Seeing is believing!

Did you know around Warren’s Courthouse Square is a beautifully restored hotel, six restaurants, two bars and now a brewery? There are four parks, the library, the historical society museum, a bicycle shop, comic book store, spa, barber shop, clothing stores, coffee / donut shop, smoothie shop, an art gallery, art studios, jewelry stores, tattoo / art studio, historic Millionaires Row, the Amphitheater and soon a restored Robins Theatre!

Thirty-four people live on the square including lawyers, business owners, contractors, developers, a poet, artists, a chef and others. Downtown Warren is a state-recognized entertainment district and very safe. Don’t take my word for it; ask the police department located one block away.

Downtown Warren owes its resurgence to the investment of millions of private dollars and is reinforced by thousands of hours of work by a small, dedicated band of volunteers (who neither seek nor receive recognition) focused on improving and maintaining what some call “the front porch of your city (county too).” Some moved here, others moved back and some are lifelong residents. These volunteers are responsible for all the lights and Christmas decorations around courthouse square (purchase, installation, removal and storage). They are responsible for spring cleanups every year. They plant and hang flowers, prune trees, pick up garbage, decorate Dave Grohl Alley, act as ambassadors to downtown visitors, install bike racks and string lighting. They are working to restore the Courthouse Square fountain. The naysayers’ song is being drowned out by the chorus of doers.

But while Warren city government used taxpayer money to pay over $234,000 in legal bills for a company with which it had no contract to do so, they have not repaired the light posts on the square, stopped the flooding of basements in downtown businesses, repaired the wooden structures rotting off city hall, provided adequate trash receptacles or properly removed snow from the square.

For three years, several businesses have petitioned the city for a well-regulated open container law, already approved by the state, that would provide a great entertainment venue and an economic boost to the downtown. It would cost the city nothing to enact. They have done nothing.

So maybe you aren’t the do-nothing type and you would like to participate in this resurgence? There are several ways. You could take a walk downtown, spend a couple of bucks and inspect the huge progress made or volunteer for a clean-up day (more to come on this). Or simply tell your elected officials via email, phone, in person or with your vote what you think of their priorities.

Thanks to all who have invested and volunteered.

Warren is coming back. Are you in?



Arm teachers, really?


So Trump wants to arm teachers. Since the weapon of choice by these school shooters are assault weapons, then the teachers must be supplied with a weapon of equal caliber to confront the shooter.

Why stop there? Why not arm teachers with a grenade launcher? Sure there will be collateral damage of others being killed, but we don’t care about that. We have the collateral damage already of our kids being killed by allowing such weapons like the AR-15 to be in civilian hands.

Ban Assault weapons for civilian ownership. That is all that is needed now.



Just say ‘No’ to arming teachers


The school shooting tragedies in recent years have everyone trying to come up with workable solutions. All kinds of ideas are coming forward. The suggestion that I find most disturbing is the arming of classroom teachers with guns.

I believe such a move would be a mistake. I have been a classroom teacher for 47 years and I cannot believe that teachers with guns will make our classroom safer.

Do people really believe that the students will not know which teachers are armed? Give me a break. Will the armed teachers be wearing armored vests like the police and school resource officers wear? Shouldn’t these teachers have the same protections as the trained officers?

What if the school is on lockdown and an armed intruder is in the building? Would an armed teacher leave his or her first-graders in the room alone while he or she pursues the intruder? How are these scared little kids going to react to being left alone? I think we all know.

It makes more sense to have trained resource officers in each building. They should be on duty the entire school day. They should circulate through the building and show the students that they are there to protect them. Metal detectors are another possibility. There should be locked entrance doors and a speaker system to allow entry.

I realize that resource officers and metal detectors are a major expense. Partnering with local government and possibly seeking public and private grants could help financially.

The bottom line is we want as safe an environment as we can provide for our youth. Teachers are responsible for teaching, not acting like police officers.

I realize there are other issues such as mental health and gun possession to consider. They certainly need to be addressed. But as far as what happens inside our schools, I strongly encourage school officials to avoid having their teachers carry guns. It is not in the best interest or safety of our kids.



The real question: Why?


If this country hopes to stop school shootings we need to get serious about determining why they happen, start asking the hard questions and intelligently respond to the terrible answers.

