28 February 2008

new stories, new responses, new blogs

Elections bring the national media to Youngstown

Local blogs react

New local blogs to notice

note: this post is cross-posted at Shout Youngstown

news: 28 Feb 2008

Youngstown approves contract to aid YSU project
in the Youngstown Vindicator
"The city’s board of control approved a $393,000 contract to have six structures demolished and asphalt removed from a parking lot.

The work is needed for a $30 million Youngstown State University building and a street extension project."
CIC Suspends Rules on How It Sells Properties
in the Business-Journal
"The board of the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. placed its purchase program in abeyance Tuesday, that is, it suspended its procedures on the sale of the 12 remaining properties it could offer in the downtown.

Last week, the CIC’s counsel, Edwin Romero, advised the property committee that the commercial real estate in the downtown is rebounding, becoming a sellers’ market. The redevelopment agency, he said, should reconsider how it transfers ownership of the properties in the Masters block, the Kress Building and Two Guys Clothing Store."
Singer finds Self in Youngstown
in the Youngstown Vindicator
"Youngstown even inspired one song on the record. “‘Just Plain Whiskey’ was written while reflecting on that lost month in Youngstown,” said Palka. “You can almost hear the crackling ice drenched in whiskey on this jazzy midnight groove.”

Palka and The Caravan will give a preview of the new album, including “Just Plain Whiskey,” when the band performs at Cedars Lounge in Youngstown on Saturday."

Cleveland's mayor to announce joint ED efforts in speech

Henry Gomez from the PD reports:
Jackson wants to work on development opportunities with Youngstown
"Cleveland is pursuing joint economic development opportunities with Youngstown, a fellow Rust Belt city 74 miles to the southeast, Mayor Frank Jackson was expected to announce this afternoon.

In his annual State of the City address at the Crowne Plaza Hotel downtown, Jackson was planning to stress the importance of regionalism.

Jackson also intended to note recent conversations with his counterpart in Youngstown, Mayor Jay Williams. According to a draft of the speech obtained in advance, the City Council in the Mahoning County seat already has signed off on a partnership with Cleveland."
read more from Henry here

two gems from the venture capital conference

From the Northeast Ohio Incubator Collaborativeblog:
"If you didn’t attend last week’s Ohio Venture Association’s Venture Capital Summit III last week at Corporate College East, you missed a great event. Panels included a conversation with leading Northeast Ohio angels, representatives of three VC firms that have recently set up shop in Northeast Ohio, and a panel on how to present to VC’s.

The last panel was especially interesting as Jerry Frantz, an EIR from JumpStart, was tapped to “present” to three area VC partners. The presentation was a real proposal for funding, courtesy of an area entrepreneur. What was interesting was that at any time during the presentation, you could yell “freeze” and ask any of the VCs a question. It was fascinating to hear what actually goes through their mind during one of these presentations."
want to see what they we thinking? read more here.

where I'm writing from

Meditations in an Emergency writes:
"Greg Van Eekhout is always posting pictures from cafes where he writes, and I always like looking at his blog to see what sort of place the cafe is today, and what sorts of mugs or cups they use to serve coffee. I know, mundane, and yet it fascinates me. Maybe because I don’t write outside of my home very often. For me it’s too distracting. I end up people-watching, and drinking too much coffee, and buying one too many cookies, and…and…and…

So it’s better for me to stay at home and write, and live vicariously through Greg’s photo travelogue.

But here is basically what I see every day at my writing desk:"
Care to see? Check out the view here.

24 February 2008

politics abounds at meditations

Meditations in an Emergency has been prolific as well lately.

Here's a sample . . .
"Why are Obama and Clinton running around Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs like it’s the newest thing since, well, whatever–you know that saying. It’s been so strange these recent days leading up to March 4th to see so much attention being paid to this area. Part of me, frankly, wants to give any of these people the finger."

"I’m torn between wanting to support someone who will actually help advocate and arrange for change in my community, because we desperately need it, and yet there is this part of me that says, “Don’t hold your breath, Chris, they want your vote, and then they’ll forget about this place, just like always."
another post reviews the Obama visit (with pictures):
"On my way out of the rally, I was stopped by a reporter from the Chicago Tribune, and interviewed about what I thought of Obama and his ideas for Youngstown. I was supportive, but in my own usual manner demanded more than I heard.

