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Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:
Carroll County without the Extension of the Ohio State University in the county is unbelievable.  A rural county with its main source of income from agriculture needs all the advice plus latest information and all the hands-on training it can get. We have been very fortunate thanks to previous long-range planning.

Presenting the Extension annual budget to the county commissioners for matching funds with The Ohio State University is not new. It happens every year. In fact, it has happened for over 60 years. Past budgets have always been approved and looking around the county you can tell that agriculture has excelled.

Carroll County was one of the top dairy producing counties for several years. Now it seems to have been passed to the beef producers. So be it. Which ever way we want to go, Extension is there with benefits to the entire county.

One of the most outstanding programs of the Extension service, which I believe is the “fairest one of all,” is the 4-H program. The Four H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health. What could be more important than teaching our youth? The 4-H program is available for all our county youth. There are many projects to choose from and all come with volunteering adult supervision.

Our family of five and all the neighboring crew “grew up” with their projects. What a busy time that was, but we survived with amazing results. Among the many fields of interest our gang continued to pursue in their education included parks and recreation, teaching, agronomy, engineering, architecture, nursing, finance and yes, farming. In the process of them doing all these different projects, we found they learned the three R’s  - Respect, Responsibility and Reliability. Put these all together and, in time, you have leadership. What could be more important for our country and future generations?

Our county commissioners have always approved matching funds with The Ohio State University to maintain our county office. This year, in their official capacity and with limited funds, they were obligated to fund only mandated programs.

I think now is the time for all of us to step up to the plate and do what is necessary to keep the Extension of The Ohio State University in our county. Vote yes on the Extension Levy May 4. It can be called long-range planning.

Gladys Evans
Lee Twp. Resident


To the Editor:
I was in the grocery store concentrating heavily on purchasing healthy and wholesome food which, sorry to say in my world, is not a normal function. Grabbing anything that says “Hostess” or “Nickles Bakery” is definitely normal for me.  Anyway, I overheard a gentleman talking to the store manager about how his new friend, Barack, was the greatest thing since the doorknob and how wonderful it was that healthcare will be for one and all  and now we can all share the wealth with one another.  I equivocate it to riding off into the sunset just as happy and united as can be that all the kool-aid had been consumed.

Anyway, while eating a mini vanilla creamstick, I decided to test the waters. I approached the two gentlemen, introduced myself as a senior citizen who has impeccable hearing and told them I had been intrigued by their comments on “redistribution” of their, and my money, and I commented to the store manager that I had been a patron of his food chain for well over 30 years and I had paid (all by myself)  his food chain for those groceries and I thought that, since they were so into sharing the wealth, that maybe they would go to the register with me on this fine, glorious free   day and  offer up their wealth for my tab.  And, in return, I would offer up part of my cream stick.

You know, I was flabbergasted.  Truly.  I mean where was the passion?  The equality?

The sensitivity?   The overwhelming burning desire to dig deep into those pockets and pull out some of their money to  make my ends meet.  They must have misinterpreted Reagan’s words when he said, “No.*!*# No, because that  is the reaction I got, “No, *!#* no.”
Must be one of those good-for-you but not good-for-me kind of things.

Don’t blame good ol’ Barack. In so many ways he told us exactly what he wanted, was and is going to do. He is the one who set up the table, lined up the cups, filled the pitchers with passionate and vibrant kool-aid, promised us hope and change and said come hither, but it was our own, elected Democratic congressmen, senators and government officials - people we knew and trusted - who lined up, one by one, got bought and paid for to pour those cups full of pledges and promises, put a smile on their everlasting, two-faced lips and said to their constituents, “Trust me and drink up.”

Remember in November, they didn’t drink along with us.
Terry Vahila
Malvern, Ohio


To the Editor:
I’m writing about the levy for the Carroll County 4-H program. I was a 10-year member of 4-H and even won first place at the Ohio State Fair for Dog Utility B class, which is the highest level of obedience training at the State Fair. However, 4-H isn’t all about the winning as I’ve learned.

Unlike many, I was born a 4-H member with my mom being an advisor and both of my brothers were members so I was bound to follow. At the age of 9, I was just glad to be able to brag about owning my own puppy, but little did I know that, that puppy was teaching me. Raising a puppy (especially a Labrador) takes discipline, patience and respect as I tried to teach a dog that was even less mature than myself. The skills of discipline, patience and respect have carried over into my life even today. They have been the key issue to handling roommate issues, parties, Greek life and all kinds of student organizations that invade my life and interfere with my studies. Then, in time, I grew older and gained other responsibilities from the club and in the county. I was secretary for two clubs and had to keep detailed notes of each meeting, which I’ve now learned is training for those boring 8 a.m. lectures at college. Secondly, I learned from being treasurer in my club to balance the books, which is useful now that I’m a poor college kid. As a college student, there is a lot of new excitement we must handle and yet we are expected to remain disciplined and attend those 8 a.m. lectures when half of the rest of the class doesn’t, while remaining honest and not just buying the answer key from some upperclassman.

