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Letters to the Editor

To The Editor,
Last week’s letter to the editor submitted by Billy Ray of Carrollton regarding the Carroll County OSU Extension Levy contained several substantial inaccuracies.  We wish to correct those inaccuracies:

1. 4-H will not continue to exist in Carroll County if the levy does not pass.  Due to financial, legal, and other organizational constraints, the Carroll County Extension Office will be forced to close if the levy does not pass.  Without a local OSU Extension Office, there cannot and will not be a 4-H program in Carroll County.  The 4-H program and its components are legal entities of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the land grant universities (The Ohio State University).

2. The Carroll County Office of OSU Extension has drastically cut expenses.  Staff have been terminated, remaining employees have been furloughed one day each week, the office has been closed one day each week, Extension Educators have been assigned to other counties, and many programs have been eliminated (think Country Living Field Day).

3. Ohio State University Extension is a partnership between local communities, the university, and the USDA, with each entity sharing the cost to conduct Extension programming in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.  With funding provided by the Ohio General Assembly and the USDA, The Ohio State University provides nearly $250,000 in funding to operate the OSU Extension program in Carroll County.  In order to maintain an OSU Extension program, these funds must be matched by Carroll County, either through an appropriation from the county commissioners or through a property tax levy.  Without the local matching funds, these state and federal funds will be lost in Carroll County.

4. Each year, a large percentage of Carroll County’s population (youth and adults) participate in hundreds of OSU Extension programs offered right here in our community. Thousands more visit the Carroll County Office of OSU located at 32 W. Main St. in Carrollton or utilize resources at their website at

Carroll County OSU Extension Levy Committee
Tom Puch, Chairman
Carrollton, OH

To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article printed in the April 22 edition of The Free Press Standard concerning the OSU Extension Levy that is on the May 4 Primary Ballot.

I believe in the mission of Extension as the educational outreach program of The Ohio State University.

The Extension Service is one of the best tools devised to spread information and research concerning agriculture and related topics. It has helped many farmers and their families become more productive and better at their job.

4-H is a great learning tool for youth, not only in a rural county such as ours, but also the urban environment. It has provided educational opportunities to kids who may not have had any other way to attend summer camp, learn about responsibility in the raising of their animal or the satisfaction of completing any of the many other projects.

However, the Extension Service is a victim of its own success. They have been very good at disseminating information to the masses. Today, much of the educational material and information is available via the Internet. There is no need to go to a brick and mortar office with the exception of a few services.

The minimum amount needed for OSU Extension to maintain a presence in a county is $25,000 (funding for one agent). A support staff person would also be needed, so add another $35,000 to $50,000. That’s a minimum ball park figure of $85,000 total. The county is responsible for providing benefits, office space, utilities and supplies. One agent would allow 4-H to continue in the county as well as other programs at a minimum level. Extension is asking for monies to restore the program to 2001 levels. Is this really needed? Do we need a full scaled program when a more basic program will get us through until times get better?

I do realize and understand they are requesting monies to repay OSU for what they have spent to cover the county shortfall. I don’t understand how they can request monies to cover projected uncollected delinquent taxes. This is asking person A to give extra to cover Person B because Person B did not pay their taxes.

They are assuming staff will receive a five percent pay raise (as determined by OSU) each year of the five-year levy. When was the last time the “Average Joe” got a pay raise to cover the cost-of-living, let alone any extra?

I am disgusted with the timing of the levy on the ballot. OSU says the office will close soon if the levy fails. No OSU Extension, no 4-H. This is 2 and one-half months before the county fair. What timing to prey on the fears of the kids who have purchased livestock in good faith.

Speaking of using kids, per Mr. Hogan, there are 450 members registered for 4-H this year. The taxpayers are making quite an investment for such a small amount of children. What about the kids in Hot Stove, soccer, Little Warrior Football, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. There is no levy for any of those particular programs.

Tom Konst
Carrollton, OH  

To the Editor:
State of Ohio operating budget: $50 billion biennially. 2011-2012 budget is projected to be short $7-$8 billion with anticipated overages. Short $10 billion, it is one-fifth of said budget: an arm.