I don’t want this area to find itself just another manufacturing region again, like it was. I want green jobs, and a creative economy, and investment in education for the rural and urban poor. I want a community college for this valley."
Also, an announcement for the next Art Youngstown gallery show:
"Call to Artists for the The Second Exhibition

Artists (18 y.o. and older) may deliver their paintings, sculptures, films and other mediums of art for on Saturday, March 1st, 2008 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm & Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 from noon to 4:00 pm. Artists are asked to present only those items which are to be offered for sale and please do not include any items previously shown by Art Youngstown Inc.

Please visit ArtYoungstown.org for further details. For more information call 330-788-5678, or contact Robert Dubec at bdubec@zoominternet.net or 330-782-0346 or Judith Szabo at j_szabo@sbcglobal.net.

The Second Exhibition
Friday, March 14, 2008
7:00 pm to 10:30 pm

The Great Room at 25 E. Boardman Street, Ohio One Bldg.
The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Independent Film Night
Local filmmakers will present productions on Friday, March 21st, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm."

lost and found

Tales from the Rust Belt presents one of his original stories, titled Lost and Found:
"John Bagley wandered sullenly down Franklin Street. He pulled his overcoat tight around his neck against the cold, late November wind. It raced down between the buildings and bit into the exposed skin of his hands. He jammed them in his pockets and continued along the street.

It was just past two o’clock on Friday afternoon. “Of course they did it on a Friday,” he mumbled. “They always do it on Fridays.”

It really hadn’t been a shock, he realized. The failure of two high profile projects was bad enough. The reasons for the failure were what had really sunk him."

read the rest of the story here.

Youngstown Art is really churning

The Youngstown Art blog three posts this week worth reading:

The first reviews the opening of the Frederic Molden collection now at the Star Gallery at the Oakland Theater.
"A Youngstown based artist with a substantial resume', his work has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and is in the collections of such personalities as Michael Jordan and Jerome Bettis."

"The skill level is amazing as is the use of color and composition. Much of the work is heavy with history and nostalgia, which some people may feel is a negative in certain artistic circumstances. However, Molden's rich technique and insight take this genre to a new and pleasing level. In many ways I am reminded of the great African American painter from Cleveland, Huey Lee Smith, although Molden certainly has his own unique style."

"The Star Gallery is open during regular performance hours and one does not have to attend the performance to visit the gallery."
The second post is a request:
"In fact, if I wrote a blog every single day of the year, I would not adequately cover all the events , artists and the issues surrounding them. Currently this blog barely scratches the surface. I am writing only on the things that affect me directly.

I am requesting that others get involved. It would be so nice to have the Butler Institute and the McDonough Museum offer blogs on their shows and events. Other art organizations such as TAG and the Art Outreach Gallery (Eastwood Mall) need bloggers as well.

I often hear art supporters and artists complaining about various issues but I don't often see them actually doing anything to change the situations. Blogging is an excellent way to make a difference. One of the problems that afflict our art community is lack of communication. Many people are working to dispel the misconceptions and wrong assumptions that have arisen.

Blogging is effective cure for the diseases of miscommunication and lack of communication. Besides, blogging is fun, easy, and definitely creates immediate change. Don't hesitate!"
The third post reviews the Art Youngstown Inc. Wine Tasting Event at the Youngstown Club downtown:
"Congratulations again to Art Youngstown for yet another successful, well attended art event. Thanks to Emerine Estates and the Youngstown Club for the Wine, the use of the hall and the staff.

These pics were shot well before most of the guests arrived and the place was full by mid evening, but not uncomfortably so.

To say this event was a "wine tasting" is an understatement as the wine flowed freely and abundantly all night."

UK brings arts to econ dev mainstream

From The Guardian:
"Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the culture secretary, Andy Burnham, today unveiled the action plan, Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy, in what the government is labelling the first-ever comprehensive, state-supported plan to move the creative industries from the "margins to the mainstream of economic and policy thinking" in the UK.

The action plan outlines 26 commitments for both government and the creative industries to nurture talent, create jobs and to drive the UK's international competitiveness.

One of the initiatives is to develop a new annual World Creative Business Conference that will act as the "centrepiece" of an international push to make the UK the "world's creative hub"."
learn more here.

The UK Government has made a concentrated effort in its cities at a level not seen in the US. read more on the effort here.

23 February 2008

american midwest in the age of globalization

listen here.

see the conversation that linked to this at BFD.

the old rules

powerful post from the Reason blog:
"Youngstown is ever what it was, albeit in miniature, Steel is still manufactured, just not inside the city limits, theatres are still bustling, just not as frequently, and you don't have to look hard to see Jim Traficant's lieutenants still wielding influence, though we're one down there, too. (More on this in a moment.)

