To the editor:
Concerning the city logo and the legal threat that follows from it, Law Director S. Gary Repella said, "The council realizes the potential cost to our city taxpayers may be very expensive to try to win this case."
As a member of the poor and ignorant class, and while acknowledging the benevolent attorneys willing to work pro-bono on the city's behalf, I discourage any effort to reclaim the proposed logo until funds independent of the city's finances can be raised by community members so that we do not have to use city money should we lose the case, as 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich brought up.
It would be against the common good to fight and spend resources for a chapel on a city logo while many neighborhoods are left poor and violence-stricken. The use of this logo is not a priority. While different departments are threatened by a lack of funding, we must not fight for an abstract symbol of contribution. What does the Franciscan University of Steubenville know about Fifth or Sixth streets, the projects or south Steubenville? Fighting to be recognized on a logo in a city that one does not know or take care of seems to be contrary to the supposed foundation of the school, Christian charity. Is this not unjust?
Hydraulic fracturing threatens our health, our future and our environment. Only 20 minutes south of here in Dillonvale, mounds of silica sand have been scattered only a few dozen feet from residential areas and the public library. Neighbors, workers within the industry and firefighters were ignorant of the fact that the sand posed a lethal threat. Some used the sand in their children's sand boxes, while others used it for their planters, leaving all in contact at risk of developing silicosis. Like many uninformed and imprudent decisions, supporting the dangerous industry and providing it with water and roads to operate on is contrary to our city's ideals. Is this not unjust?
Two weeks ago, business people and citizens raised concerns about violence near their homes. We all deserve attention and protection. Many of us feel that because we are poor and ignorant we are left to suffer and die because of conditions outside of our control, such as poverty, illiteracy and injustice. I hope the next time a complaint is raised, the person who raises it is given attention and respect and the resources and protection needed to feel safe.
Why must we dread a local government that rarely debates on behalf of its residents or that hardly has any reports to make? Is there not plenty to report when 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf's or 1st Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto's precincts are filled with citizens in fear and distrust of violence and those put in charge to protect them from it? Is this not unjust? We might need more than just a second of prayer before these meetings to fix this town, lest we find ourselves forsaken to dwell in violence and injustice.
Keith Michael Estrada