Here’s WRTA’s promise now that voters OK’d tax

Here’s WRTA’s promise now that voters OK’d tax

On behalf of the Western Reserve Transit Authority’s board of trustees, administration and employees, I would like to thank the voters of Mahoning County for passing Issue 4, the WRTA sales-tax renewal.

We are honored by the trust you have placed in us. Your “yes” vote and the funding generated by this issue will enable WRTA to continue to provide over 1.5 million rides annually to county residents. These residents – most of whom do not have access to any other means of transportation – use WRTA to get to and from their places of employment, make doctor and hospital visits, get groceries and other necessities and visit friends and relatives. Over 40 percent of our riders are seniors or disabled.

WRTA promises to continue to provide top-notch service to our riders that is responsive to their needs; to be good stewards of your investment in us; and to keep you updated and informed about our services. We invite you to contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have for our services via our website ( or by calling 330-744-8431.

James J. Ferraro, Youngstown

James J. Ferraro is executive director of the Western Reserve Transit Authority.

Issue 2 voters didn’t have wool pulled over their eyes

My congratula- tions to Dale Butland. He said what needed to be said in his opposing column last week to The Vindicator’s editorial supporting state Issue 2.

I am a big supporter of your newspaper, but your editorial saying that the voters had the wool pulled over their eyes by an overwhelming ad barrage sounded like sour grapes.

It would have been better if you simply stated, “Evidently the voters disagreed with us; maybe we were wrong.”

I suggest that you walk out your front door, turn around on the sidewalk and take a look at your building. It is not an Ivory Tower. Next, contact some of your readers and ask their opinions. We are not the ignorant masses who can be bought by slick advertising. We saw what was being proposed. We saw that government control was being promoted over individual and corporate control.

Government control is hardly ever a good solution. We saw this, and then we voted.

Donald Butler, Warren

Tax plan shows GOP cares little about the middle class

I thought Republicans were supposed to be deficit hawks. By their proposals on tax reform, you wouldn’t know it. All I gather from them is more money for rich folks and corporations and less for us, while raising the deficit $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and increasing the gap between rich and poor.

And why do they want to fast track this bill through Congress? In the words of Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., “political survival depends on us doing this.”

They don’t care about helping people; all they care about is keeping their cushy jobs. They need an accomplishment. As they should know, trickle-down economics have been tried and never worked. But it sure did help the 1 percent-ers.

Sen. Orrin Hatch didn’t like Sen. Sherrod Brown saying it will make the rich richer. If he comes from the lower middle class as Hatch says, I don’t understand how he doesn’t see what this bill will do. I feel it will raise taxes on seniors, students and many others, by taking away the requirement that people have health coverage; it will surely kill that. But that’s just another thing they don’t care about. As long as they have their golden coverage, who cares what the peons have to do? And do corporations really need a 15 percent tax cut. Gag me with a spoon.

If they can’t come up with a better plan than this, they should leave things as they are. I hope people remember the things they have tried to do (health care, taxes, etc.) and get this divider-in chief and so-called president and his Congress cronies out of office come election time.

Jack Thomas, Struthers

In search of good Earth

As I read from my “Our Daily Bread” this morning, it said, “While orbiting the moon in 1968, Apollo astronaut Bill Anders described the crews close-up view of the moonscape. He called it “a foreboding horizon.” Then the crew took turns reading to a watching world from Genesis 1:1-10.

After Frank Borman finished verse 10, “and God saw that it was good,” he signed off with “God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

I stopped reading and cried. Because of what they saw. Somehow we must make it a good Earth again by all of us being more grateful.

I’m 83, have written to you before, but I couldn’t pass up making comment on this. They must have all been really impressed with what they saw. Too bad we can’t get “high” on God and nature.

Nancy Ault, Boardman

Consider using inmates to fight blight in Valley

As I look around and see dilapidated buildings from a past productive era, I wonder if we can extract something. Add a negative factor to a negative factor and come up with a positive solution. OK, let me explain.

All the unoccupied and condemned dwellings we have in Trumbull and Mahoning counties cost cities and the state staggering amounts of money to remove, plus it’s a slow and time-consuming operation. This is a negative factor in our community.

Now, we have another negative factor that shall never go away: the incarceration of prison inmates at our local jails and prisons. They have broken the law and are serving time for their actions at the expense of the taxpayers. Can society extract something positive from it? I feel it could, if conducted properly.

The first thing that might pop into your mind is a chain gang, as in the movie “Cool Hand Luke,” with Paul Newman, a film with a sadistic dialogue.

Not all of the inmates incarcerated are totally lost or unproductive to society. The prison system has a good behavior program. Inmates could go out each day to demolish unusable dwellings by hand, reusing many materials where some items are in short supply or not replaceable in today’s market. Excavators destroy everything in the razing process.

I am quite sure on a volunteer basis, many would be more than happy to comply. This reflects another movie, “Stir Crazy,” implying mental agony, starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.

We could compound these two negatives to produce a positive outcome and a return on money and time invested.

Paul R. Lawson, McDonald

Veterans, not NFL stars, are true American heroes

Recently I read an article about a man who passed away. His daughter wrote about memories of her dad. One such memory: His house sat upon what was called “the corner.”

In her own words she wrote “his American flag flew perpetually at half-staff in honor of the men and women of our great military. He didn’t tolerate anyone who stepped into his yard with a negative comment about his flag. He threw many a surprised visitor off his property, with no apologies.”

The man was an Air Force veteran. At his memorial service on display was his Harley, his Bible and a folded veterans flag in honor of his service to his country.

My point is you have an average Joe making enough money to support his family. On the other hand, you have the big athletes who make large sums off the owners and off the blood, sweat, and tears of the average Joes and yet the athletes don’t have the decency to stand to honor our flag and national anthem.

On Veterans Day I honored the true heroes. To get respect you must earn it.

Jane Snyder, Columbiana

Don’t forget POW-MIAs

Veterans Day has come and gone, with much deserved celebrations and remembering of our fallen, but one thing that was not mentioned in many festivities was remembering the POW–MIAs that may be gone, but must never be forgotten.

They are still out there and our government should pursue all avenues to get closure for the families. Godspeed to all.

James Eidel, Beaver Township