After a series of setbacks for Cooper Tire CEO Roy Armes and co-executives, it appears that they temporarily gave up on chasing their money dreams.
On Dec. 30, Armes announced a New Year’s resolution: “It is time to move our business forward … The right thing for Cooper now is to focus on continuing to build our business … Our focus will be squarely on our business and moving it forward…”
As employees began to cheer this joyous moment, a disappointing announcement of a one-week production curtailment in April 2014 followed on Jan. 3.
About 30 days were taken out of the production schedule in 2013 with little or no compensation or unemployment benefits. It would be interesting to know how many paydays were taken out of the executives’ paychecks in 2013.
While Armes bragged about the $35 per share in the Apollo merger agreement, under local, committed and loyal leadership, Cooper always produced results that exceeded expectations. Share prices reached $39-$40 and split two for one many times. Cooper made the list of Fortune 500 companies and the list of best companies to work for. Employees, both hourly and salary, enjoyed respectable wages and benefits. Executives’ compensations were within a reasonable ratio and they never lost focus and never considered selling the company.
They always bought, acquired, merged and maintained local control, and all of us were members of the Cooper family.
All that changed with the arrival of Tom Datillo in 2000, and his successor, Roy Armes in 2006. Cooper is no longer on any prestigious lists, and family events were eliminated in the U.S. plants and established in the China plants!
Armes has been CEO for seven years and it would be interesting to know the following:
• When moving the company forward will start?
• How long do we wait for promises to become reality?
• How long do we wait for solid plans to happen?
• How long do we wait for the bright future to arrive?
Considering all that transpired in 2013, the failed merger and the current lawsuits by investors, where are the Cooper board of directors and what are they doing or waiting for?
Jihad “Joe” Shaheen

Upon reading the recent article in your newspaper (Jan. 22) regarding the opposition to the Lye Creek project, I was overcome with a tremendous sense of joy.
Glad I am indeed to see such ferocious disapproval to the planting of trees and shrubs. Aside from absorbing carbon dioxide, producing oxygen, holding together the soil, and serving a central role in most ecosystems, what have trees and their various ilk ever done for humanity?
A member of the opposition implied that this vegetation would attract undesirable wildlife. I feel as though I must concur. I cannot begin to describe the unquenchable rage I experience whenever I observe a rabbit or a squirrel prancing about in a thicket.
The same member of the opposition also stated that the proposed riparian corridor would provide a cover for illicit activity. Right this person is, indeed! As I’m sure we are all well aware, small groves of trees located near modern housing developments are havens for nefarious enterprises.
I am so very thankful we have individuals in our community that are speaking out against these heinous actions by the watershed partnership. After all, a flooded basement is far preferable to the tremendous inconvenience of having to occasionally glance at a tree.
These brave individuals are the only ones who remain to stand up for our invaluable natural resources, like the small patches of dirt and grass adjacent to Lye Creek. Keep fighting the good fight, my friends!
Colin Chapman

Help! My propane was stolen.
I bought 500 gallons last fall, but apparently some greedy frackers hijacked the pipelines so the propane can be sold to the Chinese.
Maybe I’ll get a check this spring for the profit differential.
Maybe not.
I’ll probably just get a bill for additional “surcharges,” another bill for the additional electric I’m supposed to use, and maybe another bill to fix frozen pipes if the gas runs out.
The EPA be damned, I’m gonna burn whatever I need to stay at least as warm as the Chinese are this winter. If the pipelines’ purpose is not to supply American propane to American citizens, owning American homes and businesses, and paying American taxes, perhaps the wisest use of the National Guard would be to seize the pipelines and spackle them shut.
Jay Morehart

First, it was the crud that came over here from Asia that we buy. Now, it’s the carp that they bring here in the ships’ ballast and unload at our ports that’s going to devastate our Great Lakes fishing industry at a cost of billions of dollars.
It’s time to get our manufacturing jobs back to the USA, and stop buying their junk. As we suffer, they are laughing all the way to the bank. Wake up, America!
Bob Gibson

I am assuming David Ignatius (column, Jan. 16) has stock in the fossil fuel industry, judging by the way he glorifies the remarkable new shale oil and gas discoveries.
While we are at it, why don’t we frack this whole country in the name of prosperity for the 1 percent that owns more than 50 percent. Yes, trash this country and all other countries because we have no choice but to use fossil fuel until it’s gone.
Hey, if we send our future generations down the polluted river with plastic and fossil oil, sorry about their luck. At least the 1 percent did it their way.
Making hemp illegal has to be the stupidest thing we ever allowed to happen, with using corn to make fuel coming in a close second. It takes a gallon of oil to make a gallon of ethanol. And when you use natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel, that vehicle puts out 20 times more greenhouse gases.
As soon as the www.thetopcatplan.com gets its funding, the first thing I will do is build a hemp composite water tower on the high school property to catch all rainwater, sending none to the river. Then I will convert all school vehicles, including buses, to run on self-made by the power of the wind and sun hydrogen.
Any questions?
Terry Cook