Youngstown 2010, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Kelly Pavlik have recently brought us a new reputation from the steel-bust-/Mafia-corrupt-/Trafficant-crooked-image it has been so convenient for the media to latch on to. The newest incarnation of the City Council has seen more changes that square with positive change."
it gets more interesting. read more here.

fnb buys another bank, brain drain

Found this on the PGH Quarterly blog:
"Hermitage-based FNB Corp. continued its bank-buying spree this past week announcing a deal to buy Iron & Glass Bank, a South Side fixture for nearly 140 years whose name alone was a daily reminder of the broad shoulders on which the region’s economy once stood."
F.N.B., headquartered in Hermitage PA just over the state line, has assests of $6.1 billion dollars. It is also the bank which is housed in Youngstown's tallest building, the Metropolitan Tower.

Also on the PGH Quarterly blog, you can read Jim's recent post on brian drain in Pittsburgh.
"Brain drain is a real problem for Pittsburgh and just about any other city. But I want to highlight that educating the local workforce will enable more out-migration. Trying to keep people from leaving is working against the flow. That CMU spillovers benefit innovation centers such as Silicon Valley and Seattle is not necessarily a bad outcome for Pittsburgh. A powerful, but latent network is already in place and can facilitate brain circulation."

barack v. clinton : the breakdown

Youngstown Renaissance breaks down two speeches by the lwo leading candidates:
"The media like to focus on the political horse race, because it's exciting and because it's easy. It doesn't require breaking down issues, which it thinks will cause voters to yawn and tune out. You may not know, but I take requests."

"So, as a public service, I have gone through the texts of the most recent speech available on both Clinton's and Obama's Web sites and highlighted each issue or policy statement I could identify. I then pasted each into a table and organized them by topic and drew some conclusions which I will share below."
read more here, where you can download his comparisons.

jay visits wierton

The Herald-Star, based in Steubenville, writes about Mayor's Williams' trip to visit the leaders of Weirton, WV:
"According to Williams, Youngstown just recently awoke from a 30-year paralysis. During that time, he explained, its citizens and government were convinced the steel industry would come back. He stated this dealt psychological and emotional damage which increased the city’s economic trouble and population decline.

“We were looking in the rearview mirror for the answers to get us to the future,” he said. “It was the biggest mistake to ever happen to the city. Pride cannot get in the way of change.”
read more here on the visit.

22 February 2008

The Youngstown Moxie blog reviews the Colored Museum:
"Let me say this, there is humor and satire and then there is "The Colored Museum". The satire in this play is brilliant! It will make you laugh, and then five minutes later have you crying because of sadness of it all. It is nothing short of an emotional roller coaster ride.

The author of this play is George C Wolfe. Mr. Wolfe is not a timid writer; he manages to convey the unthinkable with great wit and humor. The play was written in 1985 during the post-Vietnam War era. It is comprised of eleven vignettes which are actually a series of eleven live exhibits in the Colored Museum. The director of the play is Johnny Herbert. This is his directing debut at the Oakland. He has brought together an amazing cast and creates magic on the Oakland stage."
Moxie writes more about the actors, the art in the Oakland's Gallery, and her night out in downtown Youngstown.

see all of her thoughts here.

nytimes interrupts lunch with the mayor

Todd has his lunch interrupted:
"But our fifth or so interruption was a surprise: "Hi, I'm Andrew Jacobs from the New York Times. Can I talk to you?"

He's doing a story centering on the thing we're all seeing now: The Valley is all of a sudden relevant in the presidential race. Hillary twice, Barack, Kennedy, Gephardt, etc.

So his first question to the mayor was, essentially, "Why you guys? Why is the area so important to the candidates."

The mayor had a good answer. I imagine he's had to answer for Youngstown a million or so times in the last two years."
read more here.

time to clean the streets

The Wizard of Yo writes:
"Last week the Ohio Departmentof Natural Resources released the receipients of their spring litter clean up grants. Mahoning County organizations (including the city of Youngstown) received 6 grants out of the 50 total awarded. Each organization received the full amount requested. The only county that received more grants was Columbiana with 7. The Valley is gonna get her clean on."
more on redding up the valley.

more movement at Kent

The NEO Incubator Collaborative blog has an update on what's going on in the region:
"Centennial Research Park at Kent State University is open for business.

With 44,000 current square feet in the business incubator and the surrounding 10 acres available for development, Kent State has created a valuable resource for the region, particularly for high-tech companies.

