician is being accused of one thing, while the accuser has done something worse. When will it ever stop?
Is it possible that the situation given above is the reason that a lot of people in the world want to destroy us and bring us down? Are we looked up to with respect, or are we sneered at and considered a big joke? Our media (freedom of speech) broadcasts to the world that no matter what decisions are made, our leader is a bumbling idiot. Why can't we worry about the issues that effect everybody's everyday lives instead of worrying about whether or not a certain president actually served in the military or not (I'm sure we all remember those political ads in the 2004 election)?
Has anybody ever noticed that if you treat someone or something with respect, most people will do the same?
Being only 14 and unable to vote, all I can do is ask my government, a government of the people and for the people, to please make us America the Beautiful again.
North Jackson
Taking a rap at the letter rapping Mahoning deputies
I would like to respond to the Jan. 8 letter suggesting that health care packages be slashed, pensions eliminated and wages cut for deputies at the Mahoning County Jail.
First of all, before you put pen to paper, make sure you have all your facts straight. I quietly giggled to myself at the statement that the deputies' salary was 100,000 a year. But the real figure is not laughable at all. Who are they going to get work for 22,000 a year and be on probation for three years? My husband is in his ninth year and doesn't make a whole heck of a lot more than that.
Then there is the ridiculous statement about eliminating pensions. For the deputies to work their whole career for under 40,000 a year and not collect on it when they retire -- yeah, that totally compares to GM and Delphi. Insurance premiums are taken out of their paychecks and we have to meet deductibles every year, we pay co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. The dental insurance is very expensive, with little to no benefits. My family pays for all of our own dental needs.
It's not the deputies responsibility to fund the jail. They are there to take on a job that most people couldn't or wouldn't do. It can be a nightmare. If you are not in this line of work, or are married to a person in law enforcement, you have no idea. They take of the worst of the worst. Crimes are being committed everyday. Where are you going to house these people? On the moon? No that would be ridiculous, just like some ideas I read in that letter. The letter made no sense and was insensitive to the hard working deputies and their families.