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Park board, other officials must stop treating the public like kids

Published: 7/27/14 @ 12:00

Park board, other officials must stop treating the public like kids

Ever since the euthanasia of 238 geese at Mill Creek Park, I’ve seen a trend occurring in government more frequently. Public officials view themselves as the “parents” and view the public as the “kids.”

The geese situation with no public hearings before the event is like the parents of a family deciding to get rid of the family dog because it barks too much, urinates or defecates in the house, ruins or digs up the lawn. The parents would not want to tell the kids of their plan because the kids would become upset and cry out, “Don’t do it.”

So the parents get rid of the dog without the kids’ knowledge and then explain why they had to do it after the event. Then the parents threaten the kids that if they don’t follow the rules, this will happen again and again.

Public officials fail to understand that the “kids” are the constituents, voters, and taxpayers who pay them. It doesn’t matter to which political party the parents belong; they are all the same, in general.

Other examples include fracking on public lands courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the lack of understanding by the commissioners on why the sales-tax levy failed, the combining of the two Children’s Services levies into one resulting in more tax revenue.

We “kids” have to let the “parents” know that in cases such as the ones described above, the “kids” are in charge with their votes and money.

Karen Anobile, Youngstown

Here’s solution to beef over geese: Just wear old shoes at Lily Pond

This will be my final gripe about the geese in Mill Creek Park.

First of all, I have gone to the Lily Pond daily for two years and have seen children and parents feed the geese, seeing the “do no feed signs,” only to ignore.

Furthermore, the children have thrown stones and sticks at the geese, plus chasing them. Parents stood by with no regard to correct them. All the bread was eaten by the geese.

Also, I have not seen one Mill Creek Park police at (in) the Lily Pond to enforce the signs or to stop people from feeding the geese. I saw one police car once in two years ride through and not stop. I never saw any geese attack anyone.

Take one pair of old shoes to change after your walk. Shall we kill all birds because of droppings on your car or house?

Dennis Rigley, Youngstown

Why not declare open season on geese in Mill Creek Park?

I am and always will be a Mill Creek Park lover. I have great memories of going to the Lily Pond and feeding the ducks and the fish in peaceful surroundings — not these big mean and aggressive geese.

The geese are populating because they are procreating — not because we are feeding them. We feed them, and yet they still eat everything beautifully green out of that Lily Pond and there is excrement filled with E-Coli all over the parking lot, paths and shoreline. Even if we don’t feed them, there will still be excrement everywhere because they are a big animal and require a lot of food. And they will continue to eat until they eat that park bare. And as they eat all the grass up, then there is only dirt holding up the trees on all those park cliffs. They now become more prone to falling during rain when that dirt gives way.

I don’t feel the geese should have been euthanized but instead taken in a hunt, as are the deer. That’s a lot of food and if the geese aren’t by law allowed to be hunted, then this is the time to change the law. Hasn’t anyone heard the saying, “Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat?” People eat geese. I believe that is why there were none of these geese in that park when I was a little girl because families saw a meal on the table. Allow hunters to thin the population.

For those who think the geese are gone, they are not. There were 37 of them down in a grassy field by the Marshall Street Bridge just last week. They are all over the cemeteries, and I’m sure in a location not far from you. My question is this: “When they start eating up your lawn and [defecating] in your yard, when does it become too much?” because that is what it has become for that beautiful park.

Another question: If feeding the wildlife created this problem as many people and this paper have said, then how come this problem didn’t proliferate years ago when we had triple the people in this area feeding all the wildlife all over the park, which was the joy of coming to the park? Everyone fed those fish and ducks. And that pond was beautiful and still can be if we hunt the geese born specifically there.

Lisa Beth Moore, Youngstown

Please don’t rush to judgment on Horizon Academy allegations

I write in response to the allegations made by former teachers against the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School, as reported in The Vindicator.

The allegations are very serious and clearly demand investigation — as will be conducted by Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, the Ohio Department of Education and the auditor of state — but a rush to judgment is grossly unfair.