The first phase of the incubator houses the FLEXMatters Accelerator, a collaboration that works with local companies to develop and produce devices that are typically rigid on flexible polymer substrates."
see how other universities are moving here.

how to help the MVHS archives

The Mahoning Valley History blog discusses how old photos from presidential candidates are some of their most requested items:
Here's how you can help:
If you attended any of the events hosted by Senators Clinton or Obama, or any other event related to their campaign, and have pictures, please consider donating a set of prints to the archives.

One request:
Prints produced at a photo lab (drug stores, photo shops, and online services) are best for long term preservation. Prints produced on ink-jet or home photo printers are not as stable, and could flake and fade over time.
more here

pulling out of town

Matt Palka writes about his recording session in Youngstown the his most recent departure in the snow:
"The bus swung slowly out of downtown. I leaned my head against the window and turned the volume up on my CD player. The scratch demo spun hard inside. Youngstown was to be my final time in the studio. Barely five minutes on the interstate, I knew that was a false statement. I had to cut new vocals. The focus on my Youngstown sessions was brass and keys. I left vocals for last minute when everyone in the studio was glassy eyed from exhaustion. Vocal quality had been sacrificed."
What will he do next? read more here

diggin' in the archives

on Lincoln Avenue this week:
"2008, as you may have heard, is YSU’s centennial. As part of the celebration, the University has opened an archive of materials documenting the institution’s history. This week on Lincoln Avenue, I’m talking with Maag Library Director Paul Kobulnicky about why the archive matters and how it works."
more here.

live at the dawn

npr interviews two Youngstowners for that whole Obama v. Clinton thingy.

listen here.

19 February 2008

his night on the streets of the Yo

Matt Palka describes his recent return to Youngstown and the recording studio (and downtown establishments):
"I've been back in the studio in the YO (Youngstown, OH) adding brass, keys, harmonica and vocals. What was supposed to be one full day of recording turned into a week of adventures."

"Working with engineer Pete Drivere was a privilege. He gets the classic, timeless landscape that I inhabit and captured that in the recording. I even got Pete to lay down some guitar licks on a couple tracks, which really glued the whole composition together.

Local keys wizard Chris Leonardi worked his magic armed with a 1971 Hammond B3 w/ Leslie, Fender Rhodes, and piano to boot! The result being - half of the record sounds reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s. Rounding out the caravan of musicians was Fredo on Saxophone from local jam band Jones 4 Revival. What a positive personality to add to the mix, not to mention soulful phrasings."
and then after some film editing . . .

"I was locked out of his apartment complex. By 3 AM I was wandering the Youngstown streets among snow flurries . . .

Then salvation came in a phone call. My heavy boot steps plodded over the snow dusted sidewalks. Minutes later my limp body fell into the couch and I was out. I think I've earned my Youngstown stripes."
read more on Matt's adventures here.

are TIFs an answer?

from the GLUEspace blog:
"Three main ingredients are essential to spur the economic development that each of our Great Lakes cities sorely needs: smart people, good ideas and financing. I will talk here about one possible piece to the financing puzzle.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a tool at the disposal of municipal governments throughout the United States. In the seven-county Milwaukee region alone, over $8.5 billion of property wealth is flowing toward TIF districts. These districts fund industrial, retail, residential and office real estate development in both urban and rural settings. Some criticize TIF as “corporate welfare” and, indeed, in some cases the tool has been wielded improperly. Fortunately, TIF is being increasingly used by cities to fund ambitious and far-sighted community development projects.

The challenge is to move beyond thinking of TIF as merely a “project-based” tool and start thinking of it as a way to achieve regional and community development goals, as we build our niche in the global marketplace. Proactive regional leadership is vital to achieving such a paradigm shift. TIF can be an powerful tool for the evolution of our cities."

more here.

More on the Beltline here.

note: It's been fun to see this project go from a master's thesis at Georgia Tech to a multi-billion dollar project. Good work Ryan . . .

A Concept On Drawing Airlines To YNG

The Fly Youngstown blog compares what is going on elsewhere in the country:
"Last month I touched on a topic relating to the creation of passenger flow to the Youngstown-Warren Airport. I pointed out that even a small start in the right direction I would consider a success. This time I wish to specifically focus in on techniques that are being used at another airport to acquire airlines to it. First we need to read a rather recent short article which includes exactly what we are looking for.
more on YNG here.

her new resolution

Mahoning Valley View writes:
"A snowy trek back up Wick to my office is always made better by a steaming cup of java, one of my two favorite beverages. Kudos to Greg and George -and pastry chef beyond compare Barry, though I gave up sweets for Lent. Thanks for taking a chance on Downtown Youngstown and providing the atmosphere about which I've been reminiscing since I moved back to Ohio."
read more here.

