Monday, January 31, 2005

Valley Voice - New Issue Out Today

The newest issue of the Valley Voice is out today. Check it out for an interesting article about WKBN's former show-all anchor Catherine Bosley. She was shadowed for a day by Cleveland's WOIO CBS 19's Sharon Reed, who pulled her own Full Monty when she appeared nude with 3,000 others for an art photo being taken in downtown Cleveland. Bosley was fired. Reed was celebrated.

City using convocation funds for legal work

According to an article on the Business Journal's website, the city of Youngstown used federal funds allocated for the city's convocation center to pay for legal fees in a case against the Business Journal. This stems from a case in which the Business Journal was forced to take legal action to request city documents regarding the building of the convocation center.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Working Class Studies in Working Class Youngstown

Want to learn more about working class Youngstown and the working class foundations of America? Youngstown State offers a graduate certificate in Working Class Studies. It seems like a great 4-class program, blending history, sociolgy, literature, and politics.

For more information, check out:

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

2010 shows model city

I thought this article from a November issue of The Valley Voice was interesting regarding the Youngstown 2010 plan. The plan for Youngstown 2010 will be revealed tomorrow, January 27th at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Date: November 19, 2004

YOUNGSTOWN — The city as the subject of a forum at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities normally would send shudders through civic leaders.
They’d expect Youngstown to be the poster child for at least one of its many foibles: economic decline, high crime, corruption.

Instead, for a change the focus is on what the city is doing right.

Youngstown 2010 was held up as a model for urban revitalization this week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Jay Williams, the city’s Community Development Agency director, and Sarah Lown, director of economic development and the Eastgate Council of Governments, spent Wednesday at M.I.T. They were keynote speakers at a discussion series sponsored by the M.I.T. school of planning and architecture.

The series brings together students and faculty to talk about housing, community development and planning topics with other top academics and professionals.

The discussion series focuses on third-tier cities, defined as older, smaller, industrial cities still primary to their regional economic base.

Lown and Williams talked about Youngstown 2010 and how it might have far-reaching and long-lasting implications for the Mahoning Valley. Today’s planning is positioning the city for its place in the world in 10 to 15 years, Williams said.

They also talked about how 2010 might apply to cities across the country in similar situations.

"There are lessons to be learned in Youngstown, Ohio, and to showcase it at an institution such as M.I.T. says something," Williams said. "It speaks volumes to us. It’s a validation."

Corruption and economic failure serve only as the backdrop to what is becoming a Youngstown success story, he said.

Such forums are the way the city eventually will change its bemoaned image as a place where industry died and the mob thrived, Williams said.

Youngstown is taking on the role today that such places as Chattanooga, Tenn., played a decade ago, he said. Chattanooga is considered a model for how a small city can revive itself.

Youngstown 2010 ended up at M.I.T. via a consultant familiar with the city.

The consultant for Mt. Auburn Associates of Somerville, Mass., who also is an M.I.T. professor, had used Youngstown as a top example in a study of third-tier cities, Williams said. Mt. Auburn did consulting work for the city on its federal Renewal Community zone designation.

The consultant suggested Youngstown 2010 officials speak to the school, he said.

"It helps us tell our own story," said Anthony Kobak, the city’s chief planner. "It sheds more light on the good things that are happening in the planning process. I know we’re doing some really good things."

Such recognition shows Youngstown 2010 officials are doing some ground-breaking planning, he said.

Youngstown 2010 and its approach will be the subject in a chapter of a textbook on public participation that will be published in the summer, Kobak said.

Copyright © 2004 The Valley Voice - All Rights Reserved

Youngstown Pride to stop using Vindicator - The Valley Voice is now our source!

As a matter of policy, the editor of this blog has decided that we can no longer provide news to our readers from the Youngstown Vindicator. While we have long held that the Vindicator is a reliable source for news from Youngstown, we believe that their unfair labor agreement against Newspaper Guild Local 11 means that we cannot support them until they offer a fair contract to these workers.

Furthermore, we now offer our support to The Valley Voice, the strike newspaper of Local 11. It is published weekly. Subscriptions are available by e-mailing They are available for $2 for home delivery and $6 for mail subscriptions. See for more information.

Lastly, because the paper is only available online in .pdf versions, no news articles will be posted, however links will be placed on these pages for our readers to access the most recent edition.


Joe Lowry
Editor, Youngstown Pride

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cup o' Joe

If you want to find good coffee around Youngstown State, you don't have to look that far. Professor Jay Gordon and Jambar writer Bill Rogers made a trek around campus, drinking about 10 cups of coffee in two hours. Want to know the results, read below!

