Friday, September 29, 2006
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
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
"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.
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.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
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
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
Friday, September 15, 2006
A new football field would cost about $175,000, a city official says.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
CITY HALL REPORTER
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 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.
Mahoning Valley manufacturing jobs have shrunk to 20 percent.
By SEAN BARRON
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.
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.
Morrison touted Youngstown's successes of recent years such as the Eleanor Flad Pavilion, the Chevrolet Centre and the Nathaniel R. Jones federal courthouse.
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
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
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
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.
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.)
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing anything.
Originally uploaded by daysleeper47.
Monday, September 04, 2006
WARREN — Labor unions will mark Labor Day Monday with an uneasy blend of the good, the bad and the ugly.
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.
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
Friday, September 01, 2006
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)