15 February 2008

pavlik's pants

As kelly-hysteria reaches a fever pitch (hey, it's good to be excited), an exclusive from the Vindicator:

what pavlik will have plastered on his butt

the unelectable clinton

from Youngstown Renaissance:
"I still submit that Hillary Clinton is unelectable in the general election. The GOP will have none of it, and the mainstream media, talk radio and the Sunday morning talk shows will continue to pillory her just as they did John Kerry, and we'll have another eight Republican years to contend with, mark my words.

However, two noteworthy op-eds appeared in the Times this week that gave me pause, so I felt compelled to share. Ponder and enjoy."
read more here

historians on ice cream stealth mode

After reading Kelly Pavlik's line in The Los Angeles Times about Youngstown's being the home of the first ice cream wagon, the Mahoning Valley History blog swoops in and presents the history of Harry Burt and Good Humor Bars.
"In downtown Youngstown between 1893 and 1922, Harry B. Burt (1875-1926) worked as a confectioner who produced candy, then added ice cream, soda fountain and grill to his store, expanding his business to include a bakery and restaurant, finally adding twelve refrigerator trucks to distribute Good Humor bars to Mahoning Valley and Youngstown city neighborhoods. All these successes he accomplished during the decades of Youngstown’s greatest social, commercial and industrial expansion."

"When the Burt’s West Federal Street store opened on April 3,1922, The Vindicator dedicated two front-page photos and most of an inside page to “A great addition to W. Federal Street’s new shopping district” (Vindicator, 4.3.22).

Burt purchased twelve refrigerator trucks for neighborhood distribution of his new ice cream bars. A Burt family bobsled bell called children to the Good Humor delivery trucks where customers could buy Good Humor bars from the truck driver who wore a white uniform. Descriptions often mention the Good Humor Truck drivers as “chauffeurs.”
read more here

new press release from GLUEspace

This press release just posted at the Great Lakes Urban Exchange.

‘Rustbelt’ Cities Coalition Thanks Presidential Frontrunners for Supporting Great Lakes Compact,
Calls for Regional Urban Agenda in Three Upcoming Great Lakes Primaries

GLUE operates on four guiding principles:

Urbanism: Cities are our world’s economic drivers. Decision makers cannot afford to underestimate their value nor overlook their needs.

Regionalism: Great Lakes urban centers need to overcome outlooks of despair and isolation by forging a shared perspective and developing strength in numbers.

Storytelling: White papers alone cannot propel an agenda, particularly for the emerging generation of leadership. No need is expressed more powerfully than via human narrative.

Building Networks: Connecting people and institutions who share challenges and objectives will foster regional collaboration and transfer examples of success throughout the basin.

14 February 2008

30 blogs in 30 days

Steel Valley Outdoors writes about the future:
"In order to accomplish this, I’ve promised myself a blog entry a day for 30 days, so you should see more new items posted. Not all are going to be features: I like YouTube videos and they’re still the easiest to do. But there’s going to be regular news items for the next month or so.

Also I’m Asking for help from regular visitors. If you want a soapbox, now’s your chance. We’ve always been about supporting regional events and activities, so if you see something you want covered, drop me a line. Write an article. get involved.

So I hope you stick around to see what this two prong attack brings to Steel Valley Outdoors. I think You’ll like it."
more on this here.

cincy 360

GLUEspace posts an embedded video about the new visioning process taking place at the opposite corner of the state.

Something to watch for Youngstown 2020?

check it out here

the appalachian influence

from JamBrain:
"Dulci-More, a loose association of about 100 folk and traditional musicians formed in 1993, gave their 15th annual concert, Feb. 10 at the First United Methodist Church in Salem before an enthusiastic audience of more than 100.

The 25 members who performed Sunday played a wide variety of Appalachian-style musical instruments: mountain and hammer dulcimers, guitars, harmonicas, autoharps, fiddles, bass, recorders, cello, banjo, mandolin and jug. They were joined by six members of the Dulci-More Little Eagles from United Local Elementary School, a group formed three years ago with help from a one-time arts grant."
read more here.

a DY exclusive

Defend Youngstown links to a story:
"Greg Smith, a freelance journalist from Cincinnati, has completed an absolutely remarkable article analyzing the current state of affairs regarding the sport of boxing, American culture, economy, generational differences as well as the die-hard city Youngstown, Ohio and Kelly Pavlik.