Expect more pleas for public funding.

Only the pampered comment: “But 4-H is only $17.50 per $100,000.” Add to the $17.50, $12 for MWCD and it’s nearly $30. Add the Sheriff’s levy, a fire levy and it could total $100. Add Ohio Constitution Servicement tax (November), a few more needs – exorbitant costs escalate toward $300.

The 1990 Census said 65 percent of Carroll County commutes to Stark for work, 15 percent to Tuscarawas and five percent to Summit. The 2009 highway counts show a different traffic pattern with more traffic driving towards Tuscarawas. You fellow citizens (85 percent) commute. Budgets jumped from $50 to $200 per month when gasoline spiked to $3 per gallon due to war.

Mandated insurance impugns business that hire part time to avoid paying those benefits they can’t afford creating higher job loss and severe deficits. Uninsured jobs, at least, kept jobs and paychecks.

In Carroll County, more citizens are elderly and retired. There is less economic growth here. You raise your children and send them elsewhere to benefit those local tax coffers, not yours.

Political job creation is rhetoric. No government position creates jobs (municipaliies are more concerned with taxes, only market to attract diverse base). State, federal promises mean an intent to create special interest jobs. Translation – you work to pay those governments to create a job that 99 percent of you will never be able to apply for. (These jobs are technical like the First Frontier, with no guarantee of productive results.)

Most legislators have never been on fixed budgets. Therefore, they think hypothetical works. Example: Tax and return at a higher interest rate, which is called stimulus. 4-H is a fine organization. So are many organizations. What’s next? Football? Baseball? Summer youth camps?

4-H information can be gleaned online. Your local library is free, albeit operating on reduced budget hours. Expect reduced hours again.

Every paper shows farms chopped into smaller acreage and rusted tractors for auction. In procreation, with six billion people, we lose acreage to grow food. The family farm will be an art. The future is corporate farms and the corporation will teach workers their job.

Government, functioning by relevancy, sustains.

When emotions rule, recessions happen. True of the current recession, caused by war. No proof a poor, barren country, dependent on food-for-oil money took aim at the U.S. Individuals perhaps. This analogy would attack Illinois for the Chicago mafia.

At genocides, you yawn. Darfur. Rwanda. Congo. Such pettified priorities lose worlds.

Federalist 51 foreshadowed fractionalization: “…keeping power within due bonds: …Reason, exercised freely and coolly, inevitably falls into different opinions. Governed by a common passion, opinions will be the same…”
The United States loses because parties, special interest and organizations promote belief over equality.

Ann Yeager
Harlem Springs

To the Editor:
On April 16 I was able to see the CAST (Carroll Aspiring Stage Theatrics) perform a mystery dinner theater at Tozzis on 12th St. in Canton. I would encourage anyone who has a chance to see the CAST perform to do so! They were amazing. Between our youth at school plays/musicals and the people in the CAST, the talent in Carroll County is awesome. The CAST plays are directed by Dorothy Fritz. She is a talented, dedicated woman who gives all her spare time to the CAST and its members. The CAST puts on several performances a year. The next one is Robin Hood, planned for June. Please take time to see these talented people, you won’t be disappointed! As for Tozzi’s, the restaurant was very nice and the food was delicious. We will definitely go back.

Dorothy Moore
Carrollton, OH

To the Editor:
On April 22, we held the 6th annual Caregivers Dinner. At this time I would like to recognize all the members of the Coalition as they attend meetings, help with fundraisers and make this dinner possible. Members are Pat Lake and Laurel Lubeck from Area Agency on Aging, Tonya Howell, Carroll County Department of Job and Family Services; Angie Maurer, Great Trail Care Center; Maureen Grady, Hospice; Mary Fe Dearth, St. John’s Villa, Bobbie Hour, Society of Equal Access; Donna Walters, Carroll County Visiting Nurses; Brenda Burnett; Bowerston /Beacon Pointe Nursing Homes, Lauren Humphrey, Alzheimers Association, Kristi Snyder, Ten Lakes Center; Kasey Rippel, Crossroads; Jacquelyn Dornberger; Cormfor Care; Sherry Fritz, Carroll Golden Age Retreat; and Susie Frew, Carroll County Health Department.

