Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Being busy

Is no excuse for the lack of posts recently. I have some new stuff that I will try and get up soon. In the mean time, Happy Halloween!

Youngstown Pride contributor in the Youngstown Business Journal

If you get a chance, check out the latest issue of the Business Journal. Youngstown Pride contributor Rick Rowlands is the subject of an article detailing his desire to repair and preserve the 4,000-horsepower, 250-ton engine that helped power Youngstown Sheet & Tube’s Brier Hill Works.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Calling all Youngstown actors

Our friends over at Might Mahoning sent over the following that is worth a look to all of Youngstown's aspiring actors.

Seeking local actors for audition in Documentary-Drama
Honoring Steel workers of Youngstown
Call 330-506-3907
This doesn't appear to be related to the low budget sci-fi film of the same name...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Best... Video... Ever

I have no idea who saves this stuff and 13 years later puts it on the internet, but WOW, is this great.

Steve Fortunato? Where are you now?

Friday, September 29, 2006

YSU wins Publisher's Clearing House

Not quite that big, but the Williamson family cashed in big with the University to the tune of $5 million. The donation from the family of Youngstown broadcast pioneer Warren P. Williamson will be used to help build a new $30 million building for the University's Williamson College of Business Administration.

Williamson founded WKBN at age 26 and during its early year ran the station out of his Youngstown home.

It is this type of support which will go a long way to increase the national standing of YSU. I understand that buildings aren't the only thing necessary to build great programs at a school, but when students have state of the art classrooms with excellent access to research, they are that much more ahead of their counterparts at other schools.

Along with several other recent new buildings completed at YSU (the Wellness Center, Education School, etc.), YSU is really working hard to brand itself as a high tech school in what most people think of as a low tech city. With their effort to reconnect to downtown and the outlets there such as the Youngstown Business Incubator, we aren't going to be low tech for much longer.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More Changes for Downtown Youngstown

The barriers are up, and the demolition is about to begin. All of the buildings between the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Semple Building (which sits up against Home Savings & Loan) are ready to be demolished to make way for an expansion of the YBI. The YBI is bursting at the seams, especially with the success of Turning Technology, Softec and other high technology companies.

The new building is being built with federal and state funds, some of that money being secured by Congressman Tim Ryan and Senator Mike DeWine. Just a few weeks ago, Ryan, DeWine and Benjamin Erulkar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Economic Development Administration, presented a check for $2 million to the YBI to finalize the funding for the construction of the new $5.4 million building. This will be the third building to become part of the YBI.

"The new center will house graduate companies from YBI, with construction commencing in September 2006. YBI will continue to aggressively work toward leveraging the new 55,000 square foot complex into a dedicated muti-building campus focused on software development for global markets." from the YBI website.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quote of the Day

"I think it's golf and yoga from here on out for me." Congressman Tim Ryan, upon leaving Bethesda Naval Hospital, as reported in the Plain Dealer online edition.

Ryan was injured Wednesday in the 2nd Annual Longest Yard football game in which the Guards (members of the United States Capitol Police) played the convicts (ironically, Members of Congress) to raise money for the family members of USCP officers killed in the line of duty.

Youngstown Landmark is Reassembled!

On September 18 the Tod Engine, which powered a rolling mill at Youngstown Sheet and Tube for 65 years, was reassembled at the Tod Engine Heritage Park on Youngstown Hubbard Road. The engine was removed from North Star Steel Ohio ten years ago and stored in a warehouse in Girard until Monday when the last two parts were moved to the museum site.

The completion of the reassembly of the large parts means that come next Memorial Day Youngstown will have yet another tourist attraction for residents and visitors to enjoy. Work will continue over the fall and winter to erect a building over the engine and make other preparations for next year's grand opening.

The Tod Engine weighs over 250 tons, produced 4,000 horsepower and is one of the largest stationary steam engines in the United States. It is a Mechanical and Materials Engineering Landmark.

For more information visit the Tod Engine website and photos of the reassembly are in this Webshots Album.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quote of the Day

Michael Hoague, attorney for Maurice Clarett had this to say following Clarett's sentencing: "If you travel in his neighborhood in Youngstown, you see a lot of people for whatever reason wearing their tank tops with their flak vests. It's a way of life with the people that he grew up with."

Has this guy even been to Youngstown?

Monday, September 18, 2006

What goes around, comes around

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

Maurice Clarett will spend the next three and a half years in prison. Well it's about time. The gist of the deal is that to end the two criminal cases against him, he pleads guilty to aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. He gets a 7 1/2-year sentence with release possible after 3 1/2 years and then five years of probation after the prison sentence.

What exactly does this mean? Well, for starters it means that one of the most promising running backs in the country won't be playing football any time soon. He will be lucky to see daylight for more than an hour a day.

Secondly it may mean that the Mahoning Valley Hitmen may come to a sudden stop. Wouldn't that just be sweet. No more third string team playing in a third string venue with third string management. Without Clarett, they lack a single notable player. They retain the idiotic and bombastic leader in Jim Terry, which is unfortunate but he too will fall (not criminally, I imagine, but probably financially).

The bottom line is that there is no way the Valley can sustain two arena football teams. With the bigger money and bigger venue, the Thunder will be the dominate team. I see very few people heading to Masury to see the Hitmen play on an indoor soccer field when the Thunder have a brand new arena downtown in which to play. That is not to mention that there are other things to do downtown such as restauraunts and bars which, last time I was there, Masury lacks.

Bright times are ahead, folks, and without Clarett and the Hitmen, they are even brighter.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What can $1 buy these days? Alot for the MV Thunder

City approves $1 deal for storage of field
Friday, September 15, 2006
A new football field would cost about $175,000, a city official says.


YOUNGSTOWN — The city's board of control approved a $1 lease agreement to store the Mahoning Valley Thunder's football field in an industrial building the day the field arrived in Youngstown.

The lease, approved Thursday, runs through April 1, 2007, about the time that the AF2 [Arena Football 2] season starts. The lease is with Trumbull Industrial Manufacturing Inc. for the use of the second floor of an industrial building the company owns on Andrews Avenue. The field arrived Thursday.

Trumbull Industrial had the empty space and was kind enough to lease it for $1 to support the city and the team, said Kyle L. Miasek, the city's deputy finance director.

The Thunder will play its home games in the city-owned Chevrolet Centre. The city bought the field, about five years old, for $83,000 from Georgia Sports Enterprises LLC, the parent company of the former Macon Knights AF2 team, which folded this year, said Kyle L. Miasek, the city's deputy finance director.

A new AF2 field — which is 50 yards with two eight-yard end zones — would cost about $175,000, he said.

The field is in "very good shape," Miasek said. It was last used Aug. 26 during the ArenaCup championship game in Puerto Rico. The Spokane Shock defeated the Green Bay Blizzard 57-34 in the AF2 title game.

Michael Hold, the Thunder's head coach and the Knights' former head coach, speaks highly of the field, Miasek said.

The parts

The portable football field consists of about 17 rolls of synthetic turf, most of them 15 feet by 4.5 feet; 80 pads to be placed around the perimeter of the arena's hockey boards; two steel goal posts and supporting netting.

The city needed about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet to store the field, and the storage area on Andrews Avenue is significantly larger than that, Miasek said.

Lectures address struggling region

Friday, September 15, 2006
Mahoning Valley manufacturing jobs have shrunk to 20 percent.


