Sunday, March 27, 2005

U-Haul Self-Storage

The Isaly Dairy Building today - currently a U-Haul self-storage and truck rental facility.

Isaly's Dairy Building

Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley

Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley - formerly known as the West Federal Street YMCA building Sully Johnson operated the Booker T. Washington Settlement at West Federal Street and West Madison Avenue. In 1926, the center moved to a new location on West Federal Street and became the West Federal Street YMCA for the black community. In 1931, a new building was erected where the West Federal Branch operated for 43 years before merging with the main YMCA branch downtown. The area that housed the Belmont Branch YMCA was a slum area, and the YMCA wanted to reach out to the people there. Inside, they had all the facilities that were in the Central Branch, and a really nice gym and pool. It was in it's day a beautiful facility. Now that the Rescue Mission owns the building, the gym is gone, but the pool is still used, and many of the smaller churches use it for baptisms. The building now serves as the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. The apartments are still used.

Ursuline Academy

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Mahoning Valley in northeast Ohio was clearly emerging as a major center of industry in the United States. Smokey steel mills rose along the Mahoning River for miles through the heart of Youngstown, beckoning tens of thousands of men and boys to the harsh work within them. Many of the laborers were Catholic immigrants from Europe who brought little with them to this country except their hunger for a better life and a strong faith to sustain their dreams. From humble beginnings similar to the city that welcomed them in 1874, the Ursuline Nuns of Youngstown were also at work, creating an opportunity for education in the valley which conveyed an optimism as unfailing as that of their adopted community.

Under the direction of Mother M. Joseph Hopkins, the simple "pay school" for girls attached to St. Columba Church in downtown Youngstown was expanded to include grades 9-12 in September 1905. With an initial enrollment of twenty-five students, the Ursuline Academy of the Holy name of Jesus was founded, the forerunner of today's Ursuline High School. Thus began an Ursuline tradation of quality secondary education in Youngstown which reaches 96 years at this writing. Classes for the girls were held initially in an imposing four- story brick structure located at 217 West Rayen Avenue that also served as the sister's convent.

Mother Vincent O'Connell was appointed first principal of the Academy. The original curriculum stressed classical studies and language skills. Doctrinal religion was emphasized in a setting of strict discipline. Four years after its opening on June 16, 1908, the high school celebrated its first commencement in Youngstown's Park Theater. Two graduates were honored--Miss Eunice Marie Lawlor and Miss Mary Agnes Maloney. The winds of war that blew over the nation and world during this century's second decade also swept the Youngstown area to an unparalleled period of development and prosperity. It was a time for growth, and the Ursuline Order responded to the influx of population by extending its work to other parishes that were being established in the city.

Meanwhile, the Academy was also expanding, soon outgrowing it Rayen Avenue facilities. Mother Joseph, general superior of the Order, proposed that the community acquire the Chaucey Andrews estate on Wick Avenue for the Academy. Mrs. John Logan, Andrew's daughter and owner of the house, agreed to a sale in February of 1919. The high school enrollment of forty settled into their new location late that winter. Mother Bernard McCann presided over the beginning of the "Wick Avenue Era" as Principal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

West Federal Street - Update

For the information of those who might no know yet, in downtown
Youngstown as of now, there are only two empty west end buildings --
the old Paramount Theater and the Lerner Shop building next to the

The row of empty buildings are to be torn down soon; the Wells
Building and Armed Services are being restored, the State Theater is
coming down as part of the Wells Building project, and the Masters
Block is being demolished.

The whole project will put a whole new face on West Federal Street.

When it's finished there will be five brand new buildings on West

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Airbus in Youngstown... we can only dream!

Regional Airport to Be Pitched for Airbus Plant
Mar 10, 2005 8:00 a.m.

By Dan O’Brien

VIENNA, Ohio -- The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is one of three sites the state of Ohio will submit as a location for a proposed $600 million conversion plant for aerospace giant Airbus, sources confirmed this week.

The other sites under consideration are Columbus and Toledo, sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, Ohio Department of Development spokesman Bill Teets would neither confirm nor deny that Youngstown-Warren is among the three sites. The packages, getting their finishing touches, will be submitted to Airbus officials by the end of March.

“Our philosophy is that Ohio meets a good number of requirements and that we’re worth looking at,” Teets said.

While the Mahoning Valley will be pitched for the project, sources said the odds of success are very, very long.

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., Airbus’ parent, is looking for a site within the United States to construct a plant that would convert Airbus A330 commercial airliners into aerial tankers that refuel U.S. military aircraft.

Leading the search is EADS North America, the holding company for EADS’s North American operations.

According to a company statement, EADS North America, based in Arlington, Va., is seeking a site where its new KC-330 advanced tanker aircraft could be assembled and produced or modified for U.S. military use. The site would also be home to a new Airbus long range aircraft engineering center.

