Pay more attention to lunches

Pay more attention to lunches

An excellent letter to the editor last Sunday by Richard J. Sammartino of Boardman discussed the disgusting taste and content of our children’s school lunches.

As a grandfather of six school age children, I, too, am concerned for them, as well as all children subjected to food that many people wouldn’t even feed to their pets. The question I have as a grandfather and taxpayer is this: Who makes the decisions and their qualifications in determining the kind and quality of food being served to our children?

I believe public hearings should be held, with a county and/or statewide committee, made up of nutritionists, parents and the students who eat this food, to determine the kinds of food to be served, and still fall within budgetary parameters.

Who better to judge the food served, than those who actually eat it, and therefore reach a consensus and final determination by said committee members?

Robert R. DeFelice, Boardman

Thankful to be here

Two events that took place in November are directly related. First, the Mahoning Valley lost a brave and truly religious man, the Rev. Lonnie Simon. This long time pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church saw the battle for civil rights as a moral issue. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King so that all Americans of all races should have equal rights, including the right to vote. He fought against poll taxes, literacy tests, and other impediments to prevent African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. He bravely faced the possibility of physical abuse and death. Fortunately, he did not suffer the same fate as Dr. King.

Soon after the Rev. Simon’s demise, there were elections in our country. People of all ethnicities, religious, and political affiliations waited in long lines to exercise their right to vote. Hopefully, some of those people looked toward the heavens above and thanked Rev. Simon for his efforts and struggles to obtain their right to vote. One can only imagine the absolute joy and ecstasy he must have felt as an African-American, Barack Obama, was re-elected president.

We, as an American people, have so much to be thankful for. After our elections, there were concession speeches. There we no guns, tanks, or other weapons employed as a means to dispute the election results. There was before the election, and after the election, freedom of religion. Americans are free to travel within the United States and overseas.

As I sit down to dinner with my siblings, on Thanksgiving Day, I will offer a special prayer of thanks to my wonderful parents who made the decision to leave Ireland and come to the United States of America. Yes, the United States is not perfect, but it still is the greatest country in the world. So, thank you, Mom and Dad.

Robert E. Casey, Poland

Not a fan of ‘American idol’

During the last few years we’ve heard the word recession used in describing the country’s economic condition. I don’t consider the word recession by itself adequate in describing the overall condition of our economy. Even in a healthy economy, recession will occasionally occur, but will usually heal itself. However with an economy that has not showed a balanced budget in four years and in that same time period run up a debt of $5 trillion dollars and this overshadowed by a national debt of over $16 trillion. I frankly don’t see how we can refer to this situation as a recession. To believe this is to completely ignore the obvious.

Well, the election is over and it will be another four years for their man. His people have spoken and have re-elected their idol. The president is speaking as I write this. He is still pushing his idea of raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year. The man is obsessed with raising taxes and allowing more money to flow into the hands of the government only to be mishandled as has always been the case. The far more practical way is to cut and reduce all dispensable items thus reducing the size and cost of government. Increasing taxes will only make it more difficult for small business to expand and create the much needed jobs. We have heard all this before, but obviously too many people choose to ignore it.

The big question before us now, will the president put aside his driving ideology and work with the Congress to save this country from economy destruction? The clock is running.

Leon White, Columbiana

Targeting ‘Black Friday’

I want to congratulate the Target stores employees on their “take the high road” initiative to repeal Target’s plan to start Christmas shopping sales on Thanksgiving Day. The annual spectacle of people trampling one another to save a buck on “Black Friday” is a sorry enough commentary on a culture of greed that has displaced togetherness, thanks, and joy without starting the riot to buy some temporal piece of junk early.

Stay home this Thanksgiving, if you can. Avoid the Black Friday Foolish Footrace, too. Show a little calm, a little class and, like the Target employees, take the high road away from the greedy grubfest.

Jim Cartwright, Canfield

Nothing wrong with right-to-know

I see no controversial require- ments in HB 493, also known as the “Truth in Leasing” act for oil and gas leases. Without getting too deeply into the bill itself, it simply applies some responsibility to the company seeking or obtaining a lease from a landowner. More specifically those responsibilities, which are directly associated with knowledge of the industry, are being applied to the “landmen.”

The landmen usually are the very first contact a landowner will have when their property is being considered as a well site. As the bill refers to a landman as a “land professional,” a title that suggests some knowledge of drilling processes and procedures.

The act would require the land professionals to outline drilling procedures, e.g. type of equipment that is going to be involved, explain “hydraulic fracturing” (fracking) and how it is done and the chemicals being used. The “landmen” also must explain how the lease works, time of the lease, compensation etc.

This bill is nothing more than a “Right- to-Know Law,” similar to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard every employer must provide for its employees. I can recall when that law (HazCom) was passed we heard the same argument (too stringent) from manufacturer and industry representatives. It is now a well accepted requirement and not difficult to comply with.

When obtaining the right or privilege to use one’s property to bring in large, noisy, potentially destructive equipment, I fully understand the need for every land owner to be aware of what is going to take place.

Can it be done without or with limited negative repercussions? Yes. But only with established rules and regulations which address any and all risk associated with those activities. Doing so is simply “good business.”

John P. Leseganich, CPEA, Canfield

The writer is an environmental safety and health consultant.

Mill Creek board heard both sides

Last month I attended a forum at the Mill Creek Park complex at Canfield. The topic was shale drilling in the park.

There were about 200 in attendance, many voicing their opinion for and against the proposal.

I sincerely hope the board will make an informed decision with the vision to move forward into the future.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township