Readers’ Forum


Dear editor:

As I write this letter, I simultaneously feel both outraged and encouraged. Outraged considering hunger, seemingly a prevalent fact of life for some of the youngest residents, continues to thrive. Children expected to academically perform, with the conscious realization their basic needs of food, and I assume, shelter and clothing are not being met. They chose not to be placed into this unenviable dilemma.

However, several members, and organizations, within the community are providing the needed encouragement. Allegheny Valley Elementary School Principal Steve Parinella, Superintendent Dr. William Clark, Board member Mary Anne Paris and the WTO should be commended for recognizing a pure injustice and invoking a swift remedy … Provide food.

Should those charged with educating youth be expected to lower the bar to assume their role begins with whether or not their students have had breakfast, or a previous day’s meal? Teachers are burdened by various student performance measures, which, in turn, evaluate their performance. Let us help fulfill the students’ basic human needs and then demand the best of the educational community.

Debate the arguments from a political, moral or religious standpoint regarding “what should the parents, government, churches, schools, families, etc.,” have done, or should do, but please help the vulnerable while contemplating. Some children have not the option to engage in debate … Gaining nourishment, shelter and warmth will occupy their time. philosophical debate is your cerebral right, but please remember, some will never be afforded your opportunity to engage in such lofty endeavors. They will be busy trying to satisfy primitive needs.

No, I am not a teacher, nor do I live in Warren County, but I will contribute to the Backpack Program. I hope it becomes contagious.

Daniel E. Norris

Alexandria, Va.



Dear editor:

This past year has been a roller coaster ride! With the family all back in the same zip code for the first time in 25 years; I have to pinch myself every day that I wake up and ask myself if it’s real! I am so glad to be home, seeing friends and family multiple times a week versus 2-3 times per year. It reminds me that I am not alone.

It is the same in business too. You need a network of peers, mentors; and people with resources to help you through the tough times and tough decisions. With all of the hubbub about WCCBI, WCVB, and all the other abbreviations (that I think I have figured out what they mean finally). I am blessed with a strong peer/mentor group as well in business. It is great to be able to pick up the phone or walk down the street to bounce ideas off of other Independent Entrepreneurs. It gets our creative juices flowing and we harvest ideas off of each other all of the time. We can affect positive change instantly. We do not require a committee or board to mull it over, thus losing the momentum of our energy.

That being said, I have been beating the drum for a unified point of contact / event calendar / and management of all things business in the greater Warren County. As a fiercely independent small business owner, I feel that the WCCBI offers me the most bang for my buck. They call me and ask questions; more importantly they listen to what I have to say and don’t patronize me. They invite me (and I GO) to programs that they offer. The value is there regardless if it is a marketing opportunity for my business or a training class that can make me a better business owner.

I have heard the stories about past incidents; and was amazed at the flurry of phone calls that I received when the Great “Takeover” was going down, with other small business owners asking me what I thought. Being the new guy on the block, I guess people really appreciate my No-Nonsense (albeit gruff poignancy mixed in with a few expletives) opinions when it comes to these matters. If your heart is in the right place, I can sense it. I have a tremendously sensitive BS detector and will usually interrupt the conversation if it starts to buzz.

After I secured consensus from others I felt compelled to share our position that we; as Independent Entrepreneurs, don’t just blindly follow self-appointed leaders or make business decisions based on what other people think. We make our decisions based on what we believe and what we are passionate about will make a positive impact in our business. It makes life so much simpler when our business models align with our core values. And those core values are as unique to our business’s as we are. And that’s what I love about being a fiercely Independent Entrepreneur.

Winning Hearts and Minds one at a time

Todd Bowersox