31 January 2008

drawings win national award

Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Arms Family Museum is documented; Drawings win national award
"The Mahoning Valley Historical Society is proud to announce that architecture students from Kent State University have won the national Charles E. Peterson prize for their work in documenting the former Olive and Wilford Arms residence, now the Arms Family Museum of Local History, for the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)."
great post. read more (with picture) here.

accent media reviews the new restaurant

Here is the first review I've seen online for the Rosetta Stone Cafe by Accent Media Matters:
"I hope readers know that Accent Media and especially myself, are very Pro-Youngstown, and most definitely pro Downtown Youngstown. That being said, I have promised a review of the new Rosetta Stone Cafe that opened just half a block from our wonderful 20 Federal Plaza West building, and I have to say that is decidedly mixed."
you can read the culinary tour and assessment here.

30 January 2008

summary of 07 for NEO incubators

The Northeast Ohio Incubator Collaborative reviews the gains made by the 5 incubators in the region. This includes:
"YBI had a fantastic year, with explosive growth of the incubator leading to an expansion seen as a national model. It doesn’t hurt when you have a tenant that is the fastest growing software company in the nation! Throughout 2007, YBI . . ."

read more about all 5 here.

know thyself.

how nachos gave me herpes

Dip once, or dip twice?
from The new York Times
"Just in time, a scientific report has some new findings that may cause football fans to take a second look at that communal bowl of dip.

The study, to be published later this year in the Journal of Food Safety, is the only one I’ve ever seen to proclaim that it was inspired by an episode of “Seinfeld.” It was conducted as part of a Clemson University program designed to get undergraduate students involved in scientific research. Prof. Paul L. Dawson, a food microbiologist, proposed it after he saw a rerun of a 1993 “Seinfeld” show in which George Costanza is confronted at a funeral reception by Timmy, his girlfriend’s brother, after dipping the same chip twice."
how did the experiment turn out? Rread more here.

will The Stage be at the Yo Club?

Will she, or won't she?
"In its exclusivity, the Yo Club becomes both desirable and intimidating. I want to go there, but I am terrified I won't fit in. I'll show up underdressed and over potty-mouthed, and the whole scene will end badly.

But, as an effort to dispel that myth, the Youngstown Club is planning a series of open-to-the-public-events to draw in new potential members or just people who are eager to taste the cuisine and soak up the environment.

This Friday, February 1, is one such opportunity to check out the space. Starting at 5 pm, the Club will host Bourbon Street Blues, a celebration of Creole. Free hors d'ourves, half price drinks, and a special menu ($18-$24) will be available, and mood music will be provided by blues artist Julius Veal."
read more on the subject here.

the joy of the internets

Meditations in an Emergency reflects on the works of Toni Morrision, and how wonderful the internet is:
"I’m not sure what ever happened to that cassette, but Toni Morrison popped into my mind the other day as I was unpacking books (still unpacking!) and unearthed my collection of her novels. That Nobel speech was one of the first things I thought of afterward, and soon I was on the internet typing in search phrases, and found it once again, and listened to it once again, understanding things she said now that, at seventeen or eighteen or nineteen or twenty, slipped by me. She’s a remarkably intelligent person, an amazing writer, and a compelling speaker. (I heard her when she came to speak in Youngstown in 2003 as well)."
read more of the post, with a link to the audio version of the Nobel speech here.

29 January 2008

lame tagging

Youngstown Art reflects on his recent trip to The Park:
"[today] I found Mill Creek Park to be astonishingly gorgeous. She was like a beautiful bride in a shimmering pearlescent white gown.

As I made my way through the Bears Den area I was greatly dismayed to find a large amount of graffiti spray painted on the rock faces and tree trunks. I counted over a dozen large designs scrawled throughout the immediate area. There are more I am sure, but I was getting too ticked off and upset to keep counting. Having gone through this area in the late fall , I saw some graffiti but not to the extent of what I saw today. I assume it was done since then, perhaps during the brief warm spell we had early in January.

After carefully examining this graffiti, I came to the conclusion that it was NOT gang related. As far as I could tell, it was not even classic "tagging". Instead there are pot leaves and names. All in all very mundane and cliched.