Coalition members are responsible for fundraising and putting on the dinner which is meant to recognize caregivers for an afternoon of relaxation for all they do. This year we had a Ponderosa Night, Hillbillie Hollar helped us have two successful candle sale fundraisers and we had a Shop for the Cause Day where representatives from Longaberger, Pampered Chef, Dove Chocolate, Mary Kaye Cosmetics, Premier Jewelry and Purses Etc. donated back a portion of their sales and each Coalition member donated a raffle basket. With the fundraisers, coalition members and community donations and support, we were able to offer a great afternoon of relaxation for those who give to others all year. Thanks to all who made this day possible.  A special thanks to Marge Thompson and the Days Inn for always making our reception hall look amazing.

Anyone who would like to support the Caregivers Dinner, who is a caregiver or knows a caregiver you would like to get on the mailing list, or would like to nominate someone for the Caregiver of the year, should contact Tonya Howell at 330-627-2571, ext. 229.

Tonya Howell
Caregivers Coalition
Carrollton, OH

To the Editor:
As the grass greens and flowers bloom, it signifies spring is here once again. With that comes the start of the youth baseball season.
I would like to take this opportunity early on to thank all the local businesses that sponsor a team year after year. You are the heart and soul of community as well as our baseball program. I would also like to thank the board members and parents who step up to the plate to coach or simply lend a helping hand because your dedication and hard work are reflected through the success of our youth. If you take a look around our community, you will notice we have several new fields and updates to existing fields that are still in the works. There are many thanks due to several individuals such as Stephanie Carter, Pat and Tiffany Howelll for assisting with building new roofs at Ann Green Field; Lumber Service and Miller’s Metals sales for their assistance in our project; Dave Lashley for building and donating benches at three fields for our youth to sit on; Mike and Lisa Blake, owners of Seven Spring Fence for their labor and various donations; Gregg and Wendy Gotschall, owners of Gotch and Co. for their mowing/grass services; and Jeff and Darla Tipton, owners of Tippy’s Hauling. Without all of your assistance, continued success, growth and development of this youth baseball program would not be possible. Your assistance is more than appreciated and necessary.

Anyone interested in donating to the youth baseball program should contact one of the following board members: Jeff Carter, Belinda Mach, Judy Noble, Lynn Noble, Rob James, Rich Mitchell, Ryan Shaw or Dick Griffin.

Jeff Carter
Youth Baseball Program

To the Editor:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ohio. Many of you may have noticed the pinwheels on Public Square. All 88 counties in Ohio participate in the Pinwheels for Prevention Awareness Campaign. Each pinwheel represents one case of abuse/neglect in our county. In order to raise awareness to the problem of child abuse, our agency has made a Prevention Walk part of the program. This was our second annual Prevention Walk. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the following individuals and businesses that supported our efforts. Their donations show their commitment to the safety and well being of our children in Carroll County.

Thanks to Thorne’s IGA for donating the hot dogs, buns and condiments to feed the hungry walkers; George Zevias from Dollar Genaral Market for his personal donation of water; McDonald’s for the orange drink, cups and cooler; Carrollton Civic Club and the following individuals for cooking the hot dogs (and their unique sense of humor), Bob Dunlap, Chris Jones, Ed Jones, Brad Wheeler and Bill Wohlwend; and the Boy Scouts and Kathy Barnett. Also, thanks to the following for their donation of door prizes: McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Ponderosa, Ulman’s Bakery and Crossroads Pizza.

Lisa Smiley
Carroll County
Department of Job and Family Services

To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students of Carrollton High School who volunteered for Warrior Pride Day April 17. I want to thank Carrollton High School teachers Belinda Mach, Tara Marteney, Laura Dickerhoof, Kelli Pridemore, Dan Kirk, Jason Eddy and Dave Davis for their dedication, leadership and hard work that made the first Warrior Pride Day a true success. Members of the Carrollton High School Band, National Honor Society, FFA, CHS Club and Student Council gave back to our community by completing a variety of service projects that were suggested by community members. Thank You.

Dave Dickerhoof
Carrollton Band Director

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