The conversion plant is expected to employ some 500 at first, but that figure could reach 1,200 by 2012 depending on the delivery rates of the KC-330, said Guy Hicks, spokesman. “If we go toward a final assembly center, it would cost upwards of $600 million to build and directly employ 1,200 people,” he said. The engineering center would employ 150 aerospace engineers and is scheduled to go forward without the conversion and assembly plant.

Also, the plant would attract additional manufacturers and jobs needed to support conversion operations, he said.

The site should be selected by Dec. 31 and the engineering facility open by early 2006.

Ohio is one of 37 states vying for the project, Hicks said. In February, about 130 development officials from 35 states attended an information session EADS North America hosted in Washington, D.C. Qualifying states will be issued a request for proposal sometime in the second quarter.

With such intense competition, sources concede the Mahoning Valley faces an uphill battle. Among the criteria EADS on which is basing its site selection:

- An airport with a runway at least 9,000 feet long.

- An area that can accommodate 1.5 million square feet of production, hangar and office space.

- Transportation infrastructure that includes good access to rail, road and a deep-water seaport that can handle large volumes.

- An employment base that can meet the demands of world-class aircraft manufacturing.

- The location’s ability to establish a cooperative relationship with a nearby university or other institution with a strong aerospace department and research facility.

The Youngstown-Warren airport meets several of the criteria, including a 9,000-foot runway and the capacity to handle the proposed manufacturing space. Access to a deep-water seaport, however, may pose a problem, since the nearest port is Ashtabula on Lake Erie, 45 miles north. Also, the airport as yet lacks rail access.

“We have a lot of states responding that have inland locations,” EADS’ Hicks noted, which on paper places them at a disadvantage. However, inland communities have won similar projects in the past by adapting and addressing these logisitics issues, he added. Youngstown, he continued, is fairly close to Lake Erie, which could be a consideration.

Still, the Department of Development’s Teets said he’s unsure whether Ohio will even be considered for the project or issued a request for proposal.

“We’d like to think we have a realistic opportunity,” Teets said, citing important aerospace research institutions such as the NASA Glenn Center near Cleveland and the Wright Center near Dayton. “There’s merit in the fact that Ohio has a history of aerospace activity.”

He also noted the number of companies throughout the state that work with the advanced materials needed in aerospace construction. “Locating here gives you a large base of potential suppliers,” he said.

EADS North America was formed two years ago to secure new business in the United States and North America, Hicks said. The company employs 1,800 in the U.S. at 39 different locations in 11 states. Last year, EADS North America earned about $650 million and expects to do about $1 billion in revenues for 2006. Its parent, EADS, earned $40 billion in Euro dollars last year, he reported.

Last year, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport submitted a proposal to compete for the new Boeing 7E7 production facility. That project, however, was awarded to Everett, Wash., after that state compiled an incentives package that included approximately $3.2 billion in tax breaks.

Contact Dan O'Brien at

Monday, March 07, 2005

Youngstown couple joins "Amzing Race"

Ohio lovebirds, family join `Amazing Race'

From the Akron Beacon Journal

Although the big national attraction for the next Amazing Race will be the return to prime time of some Survivor lovebirds, the series will also have a strong Ohio flavor.

Two teams on the show -- which begins March 1 -- are from Ohio, including Ray Housteau, 44, of Canfield and Deana Shane, 27, of Youngstown, who are described as ``dating on and off.''

Here's CBS' summary of them:

``Ray is a stockbroker and Deana is a marketing and promotions executive. Their primary motivation for participating in this Race is to put their on-again/off-again relationship to the test and see how they fare.

``Ray, who is 17 years older than Deana, has worked as a stockbroker for 18 years. A former college and semi-professional football player, Ray describes himself as cocky and admits that he's never wrong about anything. He enjoys weightlifting, singing and karate.

``Deana is admittedly just as determined and competitive as her teammate. She grew up camping in the backwoods of Ohio and has never traveled outside the United States. Deana's favorite hobbies include lifting weights, karate, hunting and fishing. Both admit they are looking for some answers to what the future holds for their relationship and are hoping the Race will provide some.''

Letson named Youngstown CityScape leader

YOUNGSTOWN — Sharon M. Letson of Warren, former director of Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley, has been named executive director of Youngstown CityScape.

"Sharon will bring an energetic, creative and positive focus to CityScape, and our efforts to revitalize downtown Youngstown and the city's gateways," said David C. Sweet, president of Youngstown State University and CityScape chair.

Youngstown CityScape, an outgrowth of the Youngstown Streetscape program, is a nonprofit organization created in November to help revitalize Youngstown through downtown and corridor beautification, education and historic preservation.

The organization will rally volunteers and city residents to take action to improve the appearance of the city, including landscaping, litter cleanup and fostering community awareness of the importance of historic preservation. A major goal will be to build on the successful track record of Streetscape in the beautification of downtown Youngstown and extend these efforts along major transportation corridors leading into the city.

Letson, who has a bachelor's degree in communication arts from Grove City College, was director of Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley from 1994 to 2003. She previously was a manager at Famous Telephone Supply in Akron, a patient account representative at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and assistant general manager of KWTQ-AM Radio in Pittsburgh.

