Valley Jewish leaders appreciate large crowd at Tree of Life memorial
Last Thursday eve- ning, the good and decent people of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys displayed their true colors. A huge crowd, comprised of individuals of all faiths, ethnicities, and political persuasions gathered together at Temple El Emeth, as one region to mourn the deaths of the 11 innocent worshipers in Pittsburgh who were gunned down in their Synagogue during Shabbat prayers, and to offer support and fellowship to the Jewish community during this difficult time. On behalf of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, we want to say thank you!
Many of us have felt utterly without hope and without faith, and we feared that we would be facing these feelings alone. We know that we are not alone.
As Federation President Richard Marlin said during the ceremony, “the anti-Semitism and xenophobia that led to this unspeakable bloodshed must be condemned in no uncertain terms by leadership and the general public alike ... This is the time for us all to come together. We must use this opportunity to unite our cities, states and nation to ensure that no such tragedies recur in any community of any persuasion. We must tap our outrage to effectuate positive change and safeguards, letting our officials know that we stand ready to work with them to make it so.”
The community answered this call. And while we have not, and will not, always see eye-to-eye on all matters, it is our hope that this incredible moment of unity will continue and that an air of civility and respect will prevail in all our discourse.
Love is most definitely stronger than hate.
Andrew Lipkin Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, Youngstown
Lipkin is the executive vice-president and Burdman is the director for Community Relations/Government Affairs of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.
Bond issue in Crestview deserves support of voters
As chairperson of the levy committee, a proud Rebel parent, and community member, I am urging district residents to support the upcoming school levy. There is a team of motivated community members working countless hours to inform the community about the bond based on facts.
We are asking voters to approve a bond to build a new state of the art Pre-K-12 facility. The state is funding 88 percent of the project saving us, the taxpayers, millions of dollars.
We have already spent $188,000 over the past three years trying to repair the failing heating system. The repairs are draining our budget. As a homeowner, you would go to the bank for a home improvement or home equity loan. As a school, we have to go to the public for bonds.
We have not sought additional help since 1992. But unlike most homeowners, we have help with our project. The state is funding most of the cost of a new building, which is less than our repairs. The state won’t pay for our repairs.
Let me put this in homeowner terms. Homeowner John Doe has a failing roof. The replacement roof costs $15,000 on a $100,000 home. The state knocks on John Doe’s door and says, “John, we will build you a new $100,000 home if you come up with 12 percent or $12,000.”
We have an opportunity to build a brand new, energy efficient, state of the art, secure facility for less than the cost to repair our failing structures. Our district is a good steward of tax dollars.
Jason DeCenso, Columbiana
Jason DeCenso is chairman of the levy committee in Crestview.
Use your vote to save and protect Medicare
My name is Chris- tine Terlesky. I am a former Boardman teacher and coach. Five years ago, I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I would like to first express my thanks to the entire Youngstown community. The amount of support our family has gotten is inspirational, knowing there is an entire city behind my family and me gives me the strength to fight another day. Even though my body is failing, and I am paralyzed, my heart and faith are still strong. I am thankful for every day I have with my children and husband and this community is a big reason why I am still here.
I still have a lot of fight in me, for not only myself but for others. Our Valley is special because we care for our own. We believe in hard work, we believe in caring for our neighbor, we believe in keeping promises, and we believe in each other.
For these reasons, it is important for everyone who is eligible to vote. We need to protect Medicare and Social Security with our vote. These programs promised to us are being threatened to be cut.
ALS is so devastating that a bipartisan bill provides Medicare early to those unfortunate souls. Medicare has not just been a godsend to me but to the country; how many generations have been saved financially because of Medicare? Personally, I know we would be bankrupt without it. My medical bills are astronomical due to equipment, doctors appointments and meds. If Medicare is cut I believe this will be devastating to the entire country.
Health care should be affordable for everyone. Even though our country spends the most for health care in the world, not everyone has access. This problem needs to be solved in a bipartisan way. The Republicans have had control of all three branches of government the last two years and tried to take away health care access to millions.
We need to vote Democrats in office and protect Medicare and Social Security and demand a solution to the health care crisis.
Regardless, if you take my advice or not, go vote. Many people died for us for this right. I wrote this letter through eye gazing technology because I am completely paralyzed. If I can vote every one can vote! No excuses!
Christine Terlesky, Boardman
As holiday nears, show veterans appreciation
Veterans Day is Sun- day, Nov. 11. It began when fighting ceased on the 11th hour of Nov. 11, 1918, of World War I, known as the “Great War” and then regaled as the war to end all wars.
Armistice Day was declared by President Woodrow Wilson on Nov. 11, 1919. He stated, “... the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”
President Dwight Eisenhower issued on Nov. 8, 1954, the first “Veterans Day Proclamation,” which stated “... in order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, veteran organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose – a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve at home and abroad and sacrifice so much for the common good ...”
America has seen many challenges of war since 1918. Defeating the Nazis and Japanese in World War II, sending troops to protect democracy in Korea, VietNam and throughout the world to give a voice to the voiceless and persecuted. Please continue to encourage our government to return to these sites to bring back the bodies of those lost in combat to their home and final resting place.
Our brave men and women, along with their families, have stationed both within and outside the American borders serving heroically and helping others, often giving the ultimate sacrifice.
On this Veterans Day, please honor these sacrifices by extending your heart and hand and thanking a veteran and their family for all their efforts to keep us all safe. Freedom is a full-time job, and our service members never get a day off, even on Veterans Day.
To all our veterans, please join me to say, “Thank you for your service, you are so appreciated.”
Karen Shesko, Lake Milton
Karen Shesko handles public relations for American Legion Auxiliary 737 in Lake Milton.