Cup o'Joe
By Bill Rodgers

Whether they take it with cream or sugar, in small cups, large cups or by the pot, one thing is certain: coffee will make trudging to class through the snow in 10-degree weather bearable for students this semester.

Luckily, Youngstown State University has no shortage of caffeine watering holes where people can get their daily java fix. With all of these choices, the question is: "Who serves the best coffee on campus?" For the more frugal student, the question may also be "Who serves the cheapest coffee on campus?"

Continue the article at:

Steel production drops from last week

Pittsburgh Business Times - January 24, 2005

Domestic steelmakers saw their weekly output fall from the previous seven days, but increase compared to the same time last year, according to data released Monday by an industry group.

Production among domestic steelmakers was about 2.041 million net tons for the week ended Jan. 22. That was down from the 2.094 million net tons produced during the week ending Jan. 15, but up from the 1.941 million from the week ended Jan. 22, 2004, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

In the Pittsburgh/Youngstown, Ohio district, steel companies produced 247,000 net tons for the week ended Jan. 22. That was down from the 272,000 net tons they made the prior week, AISI data shows.

AISI is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association of North American companies involved in the iron and steel industry.

The organization's data is based on reports from companies representing about 90 percent of the domestic industry's raw steel capacity.

Those companies that reported production figures said they were using 91 percent of their available capacities for the week ended Jan. 22. That was up from the 87 percent capacity utilization they reported during the same week in 2004, according to AISI.

© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Idora Park and its roller coasters - 2000

Nothing is more a part of Youngstown's history than Idora Park, an amusement park which began as a trolley park on Youngstown's South Side in the late 1890's. After a fire in 1984 effectively shut down the park, Idora was no more. Another fire in 1986 would claim even more of the park, with a March 2001 fire claiming the abandoned yet famous ballroom. These photos show all that remained of the park in the summer of 2000. They were taken by roller coaster enthusiast Paul Drabek who runs the website The first photo shows the middle hill and brakerun of the Wildcat, the more famous of the park's two coasters. After it burned, seeing its yellow wood frame in the trees as you drive through bordering Mill Creek Park always created an eerie scene. The second two show the smaller coaster, the Jack Rabbit. During the 1984 park season, the coaster ran backwards and was called the Back Wabbit. This was done in a failed attempt to create a more dramatic ride. These efforts were not enough and that would be the parks last season, which only a few company picnics held in 1985.

Thanks to Paul Drabek for the use of the pictures. All rights held by Paul Drabek and used with permission.

Boom Boom

In Youngstown, one man never to mess with is Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, local kid turned lighweight world boxing champion turned actor. His mob movie "Turn of Faith," starring Sopranos star Tony Sirico and legendary actor Charles Durning was set and filmed in the fictional town of Pilton, Ohio - AKA Youngstown.

Market Street - The Legal Arts Building

The Legal Arts Building - This modern building is representative of a progressive Youngstown, which ranks as the 3rd largest city in Ohio when this view was taken in the 1960's. It is still located on Market Street, across from the Mahoning Co. Courthouse. In the background is the Voyager Hotel, now replaced with the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and US Courthouse. A fire within the Legal Arts Building in late 2004 forced all of its tenants to other downtown locations while The Hub restaurant, a downtown restaraunt within the building closed in early 2004. The salt and pepper shakers are still full on the tables.
The Shrine Of The Madonna Of Csiksomlyo, Comforter Of The Afflicted, Mount Alverna Friary, Franciscan Fathers, 517 South Belle Vista Avenue, Youngstown,Ohio.

State Route 422 - Republic Iron and Steel offices

The Republic Iron and Steel offices on State Route 422 in Youngstown's Brier Hill district, while being closed since 1978, still stand.

The Mahoning County Courthouse

Mahoning County's large courthouse sits between Front Street and Boardman Street on Market Street in downtown Youngstown. The view of this early postcard photo from the 1950's remains almost identical to what one would find today.

West Federal Street - Downtown

Nothing beats a fantastic view of downtown Youngstown, as this site has many. Here is a view of West Federal Street, looking west from Public Square on a day very close to the Fourth of July.

Elm Street - The Richard Brown Memorial Chapel

The Richard Brown Memorial Chapel on Elm Street still stands, and much to my error, it's still the R.B.M.C. I previously thought it was something now else.

