My husband and I recently attended the Fourth Friday event in Barberton with my son and daughter-in-law.

I read about it in the Beacon Journal and, having lived a good portion of my life in this area, thought it would be fun to check this out, as I have never spent much time in the downtown Barberton area.

There were a number of mothers and small children in a closed street making chalk drawings, but very few people in the shops that were open. The weather was nice, and we enjoyed checking out local shops we did not know existed.

Everyone was friendly and helpful, but we were very disappointed that the event was not better attended. So many downtown areas are struggling, and this was an opportune event to support local businesses.

I was left wondering why Barberton people are not supporting their downtown area and the three high school seniors who worked so hard to make the event happen.

I am always saddened by the loss of so much of the O.C. Barber estate because of the lack of support from his namesake town.

Let’s all step up to the plate and support our local small businesses and the people who work so hard to keep downtown areas vibrant and alive.

Janine Lenos

Sterling

Dirty work of ?an ethane cracker

I am responding to the June 8 article about the possibility of ethane crackers in Ohio following the construction of one in western Pennsylvania and touting the job potential without explaining the many health risks associated with crackers (“New plant in Pa. could impact Ohio”).

The “cracking” process is just as harmful as fracking. Ethane crackers destroy groundwater sources, trigger earthquakes and emit chemicals that can cause prostate cancer, among countless other externalities. Ethane crackers take the ethane from the natural gas and process it into polyethylene, a petrochemical.

They release nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides, carcinogens and particulate matter, causing smog, cancer and acid rain.

We need to turn away from these toxic practices and grow our clean energy sources. Not only would expanding clean energy eliminate emissions, it would also bring down energy prices, be a more long-term energy source and create hundreds more permanent jobs than the 600 promised at the ethane cracker.

Encourage Gov. John Kasich to reconsider his stance on the Clean Power Plan to bring Ohio into the present and invest in the future instead of staying in the dirty past.

Sarah Grace Spurgin

Environment Ohio

Columbus

Treat faculty ?with respect

When I joined the UA faculty in 1972, I was treated as a true professional. Faculty members enjoyed a “Faculty Only” dining room where we could dine and discuss issues with colleagues. Parking was free in special lots marked “Faculty and Staff Only.”

When I retired in 1997, most vestiges of professionalism had disappeared. The faculty dining room was long gone. Faculty members had to stand in line with students for burgers and fries. We were charged for parking. Faculty parking lots were gone. With students, we had to hunt for parking places. Shortly after I retired, the faculty voted in a union.

Advice to the next UA president: Treat the faculty as professionals, and they will respond in kind.

Melvin C. Vye

Professor emeritus, Electronic

engineering technology

Akron

At the altar ?of the NRA

For those in Congress and us here at home who bow at the altar of the National Rifle Association and assault-style weapons, look again at dead children at Sandy Hook, young men and women, dead at the Pulse in Orlando and the 98 who die daily across the U.S.

All by gun violence. It seems there are multiple reasons, all from terror’s reign, foreign and home-grown. Those in Congress and us here at home bow before a strange altar, but not that of our Lord.

Thomas G. Kerns

Medina