Mill Creek needs more skating; stop texting and start saving Earth; Pass Fitch bond issue; Reject Fitch bond issue, Pass Liberty road levy

Wintertime ice skating needs permanent home in Mill Creek

This winter marked 12 years since the Mill Creek Park ice rink closed. To let a gem of a rink rot away is inexcusable. While I tip my hat to MCP for opening the Gold Fish (Lily) Pond this past winter after a 20-year hiatus, I am curious as to what the park’s plans are regarding outdoor ice-skating in the future.

This past winter’s colder temperatures are not the norm anymore, and hoping the Gold Fish Pond freezes as it did this year most likely will not happen on a consistent basis.

In the Feb. 16 edition of The Vindicator, Editor Todd Franko quoted MCP’s Executive Director Dennis Miller: “Not only are we happy with how it turned out, but we’re investigating what more we can do next year, including if Mother Nature does not give us the chance like this month.” Miller went on to say “it was an awareness to his team” that people want skating to come back.

After reading that the West Side Library may move to the old rink and warming hut, my initial thought is anger. But in viewing Miller’s comments, it is my hope that MCP has a plan in place, even if it’s not a refrigerated rink.

Numerous outdoor ice rinks exist in Pittsburgh, where I currently reside. It’s hard for me to believe that Youngstown cannot support one outdoor rink. What caught my eye more than anything while skating at the Gold Fish Pond was seeing the sheer excitement and smiles of young children skating with family, surrounded by beautiful trees and not indoors in a controlled environment. This exuberance has been missing since 2001, the last year of the ice rink, which is sad. Even Mr. Franko wrote how he could not get his kids off the ice.

It’s time for the MCP board of commissioners to find a feasible way to reopen the rink or at least bring back outdoor ice-skating from mid-November through mid-March. I’ve expressed in past letters what I believe to be a solid long-range plan to reopen the rink, which was a source of community pride. I challenge the MCP board of commissioners to have an open public meeting strictly on the ice rink. Feel free to view my “Friends of Mill Creek Park Ice Rink” Facebook page.

Nicholas DuBos, Pittsburgh

Could people please stop texting long enough to take care of Earth?

One day, April 22, out of 365, people decide to help our planet. We make a show of picking up litter for a couple of hours on Earth Day. As for the remainder of the year, there are more important things, I guess. It seems our planet’s gravitational pull is becoming stronger.

If we haven’t any use for what we are holding, it is pulled from our very hands.Couple that with our attention span, and we forget we lost what we were holding. I must admit: Time is precious to some of us. We either have text messages coming in, or we must text some vital information to waiting people.

Sometimes, a trash can could be just within a few feet; even so, we haven’t the time to use it. Most likely, because we have been texted. If you’re curious to know where the local landfill is located, just look around. Things do change.

Our patriotic song, “America the Beautiful,” is becoming outdated. America, at this rate, will be one of the largest garbage dumps on Earth. Everything made by mankind is scattered across our landscape. Lately, we as a nation toss everything except money.

If I may, for first-time home-buyers, let me give you a tip: Don’t buy downwind of a litter-dropping property owner. You shall spend a lot of time picking up their “bad habits.”

Recently (the last 50 years) have you noticed our government’s placement of “NO LITTERING” signs along our roads and highways? I feel we should change the wording. “Litter” is not part of society’s vocabulary. I’m quite sure you will agree.

Today, I feel our poor attitude, no respect for our planet, will be dealt with someday. Possibly, the extermination of the human race by our planet’s loving caretaker, Mother Nature.

Paul R. Lawson, McDonald

Building new Fitch with bond will save taxpayers $31 million

The Ohio School Boards As- sociation urges residents of the Austintown Local School District to approve the 4.1-mill bond issue on May 6.

The issue would fund the construction of a new Austintown Fitch High School, with the state of Ohio paying 47 percent of the cost. State funding would save taxpayers almost $31 million on the project; however, the state’s offer expires in August.

The current high school opened in 1968 and needs costly repairs and updates. A new school would provide students with a safe and modern learning environment while preserving and enhancing Fitch High School’s traditions. A vote for the bond issue is a vote for the future of the Austintown schools and community.

The OSBA strongly encourages the community to vote FOR Austintown Local Schools’ bond issue May 6.

Rob Delane, Columbus

Delane is executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association.

As Austintown deteriorates, many residents cannot afford new taxes

How much can we afford? Austintown officials think the taxpayers have an endless supply of money. “Let’s spend like there is no tomorrow” seems to be the attitude.

I admit that we needed a new middle school but question the building of the other schools, especially a new high school. What happened to repairing what is needed and preventive maintenance over the years? By the way, what are you going to do with that “eyesore” on Mahoning Avenue [original Fitch High], wait till it falls down? Take care of one mess before you start another.

Thirty years ago, Austintown was a thriving, employed community. Now many of the residents are retired and on fixed incomes. Each levy or bond issue takes more and more of their nest eggs. It was mentioned that the state would pick up 47 percent of the costs. That still leaves the taxpayer with 53 percent of the bill. School board member Lou Chine said the 4.1-mill bond issue would cost a homeowner only about 40 cents a day. Hey Lou, that’s an extra $146 a year.

I get tired of looking at all the vacant houses we have in Austintown. Some people are just walking away because they can’t afford to live there anymore. Where I live, the street has 12 vacant houses in a two-block area.

Taxpayers of Austintown need a break for a few years from continuous increases in their taxes. I can’t afford much more. I recommend a no vote on the bond issue.

Ed Brannan, Austintown

Passage of Liberty road levy needed

After a winter of navigating potholes, wouldn’t it be nice to see the crews out resurfacing our roads — not just patching and filling?

In Liberty Township, resurfacing will not happen unless the residents vote for the township’s road levy on May 6.

Nobody wants higher property taxes.But the reality is that we’ve lost the inheritance tax that used to fund some of our road repair, on top of heavy cuts to federal and state monies for roads. There is a budget for salt and for materials to fill potholes but no money for repaving.

The township has created a list of roads that need resurfacing over the next several years, including Ravine, Tibbetts-Wick, Keefer, Naylor-Lloyd and many others. It costs about $100,000 to resurface 1 mile The levy money will be used only for roads. It is not an instant fix, but if it fails to pass we can be sure that things will only get worse. Passing it is our best hope for better roads in the future.

Liz Hill, Liberty