I also could see where park caretakers had attempted to remove some of the graffiti by what appeared to be sandblasting. This method not only removed the paint but also the natural, dark patina of the rock, as well as the moss and lichens, leaving large, scoured areas of tan sandstone. In one of these scoured areas some half baked "arteest" had spray painted fresh graffiti."

"The park is known as the Green Cathedral for a reason: it connects all of us with the Divine and the Mystical."

read more here

how to visualize 1,075 billion dollars

The Wizard of Yo help us to get our mind to visualize the size of the FY 2008 Federal Discretionary Budget.

chick here for more info.

28 January 2008

tim ryan is not holding his breath

Congressman Ryan reflects on the president's state of the union speech in his blog:
"Regardless, although we might not see any surprises, we are hoping to see glimpses of compromise this evening as the President take the podium before the joint-session this evening."

more on the promise

Burgh Diaspora is connecting the dots . . . following information about the Kalamazoo Promise. Should Youngstown follow this model?
"A blog post at Brewed Fresh Daily is the first crumb leading me to an article about the value of the Kalamazoo Promise (the model for the Pittsburgh Promise)"

read more here,

27 January 2008

YR's experience last night

Youngtown Renaissance reviews his thoughts on a community meeting last night, but first reflects on being quoted in the local newpaper:
"I feel like I have something clever to say, but it never quite comes out quite like I think I said it."
I keep wondering how frustrating it must be for public officals to open their paper the next day after a big story to see their main taking points slightly altered. They must be wanting to get across a message, and to have it amended (not amended maliciously however) has to be rough.

Anyway, back to his blog:
"Now, to the meat of last night's discussions. First, we'd like to thank those who attended. It was a real success, not only because gatherings like this can so easily devolve into bitch sessions. Everyone brought constructive insights and experiences to share and respectfully shared the floor with others. There were representatives of city government, law enforcement, criminal justice, public education, newspaper journalism, as well as humble rank-and-file citizens (including me)."

"There are plenty of logistical questions to be answered. It will take time to work up to the successful framework that will support this. I don't know who will support it and how. I don't know what the right size is, and that will probably vary depending on location; the size of a cell on the north side will be different than on the south side or east side. But we've got to organize, with the help of every official and unofficial body that is willing to participate.

It's going to take every block, every school, every church, every community center, every hospital, every business, every civic organization, every non-profit organization, every arts organization, every book club, every sentient individual. As part of our basic modus operandus, we must commit to opposing criminal and violent acts. We walk together at scheduled times, we own the streets, we're visible, we see each other, we talk to each other, we meet regularly, you know my name, and I know yours."

More great thoughts on this topic here.

26 January 2008

a local assessment of charter schools

Youngstown Moxie provides an in-depth look into the numbers used to support the local charter school movement:
"Anyone who has ever worked in the education field or dealt with Charter Schools first hand knows the charter school administration can influence, to a certain degree, who gets to attend their schools. First of all, students are selected through the use of a lottery, where their names are literally drawn out of a pool of hopefuls. This has a positive affect on the mentality of the students and their parents. If selected they feel chosen, as if they've won a prize. Where do the "losers" go? The same place most of us did, public school. In addition, at the first signs of trouble, a student can be expelled from a charter school and sent back to public school. Does the public school have that luxury? No, because public schools are where the buck stops.

And after all that- the best kids with the most involved parents competing in a lottery to get in, no pesky union or certified teachers to deal with or pay adequately, no special ed students and the luxury of kicking out problem kids at the first hint of trouble - they have yet to outperform public schools on standardized tests."
Do you arree with her assessment? Read more here.

trying to get a Trader Joe's downtown

Youngstown Moxie describes the steps some are doing to get some two-buck-chuck for the emerging downtown neighborhood.
"There is a movement afoot to convince Trader Joe's that downtown Youngstown should be their next store site."
Follow the link here.