It is a story of how Kelly Pavlik and his city are bucking modern trends and discarding traditional labels, respectively...the significance and symbolism of his rise to stardom despite the most improbable of odds in today's post-industrial culture- one mixed with a generation who built the cities only to see them crumble attempting to coexist and understand an independent minded generation who must appreciate the past to recreate the future...and the complex, iconic Rust Belt city in the middle of it all - one that has stubbornly called its own shots and has blazed it's own trails…sometimes, tragically, to a fault."
read more here.


Meditations in an Emergency pontificates on the word "cruddy".
"Our hometown middleweight champion of the world Kelly Pavlik goes back to the ring this Saturday to defend the belt he won this past autumn. In an article in the LA Times about him, he refers to Youngstown as “cruddy,” but as the reporter contextualizes, with Pavlik that’s a sign of honesty and affection.

Which is totally my sort of fellow.

Here’s hoping he’ll have another win this Saturday, when I’ll be somewhere in the city with a bunch of other crazies from this “shot-and-a-beer” town cheering him on."
Read more here.

12 February 2008

aligning work and workers - new radio show

Go here for the latest post from Lincoln Avenue. (airing tonight!)
"In all the talk about economic development, I keep wondering about the prospects for the majority of the Mahoning Valley’s workers – those who don’t have college degrees and who don’t, at least on first glance, seem to stand to gain from the development of the local technology sector. In an effort to find out where they stand in the local economy, I’m talking this week with Bert Cene, director of the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association. They’re the pipeline for federal funds aimed at preparing workers to fill the jobs available in the local economy.

MCTA works with both businesses and individuals, trying to match the workforce needs of area companies with the skills of local workers. But there’s a mismatch between the two sides. In our interview, Cene describes a local jobs fair, where employers came looking to fill about 2000 jobs and more than 5000 people showed up looking for work – but the employers still couldn’t find enough people with the right skills to fill all 2000 slots. What’s wrong?"
And if you're interested in work in the Mahoning Valley, visit the Worker Portraits website -- a collection of stories about real jobs in our community."

the challenge has been thrown

in today's newspaper:
“I would like to challenge Sen. Obama to meet me in Youngstown,” she said. “Let’s have a debate about the issues that are important to the people of that area of Ohio and the entire state."
Hey, what ever happened to the Pentagon Accounting Office in the Mahoning Valley that Bill Clinton promised?

what promises will this clinton bring with her?

got lit?

Meditations in an Emergencydiscusses an upcoming event for the YSU Poetry Center:
"If you’re in the mood for an evening of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, you should definitely check out next Tuesday’s readings that YSU’s Poetry Center has arranged. It’s a great line-up. I’ll be there for sure. Hope to see some of you locals, as well."

On Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 7:00 PM in the DeBartolo Stadium Club in Stambaugh Stadium, three distinguished NEOMFA faculty, Neal Chandler, David Hassler, and Varley O’Connor, will read from their works. Books will be available for signing. Please join us in celebrating the work of these fine writers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
7:00 P.M. DeBartolo Stadium Club in Stambaugh Stadium

NEOMFA Faculty Reading

"you can google it"

Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times provides this story on Pavlik.
If Youngstown is a "cruddy" place, it is also a place of pride for Pavlik.

"The first ice cream wagon was in Youngstown, Ohio," he says. "You can Google it."

Perspective surrounds Pavlik, unusual for boxers. His mother is proud and can't watch. His father is always nearby, his tattered Kelly Pavlik cap in place out of love and superstition. Even one-time neighbor Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, once world lightweight champion, watches him closely, telling him to be wary.

"Today, headlines. Tomorrow, bread lines," Mancini says.

11 February 2008

inside a downtown artist's studio

Shout Youngstown takes a look at a you tube video posted from a downtown artist's studio:
"Located at the intersection of Federal Street and Phelps, the space works great for this Youngstown artist's larger pieces. Jim has moved back to Youngstown after spending a large part of his career in NYC."

3 updates from DEFEND

Follow this link for the three latest stories from Defend Youngstown, including:

- big plans from Akron,
- imbedded videos of the Pavlik-Taylor II HBO special, and,
- who will be receiving the key to the city

activities in the wintertime

Steel Valley Outdoors pontificates why some people are agressively defacing the natural beauty of Mill Creek Park:
"According to Mill Creek Metropark’s Mission Statement, the park is to be:

- Responsive to Community Needs
- Environmentally Sound
- Adaptable
- Economically Feasible

Now, I don’t know if rockclimbing is economically feasible, But I do know that kids today want to do more than play frisbee in the flats and stroll through Fellows.