BOARDMAN — For a struggling urban neighborhood to turn itself around and thrive, a series of intertwined and interconnected investments and perceptions need to be made.

That was one of the main themes espoused in a pair of lectures given Thursday at the Holiday Inn on South Avenue that were part of a three-day conference hosted by the Ohio chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

More than 320 architects from across the state are in town to attend sessions for the AIA Ohio 2006 convention, which wraps up Saturday.

In his presentation "Going from Gray to Green," Hunter Morrison provided a brief history of the demise of Youngstown's steel mills up to how the city adopted the Youngstown 2010 plan. Morrison, director of Youngstown State University's Center for Urban and Regional Studies, also pointed out YSU's link to the city's redevelopment and revitalization efforts.

With a smaller population due largely to job losses and more people moving to the suburbs or elsewhere, Youngstown needs to view itself as a shrinking city and adjust land use and other plans to fit that model, Morrison noted.

With that, he continued, deciding where reinvestment is most needed and what can be done with more land, for example, can be achieved more practically.

Regional economy

Other components Morrison mentioned were having the city define itself as part of a regional economy, improving its image and quality of life, and coming up with a plan of action.

Years ago, about 50 percent to 60 percent of jobs in the Mahoning Valley were in the manufacturing sector; today the figure is closer to 20 percent, Morrison noted. Efforts to get more health-care workers and others who work in diverse fields to live and spend money in the city should be ongoing, he said.

Other attempts to bring many neighborhoods back need to continue, Morrison added. Those include creating more neighborhood parks; restoring, cleaning and making more accessible the Mahoning River; attacking racism and other divisions; and figuring out the best uses for the about 12,000 vacant parcels in the city, he noted.

"This is a problem but also an opportunity," Morrison said of handling the vacant properties.

Touts successes

Morrison touted Youngstown's successes of recent years such as the Eleanor Flad Pavilion, the Chevrolet Centre and the Nathaniel R. Jones federal courthouse.

Complex issues

Blighted neighborhoods need more than fixing because they are influenced largely by complex market and other forces, said Stefani Danes of Perkins Eastman Architects of Pittsburgh.

In their presentation "Doing More with Less: Revitalizing Neighborhoods in Weak-Market Cities," Danes and Jack Johnston described a pattern they said often contributes to a neighborhood's deterioration.

Johnston, president of Pittsburgh-based Jaxon Development Co., noted that neighborhoods need to maintain a balance between investment and disinvestment.

Johnston and Danes used as a model a blighted area in Pittsburgh's Middle Hill District, which has more vacant than occupied homes.

Neighborhood decline can begin with something small but insidious, which can create a negative spiral, they pointed out. Over time, negative impressions form, confidence erodes, people start moving out and property values decrease, they said.

First impressions are critical to get people to invest in a neighborhood, Johnston and Danes added.

To reverse such a downward spiral, they continued, it's important to concentrate on a piecemeal approach to improving an area, establish diversity initiatives, build on an area's strengths and assets and have new housing fit in with a neighborhood's character.

William McDonough, a nationally renowned architect, will give the keynote address at 9 a.m. today at Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown. A walking tour of downtown also will be provided.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

News and Comments

The Mahoning River Corrodor of Opportunity, the name given to the sites of the former Youngstown Sheet and Tube Campell Works, Republic Steel Haselton Works and YS&T Struthers Works, is being touted as a premier site for new business. Just last year a new $3 million bridge was built on the site of the old Stop 14 gate in to the Campbell Works. However, I am at a loss to explain why trucks are still no longer permitted to travel the 1/4 mile up Shirley Road from Poland Avenue to I-680. Why do trucks still have to travel up Walton Ave. to Midlothian to I-680, or an even more tortuous route up 616 to 224 when a more direct route to the Interstate is available via Shirley Road? Someone must have the answer!

On September 28- October 1 the Society of Industrial Archeology will hold their Fall Tour in Youngstown. The SIA will be visiting several local companies and historic sites including McDonald Steel, Castlo Industrial Park, and the GE Ohio Lamp Plant. This is the first SIA sponsored event in Youngstown, and with the rich industrial heritage we have I certainly hope won't be the last.

The Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association has begun site work at their new property along Poland Avenue across the street from US Trading. A graded roadbed was put down and the track is about to be laid in preparation for bringing some of their historic rail equipment to the site. The MVRHA has an interesting colection of two dozen railroad cars used by local railroads and they have been looking for a home for them since 1988. The organization also maintains the YS&T 301, an 0-6-0 Baldwin steam locomotive at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

I've heard that the MVRHA will be sponsoring a whistle blow on the day after Thanksgiving in the B&O Station parking lot. A whistle blow is an event where dozens of steam whistles are brought in, placed on a manifold and blown on steam from a portable boiler. For anyone who has not heard the melodious chimes of a steam whistle in person, this event is a must attend! More details as I get them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A New Contributor Joins Youngstown Pride

Hello. I've just signed on as a contributor to the Youngstown Pride blog and I hope to become a regular contributor. I am 32 years old and for the past ten years I have been heavily involved with industrial preservation in Youngstown. I am building a small industrial museum on Youngstown Hubbard Road called the Tod Engine Heritage Park. Its mainly a showcase of machines and equipment that was once used by industry in the Youngstown area. Our centerpiece is of course the mighty Tod Engine, a 250 ton behemoth which once powered a rolling mill at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Brier Hill Works. We have other smaller pices of equipment and pledges of some other equipment to help fill out the exhibits.

I started the Tod Engine project because I was unhappy with the final form of the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. That project was originally supposed to have been built at the Jeannette Blast Furnace site in Brier Hill, however after some political pressure was applied it was changed to the facility which we have today. While the YHCIL is still a wonderful, first class museum facility, it does lack in one area, and that is the almost total absense of some of the machinery that makes the steel industry so fascinating to study.

So when the Tod Engine became available in 1995 I decided that it would make an excellent opportunity to address some of the shortcomings of the YHCIL by collecting and exhibiting the machines of the steel industry. Aside from the Tod Engine we have saved two smaller steam engines, a rolling mill stand, hot metal car, teeming ladle and possibly a locomotive. We have set our sights on acquiring other pieces of equipment and machinery as it becomes available.

The Tod is simply something that must be witnessed to fully appreciate. With a footprint the size of a normal house, it is hard to believe that it was just a small part of a larger machine which was just one step in the process of making seamless pipe, YS&T's signature product. It is truly a monument to Youngstown ingenuity and resourcefulness. Built here by local people, used by a local company making products bearing the city's name, it embodies the true spirit of what made Youngstown great.

My plans as a contributor to this blog is to share my observations, thoughts and feelings about the Mahoning Valley. I may share some historical information, call attention to some little known facts about the valley, or simply give an opinion or two about current issues. I will try to make regular contributions as time allows. Working full time and building a museum doesn't leave much time for anything else!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My lifelong dream

of living downtown can now be a reality, thanks to my friends at South Park Development. A sign has recently gone up to promote The Realty Tower apartments with the slogan Love Old, Live New. I love it. What more could we ask for than to wake up and look out our window to the awesome skyline that is downtown Youngstown. I could stare at it for hours.

In all seriousness, the Realty building and Wick Building (W Federal and N Phelps) are being converted to loft aparments. This is something that I have felt needed to happen a long time ago to complete the revitalization of downtown. As it is, there are few people living downtown, and most of those are in Amedia Plaza or in the other building at Market and Boardman. Just as important as bringing people downtown is keeping them downtown, and having people live there will surely serve as an additional stimulus to the downtown economy. Maybe we can even get some services down there, such as a small grocer or at the very least a drug store. Even better things are just around the corner...

