To the editor: This letter is in response to Brian Schwartz’s opinion, as printed in the June 8 Press.
Mr. Schwartz states “… there really isn’t a great deal available to cut,” and “There’s nothing left to cut.” I am not sure if Mr. Schwartz has seen the Oregon City School District Performance Audit prepared by the Auditor of State, which seems to come to a different conclusion. The audit states there are cuts to be made. The audit has made recommendations for over $6 million in annual savings.
One of these recommendations directly contradicts Mr. Schwartz’s idea that Oregon is unable to close any school buildings. The audit clearly states it would be fiscally responsible for the district to close one elementary school.
Additionally, Mr. Schwartz points out that this budget deficit is not the fault of the leadership of Oregon Public Schools, but rather the problems stem from Columbus. I somewhat agree with Mr. Schwartz on this notion, however I wholeheartedly disagree that the fine people of Oregon should continue to be overburdened with taxes for the school system.
We citizens of Oregon passed a 5.9 mill levy just last year and are currently paying 67 percent of our total property taxes to Oregon Schools. At some point, the school funding system must be fixed, as mandated by the Ohio Supreme Court in the early 1990s. As the old saying goes, “there is no better time than the present.”
Finally, as a Realtor in this community and as the spouse of a public educator, I am a strong supporter and advocate for public education. However, as someone who has felt the wrath of the present economy first hand, I must draw a line in the sand. I hope everyone will take Mr. Schwartz’s advice and do a little research, and I am confident the citizens of Oregon will cast the difficult no vote in November.
Use common sense
To the editor: I have been reading with much interest the comments from many people and organizations about the Woodville Road/Millbury Road intersection issues.
Here’s my two cents. This is a rural state route, so putting up stop lights at every major intersection is not practical. Putting up stop lights everywhere there is a fatality is not the way to go either. You’d have a light at virtually every intersection along Route 51.
I know the Millbury Road/Woodville Road area is especially dangerous, as I was run off the road there once by someone who thought it would be a good idea to pull out from Millbury Road in front of my car traveling at 55 miles per hour.
Most issues stem from people coming from any side road onto Route 51. People need to stop and think. Woodville Road traffic is moving at 55 miles per hour. You can’t just pull out in front of them as if you were pulling out onto a local side street. I cannot tell you how many times someone pulls out in front of me anywhere on Route 51 and I have to hit the brakes to avoid rear-ending them. (Then, they usually drive up 100 yards or so, and want to turn left into oncoming traffic, causing everyone behind them to have to stop for them to make their left-hand turn. You people know who you are, and you are idiots.)
My suggestion for Route 51/Millbury Road would be to place blinking stop signs on Millbury Road like the ones at I-280 and Route 163 intersection and a flashing yellow light above the intersection facing Woodville Road traffic or on the side of Woodville Road, like the ones notifying you that the traffic signals are side mounted at Lemoyne Road and Route 795. I believe those precautions that are in place are serving their intended purposes well. It gets the message across and keeps traffic flowing on a state route, as intended.
You cannot possibly legislate out all mistakes that people make. We are human – we make mistakes. We just need to use more common sense when driving.
Joe Kutchenriter, Jr.
Fireworks law change overdue
To the editor: The time is long overdue to change the fireworks laws in this state to provide for sensible and regulated use of all consumer fireworks. Forty-five states now allow some level of consumer fireworks, and the national trend has been to liberalize the fireworks laws.
Statistics released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show a reduction from 12,500 estimated fireworks-related injuries in 1994 to only 9,800 in 2007, a reduction of over 21 percent.
In 1994, America imported 117,000,000 pounds of fireworks rising to 265,500,000 pounds in 2007, an increase of over 125 percent. When you factor in usage, based on injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used, the fireworks-related injuries reduced by 65.42 percent from 1994 to 2007. That is impressive.
The 1994 timeframe is meaningful. In 1994, the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory began its Quality Improvement Program and testing of the fireworks products at the factory level in China prior to the products being permitted to be exported to the U.S.
