Shocking column unfairly attackedSFlbformer appeals court Judge O’Neill

Shocking column unfairly attackedSFlbformer appeals court Judge O’Neill

We were shocked to read Bertram de Souza’s column last Sunday on Mark Belinky that somehow tried to connect his current problems with his relation to our late father, Judge Joseph E. O’Neill. His reckless glaring omission of the fact that in 1964 our late father’s duties as president of council were a part-time position and that his full-time profession was that of a criminal defense lawyer who had Naples and many others as clients is telling to his style of journalism.

By his logic, any lawyer defending a crook is a criminal, any defending a murderer has homicidal tendencies or a rapist is a sexual predator. It is a lawyer’s duty and responsibility to defend his client to the best of his ability regardless of the person or circumstances.

Everybody hates lawyers until they need one; then they want the best. Our father served 30-plus years on the bench of the 7th District Court of Appeals in Ohio. And never was his honesty or integrity ever called into question nor was he ever the focus of any investigation or implication of wrongdoing.

Our late father was proud and honored to serve this state. He even made the statement to The Vindicator that he saw the bench he sat on to be a seat of knowledge and great responsibility. This inference of corruption through simple association is even a further reach given the fact that our father had passed years before Mark Belinky’s election to the probate bench. (Which The Vindicator gave him its endorsement for.)

Atty. Belinky’s current problems are something he needs to face and deal with on his own. We as a family will give whatever support we can to his family as any other should. With that said, we never would have thought we would see such an attack on our late father’s character such as this appear in print.

Joseph E. O’Neill Jr. and the O’Neill family, New Middletown

Poland, Niles should follow the lead of Youngstown with fracking issue

For one minute, turn your cellphone off, turn your radio down, turn off your cable TV or whatever you’re doing and just listen. What is our universe telling us? What is Mother Earth telling us very plainly, very simply, with 12 quakes in Poland, oil rigs plundering our once pleasant countrysides, the deafening noises of flaring drowning out a neighborhood sports game, the chirping of crickets, or even the late owl hooting from a treetop in the night air?

Nature and beauty are now replaced by the cyclical whirring of pumps, endlessly, robotically, and systematically devastating our land, poisoning our fields, endangering our water supply. We are living on the edge — playing Russian Roulette with our environment as we keep pushing our Earth to its capacity, ravaging its resources, only to leave behind a barren, scarred wasteland for future generations.

What will their life be like? Will the water be drinkable? Plentiful? Will children be able to breathe clean air and inherit the beauty of Ohio? And will the toxic chemicals from hydraulic fracturing be tainting their gardens?

We have Niles with its precariously placed injection well to begin activity, we have wells drilled around and under unstable portions of our Meander drinking source. We had 12 earthquakes in Poland within hours of one another, and people are still drawing conclusions? Still not convinced something ominous is going on right under our noses? Are we listening? Mother Earth has spoken.

I live in Youngstown near Mill Creek Park, and I like listening to the sounds of nature and respect the value and harmony Ohio offers its residents. Fortunately, Youngstown voters will have the opportunity and responsibility to take control of our environment by voting “yes” for the Community Bill Of Rights charter amendment on May 6. It will give us the power and privilege of local self-government.

I hope Niles and Poland will follow suit and also initiate a Community Bill of Rights Charter so we all as citizens can protect Ohio from being misguided by self-serving oil and gas corporations and stop abusing Mother Earth.

Heidi Kroeck, Youngstown

No means no on fracking issue

Well here we go again, folks, as election time comes near the lost children of the anti-fracking movement have been awakened with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads that the Charter Amendment Community Bill Of Rights will pass.

How many different ways can the voters tell you that they are not interested, I thought “no” was a really good answer, but you have been told that twice now and you still don’t get it.

The people of the Mahoning Valley would like to live in a community that is looking to the future and for generations to come. For growth and prosperity, we need only look at North Dakota and how its involvement with the Bakken Shale has made that state so successful. It’s time to move forward, so get on the bus.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township

Reject Liberty road levy again

You would have to be blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other not to know the roads are bad in Liberty. Here we are again, looking at yet another road levy after having defeated it twice; talk about not taking “no” for an answer. Ah, but this one is different because it’s “petition-driven.”

This is the lame excuse the administration is using to place this road levy on the ballot again, because it will be “resident driven”; who’s kidding whom?

Wonder why you haven’t seen any roads being paved? Per the Ohio auditor, money taken illegally from the police and fire funds were used to pay off outstanding loans. Township general fund monies were used to replace those funds.

The administration has identified 15 roads needing immediate attention at a total cost of $13.7 million. With a levy generating $226,320 a year, and all the other miles of roads to maintain, you could sit on your front porch with a beer, and by the time they get to your road, you would be drinking Ensure.

Liberty taxes, Trumbull County’s highest, are 39 percent higher than the next highest community in the county. Liberty itself has the highest township tax rate in the county. There are millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes in Liberty.

A co-chairman of the levy committee said “this is a quality-of-life-issue.”

Do you know residents who are fighting sickness and disease, lost their jobs, or are having a hard time in this economy? I wouldn’t want to be the person that tries to tell them a pothole in a stinking road is a “quality-of-life-issue.”

Taxpayers, vote this tax increase down.

Edward E. Palumbo Jr., Liberty

W. Branch schools need income tax

I am writing in support of West Branch Local Schools’ five-year, 0.75-perent income tax operating levy on the May 6 ballot. If approved, it will be the first operating levy passed in 22 years. Social Security income would not be taxed.

The levy is needed because of cuts in state education funding. Passage will provide the district funding needed to maintain its “Excellent” rating on the state report card as well as strengthen the schools, community and property values.

The district has cut costs by over $1 million since 2008, frozen salaries and educated its students for $1,000 a year less than the state average. If the levy fails, West Branch will be forced to cut student services and programs even further, putting the district’s academic success at risk. I strongly urge residents to vote for this levy on May 6. Your children, schools and community are counting on you.

Richard Lewis, Columbus

Lewis is executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association.