Wood Street - The Pelton Apartments

The Pelton Apartments were a swanky place to live on W. Wood Street on Youngstown's North Side.

Market Street - The Elks Club

The Elks Club on Market St was a grand building in between downtown and The Uptown area. Sadly, the building no longer exists.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Businesses pleases with revamped Plaza

The Jambar - pageone
Issue: 1/20/05


Businesses pleases with revamped Plaza
By Chuck Rogers

Larry Silver said he knew 31 years ago that closing Federal Street to car traffic was a bad idea. Recently the city of Youngstown came to the same conclusion.

Workers spent months removing the brick walkways and unused fountains that occupied the first blocks east and west of Market Street. The newly-repaved Federal Street was opened to through traffic Dec. 7 for the first time since 1973.

Now downtown business owners like Silver hope the change in the traffic pattern will cause an increase in traffic through their stores.

Barry Silver, who owns Silver's Vogue Shop along with his father, Larry, said he thinks that will happen. The men's clothing store has been a fixture on Federal Plaza West since 1971.

"People bring people," Barry Silver said, citing the improved access to stores and the expected growth in downtown jobs. He said he expects business to turn around when summer brings more pedestrians to the area.

Jason Logero, owner of The Bean Counter Café on Federal Plaza East, said he has already seen a difference.

"From that afternoon [of the reopening] on," he said, "there has been a nice, steady increase in business."

Logero said initially he was one of the reopening project's biggest skeptics. But now, he said, he thinks it is the best thing the city has done.

In 2003 he located his coffee house on Federal Plaza because he wanted to put something into downtown. A chef and former Youngstown State University student, he said he wanted to capture a "downtown feel" in his establishment.

"When you think of coffee places," Logero said, "the nice ones are always downtown."

Besides coffee, he sells gourmet sandwiches and beer, and has wireless Internet access for his patrons.

With more customers passing through his doors, Logero is considering expanding his business into a larger space adjoining his current location.

Recently opened businesses along the newly reopened thoroughfare include The Core, The Bad Apple, Geo's, B and B's Unique Ladies Boutique and Howard's.

B and B's and Howard's share the same storefront at the corner of Phelps and Federal Plaza West and are run by the husband and wife team of Bea and Howard Lindsey.

The couple opened the store in September after Howard Lindsey retired from his job as a YSU dormitory maintenance worker. The store combines ladies accessories with a news stand and lunch counter business. Purses and scarves are on one side and hot dogs, nachos, candy bars and newspapers on the other.

Bea Lindsey says she's optimistic about businesses opening in downtown Youngstown. She says a jazz club will open in a bay-windowed building down the street and a spa has recently hung its sign over a vacant storefront on the opposite corner.

"More traffic and Infocision coming into the Phar-mor building will generate a lot more traffic for the vendors," she said.

Infocision, an Akron-based telemarketing firm, is considering opening a call center in the Federal Plaza West office building. The center will initially employ 150 people and may eventually double that number.

A new U.S. Courthouse and office building, the Mahoning County Children's Services building and the Youngstown Convocation Center are being constructed in the downtown area as well.

The Federal Street project has also created almost 100 new 2-hour parking spaces to help downtown visitors get closer to the shops and businesses. Almost all were filled before noon Thursday.

As Larry Silver said, "People want to go through town, not around it."


Youngstown 2010 will "Unveil the Plan" Jan. 27

The Jambar - News
Issue: 1/20/05


Youngstown 2010 will "Unveil the Plan" Jan. 27
By BJ Lisko

Anthony Kobak has a vision for the future of Youngstown. The chief planner for Youngstown 2010 says there is work to be done in making the Mahoning Valley a better place, but it is not unattainable.

"If you establish that you're trying to give good outreach and are genuine about your message, you'll get people to put their guard down," Kobak said. "They've been taken advantage of so many times."

On Jan.27, Youngstown 2010 will hold "Unveiling the Plan," at Stambaugh Auditorium. The organization has held meetings over the past two years to give area residents a forum to voice their comments, concerns and hopes for the future of the city. The event later this month will culminate those ideas in a draft of the organization's plan for Youngstown.

"We're going to highlight some of the main goals in the plan that night," Kobak said.
"We will also unveil a future land use map. It's a general foundation for the city to plan by in the future."

Apathy runs rampant in the Mahoning Valley, but Kobak says Youngstown 2010 has had little problem combating it.

"The attitude in the community is definitely changing, so I think that was an old obstacle," Kobak said.

But even with area apathy well in hand, Kobak admits there have been other obstacles to overcome.