25 January 2008

vintage cranes

The Youngstown Steel Heritage Preservation blog reviews a recent purchase:
"The Tod Engine Foundation has recently acquired an 1892 vintage overhead crane manufactured by Morgan Engineering in Alliance, Ohio. This crane is of particular historical interest and will become an important artifact for display and use at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The crane was originally built for Otis Steel Co. in Cleveland, and used there until the plant closed after WWII. At that time it was sold and moved to Masury, OH and placed in a new building there. It is there to this day. Still fully operational, the crane continues to make lifts to its rated capacity."

see the pictures here.

plan b

Matt Palka is moving onto another plan, now that his credit cards are maxed out:
"Instead, I have plan B. I am selling my motorcycle. My 1972 mustang convertible didn't fair so well on E-bay. Everyone wanted a crazy deal on a car I had invested $15,000 into over the years. Seven grand was a paltry sum. Luckily a good friend has graciously stored the mustang in his barn for the winter. In the meantime, what's an artist to do? I need to sell the motorcycle so I can finish recording the album. I'm confident something will work out. Come on craigslist! Bring me a buyer!"
read more here.

news: 25 jan 2008

New Research Center at YSU Opens
from the Youngstown Vindicator
"Youngstown State University’s Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering, funded through a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is now open and ready for business."

"The YSU center’s theme is “Transportation: Mobility, Longevity and Sustainability.”

Research will focus on increasing the longevity of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, developing sustainable designs with minimal environmental and ecological impact and identifying new materials and new applications for materials and manufacturing processes for use in all modes of the transportation industry."
deadlines for the upcoming round of research proposals is February 11th.

you can read more here

Chevy Center Profits Up, 4Q Results Posted
from the Business-Journal

this thread within the sotry caught my eye:
"Council President Charles Sammarone inquired Thursday whether the parking lot on the arena grounds could be expanded so the city could collect more revenue.

“We think that the additional acreage at the site has a higher use,” Bozanich said. The land around the Chevy Centre that the city controls could be used for an outdoor amphitheater or hike-and-bike trail. “Our re-development plan also calls for more commercial development,” he stated.

Moreover, downtown businesses enjoy higher traffic because the USA lots are closer to restaurants and taverns. Creating a larger parking lot at the arena could hamper business for these establishments.

“I’ve talked to nearly every business downtown and they’ve told me business increases 25% to 40%” on event nights, he said."
Bike trail?

Let's do this!

local bloggers reacting to the tragic arson

By Tales from the Rust Belt
Finding a Balance When Discussing Crime
"I can't speak for the others but I take great pains to address the crime issue the way I try to address any other issue; by taking the time to understand it and suggesting ideas to improve the situation."

"As has been addressed on this site and others, the problem lies with all of us. The worst mass murder in Youngstown just occurred and there isn't a thing the mayor or police could have done to prevent it unless a patrol car was driving by just as that vicious little coward was pouring gasoline on the front porch of the house. You can't legislate behavior. It is up to each one of us to treat each other with respect, to raise our children correctly, to make sure that we all realize we are responsible for the place where we live. It doesn't matter if you don't live in the city."

"So I will continue to write about issues that I see as important and I will criticize politicians when I feel it is appropriate and constructive. I will continue to map the homicides in the city because I feel a visual representation of data is useful for people to see and make decisions. This is what I will try to do to effect change."

Provided here is only a small part of the post. Read more here.

From our Mayor:
On Wednesday's Fire
"Let everyone in this community offer our collective prayers and support for the victims and families of this unspeakable tragedy. It is impossible to comprehend how any individual could commit such a depraved and cowardly act toward another human being. However, we will work without fail to ensure that justice is served."

24 January 2008

three next steps from the first week

The city's new Director of Downtown Events and Special Projects outlines the first steps as begins his time in that position:
1. Build a team. To do this, I am . . .

2. Create an interactive website/blog with event calendar - Create email mailing list - Devise a format for a weekly “Downtown Schedule of Events” email listserv. These tools will . . .

3. Establish/reestablish a business and entertainment monthly meeting/forum. For the sake of preventing the reinvention of the wheel . . .