From the Vindicator

Supermax may house Death Row

According to Cleveland News 5, Youngstown's Super Max prison may soon hold the 194 Ohio inmates on Death Row. The state is considering the move from the Mansfield Correctional Institution to the supermax and Attorney General Jim Petro seemed receptive to the idea.

Six convicted killers already are confined at Youngstown, including four inmates involved in the deadly 1993 riot at the Lucasville prison.

The lone female under a death sentence is incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville.

The Youngstown facility was opened in 1998. It houses 465 inmates described by state officials as the "worst of the worst" in Ohio prisons.

Amtrak Service Comes To A Hault in Youngstown


Amtrak rail service in Youngstown has ended, but some city leaders say they plan to fight to bring it back.

Amtrak says it can no longer afford to serve Youngstown on the line connecting New York and Chicago. Councilwoman Carol Rimedio-Righetti of the 4th Ward, says, she hopes with the valley's congressmen, and petitions signed recently by a local group, they can lobby amtrak to bring service to the city in around a year.

Almost 4500 people used the Amtrak Service every year in Youngstown.


From the Toledo Blade

... Dominic Liberatore, the executive director of the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers, conceded that the train's absence will be felt more in Youngstown and Akron than it will in Fostoria. The eastern Ohio cities averaged 10 and 19 passengers per night, respectively, and like Fostoria will lose their only Amtrak train service.

"The cities of Akron and Youngstown are losing a significant transportation choice," Mr. Liberatore said. Youngstown will be especially bereft, he said, because it lacks commercial air service and Greyhound has reduced its bus operations there.

Youngstown C-130 Aircrew Flies U.S. Senators From Iraq

Youngstown C-130 Aircrew Flies U.S. Senators From Iraq
Mar 6, 2005 2:00 p.m.
The Business Journal

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Military officials announced Sunday that a C-130 aircrew stationed with the 910th Airlift Wing at the Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township flew five U.S. senators – including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (R-N.Y.) -- out of Baghdad, Iraq, at the conclusion of their fact-finding mission last month.

Joining McCain and Clinton on the fact-finding mission were Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis. The senators traveled to Baghdad to meet with interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who is leading the push to train Iraqi security forces.

The C-130 aircraft commander was Maj. John Boccierri, who represents the 61st district in Ohio’s General Assembly. “It was a real treat to have both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton on our flight deck during the take-off out of Baghdad,” Boccieri said. “It was a special flight.”

Co-pilot Capt. Rodger Sharp, a teacher at West Branch High School in Mahoning County, said it was “an honor to meet a real American hero like Senator McCain. He gave so much to our country and when he thanked me for serving, I said, ‘Oh, no sir. We need to thank you!’ ”

Reservist Master Sgt. Chris Marino was the loadmaster on the flight and in civilian life works for Lencyk Masonry in Howland. “In 20 years of service, I’ve never had this many important people on my airplane,” Marino said. “They were gracious and respectful of the job we’re doing here. They said we’re making a difference in Iraq.”

Reserve Tech. Sgt. Charles Walker, the C-130 flight engineer, is also fireman for the city of Akron. “It was great to show the senators what we do every day here in Iraq. They experienced our mission firsthand and they will take this experience with them to Washington.”

The C-130 aircrew is deployed with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at an air base in Southwest Asia, its precise location not identified due to "host-nation sensitivities," the Air Force says.

Major Boccierri and his 910th Airlift Wing crew are completing their third rotation to Southwest Asia.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company 0-6-0 Baldwin Steam Locomotive number 301. Built in 1916 and donated in 1963. Currently on display at the Mahoning County Fairgrounds in Canfield, Ohio. Check out for more information on this and other Youngstown steel related equipment.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Letter to the Editor - 2010 is important for us all

This is a Letter to the Editor from the 3/1/05 issue of The Jambar.


2010 is an important part of history here in Youngstown, Ohio, and also for Youngstown State University. Although we all are not part of the 2010 campaign, that does not mean we can sit idly by and look at this city and not lend a helping hand. We are all apart of this community whether we like it or not. Whether we commute to class or live on campus, this is still our environment. As a community and a university we should seek to make this town a better place than when we first arrived.

Whether this is to volunteer our time, donate our money, or lobby political leaders or businesses to pay attention makes no difference. The fact remains that we need to open our minds to the prospects of doing something besides running to our classes and then running to our cars. Without an understanding of our environment, we can not have an understanding of each other, and without that we first do not get a true view of what college can be, and second, we do not experience what is called humanity.

Get involved, get informed and stay intrigued. To the credit of the Jambar, we as students need a paper institution in order to keep us informed of the processes around us, yet we also have to go beyond printed information and make that information relevant by our actions. Get online, read the Vindicator and the Jambar. But by all means, get out, get involved and give of your time, money or skills. We are all smart and intelligent people, so why do we not show this town, state and nation what we are made of and what we are all about? If we do that, then we will feel better about ourselves and we will have accomplished much more in our lives.

-Joe Iesue