The Realty Building
Originally uploaded by Youngstown Pride.

Help Wanted!

After some thought, I would like to add some additional commentators to Youngstown Pride. I am looking for one or two new bodies who would provide substantive additions to the site on a near daily basis; at least two posts per week. I take this idea off of my favorite Notre Dame blog, bluegraysky.blogspot.com, which has eight moderators all posting various ND football stories. If you think you would be interested in helping with Youngstown Pride, please let me know. I will still serve as the Admin.

(The sign is, of course, a joke. Irish-Americans, or even native born Irish, are welcome to apply. I'm Irish and I run this thing.)

Mark Your Calendars!

Show will report progress on 2010 plan
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

YOUNGSTOWN"Where Do We Go From Here?," a production detailing progress made on the Youngstown 2010 comprehensive plan, will be Thursday in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University.

The show will be taped at 6 p.m. and will simulcast at 8 that evening on WYSU-FM 88.5 and PBS Channels 45/49.

Officials and representatives from Youngstown and YSU will participate in the panel discussion that includes opportunities for audience questions.

The program is the latest edition of "2010 Moving Ahead: A Forum for Reporting Progress," a series that focuses on the most recent developments in the Youngstown 2010 planning process.

Panel members will include Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams; William D'Avignon, director of the Community Development Agency; Anthony Kobak, chief planner for Youngstown; David C. Sweet, president of YSU; George McCloud, special assistant to the president for University Advancement; and Hunter Morrison, director of the YSU Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

This edition of "2010 Moving Ahead: A Forum for Reporting Progress" is the second program this year to be underwritten by the Tony LaRiccia family of Boardman.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who's the man?

The Man on the Monument
Originally uploaded by Youngstown Pride.

The Man on the Monument, topping off Youngstown's Civil War memorial, has stood proud over the city since the late 1800's.

See 'Y' SR422 looks different!

Youngstown Bridges
Originally uploaded by daysleeper47.

Driving down SR422, you may see something different above your head on the new bridges that have just gone up. The bridges over 422 at Wick Avenue, Elm Street, Fifth Avenue, and Ford Avenue all have been upgraded or replaced, with a 'Y' added to both ends to highlight Youngstown and nearby Youngstown State. This great shot by yours truly was taken on the Elm Street bridge looking SW with Stambaugh Stadium as the backdrop.

Downtown Youngstown

Downtown Youngstown
Originally uploaded by daysleeper47.

Downtown Youngstown, looking north, as seen on a cloudy day, approx 9:00 a.m. on September 4, 2006.

Steel Town Studios

For living in Virginia, I consider myself pretty keyed in to what is happening back home, politically, economically and culturally. Apparently, I can miss a few things. I completely missed this one. Since 2000, local artist Bob Barko has been producing art which highlights the history of Youngstown, using backdrops such as Idora Park or Youngstown Sheet and Tube to really create images which reflect the rich history of this town. I first saw his work this afternoon at the Canfield Fair, where two beautiful pieces were hung in the Fine Arts building. A (not so) quick Google search took me to his website, http://www.steeltownstudios.com/ which features information on his gallery located downtown (8 N Phelps Street) as well as information about his work and his collection of historical Youngstown memorabilia. I highly recommend that you visit his site, and drop him an email at info@steeltownstudios.com if you are interested in purchasing anything.

Originally uploaded by daysleeper47.

Originally uploaded by daysleeper47.

Canfield Fair Photo Montage

The 160th Canfield Fair is about over. Today the carnies and other fair staff will remove the concessions, rides, animals, and tents and await next years fair. In the mean time, enjoy these holiday snaps...

Monday, September 04, 2006

The state of unions in the Valley

Labor Day 2006
Tribune Chronicle

WARREN — Labor unions will mark Labor Day Monday with an uneasy blend of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:

l A growing cooperation between labor and business leaders to help save jobs and bring new employers into the Mahoning Valley.

l The growth of non-governmental organizations, or NGOs — grassroots groups that are growing outside traditional government and labor unions to represent worker interests.

The bad:

l The 116-year-old Delphi Packard Electric will be left with about 670 union workers after a round of retirements and buyouts cut the work force from 3,800 last year. In 1973, the auto parts maker, which is part of its parent Delphi Corp.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, had about 12,500 union workers in the early 1970s.

l From a peak of roughly 9,500 members in the 1970s, United Auto Workers Local 1112 at the General Motors Corp. Lordstown Complex assembly plant will have 2,500 by year’s end after workers grabbed incentives to retire or leave.

l From 1,450 a year ago at the next-door metal fabricating plant, UAW Local 1714 will wind up with about 950 in the same period.

The downright ugly:

l After representing 32.5 percent of U.S. workers at the peak in 1953, unions’ share of the labor pool shrank to 12.5 percent in 2005, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

l Longtime union strongholds Cleveland and Detroit are running one and two as the nation’s poorest cities, according to the U.S. Census report that came out last week.

Area union leaders try to stay positive during one of the toughest years they’ve ever faced.

‘‘Someone asked me if we’re weaker because of the people who took the buyout. Absolutely not,’’ said Local 1112 President Jim Graham, referring to workers at the Lordstown assembly plant who are taking GM’s money and running. ‘‘Retirees have a lot more time to work on campaigns and other events. We’ll be stronger because we’ll have more people.’’

Local 1714 President Jim Kaster said the retirees give unions more of a chance to ‘‘set our agenda by getting some pro-labor Democrats elected. We’re stronger because of our retirees.’’

Even though the steel industry faces more intense global competition than ever, unions must keep fighting for their members, said Ed Machingo, new president of United Steelworkers Local 1375 at WCI Steel Inc.

‘‘I was part of the 1995 strike,’’ he said, referring to the bitter work stoppage to win better pensions. ‘‘I’m not afraid to go there again if that’s what it has to be, but I don’t want to. There are things we can do to influence the company short of a strike.’’

The union has been staging weekly picketing at the mill since safety and money issues arose over a new contract that took effect when WCI emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 1. Union leaders also meet wtih their company counterparts weekly, and with the chief executive officer every other week, Machingo said.

Two longtime observers of the area’s labor movement agree unions are trying to adapt to the loss of jobs and stiff global competition, but added labor still wields considerable influence.

‘‘There most certainly has been a weakening of the local labor movement because of the de-industrialization of the 1980s and 90s,’’ John Russo, co-director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Working Class Studies, said, referring to periods of downsizing in the wake of recessions.

The remaining jobs have become more ‘‘episodic’’ with the rise of temporary and contract workers, he said.

The American Staffing Association, whose members represent more than 85 percent of industry revenues, said Monday that domestic staffing firms employed an average of 2.9 million temporary and contract workers per day in the April-June period, up 3.3 percent from the year-ago period.

‘‘Employee leasing is the future,’’ said James McTevia, whose Michigan-based company consults in corporate bankruptcies.

Russo credited women’s, human rights, church and other NGOs for pressuring companies such as Nike and retailers to treat workers better.

Much of what growth unions have enjoyed has come in the public sector, such as government and public schools. But even that sector is starting to feel the same pain as the private sector.

Fewer well-paid private sector jobs eventually erodes the tax base that supports universities, cities, counties and other public sector employers, Russo pointed out.