The manner and timing in which these serious allegations were made — and the rush to judgment by Progress Ohio and other organizations that worked to build a crowd at the State Board of Education meeting — raise questions about motivation.

Several avenues for submission and investigation of serious complaints exist for community schools. Why weren’t these allegations reported to the school’s sponsor during visits to the school or through established complaint procedures? Why was there no flood of complaints to the Department of Education from other staff? Why were no specific details and evidence of the many horrifying allegations presented with the testimony? And why were law-enforcement and child- services agencies not immediately notified?

In fulfilling its oversight responsibilities, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation staff visits the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School on a very regular basis — about 15 times each year. Our observations and experience there are completely inconsistent with the allegations.

More than 275 students attend the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School, and nearly 6,000 students attend other Ohio schools operated by Concept Schools. If the former teachers’ characterization of Horizon’s schools culture is true, why has there been no deluge of outrage expressed by parents?

Peggy Young, Columbus

Peggy Young is director of the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, Education Division.

Recalling ‘charmed life’ in Poland

I recently attended my 50th reunion at Poland Seminary High School. It gave me the chance to reflect about how fortunate we were to grow up in Poland. We found our old high school to be beautifully maintained and filled with memories of great teachers. We were given the best start in life that anyone could hope for. Some might say it had a Mayberry-like atmosphere, but many of the classmates attending our reunion agreed that we had a charmed life growing up in Poland.

The community leaders and our parents made sure we had a solid foundation in education and how to be good citizens. We went ice skating or wading in Yellow Creek, sledding at Poland Manor and walked or rode our bicycles everywhere. Our library was above the fire station and we made stops at Isaly’s, Schwartz’s or Wittenauer’s along the way.

Yes, we did have a charmed childhood growing up in Poland. All the right ingredients were there for us to enjoy successful careers and a wonderful life.

Kathy Mitchell Miller, Poland


Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 27, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.

There is nothing wrong with the Horizon Science Academy. This is nothing more than the school teachers unions and their left wing looney friends desperately trying to create an issue that they can somehow influence the Gubernatorial elections. They gin up their constituents, but everyone except those employed in the schools just yawn and go on with their intentions to vote for Kasich.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on July 27, 2014 at 2:10 p.m.

Steivo, Is Michelle Malkin a "left wing looney"? This is not Buckeyes' first rodeo. They have not only been associated with other charter school scandals, but with other Islamic charter school scandals. See Michelle Malkin at this link: Why are taxpayers subsidizing Islamic fundamentalist schools? http://michellemalkin.com/2007/08/23/...

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on July 27, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.

Dear Peggy:

The antics of the for-profit education business would be laughable if the underlying goal of these profiteers was not so nefarious, i.e., the destruction of the American system of tax-supported, non-for-profit common schools. The profiteers see that big pile of money we collectively spend each year on public education at all levels, and they want a piece of the action, because if they can siphon off 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7% of the gross as their return on investment, they've got it made in the shade.

The incentive in an education business is the same as the incentive in any business -- profit.

Imagine, if you will, the implications of, for example, privatizing our prison system -- companies could lobby law-makers for, say, stricter sentencing requirements, or mandatory minimums, or any of an array of for-profit-prison-industry-friendly statutes designed to keep the revenue stream flowing. The built-in potential for conflicts of interest would be staggering.

So, too, with schools. We need to drop the failed attempt at tax-payer-funded school privatization, while working to improve our public education system.

The survival of our Democracy depends on an educated, civic-minded populace.

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 27, 2014 at 7:26 p.m.

To answer your question, the reason the parents of the children at the Horizon Science Academy haven't complained is that they are happy with the education they are getting there. The problem is that the teachers union think that the only way you can get a good education is by a public school where the teachers are paid excess salaries with outrageous fringe benefit packages. Vote John Ksich and he will keep the charter schools growing.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on July 28, 2014 at 8:37 a.m.

Steivo, are your comments meant to serve some reverse-psychology purpose? Do you think the public doesn't know that charter school faculties are filled with teachers who couldn't get jobs at real public schools?