In short, I feel this levy should be passed because 4-H has taught me the keys to success. No, 4-H did not teach me to win every time, but it has taught me to be successful in life and live knowing I have won.

Wesley Jones
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
First, I am for the Sheriff’s levy.  But when the people downtown can’t just put the Sheriff’s levy by itself, I have a problem. Last time we voted on it, we voted it down twice. Why? Because they tried to sneak the 4-H and OSU on the same ballot because the politicians downtown knew the Sheriff’s levy would get passed until the people of Carrollton found out it wasn’t just the Sheriff’s levy.

Now here we go again. I’m for the Sheriff’s office! But the OSU Extension and 4-H on a levy; I have to draw the line. The last time I checked, a business is when there is a product, called courses, for sale to the public. These are paid for with tuition! Profit, or non-profit, it is a business. As examples, Goodwill and American Rescue workers are non-profit, but the difference between them and OSU Extension is they are not funded by our tax dollars like OSU. Yes, we are already paying for OSU with our state taxes because OSU is a state-funded university. Now the people downtown want us to pay for it by taxing us again through a levy. I don’t know of any other business that opens a branch elsewhere in Ohio and then went to the voters for a tax levy to support that business.

I don’t have a problem with the 4-H Clubs, until the people downtown want a levy in taxes for the people to pay for it. When I was a Boy Scout and the club needed money or we wanted to go to camp, we went out and earned it. That taught us responsibility. Girl Scouts earn their own money; one way being the cookie sales. I see no levy for them. These are just examples of young people belonging to and supporting clubs on their own, not wanting people to pay for these clubs with more taxes.

Bob James
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
Increased taxes are going to come crashing down on us pretty soon by the federal government. I’m just a middle class taxpayer who’s been told by his employer that because of the new health care bill, my monthly health care expense will go up 18 percent, my taxes about $350 per month when the tax cuts expire and higher energy costs if the cap and trade is passed. Now I’m asked to give up my money and vote for these levies. Where does it stop?

Randy Miller
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
I would like to ask the voters of Carroll County to vote for the OSU Extension Levy May 4. Having been involved in 4-H for many years, I have seen over and over how members have grown in skills and confidence. Those familiar with 4-H have no doubt about its values to those who participate. However, that value goes beyond those it directly affects.

You do not have to be in 4-H to benefit from it. Community service is an important part of the 4-H program. Members visit nursing homes, pick up trash, collect food for pantries and many other activities. Those members who raise livestock receive training on how to care for animals humanely and learn to keep the food supply safe. 4-H give kids a useful way to spend their time and energy, rather than getting involved in destructive activities. Good opportunities for children are one of the criteria that families consider when deciding where they want to live. The work ethic, leadership skills and commitment to service developed in 4-H create the kind of citizens who make a stronger and healthier community.

Unfortunately, because 4-H has been a part of the county for so long, some people believe that it would go on even if the levy does not pass. Other Ohio counties have also had problems funding the Extension Service and have found ways to survive. However, Carroll County is in a unique position. Because the money appropriated for OSU Extension last year was never paid by county commissioners, we started this year with a very large deficit. There is no backup plan. All 4-H members already pay a membership fee, and there is no way this amount of money can be made up by fundraising. If this levy does not pass, 4-H will be shut down.

We live in a beautiful, rural county with a strong agricultural heritage. Our county has much to be proud of. Do we really want Carroll County to have the distinction of being the first county in Ohio to completely lose 4-H and the Extension Service?

Julie Davis
Amsterdam, OH


To the Editor:
What could be more important to any community than an office dedicated to all of the families in the county? The OSU Extension Office is an “educational resource center” for all of the citizens of Carroll County. There is information available on a wide range of topics. If they do not have a brochure on your topic of interest, the professional staff will help research a topic to get the question answered.

The OSU Extension Office is a focal point for youth development for all of the youth in the county. Through the network of 4-H programs, hundreds of youth each year  are given opportunities to learn and grow under the supervision of caring, concerned adults.

The OSU Extension Office is a valuable resource for everyone in Carroll County. The levy is needed to financially support the continued operation of the OSU Extension Office. The OSU Extension Office supports families, youth and community development in our county. Please vote “YES” to keep the OSU Extension Office open in Carroll County.

Melanie Campbell
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in support of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Levy.

I retired in January 2009 as a deputy sheriff. In 1994, I was hired by Lake Mohawk Property Owners Association to enforce their rules and regulations and, in 1997, was appointed Head of Security in that great community.

