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In Poland, it’s difficult to see forest from the trees

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

In Poland, it’s difficult to see forest from the trees

I have been attending the Poland Municipal Forest Board meetings every month on the fourth Tuesday for the last few years, and I am compelled to write this letter to inform the Poland Village residents of the distressing events of this board.

First of all, some of the remaining five-member board are condescending and disrespectful to any individual that may have an opinion different than theirs. This was probably the reason why the only “reasonable” Forest Board member felt compelled to resign after many years of dedicated service a month ago.

Secondly, the forest board does not allow for any public comments during its meetings. How this is permissible for a public board to act in this way is cause for alarm and for an investigation.

Thirdly, a forest board member and a Youngstown State University professor have “determined” that the Mauthe Bridge, built in 1956, is “nearing the end of it’s usefulness” and the board is entertaining the idea of paying that same professor to design a new bridge. That seems a “bit improper.”

Fourthly, the board decided it needed a website and Village Council approved $2,000 in February for a company to develop the site without bidding it out. Four months later, the website still isn’t online.

Fifthly, small plank footbridges have washed out and not put back into place for more than two years.

That’s only five major things of recent problems this Board has going on besides spending thousands of dollars on the chimney of Zedaker Pavilion. This past fall, village residents passed a levy for the Municipal Forest and I believe that they need to contact Mayor Sicafuse and ask him to appoint a “reasonable” person to the vacancy and hold Poland Village Council more responsible for the ineptness of the current Poland Municipal Forest Board. The next meeting is July 24.

Phillip Pillin, Poland

White House, come clean about immigrant children

I am among many Amer- icans who demand a truthful accounting of facts from the White House regarding the immigrant children separated from their parents at our southern border. The president initially lied repeatedly about the justification for these separations in order to promote his anti-immigrant border and to gain funding for the precious wall he promised when he was elected.

The president lied when he claimed his hands were tied because of a law passed previously by Democrats. The truth is that the president told Attorney General Sessions to order the separations without any basis in legislative rule of law. After spouting his blame on the television that the Democrats forced him to do this, he tweeted that the separations could be stopped if $25 billion in funding would be allocated for the wall. How handy!

I would much rather spend $25 billion on education, health care, or infrastructure. A physical border of almost 600 miles already exists along the boundary separating the United States and Mexico, in addition to the Rio Grande River’s border length of approximately 1,000 miles. Cities like El Paso that rest against the U.S.-Mexico border enjoy low crime rates, and the percentage of immigrants belonging to the MS-13 gang sits at less than 2 percent.

Nevertheless, the reunions between parents and children are not happening for two reasons. First, the government used one system of paperwork for the parents and another for the children. Second, in many cases either the parents or the children have been moved from their original housing sites. Even as the reunions are attempted, the new families seeking asylum here will be housed in military-style tents and camps, chillingly reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

People need to know the facts about this debacle. If the president insists on curtailing immigration into this country, especially for those rightly seeking asylum, even as he fails to reunite families unjustly torn apart, then he should simply remove the Statue of Liberty from its spot in the New York Harbor, because it then becomes a mockery of what it used to mean.

Linda Cocuzzi Richter, Niles