Or that the charter school teachers wouldn't jump to any real public school at first chance to do so?

Research shows that the biggest factor in student success is a quality teacher -- the kind you will get in a real public school.
(Sorry to have to use the descriptor "real", but what can you do when charter schools have already subverted the meaning of "community" and "traditional". But, make no mistake, charter schools (called "community schools" in Ohio for no good reason) are in fact Public Schools.

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 28, 2014 at 9:17 a.m.

Obviously you have a vested financial interest in this matter and thus lack objectivity.
"Do you think the public doesn't know that charter school faculties are filled with teachers who couldn't get jobs at real public schools?" The public doesn't know anything of the kind. In fact, the reverse is true. The public schools are filled with teachers who couldn't survive at a charter school.
"Research shows that the biggest factor in student success is a quality teacher -- the kind you will get in a real public school." Once again you have it exactly backwards. The reason the charter schools are so successful if the quality of their teachers. Once again, higher pay does not equal better teacher.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on July 29, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.

Yes, Steivo -- I do have a vested interest, as you do, in American children's education as citizens. That's citizens of the U.S.

If in fact, Horizon Academy was NOT having problems attracting qualified teachers, than their use of Ohio taxes to pay for immigration costs of "teachers" from Turkey is disturbing. Well, okay, it is disturbing regardless.
As for your last statement, the cost of teacher licensure includes a college degree and eventually a masters degree. It is expensive, and the most successful applicants understandably expect to recoup their investment. Why in Reagan's name, would a qualified applicant choose to work for a shady charter school organization that skims off part of his salary to make profit goals?

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 29, 2014 at 2:01 p.m.

WOW, that is straight from the Ohio Federation of Teachers talking points.

We are all in favor of good educations for our children, but not all think that you have to pay teachers excess salaries and benefits to get it.

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on July 29, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

Typical bagger non-sense from the proto-typical bagger.

(Cue: the right-wingnut canned response, including "liberal," etc..)

Might as well try to have an intelligent discussion with, say, a fence post, Ed-voter.

The Queen of talking points has the gall to accuse anyone else of using "talking points."

But, again, that's the modus operandi of the proto-typical bagger -- no need to actually respond, but, rather, simply dismiss what you can't refute.

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 a.m.

Typical left wing looney response. Don't like the message, attack the messenger.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on July 30, 2014 at 10:38 a.m.

The right wing of conservatives, the Fox folks must be suffering a fair amount of cognitive dissonance about this affair. On one hand, Ohio taxpayers providing the means for Muslim immigrants to move into the state -- on the other their support for charter schools based on unproven ideology.
I don't think there is a single local of Ohio Federation of Teachers closer than Toledo or Cleveland.

If he's reading their "talking points", he's the only one.

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on July 30, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

Like your mentors on Faux Noise and AM talk radio, you have no message.

Here's a talking point for ya: the Horizon Science Academies are part of a worldwide Islamic movement, operated by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric exiled in Saylorsburg, PA. (Don't take my word for it -- look it up!) This movement is foreign to the traditional American way of life. Numerous Gulen charter schools have been raided by the FBI and other federal agencies.

The irony is that Gulen is using Republican and tea-bagger ignorance against all of us, exploiting bagger hatred for the time-honored American system of public, tax-supported common schools, so vital to our democratic way of life.

Answer that, little baggers, without simply spewing epithets and catch-phrases.

Defend, if you can, Gulen's exploitation of the Ohio tax-payer for his own personal economic, political, and religious gain. Enumerate, for the enlightenment of us all, exactly what safe-guards and check-and-balances the charter schools movement has in place to prevent this kind of abuse of the system. Attempt to at least muster up some justification for this violation of the spirit (if not the letter) of the charter schools movement's guiding principles.

(Hint: you can't -- so cue the usual rant -- "liberal talking points," left-wing loonies," "Obama," greedy teachers," "socialist, pinko, commie, long-haired draft dodging flag-burnin' MSNBC-watching . . .blah-bluh-dee-blah-blah-blah ")

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on July 30, 2014 at 1:34 p.m.

