Failed leadership in U.S.

If anyone ever had any doubts that President Donald J. Trump is incompetent and egocentrical, his actions the past three months should convince everyone that he has failed the country in countless ways. 

Early on, he refused to listen to warnings about the coronavirus and possible pandemic from advisers when he could have taken steps to start protecting the United States much sooner.  He blamed President Obama for his own lack of preparedness for emergency supplies when he had already served three years in office.  He has repeatedly fired civil servants who have questioned actions he has taken during his administration. He expects anyone serving under him to slavishly stroke his ego. He undermines the expertise of scientific evidence in order to promote his own magical thinking.  And, finally, he demonstrates his total lack of concern for others by his refusal to wear a mask when addressing people in public.

I wonder how student Donald Trump scored in science classes – or did he ever take any?  It is inconceivable to me that anyone who may have supported Donald Trump in the past could possibly imagine electing him in November for four more years of the same obtuse leadership. How unfortunate it is for us that we have such a president at this time.

Shirley M. Ashby

Chagrin Falls

Unite behind Russell parks

Russell Township is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am privileged to live here, and it has been my privilege to serve the Russell community by supporting sound park policies that protect our environment and the beauty of our home.

I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to pass the Russell Citizens’ Park District (Citizens’ PD) levy. The official vote was close in an election with a low turnout (32.59 percent in Russell) and much confusion about when, where and how to vote. Two out of five voting precincts voted in favor of the levy. We are a divided community.

I disagree with Charlie Butters’ conclusion in his letter to the editor that the voters’ message is clear. While I suspect Charlie and I agree that healing the divisions in the community in respect to our parks would be a wonderful thing, I do not believe that denying divisions exist is the way to get to that shared goal. Instead, I would like to share some of my responses to Charlie’s letter in the hope of shining light on our differences in a way that will help the community to understand our perspectives. Due to space limitations, I have shared my responses in full at I summarize the divisions that I perceive below.

Charlie and I have a fundamental difference in the following areas:

1. Our understanding of what parks are and what Ohio park districts can and should do.

2. Our reading of the Russell Township Park District’s goals.

3.  Our differing opinions on whether the RTPD is “redundant.”

4.  Our differing opinions on whether the township can unite behind the RTPD or whether that park board has irreversibly damaged public trust.

I am not a park commissioner, and I don’t know what the citizens’ park district’s next steps will be. Citizens’ PD is in contract to purchase 64 acres of undeveloped land on Music Street that would have been developed with trails for public use had the levy passed. A grant from the State of Ohio would have paid for three-fourths of the purchase price. I hope that Citizens’ PD’s board of commissioners will at least consider the possibility of privately raising the $200,000 needed to complete the purchase of the Music Street property. Since RTPD cannot receive public funds, they cannot take over that $529,000 grant. I hear that developers are standing by if the citizens’ park district’s contract to purchase that property falls through.

Finally, thank you to my hard-working levy campaign committee, our financial supporters, the citizens’ park district commissioners and everyone who voted for the Russell Citizens’ Park District levy. I hope that all the citizens of Russell Township can find a way to move together into the future in harmony with each other and with the beautiful place where we are privileged to live.

Again, to read my full response to Charlie Butters’ letter to the editor, please visit

Shelley Chernin

Russell Township

Vital steps to protect Ohio

Ohio’s Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has been an instrumental figure in keeping Ohioans safe during the coronavirus crisis. While we are still facing an unprecedented health crisis, her actions and directives have kept people safe.

This week, state Rep. Tom Patton, R-District 7, voted with 57 other Republicans to limit Dr. Acton’s ability to protect public health. Rep. Patton has shown they are on the side of extremists protesting outside Dr. Acton’s house. These protestors do not want a responsible start and are willing to put the lives of all workers, essential or not, even more on the line.

All 37 Democrats in the Ohio House voted against this bill because they stand with science and Dr. Acton and the majority of Ohioans. They believe it’s irresponsible to kowtow to a small group of right-wing extremists, and instead want to open Ohio only when widespread testing is implemented, masks are required to be used in public, workers have necessary PPE to be protected and childcare options are available.

Bryan Jinnett


Workers’ economic grief

I saw a local newspaper ad that ran recently. The ad announced that the business promoted would be open during its regular hours. It also proclaimed that, “We have however reduced our in-office staff by 50 percent.”

I am assuming that the above announcements were formulated with good intentions. What we don’t know is how many of the 50 percent laid-off office staff are being paid by the company.

If they are not, then why not? Too many people live hand-to-mouth and cannot afford to miss paychecks for weeks, months or even days. If these laid-off people are not being paid, that means this company is cutting costs and thereby making more profit because their sales remain relatively stable, but their labor costs are lowered substantially.

Laying off your help and paying them all is good. Laying them off and not paying them is not good.

In some cases, it seems companies are using the virus scare to radically change the way they do business. And, the average working person ends up being the loser. No person, persons or institutions are available to help the average worker. We have no influence. We have no lobbyists. We don’t have big money to donate. We just live alone and suffer in our economic grief.

Gene Bujoll

Newbury Township

Staying safe

I have lived at Hamlet for nearly 15 years, most of those in independent living, and now as a resident in assisted living. I am very comfortable and happy and I have nothing but the highest praise for our wonderful staff.

Every single member of our staff goes beyond the call of duty to be kind, caring and helpful, and I think that the Chagrin community should be aware of the tremendous sacrifices our fabulous staff has made, and continues to make, to keep us safe during this very difficult time.

I would recommend Hamlet at Chagrin Falls to anyone.

Margaret Ardill

Chagrin Falls

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.