"So, in addition to continuing to learn all of the formal aspects of my job (i.e. permits, security, contracting, etc.), I'll be working on these initiatives as well. I hope to have at least a large portion of the work complete over the course of the next several weeks. It's a significant initial task, however, once accomplished, we will have successful model that we can operate from. This will make the work being done in my capacity (and others that follow) clearly definable, manageable, transparent and effective. That is something we can all be proud of. I thank you for your time and, as always, Defend Youngstown!"
read more here.

and the past weeks updates from Defend Youngstown can be read here, here, and finally here.

news: 24 jan 2008

Economy Must Hone Strengths, Chamber Told
excellent summary from the Business-Journal

Ned came to town yesterday.
"The Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce also sponsored his [dr. hill's] appearance. The president of the Regional Chamber, Tom Humphries, presented the breakfast as an initiative for increased cooperation among the economic development agencies in the two valleys."

"Manufacturing continues to make strides in productivity and remain profitable. “If you look just at employment,” Hill pointed out, you’re looking at the wrong statistic as a measure of economic health.” Because of the advances in productivity, employment in this sector will continue to decline and those who work in this sector will need more and better training."

"Too many small businesses have owners who run what Hill calls “lifestyle companies,” that is, enterprises satisfied with their level of revenues, that don’t seek to innovate, because the owner has enough for a comfortable existence."

"To those who point out the Mahoning Valley is half way between Cleveland and Pittsburgh as well as Chicago and New York, therefore attractive to businesses looking to locate here, Hill responds, “Location is not as important as the quality of life” a company can provide its employees."
read more here. (with subscription).

Better-paying jobs gaining ground in Northeast Ohio
from the Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Northeast Ohio still has twice as many jobs that pay below average as above, but the Team NEO study adds to a sense that the region may have begun to move from the rust belt years to the age of technology and innovation.

"The fact is our job growth has been pretty modest . . . but the data is showing a steady trend toward higher-paying work," said Tom Waltermire, chief executive of Team NEO, the economic development group releasing the study.

The analysis looked at job growth or loss in 22 occupations since 1992, in a 16-county region."
links to Team NEO's insights here.

23 January 2008

time to re-examine city buyout policies?

The editor of the Vindicator has started a new blog. One of the first subjects he tackles: the mechanism by which a retiree can tap into the system.
"He just left a $93,132 per year job to tap into a $60,000 annual pension. He was incentivized with $65,626 to go into retirement. And he was just awarded $54,246 for unused sick time and other accumulated time over his three decades on the job.

In case you're not scoring at home, that's $273,004 over two-year window as a public employee."
There may be a larger issue here, that being the ability of city workers to come back into the system after retirement, possibly making the city's finances weaker in the long run.

Maybe someone needs to look into this more.

almost time for JEDDs?

Lown Hired to Champion JEDDs
from the Business-Journal
"Sarah Lown, a veteran development planner who has worked for several agencies in the Mahoning Valley, has begun working on behalf of the city to promote joint economic development districts (JEDDs) with surrounding communities.

Mayor Jay Williams has advocated forming JEDDs -- areas outside the city where Youngstown could offer water lines and other incentive programs -- with consenting parties. In 2006, the city launched a study of its water system’s capacity with an eye on the JEDD plan.

That study, Lown said, is in draft form and she believes it “probably” will be ready to go next month."

tits and tats from the Stage

the Stage @ the Oakland provides us with two recent entries:

On the Inside
"They interview people (or "personalities") about their city of residence (in this case, New York). These interview subjects give little sound bites and photos highlighting and explaining their favorite spots in the city.

While their would certainly be a limit to the amount of favorite places listed in Youngstown, the amount of reasons offered would undoubtedly be different. And such a website, as Youngstown struggles to find its footing again, would be a neat way to keep track of the best of the best the city has to offer.

We have a lot of hidden "gems" tucked around the city. Small, family-run restaurants and the like...and we have more than enough personalities to go around."
Cleveland Artist on LA Ink
"Perhaps more importantly: anyone know of any awesome Youngstown tattoos? Or have ideas for future tats?

You know what a cool contest would be: the best Youngstown-themed tattoo design wins a free session at some Yo-based tattoo parlor."

Bio VC up big time in NEO from last year

Venture capital firms triple investment in local bioscience industry
in the Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Health care startups in Northeast Ohio raised nearly three times as much money from venture capitalists last year as they did in 2006, according to a report by BioEnterprise, the region's bioscience company developer.