Does anyone really believe that Nikolas Cruz shot his former classmates in Parkland, Fla., solely because he possessed an AR15 rifle?

Those perpetuating this national furor over gun control would have you believe just that. Is there any criminal investigation taking place into the Parkland, Fla., shootings? If so, one of the prime questions to be answered would be Cruz’ motive for taking the lives of those seventeen people. What drove him to kill those particular seventeen people? Is Cruz simply a “bad person” who was motivated to kill because he bought an AR15 style rifle? If so, why not just walk out of the gun store and start killing? Has anyone asked him?

Truth be known, Cruz targeted that school for some reason. He may not have targeted those specific 17 people, but he wanted to hurt that school that hurt him to the core. He wanted revenge. Cruz didn’t just wake up one morning and decide, since he already had an AR15 rifle, “Hey, today is a great day to go shoot up the school.”

If we want to prevent this from happening again, we must determine why.

We get so wrapped up in the grief, anger and the gun that we learn nothing of the why. Columbine was a lifetime ago, and we still blame the means, not the why.

We all went to high school. Ask the students. They know why.



Don’t forget meaning of Easter Sunday


Beautiful colors and fragrances of flowers fill the air. The sky is a vibrant blue. Birds are chirping a welcoming song as spring is ushered in. The trees are blossoming and awakening from a long winter’s nap. The grass is turning from a snow white color to a welcoming springtime green. The air smells so fresh and new.

Some people have been anticipating the holiest of holidays, Easter. Some rushed to stores to buy special apparel for today. They may not have been to church all year long, but for some reason they have to go on that day to display their wares. Easter dinners will be cooled and shared with those we love. Easter egg hunts will abound. Easter baskets will be given to our children and grandchildren.

I hope it is not forgotten that centuries ago, an innocent man who was taken by night was tried and convicted for a crime that he did not commit. Yet, he said not a mumbling word.

I hope it is not forgotten that centuries ago, there was an innocent man who was beaten all night long until his flesh was pulled away and some could even see almost every bone in his body. His body was scarred, and beaten so badly that he was unrecognizable. Yet, he said not a mumbling word.

I hope it is not forgotten that centuries ago there was a innocent man who carried an old rugged Cross upon his back through crowds of people who jeered at him, spat upon him, cursed him, threw stones at him, whipped him unceasingly and yet, he said, not a mumbling word.

I hope it is not forgotten centuries ago there was a man who had that old rugged Cross upon his back and carried it to Calvary. He was nailed to the Cross that he carried as he carries our sins to this day. He was taunted, he was whipped, he was tortured in ways unimaginable, for us. He bore all of the sins of the world, for us. Yet, he said only these words to his father, “Forgive them … for they know not what they do.”

He died for us to save us from our sins. And he was resurrected in three days and showed that there is life after death and triumph over sin and evil in this world.

I hope that Jesus Christ is not forgotten about on this Easter day. He gave the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life so that we may live.



Minority rules


Each day the ACLU and the bleeding-heart liberals find new ways to frustrate and irritate the majority of American people.

The worst case is their attempt to remove God from the American landscape. One example is making school prayer illegal.

If one child or his parent is offended by his classmates’ love of the Lord and their desire to pray, this one lone objector shuts down an entire school’s right to honor God. If that isn’t the majority rule and about as un-American as it gets, I do not understand the foundation upon which our Republic was formed.

From God to Chief Wahoo, minority rule is forging a new, dangerous path for America. Let us not forget Nazi Germany embraced minority rule too.



Recognize those continuing the fight


As we continue to face an opioid issue of epidemic proportion in our community and throughout Ohio, I want to acknowledge the good work that is being done by individuals on the front lines of this fight.

With the message “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope; Thank You,” communities across Ohio are holding a series of appreciation activities for front-line workers who are fighting the opioid epidemic and helping individuals to recover. Mental health and recovery boards are the designated “County Hub” charged with reducing opiate abuse throughout Ohio. We appreciate all individuals, families and professionals on the front lines of this fight in our community. We want to express our gratitude to the countless number of individuals who spend their days working tirelessly, in an often thankless role, to help save lives.

We are all impacted by addiction and this epidemic, and it’s going to take every part of our community to develop a solution to this problem. On behalf of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, we pledge to continue to bring hope to our community and build understanding that treatment works and people recover.



Mental Health and Recovery Board

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