Lakeview School District in Cortland has a 1-mill renewal levy on the November ballot, but it also has a large number of Delphi Packard workers who face a uncertain future after retiring or giving up their job to get the company’s buyout.

‘‘No way I can vote for a levy right now,’’ Phil Budnik, one of the departing workers, said.

Changes that unions are going through mirror those that companies are going through as the world economy evolves, a local economic development expert said.

‘‘ ‘Evolving,’ is the word I’d use,’’ said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Regional Chamber. ‘‘As the business world evolves, they’re evolving with it.’’

One major change by local labor leaders is that they’re becoming a more visible part of economic development. Local 1112 President Graham said he speaks every few months to new members of the chamber’s Grow Mahoning Valley economic development group. He also served on a committee to investigate the causes of a strike at Youngstown State University.

‘‘The Valley has been devastated. Everyone has to work together to get new industry and jobs,’’ he said.

Dulberger said labor played a key role in the Grow Mahoning Valley effort in the 1990s to mobilize area leaders to get more federal and state dollars for highways, sewers and other infrastructure.

*The group helped win funding for the 711 Connector highway that more tightly links Trumbull and Mahoning counties, along with the King Graves/Ohio 11 interchange that opens up land around the local airport for business development.*

‘‘All groups had the common goal of raising as much money as possible. By combining our resources, we could be that much more effective,’’ he said. ‘‘While we continue to disagree on some things, we didn’t have to look far to find things that we could agree on.’’

Dulberger said he understanding a longing for the unions’ glory days by some workers.

‘‘I’m one for remembering and honoring the past, but the phrase, ‘Get over it’ has a certain meaning to me,’’ he said. ‘‘We live in the world as it is today and as it will be tomorrow.’’

Sunday, September 03, 2006

MV Hitmen sink lower?

I wasn't sure it was possible until I saw it, but the MV Hitmen have reached a new low. Since I am talking about things I saw at the Canfield Fair (see Steel Town Studios below), I happened to notice that the Hitmen had a booth at the fair. Yes, a full blown, carnie-driven booth. The purpose of this booth, with the "Get Whacked" slogan slapped across the top, was to throw a football and knock down cardboard cutouts of some mafiosi. The two guys running it look like they just got out of 110 Fifth Avenue and fit in well with the mullets running the other "legitmate and fair gaming" throughout the fair. I hope no one took advantage of this "entertainment". It is a shameful attempt by a worthless hack who really doesn't care about the image of this city or region.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Former Youngstown Pride player faces charges of assault, robbery

It pains me to write this, but I know that not everyone in Youngstown is perfect, and clearly not this guy. Apparently, a former Youngstown Pride player (from which this site is named), has been arrested on various robbery and felonious assault charges after shooting a Liberty police officer. See the Vindicator article below:

Former Youngstown Pride player faces charges of assault, robbery
Friday, September 1, 2006
WARREN — A former basketball standout accused of shooting a Liberty Township police officer is now under indictment by a Trumbull County grand jury on four charges.

Gary Robbins, 43, of Norwood Avenue, Youngstown, faces charges of aggravated robbery, robbery, assault on a peace officer and breaking and entering.

The robbery and aggravated robbery charges include specifications that Robbins is a repeat violent offender.

Liberty police Capt. Richard Tisone said Robbins' arrest record goes back to 1995 and includes theft, robbery, drug possession and a 1996 felonious assault conviction involving a police officer.

Robbins was a member of the Youngstown Pride professional basketball team in the late 1980s. He also was a member of the Youngstown State University Penguins basketball team from 1984 to 1986 and led the Penguins in scoring in 1986.

--MORE-- (Vindicator Link)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Something to Crow About

Well, the day we have all waited for is here! Today is the official opening of the 160th Canfield Fair. Days of apple dumplings, harness racing, elephant ears, and kiddie rides lay ahead! I know that from year to year there are not elemental changes to the fair. We see the same reenactments at the Western Reserve Village. We see the same chocolate chip cookies winning the baked goods competition and the same 640lb pumpkinds taking first prize but that is what I love about it. It is so familar, and such a part of the Mahoning Valley. I go every year because I want the same Molnar's cinnamon roll or Antone's cavatelli. It is the one day (or two or three) of the year that I can be an absolute glutton by eating anything I want, see tractors, get a free Vindicator, and run into ten people or more that I know. How often does that happen? All told, probably just once a year and only at the fair.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Valley Taking a Hit Over “Hitmen”

What’s in a name?

If it happens to be “Mahoning Valley Hitmen”…well, need we say more? The recent wave of press regarding Valley native Maurice Clarett—who was negotiating a contract to play with the Hitmen—has only intensified everything that was already wrong with the name of the proposed Eastern Indoor Football League team, but, we are jumping ahead of ourselves; more on that later.

Putting aside Clarett all together, we are perplexed and offended that Hitmen Owner Jim Terry would even give such a name to his team, which, by the way, has all of two players on board and no takers willing to offer up a location as a playing field. Maybe he thought “Hitmen” was amusing (in addition to the team’s motto, “Get Whacked Indoors,” and the logo of a mob-type figure wielding a pistol), given this area’s history, but that’s just it: it’s history! We have said and written time and again about the numerous ways the Youngstown-Warren area has progressed and improved its image over the past decade. The mob activity has been gone for some time; aesthetically, the Valley has never looked better; and we’ve seen a great deal of private and public investment in the area in the form of government centers, restaurants and buildings such as the Chevy Centre. We know the going is slow, and we still have matters to address and work on, but the point is, we are moving forward. And, while the rest of us are doing that, Terry is taking a huge step backward, and he’s bringing the residents of this Valley down with him.

And how far and low will he go? Lately he’s been spouting off to the few people who will listen to him about all sort of things, trying to win any support for his team. We don’t mind saying, it doesn’t appear to be working.

Unfortunately, his association with Clarett is just adding to the drama. Clarett’s story is tragic unto itself, since the Warren native was positioned for a great pro career in football until alleged criminal activity began his downward spiral and led him back to the area. And, since he gained fame nationwide from his football-playing days at The Ohio State University, his negotiations with the Hitmen garnered nationwide attention through the media. His recent arrest and pending trial for past alleged criminal behavior just added to that media frenzy.

Media outlets from ESPN to USA Today, along with bloggers all over the Intenet, have seized the opportunity to ridicule Clarett. And, of course, with that comes his association with the Mahoning Valley Hitmen. Which, in turn, brings negative publicity to our community—many of those outlets mentioned the irony of the team’s name, logo and motto, although, in relation to Clarett, not the Youngstown area.

The point is, if Terry had chosen another name, the satirical commentary on the team would not have accompanied the media’s issues with Clarett. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out—or to figure out that the people of the Mahoning Valley might just take offense, as many have. We couldn’t have been more pleased to see that the Thunderplex recently nixed any possibility of the Hitmen playing in its facility, and we sincerely hope any other facility considering giving the team a home also reconsiders.

The Valley is filled with a myriad of great professional sports teams that have a full roster of truly dedicated players, a facility in which to play and thousands of genuine fans, and they all give this community a sense of pride that even good media coverage can’t buy. It’s these teams that deserve, and have earned, our patronage and support.

From the Regional Chamber column, How We See It, from the inside cover of the Business Journal, September 2006.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More Idora...

I found another Idora Park video on YouTube. Again, no sound.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Aircraft mechanics school opens at YNG

The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has opened a school at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and are hoping that some Delphi/GM buyout or retirees may enroll in the school.