Companies in Greater Cleveland raised $241.8 million in venture capital last year compared with $87.9 million in the prior year."
To read more about the bio-economy of Ohio and the Midwest, go here.

17 January 2008

the painting has been saved!

An incredible post in the Mahoning Valley History blog looks at the restoration of a painting damaged from moisture condensation in 2007. Some amazing photos can be seen of the project here.

Also included in this post is a biography of William Rayen:
"William Rayen was born in 1776 in Kent County, Maryland. He and his wife Margaret Caree Rayen operated a mercantile in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania from approximately 1796-1799, before settling in the Mahoning Valley before 1802.

When William Rayen died in 1854, his will set aside $31,390 for a public academy to be known as “The Rayen School.” P. Ross Berry, an African American brick and stone mason, built the four-room brick building at the corner of Wick and Wood in the Greek Revival style of architecture. It opened its doors in 1866 with forty students and a predominantly female faculty. It graduated Youngstown’s first high school students several years later."

news: 17 Jan 2008

Will they get to 14,000?
from the Youngstown Vindicator
"The university has experienced enrollment growth in all but one of the last seven years, and Sweet has said that an enrollment of 14,000 is the goal for this fall as YSU marks its centennial anniversary.

That mark “is within reach,” Maraffa said."
read more here.

Getting Back on Track
from the Warren Tribune-Chronicle
"The councilwoman who sponsored a resolution supporting a rail cargo hub says her ultimate goal is to bring Amtrak passenger service back to the city.

Councilwoman Carol Rimedio-Righetti, D-4th Ward, said bringing back the service, which was cut because of lack of riders in 2005, is essential because the area does not have a full-time airport.

The resolution council passed urges the state’s congressional delegation to support a study for a hub to take advantage of proposed rail system from Illinois to Washington, D.C., said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s Economic Development Director.

Woodberry said Youngstown is perfectly suited to handle freight that would come in through a rail hub because of its proximity to major cities not just in Pittsburgh and Cleveland but also New York and Chicago."

16 January 2008

and the award goes to . . .

The Youngstown Art blog reviews the Butler's 71st Area Artist Annual Exhibition.
"The turnout, as usual, was extraordinary and everyone had a great time. It was wonderful to see so many people from all aspects of the community coming together to celebrate the Arts.
Best of Show was awarded to Amy Kreiger of Youngstown for her work entitled "Adam Sullivan" done in colored pencil. It measures 48 x 72 inches and is very large for this medium."
You can read more information abou the resuts here.

HB 138 passed 90-2

"I really hope that this bill makes it through the Senate. Organizations like Lien Forward Ohio have already done to help citizen reclaim vacant properties and this will continue that effort.

The Southside is one vacant property after another. Anything that can be done to get this land into the hands of responsible citizens gets my vote. My parents are considering buying the two vacant properties adjacent to theirs."
So what's HB 138? Find out more here at The Wizard of Yo blog.

news: 16 Jan 2008

Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Ireland
from the New York Times
Can the same occur in the Mahoning Valley?
"The relatively new emphasis on entrepreneurs in Ireland is the culmination of nearly four decades of government policies that have lifted the economy from centuries of poverty to modern prosperity.

The change began when Ireland entered the European Union in 1973. In subsequent years, the government rewrote its tax policies to attract foreign investment by American corporations, made all education free through the university level and changed tax rates and used direct equity investment to encourage Irish people to set up their own businesses.

“The change came in the 1990s,” said James Murphy, founder and managing director of Lifes2Good, a marketer of drugstore products for muscle aches, hair loss and other maladies. “Taxes and interest rates came down, and all of a sudden we believed in ourselves.”"

Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost
by Ron Fournier, Associated Press Writer
"The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents' record and continued to show why he's the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate.

And it worked.

The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost. Of all the reasons John McCain deserved a better result Tuesday night, his gamble on the economy stands out. The Arizona senator had the temerity to tell voters that a candidate who says traditional auto manufacturing jobs "are coming back is either naive or is not talking straight with the people of Michigan and America."

