Border security imperative

In response to the letter from Don Gallo published on April 18. As a U.S. Senator once said in 2006, “The American people are a welcoming and generous people. But those who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. And because we live in an age where terrorists are challenging our borders, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of the immigration laws.”

Immigration is an important part of American history and continues to be today. After all, my wife’s father and her grandfather as well as my grandparents came to this country legally from Italy and Poland. They did not illegally sneak into this country, they entered through Ellis Island where they were checked for legal entry papers, subjected to a health screening and if they were without proper papers they were required to have a business sponsor or family willing to take full responsibility for them. For those with credible fear of their lives on return to their country of origin, they would ask for asylum and wait at Ellis Island or other immigration control facility until it was determined they could legally enter the country, otherwise they would be turned away.

Today, they could go to the American Embassy in their country to start the immigration process or apply to a company that needs a specific skill which will sponsor them, or they may go to a port-of-entry to claim asylum. They should not try to enter the country illegally outside the ports-of-entry.

The bottom line is our president has inferred many times that we need to stop “illegal” immigration and continue “legal” immigration. I am totally in favor of legal immigration which can provide a mix of people who are in good health, can provide skills to contribute to our society and are willing to assimilate into our culture.

This is how Lady Liberty worked in the past and it served us well. Why don’t we do it this way anymore?

Walt Kieta


Follow spirit of tree regulations

We applaud the observation and editorial comments (April 4) of one Pepper Pike resident that the city is rapidly losing its rural character by chipping away at the original zoning code for clusters and townhomes and by clearing wooded areas of mature trees of eight inches in diameter or greater and replacing them with small “stick” trees in these new developments. The city is not enforcing the spirit of the Tree Preservation Regulation 1494.05 that states, “ All development shall be designed to preserve healthy trees and woodlands, especially trees providing natural buffering and trees of eight inches D.B.H. or greater, where possible.  Buildings and parking areas shall be located to fit into the existing topography and preserve the natural amenities of the site.”

For many years, the City of Pepper Pike has earned the designation of Tree City USA. One of the requirements from the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters is that the city have a tree care ordinance in place; however, city officials are not protecting or replacing mature trees with equivalent vegetation on land about to be developed. Residents of Pepper Pike should insist that city officials closely follow the spirit of the Tree Preservation Regulation 1494. 01 that states, “The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare through the preservation of trees in order to moderate storm water runoff, reduce erosion and sedimentation, maintain wildlife habitats, provide visual screening, provide natural shading, protect property values, encourage sound landscape planning and enhance the natural beauty of the community.  The decision as to whether or not to issue a tree removal permit under this chapter shall take this purpose into account.” Look at many of the recent developments in Pepper Pike and it is obvious that the spirit of this regulation (preserving and/or replacing removed trees) has been disregarded.

As Arbor Day approaches on Friday (April 26) let us refuse to allow continuation of the deforestation of Pepper Pike by contacting our city officials.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

Leave firefighting to experts

Once again the old adage “empty heads always rattle” has been affirmed by the Donald commenting on how he would have extinguished the Notre Dame fire in Paris.   It went something like doing water drops via airplane or helicopter. Ask any professional firefighter and he or she will tell you that such action would have caused far more damage than effective extinguishment.  

We seem to not learn lessons from past disasters for very long.  It’s too soon to say anything  concrete about the Notre Dame disaster until a thorough investigation has been completed but likely more fire prevention people doing inspections, more fire alarm systems in such high value buildings and more enforcement of better fire prevention regulation wouldn’t hurt. Are you reading this Donald?

John G. Augustine

Parkman Township

Chester fire levy not needed

Chester Township Fire Department just received 30-percent salary raises. 

The Chester Township Fire Department has minimal turnover, excellent response time and thanks to the recent 30 percent salary raises, are now extremely well-compensated.   

The fire chief said his staff does not have healthcare, while most hold full-time positions with other departments where they receive excellent benefits. 

The chief claims to be fiscally responsible and short on funds. Why then did he aggressively campaign to manufacture a “universal secretary” full-time position? The job was never posted.  

There is no good reason for Chester to add $1 million to the budget to convert six volunteers to full-time, at a cost of hundreds to thousands of dollars a year per homeowner.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts


Questioning judgment of boxing lessons

Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Judge Timothy Grendell seems to have dived off the deep end without his water wings. This time he is asking the auditor to pay a bill for boxing lessons for juveniles who have appeared before his court. Now, let’s leave aside the appropriateness of whether the auditor should pay the bill for probate-directed pugilism. It seems that Judge Grendell has found a boxer turned preacher, and he is sending juveniles that appear before him to learn boxing as a way to straighten them out. Some of these juveniles likely have behavioral problems, sometimes rooted in aggressive or violent behaviors. Does anyone else see a problem here? Why would Judge Grendell send them to a so-called therapeutic environment where they would develop a proficiency in those behaviors that got them into the trouble in the first place? There is clearly a muddled thought process going on in the Honorable Timothy J. Grendell’s head. It appears he is a judge who lacks good judgment.

Dave Partington

Munson Township

Favoring flowers over traffic

Returning from a Solon church service Easter morning, I cast a supercilious glance at the muddy morass at Solon Road and Kruse Drive soon to be a Chick-Fil-A traffic jam adjacent to what should have been Rose Italian Kitchen’s idyllic patio and bocce court this spring.

Let’s call the whole thing off, plant grass, trees, flowers and maybe a hiking trail. Instead, I fear it will be the demise of a classy Rose Restaurant in favor of a fast food drive-thru.    

Sheila Collins


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