"The biggest obstacle now is planning and a planning process," Kobak said. "It's kind of foreign to this area because it hasn't been done for so many years. It hasn't happened in a generation or more. It's probably been 50 plus years since a real plan has been around."

A major key to the success of Youngstown 2010 is keeping area residents and businesses from relocating.

"We have to work on the assets that we have in the city," Kobak said. "The wonderful art community, Mill Creek Park and businesses big and small - we have to make sure that they don't leave. We have to patronize them and give them a reason to stay. We have to build on what we have with making the city and neighborhood a cleaner and more presentable place."

Ultimately time will tell if Youngstown 2010 can turn around the fortunes of the city. Kobak thinks it can be done, and he is looking for as much support as he can get.

"Youngstown 2010 is only going to succeed if everyone supports the plan and gets involved," he said.

"Unveiling the Plan," is set for 7 p.m., Jan. 27 at Stambaugh Auditorium. For more information on the event or Youngstown 2010, residents can visit the organization's Web site at

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Valley gets $1.2M for programs

The Valley's Home Page
HOMELAND SECURITY Valley gets $1.2M for programs

Published: Fri, Jan 14, 2005

Mahoning County is receiving about $400,000 less than last year.

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning Valley first responders are in line for Haz-Mat suits, sophisticated surveillance equipment and other terrorism-response items to be bought through $1.24 million in federal homeland security grants.

Mahoning County will get $543,315, Trumbull County $462,987 and Columbiana $240,630 of the $26.5 million in funding Gov. Bob Taft announced Thursday for Ohio's 88 counties.

In all, the state received $77.8 million and divided it among six programs, from the state homeland security program ($32.7 million) and emergency management performance grants ($5.4 million) to law enforcement terrorism prevention ($11.9 million).

Four metropolitan areas — Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo — will divide $26.1 million.

First responders are law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and others first on the scene of disasters or terrorist acts.

Other items high among local first responders' requests include generators and mobile radios and repeaters, said Mary Smith, deputy director of the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency.

Setting priorities

Walter Duzzny, Mahoning County director of Emergency Management and Communications, said he was concerned how far the county can spread its grant when it is receiving about $400,000 less than the $900,000 it received a year ago.

"We have about $100,000 in unencumbered funds left from last year's grant," he said. "To get $543,315 is a big disappointment."

Mahoning has a seven-member screening committee of people with expertise in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiation dangers. That group forwards recommendations to a 27-member panel that approves funding requests.

"We're going to have to sit down and set priorities, see what pieces we can put into place," Duzzny said. "One of the things that has been under discussion is expanding our outdoor warning system of sirens."

Other priorities are decontamination equipment, detection devices and Haz-Mat suits, he said, noting that requests for about $1.5 million in equipment are pending.

Useful items

To date, Columbiana has distributed $1.26 million to first responders and has requests for more than $600,000 in items, Smith said.

"When we started we sent everyone a survey ... and they listed their needs and sent in an application regarding what they are looking for, what it is, how many they wanted and how much they cost," she said.

A committee of about two representatives of boards of trustees, police, firefighters, hospitals, medics, the FBI, utilities, engineers and others compares available funds with the requests and determines which will be filled.

Those requesting money are limited to items they can show will be used.

For example, there are two different types of Haz-Mat suits, Smith said. An applicant would have to show that it had personnel trained for either the Type 1 or Type 2 suit, and that their certification was current.

"Everyone has to sign a promise to keep the items insured, maintained and available for use," Smith said.

More grants

All of the Tri-County EMAs also apply for any grants they believe they have a chance of receiving and stay in contact with state officials to try to land money other counties fail to claim or spend.

Columbiana's Smith said that although the committee has members representing various interests, it has "always looked at what's best for the community."

"The best thing about our committee is that they are the most unselfish people and we have had very little turnover [since its inception in 2000]," she said.


© 2005 A service of The Vindicator.

Monday, January 17, 2005

We can rid our town of the Flask political machine!

Jack C. Hunter Candidate for Mayor, November 4, 1969.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Youngstown's Big Chevrolet Dealer invites you to buy your next car here. Your neighbors do - why not you? Steel City Chevrolet Company, 2519 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mahoning River Flood Warning in Effect

...Mahoning river at Youngstown... * minor flooding is forecast for the Mahoning river at Youngstown. * At 3 am... the river had crested at 12.9 feet. * Flood stage is 10.0 feet......( edit!!!! rise to flood stage...crest at... remain above flood stage until...)crest near 14.7 feet this morning * the river will .....Will remain above flood stage unti Saturday afternoon. * At 15.0 feet... flooding will spread into Industrial areas along the river.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Together, We Care

Visit Red to make your contribution to help tsunami victims throughout SE Asia.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Arena officials await steel delivery

Published: Sat, Jan 1, 2005

YOUNGSTOWN — Steel for building the Youngstown Convocation Center should arrive on the site by late next week, after about a week's delay by weather.

