Money is not the primary factor in decision on Mooney, bishop says

Money is not the primary factor in decision on Mooney, bishop says

Bertram de Souza’s July 14 column about my reconsideration of my decision to keep Cardinal Mooney High School in the city of Youngtown is the latest in a series of inaccurate guesses about my motives. The truth is far simpler.

When I was weighing my decision whether to relocate Mooney, I was told by people whom I trusted that asbestos remediation would not be a factor if I decided to keep Mooney on Erie Street in Youngstown. The day after I announced my decision, those same people informed me that they had not thoroughly analyzed the extent of asbestos in the building and, as a consequence, the information they had given me had been incomplete. In light of that new information, I created an independent committee to study all the facts, old and new, with a mandate to give me a report by the end of July.

Is money a factor in determining the future of Cardinal Mooney High School? Of course it is. The real-world truth is that money has to be a factor in any decision of this magnitude. It is not, however, the only factor or even the primary factor. What is most important is the Catholic identity, mission of service and academic excellence, which is articulated in the school’s mission statement.

Those who have the money to assist Mooney can be shown the importance of identity, mission and academics. Then they will have to choose if they want to support the school. I, however, can say this: No one with whom I have spoken about supporting the school has made their offer contingent on either staying in or moving from the city of Youngstown.

In the meantime, professional tests have shown that the air quality at Mooney is substantially better than Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. To ensure the continuation of that result, Cardinal Mooney High School will proceed with further remediation during the remainder of the summer. The school will reopen on time at its present location for the 2013-14 school year, the Diocese of Youngstown will continue its efforts to care for the poor through the Annual Appeal, and contributions to the Appeal will have no bearing on my ultimate decision.

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Youngstown

Wind-energy facts are questioned

In David A. Ridenour’s July 11 column about wind power, he culled a series of exposed myths, called them facts and developed wildly misinformed conclusions.

The facts demonstrate wind power is a good deal for America as it saves ratepayers money and helps boost our economy.

To address Mr. Ridenour’s most glaring flaw, the vast majority of wind turbines installed in the U.S. do not use rare-earth metals, even those that do not have domestic supply options.

Federal incentives to wind power and other renewables cost significantly less than those historically provided to other energy industries. According to a DBL Investors study, “… the federal commitment to [oil and gas] was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each [incentive’s] life, and it was more than 10 times greater for nuclear.”

The Production Tax Credit, wind’s primary incentive, is tax relief that spurs investment in domestic, clean energy. It has resulted in over 80,000 jobs and an average of $17.9 billion in investment in our economy annually.

Wind energy produces large benefits for consumers and the environment because wind energy displaces on a 1:1 basis electricity that would have been produced by the most expensive and least efficient power plant.

The real question is, “Continue wind’s economic benefits for Americans?” The answer to that is “yes.”

Susan Sloan, Washington, D.C.

The writer is director of state relations for the American Wind Energy Association.

Focus on inside of North Side

Regarding the expansion project at North Side Medical Center, it is so wonderful to have a new and modern section under construction, but wouldn’t it be better to spend some of that money to maintain and keep an experienced staff that is the core of health care?

Isn’t that the reason people go to a hospital — to receive the best care from nurses whose knowledge and expertise will keep them satisfied and knowing they are receiving the best care?

You can have a nice facade on the outside, but if you don’t take care of the staff inside and treat them well, you have nothing. A hospital should be more than just a business. The inside should be better than the outside. It seems to me the powers that be are very short-sighted.

Lena Kovalan, Youngstown

Don’t give oil and gas a free pass

Recently, at the behest of a concerned Ohio citizen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement confirming that Ohio violates the federal Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act by not mandating that oil and gas companies disclose the contents of chemicals used for drilling operations to emergency planners.

According to the law, emergency planners and local fire departments must be provided that information to develop plans for responding to incidents at well sites. As a firefighter, I know that every other industry must comply with this law, and I cannot understand why Ohio has given oil and gas a free pass.

Due to the hazards of the job, firefighters already have a 100-percent higher risk of developing cancer than non-firefighters. As vice president and legislative director of the Youngstown Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 312, I worry about exposing my friends and colleagues to even more potentially dangerous material.

At the very least, we have the right to know what we may be facing should there be an accident.

Christopher M. Weaver, Youngstown

Liberty leaders govern responsibly

Your front-page article on Liberty facing budget scrutiny is very misleading and as a resident of Liberty for more than a half-century who attends most of the trustees meetings, I want to try and set the record straight.

The present administration in Liberty should be commended, and we residents should feel fortunate that we have them.

The situation that we are in stems a lot from the previous administration. The previous trustees left the township with a hefty debt of $800,000. They were spending money they didn’t have. For instance, they spent a lot of money to fire the police chief. It was very costly because they had to buy out the remaining time of the contract they had with the chief plus the penalty, when all they needed to do was to wait the short time until his contract was up and not renew it

The voters in Liberty reacted by not re-electing them. The voters elected two new trustees that were new to politics and have done an outstanding job. From the very beginning, they concentrated on cutting costs and paying off the huge debt. They have succeeded and didn’t spend a dime they didn’t have.

They are well aware of our road conditions and have no other choice than to put a levy on the ballot. I have voiced my opinion on this levy to the trustees. I am opposed to having the property owners pay for road maintenance. I feel that money needed for the road upkeep should come from the road users. This is a job our legislators have to do. Does the gasoline tax need to be adjusted? Is the license- plate fee distributed fairly? As I stated earlier, the trustees have no choice now but to ask the voters if they want to pass a levy for the roads.

Louis J. Pizzuto, Liberty