“Good things are happening in this community. Step by step—one by one, we’re having progress. They don’t always make the news channels. They don’t always make the front page of the newspaper, but bit by bit—step by step—good things are happening, said Congressman Tim Ryan.

The curriculum for PIA's Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program, as offered at the Youngstown-Warren Campus, satisfies the requirement of 14 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), Part 147. A graduate from the program is eligible to test for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Powerplant (A & P) certifications. The AMT program is a non-degree course of study leading to a diploma.

Duties of an aviation maintenance technician include inspections, component replacement, overhauls, extensive repairs, troubleshooting, and servicing of aircraft and aircraft systems. Certified AMTs enter the industry as journeymen, and are not required to serve in apprenticeship capacities.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bitchin' Youngstown Shirts

With emphasis on the 'bitch'... I'll buy 10!

Shirts from Cafe Press

Arson finds historic YS&T homes

A bit of Youngstown steel history met an arsonist yesterday as three vacant former Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. houses at 2, 3 and 6 Delmar Ave. in Campbell caught fire. The fires, one in each of the three residences, had been burning for about 30 minutes Tuesday when the fire department was called. No injuries were reported. Total damage is estimated to be $6,000.

The homes were part of the Blackburn Plat, a housing development created during World War I to house workers hired to help Youngstown Sheet and Tube meet its production goals. Blackburn Plat was divided into two sections, one section for white, "foreign born workers," and the other for the African-American workers. The Blackburn Plat consisted of two frontages-sixteen foot and twenty four-foot.

Rent at Blackburn Plat was based on the number of rooms, and whether or not the home contained a coal fired cook stove. A tenant could also rent a garage for an additional fee per month. These rental units were constructed to be fire and vermin proof. The exterior concrete walls were three inches thick with four-inch ribs, all built in uniform size, prefabricated and poured on site.

All of Blackburn Plat's units had the modern conveniences of water, electricity, paved streets, concrete sidewalks, and bathrooms. The Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company deliberately made the houses small to discourage the immigrant practice of taking in borders. There were amenities provided to the workers including a park, playground, and four company stores. In 1922 the company ceased construction of Blackburn Plat.

Vindicator article on fire

Vindy article takes the lead

Kudos to Harold Gwin, who wrote an article in today's Vindy which clearly showed a commitment to the city following the shooting death of a man at the South High School football stadium. In Gwin's summary story, which recapped the incident and the community reaction, there were many angles he could have lead with (the victim, the shooter, the witness reaction, the city resident vs suburban resident), but his lead focused on the mayor's simple comments from the day before (which also appeared in the previous days paper) urging people to stay in the city, look out for one another, and take back the community. I often disagree with the Vindy for one reason or other, but today they got it right.

Vindicator article: "Mayor: Let's take the city back"

YOUNGSTOWN — Mayor Jay Williams believes people can choose to do one of two things after the shooting death of a man at a youth football game Saturday: Sit at home, or push forward with renewed commitment to safety and taking back the community.

He's choosing to do the latter.

It would be unfortunate should teams from suburban communities decide to no longer bring their children to play in Youngstown, Williams said.

There have been peewee games played in the city for decades without incident, and those games will continue to be played at city venues, he added.

Fears for children's safety are shared by every parent in Youngstown. No one can guarantee absolute safety, but Youngstown will do everything it can to make those venues as safe as possible, Williams vowed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ride the Wildcat... again!

In case you missed the Wildcat at Idora Park, and I admit I was too young to ever ride it, I found this great video on YouTube. Don't worry, your volume is not muted, there is no sound.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quote of the Day

"In Youngstown, if a guy checked and raised, he wound up in Milton Dam." - Legendary editor and sports writer Bud Furillo, in an e-mail to Norman Chad, a syndicated sports writer covering The World Series of Poker. Furillo died on July 19 at the age of 80. He was born and raised in Hubbard.

Northsider looking big

Well, early this week was my story of Phil Kidd who wanted to move to Youngstown. Now comes the tale of a guy named Allen (last name not provided) who, while no longer living in Youngstown, is dumping tons of cash into the very North Side I grew up on. Two awesome stories in one week. It is a small miracle, no less. Allen is creating a company called Northside Renaissance Properties, LLC, which will be based on the North Side of Youngstown.

His mission is to acquire vacant, abandoned and distressed properties in and around the Wick Park Historic District and rehabilitate them, bringing them TOTALLY up to the current building code, and then either rent them or resell them to owners who will become owner/occupants.

His goal is to provide safe, decent housing for folks - whether they wish to rent or to own - and make our neighborhoods whole again. Among other things, every rental property he rehabs will have an ADT security system installed into it. (No Youngstown home is complete without one!)

According to Allen, they currently are flipping or in the process of buying properties on Woodbine Street, Illinois Avenue and Bryson Street.

Carnies scare Youngstowners

Apparently PETA is trying to get Mayor Jay William's to ensure that city police respond promptly to any animal cruelty complaints when the circus comes to the Chevrolet Centre next month. I understand their concerns. There have been numerous violations against the circus for animal mistreatment. My question is regarding the animals. If they get out of control, can YPD take them down? Maybe just a love tap with the Tazer? If they do that, it is nothing more than a fun night on the South Side.

More Steel News

More steel news! Apparently, the steel pipes made for the BP's Prudhoe Bay pipeline will be made in Youngstown. V&M Steel, formerly North Star and that big ol plant next to the 711 connector, will manufacture the pipe, ship it to Houston for finishing and then it will be sent to Alaska. This comes following BP announcing that 3% of this country's oil supply is tied up behind some sludge that apparently can't be beaten by Drano Max. It is great news for the Youngstown steel industry. Bad news for this country. Our reliance on oil products is pretty sad. It's all wind power, baby. A few more hurricane's like Katrina and we are living pretty for the next 10 years!

Fun Fact of the Day!

In the Pittsburgh/Youngstown, Ohio, district, steel companies produced 194,000 net tons for the week ended Aug. 12, down from the 196,000 net tons the previous week, AISI data shows. #

Now isn't that fun?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Defend Youngstown

Defend Youngstown. Two simple words but lots of meaning. That is the mantra of Youngstown resident Phil Kidd, a former Army vet who moved to Youngstown because it sounded like a nice place to live. He move to Youngstown? Who does that? A believer, that's who. Kidd recently kicked off his new t-shirt business with a simple slogan: "Defend Youngstown". To read more, check out:

Youngstown man pushes city pride

I really wish there was some sort of Youngstown Pride award I could give this guy. He is the epitome of a great Youngstown resident; a contributor who takes pride in where he lives. What more could we ask?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jim Terry

Jim Terry is the owner of the Mahoning Valley Hitmen. He is shameless. He is an idiot. I am being polite. Check out their website—and the Merchandise link. Style A.


Here is what he had to say on Channel 33 about Maurice Clarett. “The Hitmen will stay behind Maurice Clarett. The EIFL will stand behind Maurice Clarett and we will wait to see how this thing plays out. We’re here for him as he was for us,”

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Historical Photos, Take 25

I haven't posted any photos in a while, and it appears that several have been added to the Library of Congress collection, meaning they are fair game here. I love the whole 'public domain' thing they have going on. Anyway, enjoy some Youngstown history with these...

PS: Sorry if you see duplicates of other photos here on the blog. After nearly two years, I don't remember every photo I post nor do I bother searching.

