I read about the Cuyahoga Falls City Council voting on the destruction of two historic dams (“Council to vote on dam removal in the Falls,” March 21.) I also read, ironically, that the city will be celebrating the destruction of these sites on “River Heritage Day” in August.

There’s nothing more central to the history and development of Cuyahoga Falls than the dams. Their destruction should be mourned, not celebrated.

Before the council voted on Monday, its members should have read about Cuyahoga Falls in Samuel A. Lane’s Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County, starting on page 725. The city dates its founding in the year 1812 and is focusing much of its celebration on the War of 1812. In fact, the first dam in Cuyahoga Falls was built in 1815 to power a wood mill. The lumber was sent to a “navy yard” in Old Portage for the commissary of troops, Judge William Wetmore.

Lane wrote about our “magnificent water power,” saying: “With water-power — then the great [desire] of manufacturing operations — second to no other point in Ohio, and with a population unsurpassed for intelligence and enterprise, its prospects at the beginning, and for a number of years thereafter, were bright and promising in the extreme.”

William B. Doyle, author of the Centennial History of Summit County Ohio and Representative Citizens, makes the erection of dams prominent in his section on Cuyahoga Falls: “The firm of Stow and Wetmore built several mills, dams and business buildings in the new village, and by 1830 the town took on an important aspect.” Doyle also mentions Henry Newberry, a Revolutionary War veteran, who arriving in 1825, “built more dams, a saw-mill, linseed oil-mill and a paper-mill.” Postcards of the late 19th century show a Cuyahoga Falls with industry, not parks, lining its river front.

Of course, these two dams come from a later part of our history. But they are a testament to the rising industrial power the United States became, and Cuyahoga Falls’ part in it. Their destruction punctuates the nation’s decline as an industrial power and that’s not part of this generation’s history I want to celebrate.

Paul Huff

Cuyahoga Falls

Wasteful pursuit

Now that John Demjanjuk has died, I am wondering how many millions of dollars have been spent persecuting and prosecuting this man the past 34 years.

I’m sure many lawyers have gotten rich at taxpayer expense. Surely we have more important things on which to spend our time and money.

Was one man worth it? And in the end, for what? May God be his judge.

Joan Markert


Essential connection

If Republican state Sen. Frank LaRose’s Senate Bill 271 is signed into law, phone companies would be allowed to get out of the landline business. In my case, I would have no telephone connecting me with my family, doctors and friends. I would also have no Internet service, since my computer is connected to a landline.

The impact of the bill would be devastating to the senior citizens of Ohio. I urge all readers who would be affected by the bill to contact Democratic senators to ask them to vigorously oppose S.B. 271.

Carol Belfance


Understand ?atheism

Look up the definition of atheism, and you’ll see something along the lines of “the theory or belief that God does not exist.” A simple yet powerful definition. So powerful that it creates much of today’s conflict, and for no reason at all.

It’s difficult when people treat you differently just because you have a belief system that isn’t ordinary. So what if I don’t believe in God or a higher power? Does that make me so different from anyone else? I think people should understand atheism before they automatically jump to conclusions that are often false.

I do not worship the devil. I do not think life is meaningless, and I do not lack ethical values.

The reason I don’t believe in a God is because of the severe lack of real and concrete evidence. I swing more to the side of common sense, reason and scientific proof. I absolutely love evolution, which has been substantiated by evidence from many brilliant scientists. I can show you how we have evolved in order to acclimate to the changing world. Can you show me heaven or hell?

I believe you shouldn’t go through life assuming certain things exist and then require them to be disproved before dismissing them. I’m also a little “iffy” when it comes to the whole faith thing. Faith is defined as a strong belief based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Faith doesn’t give you any answers, it just stops you from questioning. Live life for now, because you know for sure you have now, but you don’t know what happens after.

Another reason I don’t believe in God is because there is simply no need for one. You can live a perfectly good and full life without a God. I don’t want to hear one more person say that I am immoral. Morals are just principles of right and wrong behavior. Whether I choose to be a good or bad person depends on me. It’s my code of conduct, so don’t assume I don’t have one.

We want the same things out of life, excluding the afterlife, which is to make life better for ourselves and live by the same rules and laws that theists do. Life is material, not supernatural; think about that.

Just understand atheism before any absurd ideas jump into your head. I can guarantee that the myths are false and can be debunked.

Marina Pelemis


Lobbyists’ grip?on Ohio officials

Ohioans are being sold out by the state House and Senate. They are doing exactly as the lobbyists want and not as the citizens want. I normally do not agree with Gov. John Kasich, but applaud his idea to tax the shale oil and gas companies to finance a tax cut for Ohioans.

Ohio receives a paltry amount from those who remove minerals from the ground. Other states are reaping a bountiful harvest for their citizens, but Ohio does not. Why? Because our elected representatives are more interested in doing what is right for the lobbyists and the companies they represent.

Legislators do not want to support an idea that is revenue neutral. In this situation, involving the exploiting of our mineral rights, there is nothing wrong with a tax, even if it is not revenue neutral. We should not allow the minerals to be given away for almost free; we need to benefit our citizens.

The legislature is also considering leaving those who are challenged by technology without any choice for phone service. They are bent on giving the phone companies free rein to drop landlines. This will detrimentally affect those who cannot afford alternative means of communication.

The legislators and lobbyists claim that there are enough alternatives and protections for consumers. There are nowhere near enough to protect those who can least afford this.

Ohio also has a state treasurer who is more interested in moving to a new position, before half his term is over. A recent event attended by Josh Mandel shows Ohioans that he is not right for them. He went to a payday lenders’ meeting. He supposedly raised funds for his campaign for the U.S. Senate. If he is beholden to payday lenders, he is not what we need in Columbus or Washington, D.C.

Geza John Vamos


When time makes ?all the difference

Four years ago, I had a brain aneurysm and heart attack on the same day. I came very close to death, but God had other plans for me.

Today, I think it’s important to share the importance of improving treatment for those who, like me, have or will suffer strokes and heart attacks. As a survivor of both those events, I know how much it meant to my survival that I received quick care from the paramedics, doctors and nurses.

As a Hispanic, I am in some ways at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. Because of my experience and concern for other Hispanics, I’m writing in support of Ohio House Bill 427. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and this bill would make getting treatment for a stroke faster and more efficient.

During a stroke, nothing is more important than receiving help quickly. H.B. 427 recognizes that time makes all the difference. Unfortunately, not every hospital gives patients the same great care I received, which may put others at risk.

I would ask anyone reading this to please contact your representatives and ask them to vote in favor of this lifesaving bill. This issue is truly close to my heart.

Sister Alicia Alvarado


Mystery solved

I can answer the question posed by Regina Vance in her March 28 letter “Rothrock mystery.”

It is about money.

Fairlawn will lose all the taxes now generated by Walmart and Sam’s Club. Property taxes will go to Copley Township and the city income tax will be lost. Hell hath no fury like a city scorned.

Gerald C. Wise Sr.