‘Made in China’ is norm
An incident the other day got me to thinking. My significant other and I were shopping at a seasonal store just across the state line. I saw a small stuffed bear and it was wearing a sweater that said “God Bless America” and it had a miniature version of Old Glory on it. I picked it up to see that it was made in China. A few weeks ago I was at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Cleveland. I went in to the canteen there to pick up a hat. I found a colorful hat celebrating U.S. Army service. It to was “made in China.” In a moment of weakness I purchased it.
What does it take for us to take back our birthright in this country? After a long sabbatical in self employment and part-time employment I am actively re-entering the job market for full time work. I do not plan to work for China, directly or indirectly.
I spent 10 days in China in 2008. Much of it was great: the wall, the acrobats, the opera, the parks, the historical artifacts, the cities, and the neighborhoods. But there was no doubt that it was a totalitarian country.
Last spring I was in Walmart, which local talk show host Louie Free calls “China mart.” I was purchasing a pot to grow some herbs on my condo porch. As I was waiting in line to pay for the plastic pot that I had randomly selected I turned it over. Expecting to see “made in China,” I saw “made in the USA.” I spontaneously blurted, “look, made in the USA.” A woman in the next line over gave a round of heart-felt applause. What does that say? We expect to see “made in China” on almost everything.
Patrick Pacalo, Boardman
Pick the school you want
The state of Ohio, like only five other states, funds its school districts in two ways: state support and local levies. This system works for some districts, but doesn’t for others. I happen to live in one of the others. Those of us in the Poland school district provide 78 percent of the funding for our schools by local levy. The state kicks in the other 22 percent. According to the state, because Poland is home to high property values, high household incomes, and highly educated citizens, we can afford to cover the 78 percent.
On the other hand, the Youngstown City School District receives 14 percent of its funding from the citizens in its district and 86 percent from the state. This isn’t the fault of Poland or Youngstown. It’s the way the state funds its public school system.
This May, Poland residents will need to ask themselves if they feel they are getting their money’s worth. Can they afford to continue supporting a district that protects their property values; attracts high income earners; populates their community with citizens that place a high priority on education; is one of only 81 of 612 Ohio public school districts to receive the Excellent with Distinction designation from the ODE; ranks below the county, state and national average in per pupil spending; and ranks 9th out of 14 Mahoning County school districts in operating tax millage?
If Poland residents understand and accept the responsibility that the state has presented them, the levies should pass. If this responsibility is too much for the majority to accept, they then have to ask themselves if they prefer a new look for Poland schools. One with no new text books, equipment, library books or new school buses. No teacher professional development, no new services and programs; no K-4 music, art, physical education or guidance and cuts to classroom materials, supplies and high school electives.
The decision has been left to us. We have the power to choose the kind of school district we want.
Bill Hegarty, Poland