My daughter, Tracy Kay, was murdered. This changed our lives forever. The sadness, pain and emptiness are unbearable. I had become someone I didn’t know.

I knew for the first time in my life I needed help. After calling a few places that had waiting lists of two months to three months, I called Victim Assistance. It got me in a few days later.

From the day I walked in, I felt so much compassion and caring. I was greeted right that minute, and I knew I was in the right place.

I was introduced to Carrie Milkovich, a trauma therapist. She made me feel so comfortable. I was a basket case.

I told her our story, with a thousand tears. I was living in a horrible nightmare from which I still can’t wake up. Milkovich taught me so much about all the stages of grief, especially when it is your child. She let me know I was not going crazy.

As court appearances started, she walked with me. Although my daughter lived in Caldwell, Ohio, Milkovich prepped me on everything. As I wrote my statement to the court, I would read it to her with many tears.

The strength she gave me was unimaginable. As the day came for court, I read my statement. I gave my daughter a voice.

Months later, I was asked whether I would like to write my daughter’s story for a fundraiser for Victim Assistance. The day was hard, but felt great as I told her story. Again, I gave her a voice.

I am not a speaker, but I learned I can do it. At the end, there was a standing ovation and many tears. Thanks to all who attended.

My walk with Victim Assistance came during the most horrid time of my life, when our world was upside down and dark. Milkovich and other staff have given me strength to do things I never knew I could do. They shined a light on us.

If you are a victim and need help, please call Victim Assistance. They will get you through whatever it is.

There are not any words to say how very special they are. Thank God for them. They saved me.

Sharon Lowe

Akron

King’s legacy ?more deserving

Who can help me understand the decision to place a photo of Mike Pettine and a story on the Browns’ new head coach on the front page of Jan. 24 and, below the fold, a story about Justin Bieber, also with a photo?

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s federal holiday, Jewell Cardwell highlighted a retired Akron Head Start director and his family’s connection to the King family (“The Preacher’s Kid”, Jan. 20). It included civil rights history, the relevance of church life and turning points for African-Americans. Special thanks to Cardwell for the personal treatment of an icon, and God bless the elder gentleman. We are all woven into each other’s stories and glory.

But the next day’s Community section depicted children and adults participating in a craft activity at the University of Akron. While I am grateful for the university’s efforts and took my child each year, I would hope that the editors could see past politics or whatever mitigated a lackluster holiday spirit to have added more deserved coverage of King’s legacy and influence.

His exhaustive works could certainly bear more than one feature and an Associated Press story with a photo in which King shared the spotlight with President Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson.

Your newspaper’s integrity would be better served with educational and pertinent content, with sports and tabloid items remaining in their sections. I just hope the Browns and Justin live up to the headline hype and land unscathed in history’s lap. Few can.

Rita Ama Rogers

Akron

Health care ?for all Americans

Here we are, barely into the year, not really into the campaign part yet, and we are being warned about the bogeyman of socialism that lurks right around the corner, ready to drag us to financial ruin.

As we stumble into the campaign season, we will find there will be hundreds of millions in profit spent berating, degrading and even slandering anyone supporting the Affordable Care Act.

The law didn’t start out in its current form. The original bill was folded, spindled, mutilated, stapled, torn and shredded, in hopes that it would be so unpalatable no one would vote for it.

To the opposition’s surprise, President Obama was statesman enough to convince the needed number, preventing having to start at square one again.

Being mature adults, the opposition called it Obamacare, so everyone would know exactly who wrote the bill. Nevertheless, it did pass both houses, was signed by the president and even passed the rigors of the Supreme Court. The opposition is still not happy.

It has been a very poorly kept secret that a very large majority of Americans have wanted national health care for nearly 60 years. It’s the same thing enjoyed by all of the rest of the developed world, so, honestly, why can’t we enjoy it?

Whether we consider this a democracy or a republic, when we study the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings, the will of the people is supposed to prevail.

Isn’t it time to grab your members of Congress by the collar to demand the health-care law we want now, or else?

Randy M. Fleet

Akron

Local perspective

Perusing the Jan. 26 editorial page, I had to rub my eyes in disbelief. There before me was an editorial cartoon featuring not only something of local interest — the Browns’ latest fiasco — but also one drawn by a local artist, an employee of the newspaper.

Here’s hoping to see more of Brian Shellito’s visual commentary on a regular basis.

Bill Bogdan

Canton

Be it resolved

Regarding Gov. John Kasich’s desire, in the interest of safety, to increase the number of calamity days this school year, I have a proposed resolution:

Whereas, the Ohio Achievement Assessments have high stakes for students and teachers and for the schools where they attend or work;

Whereas, this year’s Ohio Achievement Assessments are scheduled for Monday, April 21 through Friday, May 9;

Whereas, students have lost a great deal of instructional time from weather-related cancellations, and;

Whereas, it is not possible to create more days between now and April 21;

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the state of Ohio reschedules dates for administration of the spring Ohio Achievement Assessments to a later date to be determined by the number of days of instruction that students have missed due to calamity days.

Martha Keeler

Barberton

Thirty years ?of trickle down

There is compelling evidence that income inequality is socially corrosive. Unequal societies suffer higher rates a violent crime, incarceration, obesity, infant mortality, mental illness and alcoholism. Inequality also leads to lower life expectancy, lower levels of educational performance and lower levels of trust.

The Republican Party’s economic proposals are especially appalling. The Republican vision, embodied in the Ryan plan, a budget proposal supported by virtually every Republican legislator, calls for still deeper cuts in taxes for corporations and the top 1 percent.

Republicans also support further reductions in regulations on oil, coal and gas companies and, believe it or not, Wall Street.

Republicans advocate deep cuts in spending on education, Head Start, environmental protection, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans have concluded once again that the super rich are getting too little, while children, the elderly, the middle class and the poor are getting too much.

Does any of this sound familiar? After 30 years, it should. This is trickle-down economics. The logic is that the economy will grow if we only provide a better “business climate.”

Corporations will then be liberated to create new jobs. The problem is that it does not work. Three decades of lower taxes and reckless deregulation have saddled us with slow growth, soaring inequality, the financial meltdown of 2008, rising tuition at public universities and diminishing opportunities.

Yet trickle-down economics is alive and well. Have you had enough?

Dave Durnan

Mogadore