Garlick Estate, path along house, Youngstown, OH

Print of Thomas H. Lonesome, a Patrolman born in Virginia on April 14, 1866, who was appointed to the Youngstown, Ohio Police Department on December 12, 1895.

Constructed in 1903, the Mahoning Avenue Pratt Double-Deck Bridge spanned Mill Creek at Mahoning Avenue until the early 1990's.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Scavengers Thwarted!

(From Allen at the YTownHistoricHomesBldgs Yahoo group)


I'm back in Youngstown for almost another month of working on
my properties. I stopped by the house on Woodbine Street
to look over the work my crew has been doing while I was back
home in MD. Just as I entered the house through the kitchen door
a red, late 70' GMC pickup truck backed into the driveway of a
vacant rental property next to mine and two guys jumped out,
walked right up to the side entrance on the house next door
and entered, went upstairs and began removing contents from the

I know the lady that owns the house next door and called her on
my cell phone to ask if she had workmen coming out to clean, do
repairs, whatever - she didn't - so I called the Y.P.D. and hid
in my own property, looking out the windows and trying to get
a description. They loaded some very expensive weight lifting
equipment from the house into their pickup, closed the side
door and took off.

I waited for over ten minutes for a cruiser to come, made a report
and they said another car would come back to get more information.
When the second car (car 103) came back with a different officer
in it (shifts had just changed) one of the neighbhors pulled up
and we told him what had just happened. He took off in his car,
looking for the house strippers and their pickup truck.

As luck would have it, he FOUND them parked in the driveway of
a house on Thornton Avenue, between Elm Street and Florencedale.
By this time, the owner of the house next door had arrived. We
convinced the officer in car #103 to go to the address on Thornton.
He did, and called for a backup cruiser and when I drove from
Woodbine over to Thornton to see what was going on , the two cops
were stuffing the perpetrators into one of the cruisers to haul
them to jail.

We all have GOT to look out for our neighbors if we EVER want
our neighborhoods to get better - and then stay that way. When
enough people in a neighborhood get together and say - "enough,
we won't tolerate this any more" then the crime problem gets

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Valley needs to shed self-pitying outlook

By Christopher Kromer
Tribune Chronicle

In recent decades, it has become a favorite theme of local manufacturing workers and the unions that represent them to decry the increasingly globalized economy for the loss of local jobs.

The blame for job losses, these sources claim, belongs squarely on the shoulders of politicians who arrange more liberalized trade agreements.


Mahoning Valley workers must stop blaming politicians for the emergence of a globalized economy and start getting real about what is actually occurring.

Globalization is not a political choice; it is an economic reality. Through advances in technology, travel and communications, the development of a single, interdependent marketplace has become inevitable.

No politician or political group can take all the credit for the vast technological progress achieved in the 20th and 21st centuries, and it is equally absurd to blame those same politicians for the effects produced by those advancements.

The Mahoning Valley has a long and cherished history of innovation and leadership, two traits that placed the Valley at the forefront of the steel and auto industries for decades. While market forces have taken their toll on the Valley, union-induced hemorrhaging also has played its part in the area’s economic decline.

According to a Buckeye Institute study measuring job loss between 1982 and 1998, it states that mandated union membership for manufacturing workers lost approximately 996,000 jobs. States without such laws enjoyed a net gain of 493,000 jobs.

The lessons to be drawn from this data are clear. Union power has peaked in the last few decades, resulting in an undue strain on Ohio’s economy.

Instead of allowing unions to lobby for benefits that outpace market growth, Valley workers should embrace new opportunities for development and innovation.

The alternative energy sector, for example, is ripe for new contributions, and the Valley has historically possessed the initiative requisite to take the lead in emerging fields.

Much of the dishonest rhetoric surrounding international trade needs to be exposed. Local opponents of more liberalized trade maintain that such arrangements are completely harmful to America’s well-being. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only do free-trade agreements preserve peace between interdependent nations, they also allow American goods to be exported to more foreign markets. Ohio has particularly benefited from agreements like NAFTA, which have helped Ohio to become the nation’s sixth largest exporting state.

Common arguments against free trade tend to focus on international labor standards and the treatment of foreign workers. While it is true that much needs to be done to alleviate these concerns, the solution most certainly does not involve a policy of isolationism, which would only serve to limit the capital flowing into other countries, thereby further lowering living standards.

If unions who oppose global trade really meant what they said, why wouldn’t they argue for more liberal trade with the poorest nations, using their political influence to demand higher standards for all the world’s workers, rather than just pushing for ‘‘America-only’’ policies?

Are local unions really concerned about the well-being of foreign laborers, or is this just a smokescreen for crippling isolationism?

The time for a union-driven economy, in which redundant jobs are protected through political intimidation, is over. Rather than continuing to browbeat manufacturing firms for market developments that lie outside their control, unions should shift their focus.

While the federal government cannot be held entirely responsible for the emergence of the global economy, it can be lobbied to promote the development of training and educational programs for displaced workers.

Only through the acquisition of new skills can Mahoning Valley residents hope to survive in a bustling, ever-changing modern economy.

The Valley can no longer afford to rely on vote-seeking demagogues who play upon residents’ fears and misconceptions regarding globalization.

It is time for the Valley to shed its self-pitying outlook and engage in an honest and informed debate on the new economy.

Kromer of Champion attends Mount Union College and is a community columnist for the Tribune Chronicle. Reach him at columnists@tribune-chronicle.com

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Kiss a foot, go to jail!

In a very strange story, a felony indictment has been issued in the case of the library foot-kissing bandit. The offender, Joseph Colella of Poland Twp., has been charged with gross sexual imposition after apparently kissing and sucking on the feet of at least two women in the Poland library's study room.

According to the Vindy, "He told her that he was conducting a sociology project and that he had to kiss people's feet and record their reactions. The woman said she wasn't interested, but he kept insisting and she told police that she believed that he wasn't going to leave unless she agreed.

She relented and he briefly kissed the bottom of her foot, and then without warning he began sucking her toe, according to a police report. She then pulled her foot away and the man asked her reaction to which she replied she was freaked out."

Freaked out is probably a mild term. She should have used her freshly-sucked toe to kick him in the face.

He is also the suspect in a case at the same library branch from 2000, when a 17-year old was toe sucked. When he was done he asked if he could have her socks. The girl refused and the man asked if he could buy them. She refused again and he left.

Asked how the feet in question tasted at the time, Colella apparently replied, "like chicken."
Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been busy editing Wikipedia articles. It is scary that hours of my day are spent editing content on that site. I do have to admit that it has some fine articles on Youngstown-related subjects.

Anyway, Youngstown is in the national news again and in several different venues. First is the headline story of Donna Moonda, accused of being part of a love triangle gone bad. Moonda is charged along with Damian Bradford of killing Dr. Gulam Moonda in an attempt to claim his millions. Like all of these plots, they failed. In a plot easily predicted, Bradford rats out Moonda, cops a plea and she gets hosed. Case closed.

Round Two: The Washington Express (DC's mini-Post for subway commuters) recently ran a front page sidebar which highlighted why all politics in Youngstown is in some way dirty. Litter-control coordinator George Finnerty III has been accused of keeping a messy property, strewn with boxes, furniture, tires and other trash. Typical of all Youngstown politicians, he claims he was just working to keep our local garbagemen employed.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Protect your vacant property from scavengers!