Instead of pandering, McCain said political leaders must "embrace green technologies," adding: "That's the future. That's what we want."

Judging by the brief campaign in Michigan, one candidate would flail away at the problem with empty rhetoric while the other would ask Americans to come to grips with the harsh realities of global competition, a tech-based economy and the urgent need to retrain a generation of workers.

Those aren't easy things for a politicians to say, but the truth is, the days are gone in Michigan and elsewhere when a high school graduate could land a factory job and count on a comfortable, stable middle-class life: a nice home, two cars, college tuition, health insurance and a pension.

Romney didn't talk about any of that.

Instead, he told voters what he thought they wanted to hear."

Akron Biomedical Corridor Gets Boost
from the Akron Beacon-Journal
"Akron General Medical Center and the Akron Global Business Accelerator will work together to attract, develop and grow young biomedical companies.

The collaboration is the latest step in strengthening the identity of the Akron Biomedical Corridor, a swath of land surrounding Akron's downtown hospitals that's being targeted for medical-related development.

A memorandum of understanding between Akron General's Office of Technology Transfer, Commercialization and Innovation and Akron's business incubator hopes to generate more opportunities for local companies to research, develop and test medical products and services."

15 January 2008

2 touring bands, 2 playing bands, 2 new blogs

The Stage at the Oakland blog reviews the recent The Zou - Posture Coach west coast roadtrip and tour:
"Better yet, chickity check 'em live and in person at Cedars on February 22. Lead singer and band founder Khaled Tabbara will be flying solo this Friday for the Strength of Strings show at Cedars, and he'll be reviving his first solo CD, The Bright Blues, along with assorted musicians at Cedars on January 26.

If Youngstown isn't good enough for you, The Zou will be rockin' the House of Blues in Cleveland on February 23 with another hometown fave, Red Wanting Blue.

And if you're bored over Spring Break, pencil in a roadtrip weekend and catch the Zou in Florida on March 15 or North Carolina on March 16."

discusses the upcoming show at Cedars with the Sadies from Ontario and local band Bob's Country Bunker.


there are two more local blog to link to now:

Jambrain: Local Live Shows
The Wizard of Yo

two manufacturing initiatives

Advanced Manufacturing Meeting Set for Feb. 5
The Winter Meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative is set for 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Feb. 5. The meeting is hosted by the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Youngstown State University.

Martin Abraham, dean of the college, will discuss how the new college can benefit local manufacturers.

The meeting will be in Room 2400 of Moser Hall on the YSU campus. Parking will be available in the parking deck at the corner of Lincoln and Fifth avenues. Reservations are required for parking purposes.

To register, contact Steve Katros at 330 941 3009."
Nortech, Magnet Announce Innovation Accelerator Program
"Called the Innovation Accelerator, the program seeks to engage manufacturers looking to grow their business by adding new products and services, leveraging ideas from employees, vendors, customers and competitors and exploring new technologies capable of making their products stronger and more effective."
for more information, go here.

news: 15 Jan 2008

A Tale of Two Cities
from the Vindicator
"Youngstown City Council will vote at its Wednesday meeting to support the creation of a memorandum.

Williams and Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson as well as members of their staffs recently met in Youngstown to discuss a closer relationship between the two cities."
Funds for e-services in City Schools
from the Vindicator
"The city school district is asking the federal Universal Service Fund to pick up nearly $1.7 million in telecommunications services.

The fund, more commonly know as E-Rate, was created by the federal government to help underwrite the cost of telecommunication and Internet access services to schools and libraries.

The program, run through the Federal Communications Commission, gets its money from a universal service fee charged to companies that provide interstate or international telecommunications services."

Jay Williams Backing Obama, Will Join Campaign
from the Business-Journal
(a great article by George Nelson, a good day to have a subscription)
"Williams and the Obama campaign are discussing other campaign appearance leading up to Feb. 5, or “Tsunami Tuesday,” because of the many states holding primaries that day and the number of delegates at stake. “We are in the process of putting together specifics,” the mayor said.

After attending a fundraiser for Obama last June at the home of McDonald’s franchisee Herb Washington, where Williams and the senator spoke privately, he remarked that Obama “understands the struggles we’re going through here.” As late as last month, Williams said he had yet to settle on a candidate and was uncertain whether he would make any kind of endorsement.