The arena is under construction between the Market Street and South Avenue bridges in the downtown area.

Snowy, icy weather in the Columbus area this week prevented access to fabricated steel being stored in a yard there, as did power outages, explained Jeff Kossow, the center's executive director.

Erection cranes are on the Youngstown site awaiting the steel.

"We're not uncomfortable because we built some time into this process," he noted.

The $41 million facility, which will be the home of a Central Hockey League team owned by businessman Herb Washington of Boardman, is scheduled to open in the fall.

Public to Get Peek at Youngstown 2010 Plan

Public to Get Peek at Youngstown 2010 Plan
Jan 5, 2005 11:57 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Youngstown 2010 Plan will be presented to the public on Jan. 27, according to Jay Williams, city community development director. The event, titled "Unveiling The Plan," will be held at Stambaugh Auditorium, he said.

A partnership between The City of Youngstown and Youngstown State University, the Youngstown 2010 initiative held a series of meetings over the last two years to give citizens the opportunity to express their concerns, hopes and vision for the future of the city, Williams said. A citywide plan then was developed to lay out the foundation for future policies and plans and listing specific goals and projects. The goals, policies and plans will guide the city in making decisions, he noted.

Although the plan has been laid out, the public's participation remains crucial to its success, Williams emphasized. "This event will help shape not just Youngstown, but the entire Mahoning Valley," he said.

"Unveiling The Plan" begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Visit Youngstown 2010:

Youngstown officials discuss grant dilemma

Published: Thu, Jan 6, 2005
The finance director wants to see if HUD will loosen its restrictions.

YOUNGSTOWN — City Finance Director David Bozanich said he will know Friday what kind of financial shape the city is in and whether it can hire cops to work exclusively at low-income housing projects.

As it stands, nearly $160,000 of the $200,000 Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority grant for police protection in 2004 wasn't used and the grant for 2005 may be lost. Police worked YMHA details, primarily at the Westlake Terrace Homes, in 2004 on an overtime basis, which was determined in late November to be in error.

In years past, YMHA grants, which come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were used for a YMHA pat-rol, a handful of city officers who worked only on YMHA properties. The grant pays for "extraordinary," not routine police service.

Bozanich met Wednesday with Councilman Richard Atkinson, D-3rd, and Police Chief Robert E. Bush Jr. in a city council conference room to discuss the YMHA grant dilemma.

Atkinson expressed concern about the remainder of the 2004 grant and the entire $200,000 grant for 2005 being lost and questioned why the money can't be spent. He said millions in construction is going into the Westlake area on Martin Luther King Boulevard and surrounding streets.

"I'm concerned about having good protection there," he said at Wednesday's meeting. Westlake is in Atkinson's ward.

"Obviously, the way to do it is to hire officers," Bush said at the meeting.
Bush explained to Bozanich and Atkinson that the $41,000 expended does not have to be repaid to HUD but he can no longer assign officers to work the YMHA grant unless they are the same officers and they work at least 20 hours a week on YMHA properties. He said he can't do that without hiring new officers, he just doesn't have the staff.

The chief also told them that the 2004 grant, which expired in December, has been extended until June. He has until then to spend the remaining $159,000 — by assigning the same officers to the YMHA beat — or the money goes back to HUD.

Bush said the 2005 YMHA grant, which should have been in effect this month, is being held back until June, when the YMHA situation will be reviewed.

'Final numbers'
Bozanich said he'll have all the city's "final numbers" by Friday. Atkinson, Bush and Bozanich agreed to meet again then to discuss the possibility of hiring cops to work a YMHA detail.

Bozanich, however, told Bush and Atkinson that he wants to explore the idea of persuading HUD to ease its restrictions, to allow the grant money to be spent for police overtime. The finance director suggested U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-17th, might be enlisted to explore the idea.

Bush said he discussed the idea of a waiver of the HUD restrictions with Eugenia Atkinson, YMHA director. He said she will check out the possibility. She is the councilman's wife.

© 2005 A service of The Vindicator.