Sunday’s column correct: Trump only threw us bone
Bertram de Souza’s reflection regarding Trump’s disingen-uous mention of Youngstown titled “Why did Trump pinpoint Youngstown?” offered a perspective for readers to glean realities that cannot be ignored. Youngstown residents must surely be able to discern beyond hearing our town’s name and concur that the POTUS is surely throwing us a bone.
What frightens me is the reality that this president’s supporters prefer to spend endless hours on their smartphones/personal computers and believe every hateful, inflammatory and distorted news, which come out of sources such as Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart news and other subversive sources. I guess when one is feeling left out, it is easier to pick on/blame other marginalized groups such as African Americans and Muslims.
Most notably, Trump wooed white males who perceive their power base is weakening and hate it. They do not care if Trump filed bankruptcy seven times, never served in the military, preys on women and lacks basic understanding of the essence of democracy.
We must stay vigilant to the machinations of those who threaten our democracy.
May I suggest that we start with “free and fair” elections also given Vindicator editorial credibility in Sunday’s editorial titled “Nonpartisan elections are a good fit for Youngstown.”
Kathleen Berry, Youngstown
Police priorities questioned in deadly chase on I-680
I was driving south Thursday in the left-hand lane of Interstate 680, perhaps 2 miles from the Route 224 exit. Thankfully, I was looking forward the moment I needed to process what I was seeing up ahead.
It was a pick-up truck driving toward me in the same lane at high speed! I had enough time to look right, realize that there was a car there, and brake enough to change lanes just barely in time. The truck flew by. I have no reason to believe that the driver would not have hit me head-on at a likely combined speed of 140+ mph. I would surely have been killed.
Thankfully, there was no one behind me or they would definitely have been hit. There could well have been more fatalities right there. Immediately, I saw multiple police cars speeding by I-680 North.
Needless to say I was shocked and terrified for anyone traveling behind me. I was not surprised to learn later that he hit the semi-truck, and I drove by the scene on my way back home. I also learned that this was because of a robbery at a dollar store.
I have the utmost respect for our law-enforcement agencies, but an incident like this makes me question whether there are policies and procedures in place that safeguard the public. This could have ended with many more fatalities than it did. Does a robbery where no one was injured warrant this kind of high-speed chase? Did multiple police cars chasing this man add fuel to the fire? Should the police have backed off once this man was driving the wrong way on a busy interstate highway?
Could they have instead radioed ahead and perhaps apprehend him later? Did law enforcement make catching this guy a higher priority than actually keeping the public safe?
It is fortunate that he hit a semi that could take the impact better than any car could have. I pray that the semi driver fully recovers. And, it is a miracle that more people were not injured or killed in the multiple car crash behind the truck.
Again, I have to ask, what was the greater risk to the public? Letting this criminal get away to perhaps be caught later or conducting this kind of high-speed chase on a busy interstate highway? I certainly hope that there is some kind of a review within the law-enforcement agencies that were involved. And I’d like to hear about that kind of discussion.
Betty Griffin, Howland
Many factors explain loss of students at local schools
The June 4 Vindicator had a letter to the editor detailing the 68 percent decline in enrollment at Mooney and Ursuline high schools and a Vindicator editorial discussing Austintown Local Schools Superintendent Vince Colaluca and the controversy surrounding his advocacy of the district’s open-enrollment policy. If you examine both issues closely, they are due to a common cause: the population loss the Mahoning Valley has experienced since the decline of the steel and manufacturing industries and the resultant loss of jobs. They also share a common theme: the refusal by those charged with managing these schools, and virtually all other school districts in the Mahoning Valley, to properly manage their institutions by reducing staffing to levels needed to educate the reduced student enrollment.
Compounding the problem is the fact that since the 2008 recession, fewer children have been born overall.
I live in the South Range Local School District, and the number of district kids entering elementary school is down more than 20 percent in the past decade. Similar statistics are found at every other public school in the area.
The parochial schools have the additional problem of cost: a K-12 Catholic education is well over $50,000, money many parents no longer have in their budget or have decided could be used to fund a 529 plan to help defray the ridiculously inflated cost of college.
Additionally, as church attendance has dwindled, the value of a “Catholic education” is no longer of paramount importance to a growing number of parents who identify as Catholic.
As for open enrollment, it is nothing more than theft. You are forcing the district losing a student to pay $6,000 to the district gaining its student, even though most districts receive far less than the $6,000 they are paying from the state of Ohio as the state share of the district’s educational cost. Thus, the taxpayers from the “losing” district are subsidizing the taxpayers from the “gaining” district.
As for school boards and administrators, it is time for fiscal responsibility. Salaries of $100,000 and higher for principals, superintendents and treasurers are absurd when average teacher salary is half that amount.
Mergers, consolidations, and collaboration are the future. Ursuline and Mooney are an obvious choice.
It is time for leaders to step forward and do what is in the best interests of our students – they are our future and it is they who will, hopefully, receive a quality education allowing them to make enough money to fund our Social Security benefits.
Rich Ferenchak, North Lima
Y’town acts too quickly to welcome medical pot
I was amazed at how fast the Youngstown City Council approved the growing of medical marijuana in the city for medical purposes.
With Mayor John McNally a lame duck, the decision to move forward is at best puzzling. The new mayor, whoever it may be, and a new council president may not share the same views and support as the previous administration.
This is a bad deal for Youngs-town where a few people are going to make a lot of money off the misery of others. The decisions that are about to be made here have long-reaching ramifications with little room for a margin of error.
We are fighting a war on drugs and we don’t need to add insult to injury by adding a legal growing process, I know a lot of people would benefit from the oil extracted from the plant, but it would not be long before there would be a movement to have recreational marijuana legalized.
We need to think long and hard on what is the best thing for Youngstown and its people.
Jim Eidel, Beaver Township