Are you a member of the school teachers union?

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on July 31, 2014 at 2:34 a.m.

"We are all in favor of good educations for our children, but not all think that you have to pay teachers excess salaries and benefits to get it.'

Oh, really?

So. other than "less than what they're making now," what's a fair salary, in your opinion?

Matter of fact, do you know anything about the salary structure at your local public school? Any idea of the range of salaries? (Hint: starting teachers make less, and most contracts top out at about 12-15 years w/ a master's degree + 30 hours beyond a master's.)

Come on. we'd all like to hear your idea of fair.

Enlighten us. Give us some numbers.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on July 31, 2014 at 11:51 p.m.

No one in my household belongs to any union, but that does not diminish my admiration for what union members have done to improve working conditions around the world.
I am proud to say that I did belong to a union in the past.
Someday the charter school teachers are going to organize. Would that change your mind about the value of charter schools?

Posted by tnmartin (anonymous) on August 4, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.

Then let me weigh in.
Full disclosure: My mother was a teacher in public schools in Columbiana and Mahoning counties in Ohio and in Lawrence County, PA, and was a member of NEOTA and the OEA. My sister was a teacher in central Pennsylvania in public and in parochial schools and is on staff at a Virginia college. My daughter is a teacher entering her third year teaching in public schools. So I know somewhat more about things than the average person.
The notion that teachers in the non-public schools are second rate is laughable at best and is frankly an insulting lie. Apologies are in order.
There are and always have been wonderful, caring, dedicated teachers in all these environments. There are also dolts, fools, lazy bums, incompetents and liars. And, increasingly, child molesters and teachers of both sexes engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with students. More often in the public schools, even when accounting for relative numbers. And, over and over and over, we see some of the worst, the ones you wouldn't trust to slop the hogs, protected by the thugs and creeps of the teacher's unions. For a gross example, take a look at the union heads in Chicago and in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Or in D.C.
What is increasingly the case, and pushed by the dolts and creeps in the public school near-monopoly, is the pushing of frankly propagandist lies aimed at filling the minds of OUR children with their "approved" attitudes. Increasing involvement of the federal government - a completely unconstitutional intrusion - has lead to skyrocketing costs and plummeting performance of the students. I have, personally, had to deal with high school graduates who Can.Not.READ!!! Own daughter is teaching remedial reading to 8th graders who Can Not Read! But they have marvelous self esteem.Programs pushed in the public schools by the educrats and the bums of the NEA and the AFT..
Good teachers are leaving the public schools, leaving the lesser lights behind, or those nearing retirement.
This is something to be proud of?

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on August 4, 2014 at 11:26 p.m.

OKAY! TN! Glad to see you chime in.

Here's your chance to ditch the FauxNoise-anti-public school rhetoric and talking points, and put yourself in the shoes of the boss. That's right! You get to be the boss! How's that for ya!

You can answer for your cum-padre, who seems to disappear whenever someone insists on specifics.

So, other than "less than what they're making now," what's a fair salary, in your opinion, for a public school teacher?

Nothing fancy -- just a straight dollars-and-cents, annual salary.

That's yearly pay. By the year.

(Matter of fact, do you know anything about the salary structure at your local public school? Any idea of the range of salaries?) (Hint: starting teachers make less, and most contracts top out at about 12-15 years w/ a master's degree + 30 hours beyond a master's.)

Come on. we'd all like to hear your idea of fair.

Enlighten us. Give us some numbers.

What do you think a teacher ought to be paid?

By the way, do you think teachers should be paid at all?

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on August 5, 2014 at 8:59 a.m.

As an educated person, how can you say, "More often in the public schools, even when accounting for relative numbers." without showing the data? Of course, we know this is because your statement is only your guess.
We have not discussed the parochial schools here, or their quality. But I guess that you feel that since the state taxpayers are now forced to provide free Catholic education, they are obliged to do the same for Muslims? Not sure if Catholics have used voucher money to import missionaries, but maybe it should be investigated.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on August 5, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.

