Keep urban chickens out of Columbiana; vote ‘no’

Keep urban chickens out of Columbiana; vote ‘no’

I am writing just a few days before the upcoming election to make one more effort to ensure that the residents of the city of Columbiana (in Columbiana and Mahoning counties) are aware and understand what they are being asked to vote on, whether for or against keeping live poultry in residential neighborhoods.

If passed, this resolution would remove hens from simply being defined as livestock and would allow them to live in residential zones and be treated not much different than other domestic pets.

Hens have several differences from domestic pets that make me oppose passage of this ordinance.

First and foremost, the CDC has seen a large spike in salmonella cases over the past few years since “urban chickens” have become popular to raise. These cases have mostly been noted in senior citizens and young children. In fact, 2017 has the highest rate on record and sadly, people have died.

Second, poultry attracts predators. I personally do not believe that we need to increase the risk of predator or other feral animals roaming neighborhoods looking for their next meal.

The third reason is sound and smell. I doubt that I need to elaborate on that. I can’t imagine a non-chicken owner enjoying the downwind sounds and odors associated with their neighbor’s chicken coop.

The last reason I oppose it is simply the potential risk of reducing property values. The distance requirement in this language would allow a chicken coop to be placed only 100 feet from any neighboring home. Not from the property line, but from your home.

This is not an issue or argument removing personal freedoms as some running for office have suggested, but quite the opposite. Columbiana has zoning laws to protect our residents’ investments and quality of life.

In the past, if you wanted to raise poultry you could do so simply by residing in an agricultural zoned area. That is still the case today.

Columbiana is a beautiful community. It is managed well, and our zoning laws have created an environment that fosters residential and commercial investment.

We need to keep it that way. I am voting “no” on this issue, and I humbly request that you join me in doing the same, as well as electing city council members who support this position.

Bryan Blakeman, Columbiana

Bryan Blakeman is mayor of Columbiana city.

Health bill would pass if federal workers lose coverage

I believe I have a solu- tion to getting a comprehensive health care bill passed for all Americans. President Donald Trump should initiate an “executive order” removing the existing health care coverage for all federal employees.

When U.S. senators and congressmen and women find out they’ve lost their gold-plated health care coverage and dumped into the same boat as the majority of all other Americans, there will be such a stampede to get back to negotiating a comprehensive health care bill for all Americans, that they’ll need to be careful they don’t get knocked over in the stampede. But this time the negotiations should be made up of a panel consisting of nurses, doctors, middle-management administrators who know the true inner working of the health care system and its everyday problems.

The gold-plated health care plans should be a thing of the past, something we taxpayers have been complaining about for years, but fallen on deaf ears. The lawmakers should have plans no different than the average struggling American; we need you to do the jobs you are paid to do by your constituents, or kiss your cushy jobs good-bye at election.

Robert DeFelice Sr., Poland

Wisdom of Washington applies well in today’s D.C.

A fall 2016 Vindicator column by Paula Marantz Cohen noted the caution of America’s first president, George Washington, as he stepped down from office. Washington warned the nation against the “baneful effects of the Spirit of Party” and his thought remains timely as we struggle now.

George Washington wisely recognized that the relentless focus of political parties on their individual agendas limits the perspective of officeholders and potential candidates to goals defined by a relatively small number of party ideologues. These goals often have little to do with the interests of citizens in seeing that “the people’s business” is done by a Congress whose members are kept busy raising money for their parties. The result is florid campaign rhetoric to stir action without thought, legislative resistance without reason let alone negotiation, undercutting of officeholders who resist the party line, and the squandering of both blood and treasure. Thus, the debacle continues in D.C.

Jim Cartwright, Canfield

Vegas shoootings fail to justify gun control

My, isn’t it amaz- ing that every time we have a mass shooting in this country all of the bleeding hearts, do-gooders and gun-controlled nuts come out of the woodwork.

It’s not gun control that we need in this country; it’s controlling the crazies that make things so dangerous. Guns don’t kill anybody; the crazies do and I don’t see how you are ever going to be able to govern, legislate law and force or otherwise control nut jobs that are wanting to go out and kill as many people as they can see.

When you ban guns, you take away my Second Amendment rights and the rights of every other law-abiding American in this country who wish to own and keep guns. The crazies, the nut jobs and the Islam extremist will always find a way to get guns. The American people must stand up and protect their Second Amendment rights because I am a firm believer that you cannot control an armed population and as long as we, the American people, have the right to keep and bear arms and is protected under the Second Amendment we will be free.

Godspeed to the people of Las Vegas and their victims.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township.

Self checkout lines hurt US employment, economy

HaVE you noticed the proliferation of robots in our economy? They are steadily taking over middle-class job opportunities of factory workers. These robots are different because they are built with technology known as artificial intelligence (AI). They have the ability to learn, communicate, do multiple tasks and make decisions on their own. In other words, “to think.”

Between 1990 and 2007, robots have replaced some 670,000 industrial workers and caused a decline in manufacturing wages. It’s been predicted that the number of factory robots will quadruple by 2025, costing as many as 3.4 million more jobs and cutting wages by as much as 3 percent. This mass deployment of robots is a CEO’s dream. He doesn’t have to worry about someone calling in sick or taking vacations, they can’t file lawsuits, they can’t organize unions and are cheap.

Stores and chain stores everywhere are adding more and more self-checkout registers. Don’t they make enough money already? All they do is cost employees their jobs and cause a long jam at conventional registers.

As far as I’m concerned, I will stand in line at the manned checkout line until the store closes before I will jeopardize someone’s job. It has been reported that the “Automation Bomb” could destroy 45 percent of U.S. job activities, causing $2 trillion in lost annual wages.

Is this what men and women want, who worked their entire life to support a family and then are told they are being replaced by a pile of junk? (Stay away from the self checkout lines).

Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa.