The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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A saint…really?
To the editor: This pertains to Pope Francis proclaiming John Paul II a saint.

What miracles did he perform? How can the Pope even begin to proclaim the former pope a saint when in fact he was guilty of responding slowly to the crisis of sexual abusive priests, and the bishops who enabled these actions against innocent children – a scandal of major cover up of pedophilia behavior.

Then he put more shame on our faith by giving Vatican sanctuary to Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, an enabler of child abuse who resigned in disgrace in 2002 as Archbishop of Boston.

Another unforgivable breach was the former pope’s defense of a Mexican priest, Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile, womanizer, embezzler, and drug addict. The priest's order, the Legionaries of Christ, denounced him in February for his “reprehensible and immortal behavior.”

This is a slap in the face for those of us who have worked hard in raising our children in the Catholic faith. We teach our children to obey the teachings of our faith, and then read in the papers about Pope Francis’ canonization of a pope who has broken the teachings of the Catholic faith. This is far from the teachings I learned at the Catholic school I attended.

Apparently, there two sets of rules – one for the followers and then one for the priest. Not once did the pope apologize for his behavior, nor did he apologize to the innocent children that these priests destroyed.

A saint he is not, and he doesn't deserve to be called a saint.

This is a sad day in the eyes of the innocent who had to endure the pain and suffering at the hands a man who decided to sweep this behavior under the rug. This is one of the reasons I have left the Catholic Church.
Joann Schiavone
Walbridge


All in for students
To the editor: I am writing in response to Sandy Susor’s comments about Oregon Superintendent Lonny Rivera.

She must not really know Mr. Rivera at all. I did some checking; email is public record and there is no email from Mrs. Susor to Mr. Rivera. Mrs. Susor, I believe, is trying to take a shot at Mr. Rivera for personal reasons.

Next I checked why Mr. Rivera was not at the National Honor Society banquet. What I found was he was at the University of Toledo seeking money for scholarships and programs for Oregon kids. Additionally, I found that two board members – Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Molnar – were both present at the program.

Sunshine laws prevent more than two board members being present at an event. So I say to Mrs. Susor, before you call someone out, you should investigate the facts. Anyone who knows Mr. Rivera will tell you he is “all in” when it comes to kids.
Troy McLaughlin
Oregon
Editor’s note: McLaughlin is a wrestling coach in the Oregon school system.


Supporting students
To the editor: In response to the letter titled “Disappointed” in the April 28 edition of The Press, I did attend the National Honor Society Induction held at Clay High School.

Heather Miller, her husband and I were seated together in the rear of the auditorium.

As chair of the Oregon School Board Academic Committee, I have attended all academic functions in our schools for the past four or five years. These include but are not limited to DARE graduation, elementary honors programs, Presidential Fitness Awards Luncheon, Eisenhower and Fassett honors breakfasts or programs, the Top 10 Percent Banquet, the Honors Pancake Breakfast, National Honor Society Induction, Clay Honors Night and graduation.

Unless there is a calendar conflict, you will find our administrators are also in attendance.
Carol-Ann Molnar
Academic Chair, V.P. Oregon school board


Not the time
To the editor: I have always supported the schools – until now. In response to the letter, “Obvious argument,” maybe she thinks $300 per year is not unaffordable, but to a lot of people who make $50,000 per year (before taxes) it is unaffordable. Especially when you want to tax my property for 37 years and tax my income permanently – that is a double tax.

Also, do the people in Northwood know that the state has taken the roll-back away for any new tax and this school levy is a new tax, so no roll back on property value.

Over 26 years, my husband and I have lived and raised three children here. We have seen many school levies pass and many changes to the schools, including additions to what used to be the middle school.

There were major renovations at that school; the old gym was turned into a cafeteria, classrooms added as a second floor and a new gym with locker rooms and showers added. The high school, Olney and Lark had many things updated over the years through tax dollars we all paid and are still paying. Now the school board and superintendent just want to tear them down.
Pat Hollabaugh
Northwood


Superintendent responds
To the editor: This letter is to respond to letters published last week regarding the facility plan for the Northwood school levy.

• School choice/school competition/open enrollment exists in our state for all students and their families as a part of Ohio law. Currently 40 Northwood students are choosing to attend other schools taking approximately $257,000 in state aid with them from our community to cover the costs of their education at the schools they choose to attend.

In Northwood, 1 mill of property tax raises about $115,000 so about 2.25 mills of property tax we pay is currently leaving our community and paying for education at other schools. In this environment, our school district has made the choice to compete for students and allow students from other communities to make their choice Northwood schools.

When they make that choice, they bring both state tax dollars as well as some of their home community tax dollars with them to pay for their education in our school. Our district limits the number of students we accept at each grade level and program so that no additional staff members are required. We currently have 161 students from other communities in our school and those students are bringing approximately $803,000 this year with them from their communities to cover the costs of their education. That equates to about 7 mills of property tax coming in to our school from other public school districts.

By accepting open enrollment students our district experiences a net positive of about $699,000 a year, which equates to about 6 mills of property tax you and I are not paying because our district has chosen to compete.

• By making many tough, unpopular and fiscally responsible decisions such as permitting open enrollment and other operational changes including the closing of Lark Elementary School, our board of education has continued to offer excellent learning opportunities for our students while not seeking any additional funds from our community in more than six years. Our district is currently in excellent financial condition and if state funding remains steady over the next several years, our treasurer’s most recent five-year forecast shows the school not needing to ask voters for operational funds during that time.

• As a letter writer stated, school district mergers are unpopular with communities. What I said about it however, was misrepresented. I have not stated that a school merger was “not even considered”, I have stated no steps have been undertaken to implement any (“unpopular”) school mergers. In my “considering” this idea, it is clear not only are school mergers unpopular, if one did occur, the other area school districts would not have space to accommodate all of our Northwood students in their buildings. In other words, we still need to address our facility issues.

• Northwood schools began assessing our buildings with the State of Ohio in 1990. That original study was revisited in 2000, again in 2008 and updated last in 2013. The plan that our community is being asked to support was arrived at through a community engagement process in which 61 of our residents took part. Not everyone agreed all the time. In the end, the plan the group recommended, is to build one 130,000 square foot building that will provide educational spaces for preschool through grade 12 while preserving all of the common spaces of the 51-year-old current high school for community and student use. Area districts which have made this choice that our citizens can look to for reference are Elmwood and Lakota. The information from those meetings is available on our district website for all to review.

• If property tax alone were relied on to pay for the plan, the levy needed would be around 9 mills to raise our local share. That would be a large levy, especially for those on fixed incomes. Recognizing this, the community members studying our options also recommended a levy that was split between property tax and earned income tax to pay for the plan. An 0.25 percent earned income tax portion of the levy does not tax investment income, pensions or Social Security. The board has also chosen to use funds from recent tax abatement agreements to help pay for the plan which reduces the cost for all our residents.
Greg Clark
Superintendent, Northwood Local Schools

New school needed
To the editor: In response to Mrs. Barton’s and Mr. Tewers’ letters last week, a new school building in Northwood to replace the three current schools is needed, and the only way we can provide it to our children is to pass a levy. With state assistance of $11.5 million dollars, the cost will never be lower to provide our children a safe, healthy, and efficient school.

The outdated infrastructure and structural problems aren’t going away. Most need to be addressed in the immediate future. Our high school had buckets collecting water from the leaking roof when the snow melted and on days of heavy rain. Olney students had their books and work damaged from leaking windows. Fourth graders had to wear their winter coats in one classroom this past winter. Many walls in the elementary building have peeling plaster from water damage. Last November, a pipe broke under the elementary building nearly canceling school the next day.

The plan for Northwood to build one school for all grade levels is not a new concept. Many small districts have done this to increase efficiency. Buildings are designed to appropriately separate elementary, middle and high school students, yet share some common areas such as the cafeteria and gym.
Erin O’Connor
Co-Chair, Citizens for Northwood Schools

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