The ice rink is closed, the swings are down.There’s no snow for the sledding hill. There’s no mountain bike trails, no rock climbing, no skateboard park, no paintball arena.

I’ve seen some progress, and hope there’s more. After all, I know the boating regulations have been updated. But it seems that most of the programs and policies that the park adopts are designed for adults."

cities are the solution, not the problem

Youngstown Moxie has loads of information in today's post, from info on how to ride the buses to TED videos:
"Prior to reading the post below about the WRTA please watch the video of Jaime Lerner from TED. I believe that after watching this video you will understand why the title of today's post is "Cities Aren't the Problem; They are the Solution" and you too will want to sing "The Sustainability Song" by voting yes for the WRTA levy. "

"The new tax is projected to raise 7.5 million dollars per year and would allow for the reinstatement of weekend and evening buses, more frequent city service and new routes to the suburbs. If this levy is rejected, the results could range from temporary additional cutbacks to the permanent elimination of public transportation in the city."
What do you think?

the people's pet

This morning Tyler Clark follows up on his recent appearance in the paper:
My concerns, for the record, were several that Angie covered anyway:

"There is no convenient yardstick for measuring the city’s current conditions against the promise of 2010.... City leaders have been operating without a specific 2010 budget or road map since the beginning."

"2010 is merely an arbitrary date, chosen because it symbolizes the results of the next census."

The concern here is that, without having effectively communicated this, there is a let down in 2010 and citizens lose faith.

I would like for some of us Altruists/TreezPleasers to find a way to get with Mr. Abdul Harris featured in the article and find a way to contribute in his community this year.
More to read here.

make every effort to promote preservation

Attention Youngstown City Council and existing downtown landowners and future ones, Randy at GLUEspace has some things to tell you:
"A new era in urban living is beginning to emerge, and even our most distressed central cities are becoming attractive places to live again. They have certain inherent qualities that the hottest Sunbelt cities can never match: solid, beautiful and abundant historic urban fabric. Because cities such as Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Baltimore and many others boomed prior to the Automobile Age, they were built for people first, and their architectural traditions reflect their distinguished, established legacies.

It is imperative that cities of the Rustbelt make every effort to promote preservation of their aging infrastructure, as these features are their greatest competitive edge."

on the front page

Jaci Clark's Blog (she is an awesome photographer) reflects on being on the front page of Sunday's Vindicator here.
"I had no idea we'd be on the front page! Although the article doesn't say much about us (and what it does say is misleading since we didn't actually move because of the 2010 plan), there's a video here that has a nice interview of both my husband and me."
You can check out the corresponding newspaper article here.

08 February 2008

the midwest against the rest

On Milwaukee reviews the GLUE conference in Buffalo:
"We quickly came to realize that this feeling of isolation was unjustified. After an extensive bus tour of Buffalo, which revealed the dramatic rise and tragic fall of that great city, none of us were shocked. Saddened, but not shocked. After all, each of our cities has been similarly hollowed from the inside out.

From that point forward, the focus of the weekend was on what we share, not on what we don't. Poverty, crime, segregation, crumbling streets and population loss is a reality for each of our Great Lakes counterparts."

"But perhaps more important, from what I witnessed at this weekend's conference, is that the cities of the Great Lakes are bursting with cadres of young, hyper-motivated individuals, who are both discouraged with what they see in their respective cities and determined do something about it. That's the funny thing about "depressed cities" -- their tough problems give rise to some of the most engaged and creative citizenry in our country."
check out more here.

07 February 2008

pavlik and youngstown in SI this week

Richard Hoffer has a piece on Kelly in this week's Sports Illunstrated:
"The 25-year-old Pavlik may be getting this ink not so much because he's from Youngstown but because he is Youngstown.

But Pavlik is so grounded in Youngstown that it's difficult to sort the city from the son. He not only returns to his hometown after each win, but he also comes back to Civics, for darts and (when he's not training) beer. This is partly because the ambience suits him but mostly because it's four minutes away. That is, four minutes away from everything -- gym, home, parents. His fans find the triangulation quite reassuring."

"Pavlik eats the supper his father has prepared -- chicken and broccoli, usually, with cabbage soup for a late-night snack -- then crashes on the living room couch."
read more here.

