Editorial cartoon aside, we must take global warming seriously

Editorial cartoon aside, we must take global warming seriously

The Jan. 28 editorial cartoon in The Vindicator repeated the theme of a drawing featured about a week ago, namely that reputable scientists who describe the causes (human) and effects (preventable) of global warming are crackpots. Though I’m all for poking fun at self-important know-it-alls who rattle on and on about their speculations, what you and I are doing to damage the planet for future generations is not funny.

The fact — no, not anyone’s opinion — that the continued use of fossil fuels as our primary energy source is affecting the weather worldwide can no longer be ignored.

The recent numbing cold makes it easy to joke about this important subject. Instead of making light of something so serious, why not begin learning some basics about carbon-dioxide buildup over the past century? And while we’re at it, we could look into what it would take to develop renewable and sustainable energy sources or at least make more of an effort to conserve.

Such steps can have a positive impact not only on the environment but the economy as well. Super storms and other weather extremes are becoming more frequent because of our choices, and that is certainly no laughing matter.

John Polanski, Mineral Ridge

A fair proposal on calamity days

I would like to offer some sug- gestions on how school districts can better handle the inevitable need to use calamity days. First, stipulate in contract negotiations that calamity days are inevitable. Next, lay out a school year that is five days longer than the customary 180-day schedule currently used by most districts. Once agreed upon, begin the school year a week earlier than usual.

During the school year, use the current system to cancel school or implement a later start time in response to weather conditions. Keep track of the number of hours missed.

After winter, do the math and adjust the last day of school. If the winter was mild, end the school year a couple of days early. In this manner, children get the benefit of having more instructional days, and taxpayers get the benefit of having their tax dollars used for instruction rather than additional paid time off for employees.

Rich Ferenchak, North Lima

Fee increase for dog license unfair

The Mahoning County com- missioners have stooped to a new low to raise funds for the county. With all of the talk of the now-canceled 3 percent raise for the Board of Election employees, I can’t believe that no one has complained about the 33 percent increase in the dog license.

The Mahoning County commissioners approved an increase of $15 to $20 for a dog license. This is like a tax on dog lovers.

What about cats? Plus, I’ll bet only half of the dogs in Mahoning County and one-quarter of the dogs in Youngstown have a license. Why don’t they go after those people and not the ones who buy a license?

Stan Rydarowicz, Youngstown

49-cent stamp is a true bargain

Personally, I have no com- plaints about the rate increase to 49 cents per stamp. What can you buy for 49 cents these days?

But that 49-cent stamp can bring me a beloved greeting from a friend. It can also allow me to send greetings or cards to those who are shut-ins or ill or just could use an uplift. The 49-cent stamp on my card accomplishes that.

I am really puzzled to know why people are so eager to pay bills online and extend the opportunity for hackers to access their accounts.

I don’t want to lose mail delivery, and the more people choose to do online banking and bill paying, the greater that risk becomes. We have a lot of people working in the postal system who would lose their jobs.

By the way, I do not work or have anyone I know in the postal system. Just consider, please, where that 49-cent stamp can take your mail.

Georgie Arkwright, Youngstown