Healthy, maybe; wasted, for sure

Healthy, maybe; wasted, for sure

Unless you’re in America’s school cafeterias on a daily basis, it is difficult to grasp the scope of the food being thrown away. It is most unfortunate that so many kids find school cafeteria food so unappealing. The people in charge of operating the cafeterias are doing an admirable job providing meals at breakfast and lunch.

Do today’s kids really appreciate healthy foods? Maybe a better question is whether parents are giving their children an opportunity to experience healthy foods.

The USDA and Michelle Obama’s entourage of food nutritionists and health experts have vowed to re-energize America’s lunch program. Students going through the cafeteria line are given a choice for their main entree and a vegetable and fruit must be taken. They cannot refuse either fruit or vegetable. So, what happens to the food not wanted? You guessed it ... in the garbage. Tons of food thrown away every day, while food banks across America are pleading for donations.

Another problem with the new program is that kids are leaving school hungry. The USDA has put a limit on caloric intake for elementary, middle school and high school. You cannot put children of differing heights, weights and gender on the same caloric intake.

Let’s head back to the drawing board and initiate some common sense ideas for America’s school lunch programs best suited for the 21st century child.

Stephen G. Casi, East Palestine

First snow and first failure

Our first snow of the year and everybody claims they were ready, or were they? I had the pleasure of traveling the Mahoning County roads (which are always the worst and still are), state roads, Austintown Township roads, Canfield roads, and Youngstown roads. They were all terrible.

I had to take a family member for a doctor’s appointment or else I would not have been out. I’m hoping when the new Mahoning County engineer takes over he does a lot better job of monitoring our roads in the winter and taking care of the chuckholes in the summer. The outgoing engineer gets a D- on the job he did.

Andy Pappagallo Sr., Mineral Ridge

Tunnel and fracking may not mix

South Range School is plan- ning to put in a tunnel under Route 46, to get the children across to the new sports complex. Under normal circumstances I would applaud their efforts; however we are not dealing with normal circumstances.

The problem is that according to Dr. Yuri Gorby, Ph.D., “When drilling occurs if a pocket of H2S (Hydrogen Sulphide) is hit, it will be released and become airborne.” “H2S gas is heavier than methane and will migrate to the lowest level possible.” If drilling releases this gas, it could migrate into this tunnel.

I attended the public meeting with ODOT on Dec. 11 and relayed my concerns along with the following facts: H2S is odorless and colorless, and as of 2000, a third of all fatalities in oil and gas drilling was caused by H2S. The state of Ohio is sitting on huge pockets of H2S. Oil and gas rigs fly flags in case they hit it, so they will not be downwind. Chemicals used in drilling create even more H2S.

I’m not stating that this will happen, but it could happen. I’m not willing to take that chance with even one child. I urge parents and students to call the school and voice your concerns. I have asked the school and ODOT to build a bridge rather than a tunnel.

We are dealing with circumstances that we have never dealt with before. There are too many variables that we do not have all the answers to.

Patti Gorcheff, North Lima

Traffic cameras are a racket

I was shocked and appalled after watching the news the other evening to hear that Youngstown, just as it is on the threshold of shaking off its “gangster” mafia-run past, would actually consider installing traffic cameras.

The city of Steubenville tried this a few years back, and not only did they have to remove them, it cost the city more money and had no return.

Akron has traffic cameras, but only in the school zones, which are clearly marked. I would agree upon that.

You cannot use Columbus as an example in your studies, nor the Cleveland suburb of Parma. People in Columbus and Parma may as well be another country compared to the citizenry found throughout the Mahoning Valley.

I will not go back in the city limits for anything if this traffic program is continued. I can live completely without having to run into Youngstown for anything.

Why would the city take the risk of making business suffer in Youngstown?

I remember sitting with my Grandfather years ago as a child, every Sunday watching movies about World War II which he fought in, and would remember the dreaded Gestapo on every street corner. Is this what Youngstown wants?

In protest, if this traffic camera project is to happen, I may plan on gathering friends and posting them on every major intersection throughout the city with Nazi-related signs, warning drivers and tourists alike about the dangers of the city government of Youngstown.

Danny Douglas, Niles

A primer on the Humane Society

Due to the ongoing con fusion about the role of the Humane Society of Columbiana County, I offer this description. It is a 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization. We sponsor trained humane agents that are sworn into duty by the probate judge in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.

Currently, we have two agents who investigate concerns for all 532 square miles of Columbiana County on a volunteer basis. Both agents have paid, full-time jobs outside of their humane agent duties and respond to leads on an average of 30 hours per week. All concerns that are received are reviewed by the agents and prioritized for maximum efficiency. Our Humane Hotline (330 831-2613) should be utilized to report suspected animal abuse or neglect. All calls must go through central dispatch to maintain an accurate log of calls received. If a call is not answered live, please be sure to leave a detailed description of the complaint and the full street address and city where the concern is located; it is not uncommon for more than one city to have street names in common (i.e. Main Street, Maple Street, etc.) Should you choose to leave your number and we need additional information, you will receive a return call requesting further details. Failure to provide a full address may result in the delay or inability to respond to the concern.

Once calls are given to the agents and an investigation is opened, no details will be released. This ensures that the investigation will not be compromised. Due to confidentiality, agents will not discuss details of any case, even with the party that made the report. If the reporter receives additional information, this should be called into the hotline so that it can be dispatched to the agents for follow up. Agents spend their time investigating concerns; doing follow-up visits to help pet owners provide proper care (as define by the Ohio Revised Code); and providing resources, such as straw, food, dog boxes, and educational materials to the public. Our goal is to try to help animals remain in their own home whenever possible. The majority of the calls we receive are able to be resolved through education and follow-up visits. If these visits do not yield improvements in care, then by law, the animals may be removed by the agents and charges may be filed against the owner.

With your help, we can work together to improve the lives of animals in Columbiana County.

Heather Jurina, Salem

The writer is director of operations for the Humane Society of Columbiana County.