Questioning numbers  

This letter is intended to explain my disagreement with the false statements from U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Bainbridge, about Build Back Better that was included in the congressman’s most recent Weekly Wrap.

 Rep. Joyce stated that: “The Build Back Better Act is estimated to result in $4 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and add up to $3 trillion to our debt.” That is blatantly false.

 Your own non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says different: The CBO said in its Nov. 18 report that the House bill, not including revenue from the IRS enforcement provision, would cost $1.7 trillion in spending and bring in $1.3 trillion in revenue over 10 years, adding a net $367 billion to the deficit. But once we factor in a $207.2 billion revenue impact from the IRS provision – a CBO estimate – the net increase to the deficit is $160 billion over 10 years.

 A deficit of $16 billion per year for 10 years is not even remotely similar to $3 trillion. It’s the cost to upgrade one of our 270 deployed F-35 jets. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, you know that and should use the CBO estimates.

 Without any justification, you complain about spending $80 billion on IRS enforcement capability to gain back $400 billion in unpaid taxes. Your letter suggests $412 billion, completely wiping out the deficit from Build Back Better. That is new money from those very tax cheats stealing from me and your other constituents. The Appropriations Committee is supposed to appropriate, not encourage and reassure millionaires and billionaires to put their tax burden on our backs.

 Finally, your “no” vote on negotiating drug prices kept 79,350 of your constituents with diabetes at the mercy of the rapacious drug manufacturers. They have increased the price of insulin by 10 percent per year, every year, for 17 years and you voted to allow them to continue their relentless avarice. With that vote, you forfeited your right to lecture anyone about inflation.

 Robert Chalfant


Fairmount still growing strong

On Nov. 23, 1971, Fairmount Center for the Arts in Russell Township was officially incorporated as a nonprofit center for the arts. Celebrating 50 years this month, the board of directors, faculty and administrative team wishes to express its gratitude to the community. Starting with the vision of Jan and Ron Kumin who moved from New York City to Russell Township, Fairmount Center for the Arts quickly grew into a regional performing arts center even specializing in professional theatre and dance ensembles that toured throughout the region in the 1970s.  The Spanish Dance program, also started in the 1970s by Libby Lubinger, has engaged thousands over the years and is still performing regularly – a cultural gem that has educated and inspired many.

Then, like many nonprofits, Fairmount had its ups and downs financially. Over its 50 years there have been some challenging times when the center (literally) almost closed its doors. Over the last year, Fairmount, like many businesses, struggled through the pandemic. Through smaller group classes and technology, Fairmount was able to continue its programs of dance, music, theatre, visual arts and fitness.  Additionally, Fairmount had its most successful fundraiser, the Fairmount 500, with the leadership and vision of the board of directors. 

And now, Fairmount is poised for continued growth while preserving and celebrating its rich history and dedication to the arts. As a nonprofit and a local business, we are grateful for the community support and engagement which has helped the “castle-like” building to continue to be used for its original purpose –enriching lives through the arts.

The team at Fairmount Center for the Arts would like to thank the community and invite any and all to come in and experience the professionalism of its 35 teaching faculty. Whether for tap dance, yoga, painting, crochet, music lessons or acting, our goal is to ensure the arts are a vibrant part of this community.  

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford

Russell Township

Dereliction and deceit

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Frank LaRose and Keith Faber are the statewide Republican elected officials who are members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. They have failed to perform their duties as members of that commission. In a striking display of dereliction of duty and disregard of their responsibilities under the Ohio Constitution, they admittedly had no involvement in preparing and acquiesced to extremely gerrymandered maps favoring Republican candidates for the General


Instead, those maps were prepared under the exclusive direction of the two members of the commission who are Republican legislators, Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp and Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman. These maps fail to satisfy the letter and spirit of a Constitutional amendment adopted by more than 70 percent of Ohioans, which was intended to prevent gerrymandering. These statewide officials need to be held accountable in statewide elections by the good people of Ohio.

Meanwhile, Rep. Cupp and Sen. Huffman, who acted with such extreme disregard for the voters of Ohio, will likely be re-elected in the safe districts that they have gerrymandered for themselves. Sen. Huffman has been especially deceitful. When promoting the adoption of the constitutional redistricting provisions in 2015, he said the following:

“I think it will be a new day in Ohio in terms of how apportionment happens. It will be a clearer process, one I think fairer to the general public and most importantly, I think the general public will understand how these things happen. The new rules would force Republicans and Democrats to work together during redistricting.”

Hey, what’s wrong with a little deceit in a General Assembly having the largest corruption scandal ever? Plenty. All Ohioans deserve better, especially those in Northeast Ohio and other urban areas throughout the state.

Mark Hennessey

Pepper Pike

District’s new finance director

I’ve just finished reading the article announcing the appointment of Jennifer Pae as the latest Geauga Park District finance director. Here’s hoping she is better than the last one. This latest decision by the park board carries the unnecessary burden of her salary of

$108, 000 per annum plus benefits, I’m sure, plus an additional $20,000 fee for the search firm. All this for a service that the Geauga County auditor and treasurer previously provided gratis.

I was also amused by park district Executive Director John Oros’ touting her education and experience for the job. As if that matters to him considering his lack of both for his position. It’s all about who you know.

Daniel Hercik


Community support priceless

On behalf of the Chagrin Falls Girls Soccer Program and its coaches, I want to express our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support from the school, Chagrin Falls Athletic Department, the high school band, community, parents, alumni, friends, fans, boosters, Chagrin Valley Times and Chagrin Falls Police Department in our journey to become Division II state champions in soccer. 

We are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to achieve such a goal for the 2021 Lady Tigers.  The memories of this season and the state championship day will forever be in our hearts. We became a championship team by design – work ethic, courage to play the strongest teams we could schedule, training six to seven days a week, pursuing excellence in everything we did (even scavenger hunts, and Halloween costume practices). We gave back to this outstanding community through our “Packing the Pantry” food drive and having a playday with Empower Sports. In turn, you supported us.  

We are proud to have represented this community this fall, hoping that you enjoyed the journey as well. 

Once again, thank you. 

Pamela Malone and Joe Ciuni 

Chagrin Falls varsity girls soccer coaches

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