Saturday, May 26, 2018

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