This e-mail came across the Youngstown Historic Buildings and Home's listserv about protecting vacant property in Youngstown. It is worth your time.

Subject: [YTownHistoricHomesBldgs] Protect your vacant property from scavengers!
To: YTownHistoricHomesBldgs@yahoogroups.com

The scavengers are at it again on the North Side of Youngstown - BIG time. The Crandall Park neighborhood association is going to resume neighborhood block watch patrols, but here are some things you can do if you own a vacant home ANYWHERE in town and want to be pro-active about protecting it against being stripped by scavengers:

Have ADT install an alarm system with motion and smoke sensors. Motion sensors are more effective than door and window switches at detecting a home intrusion.

Smoke sensors will call the ADT monitoring center (and, therefore, the FIRE department) before there is even an outward indication that a fire has started in the house. If a fire does happen in your vacant property, every moment saved could mean the difference between a damaged home and a destroyed home. With the recent rash of arson fires all over town, your vacant property MAY ALREADY BE a target for the arsonist(s).

For vacant houses without telephone service, ADT has wireless modules that can be added to a basic alarm system so that the alarm box can call for help without a telephone line. Their alarms also have a battery backup that can operate without public power for up to three days. They even offer a "wet basement" sensor that can be tied into the alarm box. The ADT system will notify the monitoring center if either the telephone line or the electric line is cut.

If you are concerned about the cost of an alarm system, just think about what it would cost to replace all of the antique fixtures in one of these old homes at today's prices.

Other measures that can be taken to protect your vacant properties include having LOTS of BRIGHT outside lights around the house and making sure that windows and doors are not obscured by bushes, weeds, etc. DON'T give the scavengers dark corners around your property where they can hide and do their bad deed without being seen from the street.

If you have a spare vehicle, park it in the driveway at your vacant property. Put up curtains in EVERY window. Make it appear as though someone lives in the house - even though it is vacant. Try putting an old portable TV in an upstairs bedroom - on a timer - so that the flickering light from the picture tube can be seen through the curtains at night by passers by. Black and white TV sets are especially good for this ruse.

Keep the grass cut and the yard clean - nothings says "I'm empty, come rob me" to a scavenger more than tall grass and trash laying around.

Let's make it more risky and less inviting for these *&%$! scavengers to do the despicable things that they do! If you have the spare time and want to help make your neighborhood safer - VOLUNTEER for a neighborhood block watch patrol. The Youngstown Police Department needs all the help they can get!

Best Regards to all,


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vacant Land

There are 13,000 vacant parcels of land in Youngstown. Are they a liability or an asset? A workshop was held at the Butler Institute of American Art that looked at the issue. Youngstown 2010, according to land use expert Joseph Shilling of the National Vacant Properties campaign, has a proper plan in place to deal with vacant land. He says (as does the plan) to shrink the city to fit the number of businesses and residents, and create green space and ‘pocket’ parks. Shilling also says a land bank needs to be put in place. For more information, log onto http://www.vacantproperties.org

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fulfilling Their Promise

Editorial, The Business Journal

With the surfeit of role models who have exhibited less than exemplary behavior, we are heartened by the promise shown by a new generation of politicians.

We cite initiatives launched over the past couple of weeks, one by Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, another by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles.

Williams, the youngest man elected mayor Youngstown, led a coalition of agencies in announcing an initiative aimed at helping young people stay on the straight and narrow this summer and have fun doing so.

“The idea is to fill the summer with opportunities for young people to engage in productive activities,” the mayor says. Young people must understand and appreciate that criminal activity has consequences, a point underscored by last month’s sweep of suspected gang members. “We also think it’s extremely important to offer them a productive alternative,” he adds.

When Ryan ran for Congress in 2002, his critics taunted him for his youth and inexperience. The state senator in his first term got the last laugh by defeating a veteran congressman in the primary and a well-funded Republican opponent in November. Since his election, Ryan has directed his energy to moving the community to action, championing efforts to encourage the development and implementation of new technology.

The two-term congressman recently introduced legislation that would help communities such as Youngstown rid themselves of blighted, vacant properties. He is co-sponsor of a measure that would enable the federal government to match, dollar for dollar up to $500,000, what qualifying cities spend to raze abandoned houses and reclaim the properties.

“If the local government is willing to use its general revenue funds to do that, the federal government should partner with them,” Ryan says, referring to Youngstown’s allocating $1.2 million this year to demolish blighted housing.

We’re also impressed with Ryan and Williams’ frequent joint visits to city schools (which Ryan acknowledges inspired his urban demolition legislation).

Many students in these schools may be used to seeing political positions filled by white men at least as old as their fathers and the often their grandfathers. While more blacks and women are being elected public office and Congress, they still stand out because of their relative novelty. Only rarely can black youths in inner-city schools identify with them or imagine following in their footsteps.

Maybe Ryan and Williams and other young leaders can spark the students’ imaginations and fuel their aspirations to one day become mayor or a member of the House o Representatives. The only barriers they should encounter should be the extent of their abilities, not race or economic class.

Young people in our community can only benefit form the examples Williams and Ryan are setting.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Only in Youngstown

Youngstown dealing with unruly teens who taunt drivers
LAST UPDATE: 5/30/2006 10:15:05 AM

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - Police in Youngstown are trying to deal with unruly teens who form human chains across the street and taunt drivers to hit them.

Police have gotten several similar reports and say each time the teens dispersed before officers arrived.

One newspaper editor at The Youngstown Vindicator says teens pounded their fists on her car while she frantically dialed 9-1-1.

One school security officer fears panicked motorists may drive through the human chains to escape.

Youngstown police plan to add extra patrols near affected areas. The chief said he's considering videotaping large groups of teens for identification purposes.

Calendar Event

Mark your calendars! "Vacant Properties: Neighborhood Liability or Asset?" from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Butler Institute of American Art on Wick Avenue. Sponsored by Wick Neighbors Inc. and Youngstown 2010.

From Youngstown, Ohio to Beersheba

Last week's Jerusalem Post has an article about an emmigrant from Youngstown who has settled in Beersheba, Israel. Yaakov Dickstein, 25, is currently in medical school at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The article never mentions Youngstown beyond the title, but it is interesting to see where people from our fair town have settled.

Idora Park: Yesterday and Today



Breaking News: Mayor Williams enjoys Outback

According to several first person sources, Youngstown mayor Jay Williams is a big fan of Outback Steakhouse. Williams was spotted at the popular Boardman restauraunt Saturday night, sharing the same side of the booth with his wife. Maybe the conversation went something like this:

Jay and Sonja are having dinner.
Jay: Sonja, come sit next to me.
Sonja: Aww...
Jay: I'm tired of looking at you.

T.P. Lowry, 16

The North Side lost a legend on Saturday when T.P. Lowry, 16, was killed in a tragic vehicle accident. T.P. was a lifelong resident of the North Heights neighborhood, living on Bradley Lane for the last 13 years.

T.P. was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed birdwatching and hunting small game. He was particularly fond of the neighborhood squirrels who were constantly under his gaze. While T.P. never had a formal education, it could be said that he was educated on the streets of Youngstown. It was there that he learned to fight, challenging anyone that threatened him, his family or his home. He was also fond of sleeping, eating, and throwing up from overeating, which he was known to do on a near daily basis.

T.P. is survived by his parents, Pat and Becky and three siblings, Joe, Caroline and Colleen. He had several cousins in the neighborhood as well. A private service was held on Sunday.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Happy Birthday!