06 February 2008

2 new local blogs

Reason and Connected Youngstown+
"I came home and what I found in this, my old hometown, was surprising. There is a lively and engaging arts scene, new industries born out of emerging technologies' use of existing infrastructure, great restaurants, good people, and good times. Check back often for my reports as I explore the history and re-creation of this rust belt city."

a new home for jim

The creator of Blog Diaspora is now writing at Pittsburgh Quarterly:
"I call this community "Globalburgh" and it is larger than the scattered fans of Steelers Nation, though sports bars often serve as a hub where the Diaspora can gather. I've obsessed how Pittsburgh and its urban hinterland might benefit from the energy and experience of Rust Belt refugees. I've determined that engaging prospective boomerang migrants is the best way to encourage more economic development."
Read more here

from city hall: a new concept

Defend Youngstown reporting from the inside to the outside:
"Welcome to a new concept that we will be experimenting with here at Defend Youngstown. It will be known as "FROM CITY HALL" which will report relevant information from City Hall in a journal style format. As a new city employee who still also wears the hat of a community activist through Defend Youngstown, it is becoming increasingly obvious to me how the lack of communication between the city and the citizens (and vice versa) can and, in some instances, does limit our ability to move forward on some important issues here in Youngstown."
read more here.

04 February 2008

this should be a good one


Lincoln Avenue is back for another season, since it kicked ass during sweeps.

For the upcoming show Wednesday at 7:30pm streaming at www.wysu.org:
"This week on Lincoln Avenue, I’m talking with the Wean Foundation’s still-fairly-new President, Joel Ratner, about the Foundation’s new directions, including a series of programs aimed at helping area non-profits work better and work together. Starting with a community summit last fall and continuing with a very well-attended set of workshops on strategic planning in January, Wean is providing training, opportunities for networking, and grants to support capacity building, all aimed at helping organizations serve the local community better.

The other half of Wean’s new strategy is a focus on neighborhoods through small grants of $500 to $5000 to small local groups, especially neighborhood organizations that want to pursue concrete projects to improve their community. This project is still getting organized; the Foundation is establishing two community review boards, one for Youngstown and one for Warren, who will evaluate applications for these small grants. This approach goes hand-in-hand with the neighborhood focus of Youngstown 2010, putting resources in the hands of ordinary people. It also works as another form of capacity building, helping people develop the skills and experience to become community leaders."
read more on how YOU can get YOUR IDEAS funded here.

if anyone has monday or tuesday off

Another GLUE event blogged about by Burgh Diaspora

go here to read more.

How do us working schlubs get to participate?

two posts from Youngstown Art

Youngstown Art reviews the Vallene Hardman-Weeda exhibit at the Andrew and Carol Weller Art Gallery.
"My favorite work is the "Drying Specimens" series. These are mixed media pieces which feature Ginkgo leaves and various natural materials adhered to sheets of ragged paper with a glaze of golden-brown epoxy. They are suspended from the walls with stainless steel specimen clamps and underneath sheets of Plexiglass."
and he continues . . .
"Once again he was jaw-droppingly amazed at the view from the cafe' with the new fallen snow clinging to tree branches and Lake Glacier glistening like polished silver. We had the soup, mine being vegetable and his potato. Needless to say it was delicious and perfect for a cold winter day."
read more here.

Next up, the blog reveals pictures of victimized nature - at the hands of some assmunches in Mill Creek Park:
"This piece is truly the coup de' tat of the Bear's Den Graffiti Collection. It is a large work well over 4x10 feet. Multiple colors are used and appears to be the cumulative work of several artists. One can see the anguish, joy, fears, and spiritual electricity that pulse through the veins of our youth. Those old cave painters of Lascaux have nothing on this bunch!"

It's probably best for me not to repost the blog, since it may feed the ego of those who did this. But if anyone ever sees someone doing this in the future, please call the police.

under neat that

Just go here.

Trust me.

Gross National Happiness

Youngstown Moxie has been writing about the meaning of wealth and value:
"In the U.S. we have fallen prey to what I call happiness propaganda. The pervasive idea , perpetuated by the media, that unless one is engaged in the activity of consumerism, one can't possibly be happy. It goes without saying that in order to be a consumer one must have economic wealth., and the consumer must spend an inordinate amount of time accumulating that economic wealth. (i.e. usually doing something they despise for eight hours or more a day).

In the United States the word wealth has generally come to mean economic value. However, the word "wealth" actually derives from the English word "weal" which means well-being or welfare. "
Read more of this great post here.

I absolutely refuse to do it

Tales from the Rust Belt discusses what he intends to do with his tax refund, and why you should do the same.
"So, I'll take the government's check, after all, it's my money, but I won't be doing any shopping. I'll be investing in CD's or mutual funds that pay me. Paying me is always better than me paying someone else."
Read more here.