Boardman officer is cat’s meow to West Side volunteer group

Boardman officer is cat’s meow to West Side volunteer group

During the Christmas sea- son, people are busy with family and shopping, and sometimes it is hard to find the time to stop and help out others.

This was not the case for off-duty Boardman Police officer Paul Poulos. Last Saturday, Paul took the time to stop by West Side Cats to donate some items from both him and his wife.

That was truly a generous gesture by itself, but Paul did not stop there. As he watched our volunteers working hard cleaning and caring for all of our shelter cats, Paul asked if he could stay and help us.

He spent a few hours working with us, and it helped out tremendously. It was a simple act of kindness but it just made our day. He offered to come back when he could.

I find that it is a tribute not only to the character of this upstanding officer but also to the Boardman Police Department that hires some of the best officers around. They truly do a great job and deserve to be commended.

We want to thank Officer Paul Poulos for his kindness and generosity and for being such a blessing.

Marianne Bernard, Youngstown

The writer is a board member and volunteer for West Side Cats.

The best Christmas gift for US? Grand Old Party disappearing act

Unemployment is at a five- year low while stocks are at record highs. Construction and manufacturing are adding more jobs. The average hourly work week is up and so are wages. Higher paying jobs lead to faster growth of the economy. The fact that all this is accomplished in less than five years is miraculous.

October’s shutdown of the government backfired on the GOP and especially the tea party. Now they want to jump all over the Affordable Care Act. One GOP representative actually had the audacity to compare Obama’s ACA to Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Are you kidding me? Thousands of Americans were killed and maimed during the Iraq War. On the other hand, the purpose of the ACA is for prevention and detection of illnesses to save lives and to treat those already ill.

This comment by the GOP representative shows just how disconnected the party is from humanity. The tea party threatened to shut the government down again in January. Instead, a compromise has been reached and a new two-year budget passed in the House and Senate. It looks as though the GOP has finally put the tea party in its place.

We are in the season of love and giving. I understand GOP members anoint themselves as the party of the Christian right. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said “suffer the little children to come unto me.” However, it seems the only part of this quote the GOP took note of was “suffer” as shown by its cutting food stamps to the less fortunate families at the holidays.

It appears the GOP represents the rich and greedy, not the poor and needy. Let the GOP write its own ticket out of existence. That would be the best gift for all of us. Merry Christmas.

Robert W. McKay, Grove City, Pa.

Free Christmas tree lightened burden of the Great Depression

In the throes of the Great Depression, Christmas was celebrated with the same joy and anticipation without all the plastic trappings of today’s world.

One of my happiest was in the mid-1930s.

The decorated tree in the living room was of the fir variety and a bit pricey for a large struggling family, so like most of our neighbors, we were doomed to pass on that custom.

My oldest brother Jim was walking to midnight Mass, when he noticed a make shift sign at the corner grocery store saying the unsold trees were free for the taking.

On the trip back home from the church, he lugged one of these “freebies” to our house.

He tip-toed to the attic in the wee hours of the dawn, brought down the baubles, tinsel, etc., and trimmed that gift tree.

When the rest of the family awoke on Christmas morning, there were tears of joy and happiness, so along with the big dinner, it was a most festive day.

That grocery store that gave away the unsold trees was run by the Malkoff Brothers, who I’m sure celebrated Hanukkah at the holiday season.

Edward Orlando, Youngstown

Supporters of Teddy’s Law will not give up their fight

Ohio Sen. Capri Cafaro made a public announcement Dec. 16 in reference to Teddy’s Law and the proposed passage of Senate Bill 248. This would have stiffened requirements and procedures for placing children in home-schooling programs.

Teddy Foltz-Tedesco was abused, tortured and died as a result of ongoing child abuse. He and his young brothers were removed from public school and enrolled in a home-schooling program.

Teddy’s Law on Facebook has received over 2,000 supporters for stronger penalties against child abusers.

The public release of SB 248 has created a firestorm of opposition.

This law is designed to help save children suffering abuse, not to shed any blame on parents who are involved in home schooling. We respect all viewpoints and rights of these parents. Abused children have lost all freedom living in a silent world of fear and hopelessness. We are their voice and will remain firm in our fight against child abuse.

The reports and investigations of Teddy’s abuse resulted in no legal action. His removal from the public school system was another method of hiding the horrific acts of abuse. The systems in place failed this child. Improved investigations and stronger laws are needed to effectively stop child abuse and save lives.

Our path will take many turns, and the struggle in reaching our goal will be long and difficult. Saving a child from being abused and murdered is what matters.

There are quite a few personal insults being directed at Shawn Tedesco, Teddy’s father. How did he not know what was happening to Teddy? There were many times he tried to be with Teddy but he received numerous excuses and vague threats to delay or stop visits. This child, as many abused children, was not able to speak freely. Fear is very powerful, and these kids know they will be punished if they speak out.

Teddy’s dad, family and friends have and are still suffering; they will always grieve for their loss. They were not able to save Teddy but are dedicated to helping save other children. They have the love and support of so many to help carry their burden.

Teddy’s Law is not self serving or political. Laws can only be passed through government sanctions, not by any individual. Any inconvenience is worth saving a child from abuse. We are only about saving abused children. Good is the only way to end evil. It just takes time, effort and tears.

Margaret Van Dyke, Struthers