The Youngstown Playhouse, the nation’s longest running community theater, is celebrating its 80th birthday this year!

While we are on baseball...

I found this article on Vindy.com. Apparently Roger Clemens is endorsing a locally invented baseball product. Called Strike Out Strippz, they assist young pitchers develop their game but allowing them to visualize their throw and increase muscle memory. It has already garnered a lot of press.

Pitching aid creators get Clemens' support
Saturday, May 27, 2006
The technique created by Jack Kucek of Canfield and Greg Smith of Columbiana teaches the mechanics.


CANFIELD — Canfield resident Jack Kucek, who pitched in the major leagues from 1971-81, along with his partner Greg Smith of Columbiana, have formed a business called Strike Out Strippz.

Roger Clemens, who is ninth on the majors' all-time list for pitching wins (341), is a seven-time Cy Young award winner and American League MVP in 1986, signed a contract with Kucek in New York last week to endorse Strike Out Strippz.

A DVD and video were produced and will be available with an instruction book some time in August on the Internet.

Fans can log on at www.Learn2Pitch.com to order the DVD for $39. Anyone who pre-orders it will be eligible for an autographed Clemens baseball.


"The product was designed from watching and pitching against some of the greatest pitchers ever such as Nolan Ryan, Catfish Hunter, Clemens and others," said Kucek.

"Clemens wants to teach kids how to pitch and they have been working on making the DVD and video a reality since last Oct. 17," said Kucek.

A national television commercial introducing Strike Out Strippz will be out in about a month.


Jack Kucek, former major league pitcher and Strike Out Strippz inventor standing with the Rocket himself, Roger Clemens. Photo from Strike Out Strippz

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Youngstown breaking the color barrier

George Shuba, a lifelong Youngstown resident, served for seven seasons as utility outfielder and lefthanded pinch hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His seven seasons included a World Series championship in 1955.

Shuba is often remembered for his symbolic role in breaking down major league baseball's tenacious "color barrier." In 1946, he was captured in a legendary photograph shaking hands with Jackie Robinson, when the two men were teammates for the Montreal Royals, a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. The moment was described as "the first interracial handshake" in North American baseball's recent history. Robinson then left to play for the Dodgers the following year, but not before winning the Little World series and being chased by exultant Montréal fans right to the train as he left. Wrote Sam Maltin, a stringer for the Pittsburgh Courier: "It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind."

Shuba made his professional debut with the Dodgers on July 2, 1948.

At the peak of his playing career, Shuba delivered a pinch-hit homer in the 1953 World Series opener, which the New York Yankees won 9-5. Knee surgery, however, reduced his effectiveness after that season. Shuba played his final game Sept. 25, 1955.

Following his retirement, Shuba returned to Youngstown, where he lives today. A 2006 article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune noted that Shuba continues to take pride in the photograph of his groundbreaking handshake with teammate Robinson. A copy of the photo currently hangs behind his favorite living-room chair.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Law and Order

Youngstown Police Force of 1885
Standing, Left to Right: Philip Eberhard, John Kelley, Edward Merriman, Geo. Moyer, William McMillan, W. Williams, M. Kennedy, Elias Jones.
Sitting, Left to Right: Samuel Ward, David Evans, William Williams, J. W. Lindesmith.
(from “History of the Police Department of Youngstown, Ohio.” Youngstown, OH: Board of Public Safety, 1906)

Youngstown Vindicator, Oct 23, 1934
Melvin Purvis and Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blvd. of Broken Dreams

No more. This is West Federal Street looking east.

Going up and coming down

While I was home this weekend I was able to snap a few pictures around Youngstown. Two buildings in particular are worth sharing. The first is the new music hall next to Powers Auditorium. The Beecher Flad Pavilion is comprised of a new 600-seat auditorium for orchestra, brass, and choral performances; new kitchen facilities, new dressing rooms, expanded loading docks, and soundproofing so that Powers and the new auditorium can be used simultaneously.

The second building is slated for demolition soon. The Youngstown Sheet and Tube office building is located on Martin Luther King near Division Street. The city currently has control of the building, which it obtained in March 2006. This photo was taken from the new ramp from Division Street ramp onto Robinwood. I think so, anyway. No online map has been updated to show the new streets.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Saturday Photo Upload

You'll Find 'Em Plump in Youngstown! What the hell does that mean? I don't know, but this early postcard is pretty funny.

I'm not sure what the Tad Fithian Agency did or where these offices were located, but it was in Youngstown.

Update: YP-
My guess is that the Tad Fithian is the modern day Fithian Contracting Co., on Market Street near the Sparkle. I think it's the same building as the one in the picture, although it's been renovated somewhat over the years.
-MM (MightyMahoning)

Stone's Restaraunt was located in downtown Youngstown in the 1950's. Sorry that this is a photo of a postcard.

Last, but not least, Parkway Towers looks very grand in this postcard. The Towers still exist at the corner of Park and Fifth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Go Penguins!

I try to keep this blog as politically correct as possible, with historic photos and articles on Youngstown's redevelopment, but that is not always possible. On that note, I present two instances where I recently have seen some representation of the Youngstown State Penguins in my travels. The first was at a friend's graduation from Loyola University of Chicago this past weekend. Low and behold, hanging from the rafters of LUC's Gentile Center was a red and white banner celebrating, or perhaps simply showing, YSU's participation in the Horizon League basketball conference. There is nothing I appreciated more than seeing a little bit of home 400 miles away.

The second time was just yesterday when I happened to be at the barber shop. Of course no self respecting barber would dare open his shop without a fine selection of magazines to keep waiting customers happy. On this particular day, the latest issue of Maxim happened to be out. While I am generally more interested in the random facts and party jokes, I happened to open to page 32 to find June's 'Campus Cutie.'


From Maxim Online
Chill out with this sexy Penguin from Youngstown State.
Name: Heather
Birthdate: June 28, 1983
School: Youngstown State University
Major: Business
Future Job: Start my own makeup company

Monday, May 22, 2006

Harding Elementary - 1929

5th grade, Mrs. Bell's Class at Harding School in Youngstown, OH, about 1929 or 1930.

Carolyn Loewit Kovsky (1919-1994) is in the second row, fifth girl to the left. Her cousin, Jean Brunswick Wolff (1919-1999) is in the third row, first girl to the left.

Carolyn was the daughter of George Loewit (1889-1962) and Sadye Friedman Loewit (1888-1968. Jean was the daughter of Max Brunswick Sr. (1879-1930) and Dorothy Friedman Brunswick (1885-1973).

The rest of children are unknown.

The Rice Hotel

The new Rice Hotel, located opposite the Republic Rubber Works, Youngstown, OH, was being built in 1912 when this photo was taken.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Mahoning Valley Thunder?

Apparently using the word 'Youngstown' in naming a sports team does not have the appeal of say, 'Mahoning Valley.' For the second time, a minor league sports team has moved to the area with 'Mahoning Valley' in the name. First were the Scrappers, now we are proud to introduce the Mahoning Valley Thunder, our new af2 indoor arena football team. Some pics of the presser are below.

It appears that this team will be a direct competitor for marketing with the Mahoning Valley Hitmen, an apparent hack arena football team playing at the Ice Zone in Boardman. Please check out http://mightymahoning.blogspot.com for more on that debacle!

Congressman Tim Ryan provided some remarks during the event.

The new logo of the Mahoning Valley Thunder.