At that time, I was deputized by former Sheriff Ralph Lucas and kept my commission with Sheriff Dale Williams. During that time in my command, I had another full-time officer and six part-time officers. While on duty at the Lake, we assisted the Sheriff on many emergency calls when his officers were on other calls or short staffed. Myself and the county should thank Lake Mohawk for allowing us to leave the lake at their cost.

Since my retirement, I have kept my commission as a reserve deputy. The Sheriff has several reserve deputies who volunteer countless hours to the department at no cost to the county. I know economical times are hard on all of us, but passing the Sheriff’s Levy will help keep the county as reported for the last several years as the “Safest and enjoyable county in the nation.”

Due to economic times, our county commissioners were forced to cut the Sheriff’s budget in 2009 by $180,000 and again by $110,000 in 2010. Additional cuts are expected next year as well. A one-mill levy for five years will bring in about $541,000 annually in revenue to be used only by the Sheriff’s Dept. It is reported the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $30 a year, or 8-cents per day.

If you qualify for the Homestead Exemption, the portion of tax you pay will be less. If the levy passes, full service will be restored to all divisions of the department. If the levy fails, more services will be cut and more deputies laid off. This could cost the Sheriff to have one car and one deputy per shift on road patrol.

Let all of us vote yes on the levy and keep Carroll County the safest county in the nation.

Charles “Dick” Moyer
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
There have been several letters published in support of this levy. Opinions have been written by business leaders or public officials who feel very strongly about 4-H programs. I have to assume there are people like me who see no need for this levy.

Why is 4-H the poster child? If this levy doesn’t pass, 4-H will continue to exist. We will still have exhibitors at the fair. Columbiana County’s extension office has run on a budget of less than $15,000 per year with one part-time employee. The 4-H program continues there. Have they had to make changes? Yes! Have they had to do more fundraisers? Yes! But, before you say I’m against 4-H, then understand both of my children were very much involved in 4-H market projects  for more than five years. Both had small animals up to market hogs. There are thousands of hours of volunteer work put into 4-H every year. If this levy fails, that will continue to happen. People getting involved is the great thing about 4-H! The fact remains that 4-H will not go away if this levy is not passed!

Here are a few questions I have asked myself. Has the Extension Office tried to reduce spending?

I’m sure they have but I see no facts. Several counties have consolidated the Extension Office efforts. I haven’t seen that proposal. If you want me to back a tax, then prove to me and every taxpayer the OSU Extension Office is willing to cut expenditures. In most counties where a levy has been passed, the actual budget of the Extension Office doubles. If you give them the money, they will spend it. Every politician knows that.
A few weeks back in the 17th State Senate, two politicians debating, were asked about the Extension Office budget cutbacks. Here’s Mr. Daniels’ answer: “The Extension Office says The Ohio State University Extension Office. This is Ohio State’s best outreach program and they need to fund it. Counties only needed to supply office space and office equipment for extension’s use, but over the years, the counties have become responsible to help out with operational expenses. When was the last time tuition fees went down at OSU? When was the last time cuts were made to administration pay levels at OSU?”

Let’s get to why we are being asked to pass this levy. First and foremost, the county doesn’t have the money. Ten to 14 percent unemployment and increased government requirements have seen to that. So, where did the funding go? Ohio allotted about $26.3 million in 2008 for The Ohio State University Extension program. Gov. Ted Strickland’s plan would scale back funding to $21 million in fiscal year 2010 and just under $20 million in 2011. The next statement is from a commissioner in an Ohio county: “McCarthy said it is frustrating to think the county spends about $600,000 on out-of-county placement of children in foster care, but cannot find $20,000 to $30,000 to provide programs that prove beneficial to children.”

Why should I fund this program when Carroll County, through the Department of Job and Family Services, gives away over $100,000 just in gas cards every year, not to mention the other programs like Mr. McCarthy alluded to.

We pay more than enough taxes. The Extension Office is not a necessity. If it closes, 4-H will continue and farmers will continue to farm. Ninety-nine percent of the people in this county have never even used its services and most don’t even know where it’s located. There are other levies on the ballot that are more important. I will have to choose between the OSU Extension Levy and the Sheriff’s Levy and I know what my decision is.

I’ll stop with one last comment: The 4-H program will not cease to exist. Will the program have to change? Yes. But that is the great thing about 4-H. It teaches  those types of values!

Billy Ray
Carrollton, OH


To the Editor:
The Carrollton Relay for Life Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in or sponsored Longaberger Bingo April 11. Thanks to the following basket sponsors: Carrollton Relay for Life Committee, Lynn Nunley, Gotch and Co., Melissa Krinock, Deb Senko, Pan, Thin or Hand Tossed, Hair Etc., Glenda Carter, Pups for Life Relay Team, McIntire Show Horses, Palmer’s Hair Design, Sunset Beach, Judge Gary Willen, Sweeney-Dodds Funeral Home, Judge John and Melanie Campbell, Deb Senko, Tammy Sanderson, Deb Brown, The Free Press Standard Relay Team, McFadden Insurance, Bud’s Flowers and Gifts, Mercy Medical Relay Team, Lisa Phillis and Sonya Morrow.

