Are ODNR and Vindicator mere ‘gas-bag apologists’?

Are ODNR and Vindicator mere ‘gas-bag apologists’?

Despite the effort to obscure the issue by the age of the dam, last Sunday’s article by Ed Runyan, “Modernizing Meander,” though buried deep in the article, clearly suggests the cause of the deterioration of Meander dam to fracking, the disposal well at the old Ohio Works site in Youngstown and the resultant 4.0 seismic activity.

Benjamin Lupo, of course, should be assessed the cost of repairing the dam, but even more accountable should be the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which despite clear and abundant evidence, betrayed its stewardship and licensed him to operate.

And there is yet another party, The Vindicator, fracking cheerleader nonpareil. Its editors, who of course have legal impunity, bear an even greater moral onus. These same editors who for years have so histrionically pontificated against the group promoting the home rule charter amendment and became so righteously outraged at the added cost burden on the Board of Elections and taxpayer.

So, will ODNR and The Vindicator now step forward, acknowledge their culpability and put their money where their mouth is? Or is it a case of just another unaccountable gas-bag apologist for the corporatist state?

Get ready for higher water bills.

Bob Scheetz, Youngstown

America has fear problem, not immigration problem

Father Peter Daly is the pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Prince Frederick, Md. In a recent essay in the National Catholic Reporter, he asserts that the U.S. has a fear problem, not an immigration problem.

He refers, of course, to the visa overstays, not the border fence climbers, who are afraid of being deported even though they have lived here for a quarter of a century or more and the native- born who fear the presence of undocumented immigrants in their midst.

These overstays, he says, came to the Chesapeake area to pick crab meat from the crabs caught in the bay area, a job the native-born would not do. But the crabmeat factory closed about 17 years ago when the owners were caught pocketing the taxes withheld from the workers’ paychecks, thus stealing both from the migrants and the IRS. Some went back home, but many remained, found other jobs, established homes, sent money back home to their poor relatives, and raised families here, thus becoming enculturated into American life.

Now they live in fear that the next knock at the door will be an immigration agent telling them they must leave and return to their original homeland. The native born assert they should have foreseen this eventuality ... They broke the law, they say. They should be punished. They are no better than criminals.

Really? My concept of a criminal is a bank robber, a murderer, a Ponzi schemer and embezzler, a rapist, a child molester, a traitor, a drug dealer, kidnappers – not someone who came here to provide needed labor that others wouldn’t do, and to provide for their families.

Father Daly says, “If your family was hungry or homeless or in danger, wouldn’t you do the same thing? Wouldn’t you swim any river and climb any fence to save your family? I know that I would.”

We don’t have an immigration crisis, says Father Daly. “We have a crisis of groundless fear and a lack of charity.” Amen to that.

Henry E. Miller, Youngstown

Sen. Brown’s bill offers hope for lower drug costs

It is time to confront a dangerous misunderstanding about the rising cost of health care in America: The Affordable Care Act mandate is not the problem.

For years, the government has turned a blind eye to private insurance and pharmaceutical companies that fleece sick, disabled and dying Americans by charging exorbitant prices for health services and prescription drugs.

Thankfully, the days when “big pharmacy” is permitted to prioritze profit over people may soon end.

On March 29, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and other Democrats introduced The Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act, a game-changing proposition that will finally put patients first.

According to Sen. Brown’s website, “The proposal seeks to tackle prescription drug costs by increasing transparency and accountability, boosting access and affordability of key drugs, spurring innovation, and increasing choice and competition”.

Finally, a health care bill “for the people” that will drive down health-care costs for everyone! We need to work together to get this bill passed as quickly as possible. Please contact your representatives and express your enthusiastic support.

Amanda Russ Daquelente, Youngstown

Give dealers death penalty to end heroin crisis in US

Every day we read about or hear our local news about the ever- growing epidemic of heroin overdoses. How is it being addressed? Give the first responders more Narcan for the addicts.

What the communities around the country have failed to do is combat the problem at its source. When was the last time you read or heard about a determined initiative to wipe out this epidemic by cutting off the heads of the snakes?

Until our courts say enough is enough and quit allowing lawyers to pay off whomever to put the pushers back on the streets with little or no jail time, the problem will continue to get worse. The pushers are killers, no two ways about it.

Life in prison is too good for them. Put them under a death penalty, with no chance for parole, and see how quickly this heroin addiction problem gets solved.

Narcan is no more than an enabler for the addicted to continue their addiction.

Until the politicians at the state and federal levels get serious about this problem and initiate the death penalty or life without parole, we are only kidding ourselves. Do they have the courage and conviction to actually do something, or will it continue to be political rhetoric.

Don’t let this become an issue of color, as the problem crosses all ethnic, race and color lines.

Robert DeFelice Sr., Boardman

Trump infrastructure plan is ripe for enormous waste

As concerns our tax- payer money:

1 million dollars = $1,000,000.

1 billion dollars = $1,000,000,000 (i.e. 1,000 million).

1 trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000 (i.e. 1,000 billion).

There have been various forms of monetary waste in the government, the military, on Wall Street and the banking sector, pharmaceuticals industry, the construction industry and the natural resources industry to name but a few.

How can we possibly believe President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not ripe for waste? After all, who is going to miss a few billion dollars here and there via waste and possible corruption?

That’s a few billion that could be put to health and education as opposed to the pockets of the greedy. Why is it that we blithely accept this as just “doing business?”

On-site inspectors and accountants you say. Oh yeah, just like overseeing the meat/food industry, the bridge to nowhere, the $1,000 toilets/$300 hammers, and consistent cost overruns in just about every endeavor the government has been involved in.

Exactly how long will we continue to be benignly ignorant? You may not care about your finances, but I care about mine; so don’t take me to the poor farm with you.

Oh no, I just remembered the Trump border fence. Not more billions in probable waste or corruption. Say it ain’t so Mr. President; say it ain’t so. Demand accountability. It is not “What’s in your wallet” it is “Who’s in your wallet?”

Ned J. Casale, Alliance