As for young people that you have dealt with tnmartin, I'm not so sure that it is a case of "can not read" -- more likely the cause is "do not read". That is a problem across the socioeconomic spectrum.
It is true that there has been unfortunate outcomes of federal intrusion into education, certainly as an outcome of Bush's "No Child Left Behind" remodeling of ESEA. But this federal involvment does not, and can not happen by force. They can only hold out the carrot of additional funding to states that participate.

Posted by steivo (anonymous) on August 5, 2014 at 3:09 p.m.

As you can see, your post is not going over well with the left wing extremists. Catholic school??? They don't like them. Charter schools? They don't like them. Child's education??? They don't care. Just keep pouring good money after bad money down the public schools sink hole, so long as the union teachers get MORE, MORE, MORE.

Posted by tnmartin (anonymous) on August 5, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

I know they could not read because they told me so. And because they could not puzzle out even the most rudimentary matters. Like warning notices on industrial equipment, or cafeteria menus. Some had to take an employment application home so that someone else could fill it out. Does that meet your criteria for utter illiteracy?
If any of you know any active duty police officers, ask them about the number of times they've been called to a home and found ZERO books in there. Wide-screen TV's perhaps, and even some video games, possibly. But books? including school books? nope. Deliberately trying to get classified as learning disabled, and thereby qualifying for a Social Security Disability stipend, a.k.a. a "Crazy Check".
So it's not really a matter of "do not read", it's more a matter of "WILL not read". And it's the case across much of the U.S.
And, to another query, the numbers of teachers involved in inappropriate circumstances is available should you wish to investigate it. The doing of it is left as an exercise for the student. I note that the percentages of offenders is greater by a good bit than the percentage of offenders among Catholic clergy, Roman or Orthodox, though the perpetually offended seem more exercised over the one. Which is OK, priests should answer to A Higher Authority.
BTW, publicly accessed schools began in New England to ensure that everyone could read a Bible. We seem to have departed from that objective by a good bit, and that was before the abomination of Common Core.
We were a lot better off when education through high school was almost completely under local control and supervision. There were awful pockets, I know of several within the tri-county area, but also some really great ones, also in the area and not just in the "nice" neighborhoods. Giving much of this over to distant bureaucrats, politicrats, and union stewards has led to ghastly cost increases and plummeting results, and loss of local involvement. Not A Good Thing anywhere.

Posted by lajoci (anonymous) on August 5, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.

OK, so you have no opinion re: fair teachers' salaries.


That is a good argument for preserving the status quo, I guess.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on August 6, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.

I am 100% for Catholic schools...supported by Catholics like myself. Not for forcing EVERY TAXPAYER to contribute to our schools. And having attended Catholic schools myself, with children who attended attended both Catholic and public schools, I honestly cannot say that those educated in Catholic schools are better educated or have better developed moral sense.
My comment above was meant to question why we feel compelled to support Muslim schools with taxpayer funds.

Posted by Education_Voter (anonymous) on August 6, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.

Of course, I did try to find some data supporting your statements about inappropriate relationships with students. I did not find any source that separated charter school cases from other public school cases. I did find sources that stated that getting good data is impossible because of unreported cases in every kind of school.
In the case of illiteracy, the police may visit homes with little evidence of literacy, but there is no reason to assume that those residents have high school diplomas. In fact, high school graduates now have to pass a group of tests to obtain a high school diploma. If the English language test itself doesn't trip them up, the other tests require literacy to complete the exercises. I think that employers at this time have a good guarantee of literacy if they have an authentic high school diploma.
Remember that humans are still capable of free will and can refuse literacy. In addition there is a small portion of the population who have physical limitations that hinder literacy. Somehow in recent years it has become the responsibility of public education to ensure literacy even in these individuals. Personal responsibility has apparently gone out the window.

Posted by DontBanThisDrone (anonymous) on August 6, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.

Give it up Pants.