Most consumer products with any degree of risk is associated, such as ATVs, personal watercraft, trampolines and the like, produce increased injuries along with increased use. Not so with consumer fireworks, where use has increased and injuries have decreased.
Indiana legalized the regulated use of consumer fireworks in 2006, and the result is more tax revenue and more employment for Indiana, along with an amazing reduction in fireworks-related injuries over the three seasons.
We have an American fireworks-buying public who respects the products and follows the suggested safety rules to keep fireworks use safe and keep injuries down.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, anti-fireworks groups continue to misrepresent the truth about fireworks-related injuries. The facts cannot be disputed. Fireworks-related injuries have decreased at a time when fireworks use has significantly increased.
We Americans have celebrated our heritage of freedom with fireworks since 1776 when then-future President John Adams suggested in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade...bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”
Write or e-mail your state legislator and ask that the legislature reconsider the outdated consumer fireworks laws. Tell your legislator that you support the right to celebrate freedom with fireworks in the spirit of President John Adams, and that you support the sensible and regulated use of consumer fireworks.
Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely.
William A. Weimer
President, Phantom Fireworks
To the editor: The community of Curtice would like to thank all Curtice Kidz committees for bringing our families and friends together for Curtice Kidz Day.
We had a beautiful day and great activities for all ages including kiddie games, a tractor pull, a parade, a chicken barbecue, a bake sale, a car show and other great food too.
Watching the flags fly makes us proud Americans and proud residents of Curtice.
Also, all donations from our generous friends from Behind the Scenes were greatly appreciated.
Jim and Carol Miller
To the editor: It’s too bad that at this time in our economy, we have such short-sighted people.
We have the opportunity to create jobs in an area that is losing industry. Politicians are dragging their feet on getting the legal work done on this coke plant. And the nimbys that want good paying jobs, just not here. With the EPA regulations that have been in place for the last 20 to 30 years, I really don’t think there is much to worry about as far as pollution.
Do we want to end up like Flint, Mich.? Sure looks like that’s what some people are pushing for.
Tax reallocation needed
To the editor: Oregon officials spend great amounts of time and energy in support of a fly-by-night coke plant that they argue will bring money to the city. The reality is the income tax is split with Toledo, and the City of Oregon will get about $62,000 a year after construction. Oregon Schools admitted they will get nothing.
Meanwhile, these same officials give no effort to their residents to get back the refinery taxes that were lost to Oregon schools. While the refineries say they are paying the same amount of taxes (or more), the reality is the taxes go to all 88 counties in Ohio. In other words, Ohio took millions in school taxes away from the Oregon schools and other districts like it.
Oregon officials should be asking the governor and legislators to sponsor a bill that would reallocate the taxes back to Oregon schools. Oregon schools were supposed to be made whole with the tax changes; it never happened. The loss of money to the schools is hurting the schools and now the burden is on residents. The coke plant’s phantom operators and investors have the governor’s (and others) help.
It is time that Oregon residents, state representatives and officials make an effort equal to or greater than that for the coke plant and insist on reinstating the tax base the State of Ohio took away from Oregon schools.
Do the math
To the editor: Forty-six million people in the USA do not have health insurance, our president has told us through his campaign and first five months in office.
Now Congress is considering a $1 trillion over 10 years health care plan. You think our elected officials could do the math. In a large-group health care plan, it costs roughly $400 to $500 a month to insure four to five people, or 49 billion dollars a year, or $497 billion over 10 years.
This simple plan cost $503 billion less than what Congress is all excited about. I personally feel the Washington problem is wall to wall, not aisle to wall.
The majority seem like a major disappointment. A “D” or “R” at end of their name makes no difference.
Wake up, Washington. Do you think they spend their own money this way?
If you like Washington’s thinking, simply do nothing. If you think it’s time for Washington to shop out the best bang for the dollar, get your pen out and write. Write your congressman, senators and president, letting those we elected know you can do the math.
Mark J. Reeves