Thanks to the following for their donations to the lunch stand: Glenda Carter, Audrey Kirkpatrick, Renee Richardson, Cheryl Wallace, Robin Palmer, Carol McIntire, Deb Senko, Nancy Fierbaugh and Discount Drug Mart. Thanks to the Carrollton Pizza Hut for the donation of pan pizza cards.

Thanks to the Loudon Twp. Volunteer Fire Department. Your continued support of Relay for Life is greatly appreciated. We couldn’t do what we do for the American Cancer Society without your help! Thanks to firefighters Bill Miller for doing the calling, Elmer Palmer, Mark Esway, John Beckley and Jeff Burton for all your help and thanks to Louie Cline and Cathy Mills for donating their time to help us. We truly appreciate your assistance and expertise!

And thanks to everyone who purchased tickets and participated in the event. Your participation is helping make the difference in the fight against cancer. It is because of you that the American Cancer Society is the official sponsor of birthdays and that more survivors than ever before are enjoying those birthday year after year!

We look forward to seeing all of you at the Carrollton Relay June 18 and 19 at the Carroll County Fairgrounds.

Robin Palmer
Shelly Vahalik
Carol McIntire
Longaberger Bingo Committee


Dear Editor,
If you own a home built before 1978, there’s a new rule you should learn about and applaud. It’s a rule aimed to keep children safe from a dangerous toxin that could be in your home right now.

Starting April 22, any contractor who may disturb lead-based paint in a home, day care or school will have to be certified to work the toxin. The new regulations will drastically change how some contractors tackle a job. Contractors need to take a course to learn about lead-safe practices and buy new equipment and supplies to comply with the new law.

 Home improvement job costs will rise because of the new lead safety measures.  The EPA estimates that on an average job, a contractor’s costs to buy equipment to seal off the area, vacuum up the dust and the extra time it takes to keep records of jobs in pre-1978 homes could add up to $167 to the total cost. Larger jobs could cost more, but that’s still a small price to pay for measures that keep our children from being exposed to something so dangerous.

Young children who breathe or swallow lead paint dust can suffer irreversible brain and nervous system damage. A lead particle the size of a single grain of salt can elevate a child’s lead level and more than 400,000 American children under age 6 already suffer from lead poisoning.

From now on, homeowners in pre-1978 built homes need to be more vigilant when hiring contractors. When you hire a contractor for any job, ask about lead paint safety practices. Check to make sure the contractor is certified by the EPA. Insist that all work comply with the new measure.

I urge you to get the information you need to protect your family from being exposed to lead-based paint.  You can call your local health department for more information on lead poisoning. Learn more about the issue at http://leadsafety.angieslist.com .

  
Angie Hicks, Founder
Angie’s List
Indianapolis, IN


To the Editor:
I am writing this letter to ask for your support on the .57 mill tax levy for five years for the OSU Extension and 4-H levy. I was in 4-H for 10 years and learned so many different things through the years by taking different projects to the fair, being a member of the Jr. Fairboard and have been involved in 4-H judging. I couldn’t just walk away from all those years. I needed to come back and help kids with their projects and be a person they could look up to, be an example for them. In 2002, I decided to become a 4-H advisor. I have been a 4-H advisor for six years with the Brown Frame Round-Up 4-H Club and I love it. I’m on the Small Animal Committee, 4-H Committee, Sales Committee and help with many other things at the fair.

While in 4-H I did all sorts of projects from outdoors projects like fishing to food, refinishing furniture, rabbits and many other projects. I learned how to restore a piece of furniture and now have several pieces of furniture in my home. I also took rabbits to the fair for 10 years. I absolutely love working with rabbits to this day. I help the kids with showmanship and anything else they need to learn about rabbits. I learned all of this from 4-H. I have 4-H to thank for how well I interview. That was one of the items my employer told me. I learned how to interview when I was being judged on my projects.

If this levy is passed, it will bring back programs like Carteens, 4-H Jamboree, School Enrichment Programs and many more. My opinion is that the OSU Extension Levy needs to pass to bring back these programs. 4-H is an awesome program for kids 9 to 18 which allows them to interact with different people/kids and learn so many different things.

These are some reasons why I loved being in 4-H and decided to become a 4-H Advisor and why Carroll County needs the OSU Extension and 4-H to stay and continue what they are doing for our kids, farmers and Carroll County in general. Please look at what 4-H can do for just one person; think about what it could do for so many for as little as $17.51 per $100,000 value.

Becky Stoller
Brown Frame Round-Up Advisor
Carroll County 4-H Alumni


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