This is in response to the Dec. 9 article “Cleanup effort has impact” by Stephanie Warsmith, about the group My Neighborhood Our Akron. Largely through the efforts of Jack Gover, who has been cleaning up litter on almost a daily basis for over a year, plus advocating tirelessly to city officials for our neighborhood parks, the city recognized the need and responded by forming a group to coordinate volunteer efforts to clean up neighborhood parks.
That focus is now being changed. Why? What has changed with the litter situation that makes it wise to change the volunteers’ efforts? According to John Valle, director of neighborhood assistance, the city is looking to change the focus to tackle other types of small projects, such as landscaping, rebuilding steps and spreading mulch.
I doubt that trash wasn’t being picked up by the city because it wasn’t needed.
Every city park does not have a volunteer like Gover. As a result of having a clean park, users have responded and do litter less at Davenport Park. But I do not believe our litter problem is solved. Every indication is that Hyre Park, for one, is still heavily littered.
Is there a new plan to hold the city and Keep Akron Beautiful, as well as park users, accountable for their responsibilities to keep our parks clean? Why are volunteers being moved on to other activities?
Paula Davis of Keep Akron Beautiful said she was concerned about the future sustainability of the effort, which she said treaded close to the purpose of her organization.
If her organization is responsible for keeping the parks clean, why were Davenport, Hyre and Prentice parks such messes in the first place? Is Keep Akron Beautiful going to be held accountable for what they do? Is the city going to adequately budget for maintaining what we have, rather than spending to add new?
It would be wonderful if the city would recognize that if the downtown area can be kept litter free, so can our neighborhood parks. Could we please hold organizations and individuals accountable for their responsibilities?
I certainly concur that the projects for city parks sound like great improvements. Who wouldn’t rather build something than pick up trash that will be back tomorrow? But until the litter situation is resolved throughout Akron parks and neighborhoods, I don’t believe residents will take pride in the areas and feel good about using them, even with new landscaping, steps and patios.
Undeclared war with drones
Another drone strike article was in the paper last week (“U.S. drone strike kills 13 in central Yemen,” Dec. 13). Innocent civilians were on their way to a wedding party.
The article gave a very vague account of the attack and whether terrorists were actually among the party traveling in the convoy.
It’s unclear whether children were killed. It’s unclear why the attack was ordered, and the only person who knows the answers is about to take a 17-day vacation in Hawaii with his family.
The lives of the victims’ families have been all but destroyed as they mourn the senseless losses of their loved ones.
Maybe we’re not concerned because it didn’t happen on our soil, but by staying silent or tsk-tsking it away we are in a sense condoning President Obama’s actions.
Drones are terrorizing innocent men, women and children every day somewhere in this world and bringing the same death and destruction through a sinister method. Mere boots on the ground can’t compete with this undeclared war on humanity.
It’s way past time to demand answers from our leaders about this very secretive and deadly campaign, preferably before they join their families for a little rest and relaxation.
Specifically about redistribution
On the surface, it makes perfect sense to be opposed to the redistribution of wealth, regardless of one’s political views. But would the alternative, the stagnation of wealth, really be preferable?
I wish those who constantly scream in opposition to the redistribution of wealth would be more specific. Chances are, they believe that any redistribution of wealth should be done under the auspices of the free market, and the government should be nothing more than a spectator.
To avoid any hint of hypocrisy, leaders promoting this agenda surely have no family members who play the lottery, for that represents the epitome of the government transferring wealth. They surely would never walk into a casino, for its games are regulated by the state.
Let’s search for some common ground. If you truly believe that either the free market or the government is inherently evil, please don’t run for public office. We need statesmen willing and able to govern, not politicians in constant campaign mode.
Michael J. Walzer
Act of compassion
Thank God some compassion was shown for John Edward Wise during his sentencing for killing his wife (“Convicted man gets a unique sentence,” Dec. 14).
He said he “snapped” at seeing his wife’s tear. His love for his wife of 45 years was so strong he couldn’t bear to see her in pain.
Of course, he probably wishes he had voiced his thoughts to someone rather than going home and returning to the hospital.
This man is no danger to anyone. He is in ill health and will need special care. Are our jails prepared for that? I will pray for Wise. Many others will, too.
Concerning Bob Dyer’s Dec. 15 column “Lies return as ‘teacher’ hits circuit,” I have read many of his columns in the past and thought well of most of them, but this one did not leave a sweet taste in my mouth.
What was the purpose of reliving Kelley Williams-Bolar’s quest to steal an education from the Copley-Fairlawn school system?
It appears that Dyer has a vendetta, letting the community and the nation know that she was lying then and continues to lie now. We know that she stretched the truth.
Why would Dyer smear her father’s character? He has since passed on. This is the time of the year to bring joy and yule tidings to families. Dyer should spread some joy in his next column. We all could use some.
A new proposal from the U.S. Coast Guard would allow radioactive fracking waste to be transported by barge on the Ohio River, potentially contaminating the drinking water of millions (“Barges could transport fracking waste,” Dec. 16).
The Ohio River is already the most polluted waterway in the country, yet still provides drinking water to more than 3 million people. We should not jeopardize public health by increasing the risk of contamination from radioactivity, heavy metals and other chemicals typically present in fracking waste.
The Coast Guard has done minimal review of the proposal and opened only 30 days for public comment, which ended this month. This period is insufficient to let concerned citizens have their say about protecting Ohioans from potential spills and contamination.
The Coast Guard should extend the comment period to 120 days so that citizens and experts can provide adequate information to decision-makers and go through a rigorous environmental review to fully assess the risks of transporting radioactive fracking waste by barge on our state’s precious waterways.
Party in power
The Democrats’ “nuclear option” power grab that practically does away with the filibuster, about the last check and balance the Republicans had, creates, in effect, a one-party system in the Senate.
Now President Obama can get away with still more cheating. We can kiss the wisdom of our Founding Fathers goodbye.
A Tuesday column on the Commentary page, “A theatre degree, preparation for life,” erred in referring to Buchtel College. In 1913, Buchtel College became the Municipal University of Akron.