Williams’ support in the approaching Feb. 5 races could be valuable on two levels, said Thomas Flynn of Boardman, an associate professor of political communication at Slippery Rock University. On the surface, Williams is a political independent and a “pragmatic problem solver” associated with an innovative approach to addressing urban issues. While serving as Youngstown’s community development director, Williams was one of the chief advocates of the Youngstown 2010 plan."

Cities Seek Common Ground
from the Business-Journal
“Among the ideas the two cities are considering is a formula to share the gains the communities reap when one business relocates from Cleveland to Youngstown and vice versa, Williams notes.

“We’d like to set up a framework where we wouldn’t poach businesses from one another,” he says. A possible solution could be an agreement to share revenue sharing for a period of time to mitigate the loss of tax revenue should a business relocate."

14 January 2008

to the heights

Steel Valley Outdoors writes about Hillary, not the one running for president:
"Sir Edmund Hillary has passed away at age 88.

My First thought was, “Wow, He was still alive?”

My second was it wasn’t really that long ago that there were still a lot of unexplored areas of the world; that there were things that just hadn’t been done before.

And Hillary did it without Polypropylene, Gore-Tex, Thinsulate and Vibram."

Read more here.

the invisible children

Burgh Diaspora writes about the invisible children movement:
"Connecting Pittsburgh energy with a cause in Uganda is a great idea. But I see an additional opportunity. Why not enlist the like-minded in nearby Youngstown? I've noticed a number of similar creative endeavors in both cities. Youngstown and Pittsburgh are close enough to functionally collaborate. Perhaps some events will not travel well, but I do think that both places could share a substantial support network."

What's the Invisible Children Newtork? Find out here.

news: 14 Jan 2008

Understanding China Helps, Not Hurts, Business
from the Business-Journal
"To those who say the United States pays too high a price to maintain strong political and economic relations with China, George McCloud says failing to manage and improve these ties comes at an even higher price.

Perhaps the greatest hurdle in this country is to overcome our fundamental cultural and political misunderstandings regarding China, McCloud said. “Our relationship must be understood beyond governments,” he said.

A.P. “Bud” Dearing, a consultant for Panelmatic Inc., said his business reaps great benefits because of productive trade with China. “One-third of our products today are shipped to China,” he said."
You can read more insight here.

13 January 2008

blogger summit + GLUE

Burgh Diaspora writes about recent developments in Rust Belt regionalism:
"If you haven't noticed, we've settled on a time and place for the inaugural Rust Belt Bloggers Summit. On July 11th-12th, we'll convene in Erie. I don't have any more details at this point, but we welcome YOUR input. I recommend PodCast Pittsburgh as a model for how we structure this networking event.

I have previously commented that we Rust Belt Bloggers should plug into what Brookings is doing. GLUE is a few steps ahead of this value proposition. Never one to duplicate efforts, I intend to support the GLUE project. I'm interested in forming a Great Lakes regional identity and collaborating with other Shrinking City citizens."
So what is GLUE?

Click here for more details.

5th Avenue neighborhood now on 2010 site

New on the Youngstown 2010 site is a description of another neighborhood:
"Fifth Avenue is referred to as the crown jewel neighborhood of Youngstown. The area was home to some of the most influential families of Youngstown’s glorious past - captains of industry and retail.

Today, the neighborhood is home to a diverse mix of professionals, scholars, independent business owners and retirees. The majority of homeowners have lived in the neighborhood for many, many years. Stores, banks, healthcare and medical facilities are within a 10 minute walk of the neighborhood. Other city assets such as Youngstown State University, the downtown, The Butler Institute of American Art, McDonough Museum of Art and three city parks are within a scant two miles.

Situated within the Crandall Park – Fifth Avenue Historic District, these homes were built between 1913 and 1940 in an era which has become known as Youngstown’s Golden Age. Known for their ample size and set on spacious, landscaped lots to reflect the wealth and prosperity of the time, the high quality brick and stone homes were and still are marvels to look at and are rarely duplicated in today’s era. Most of the 52 single-family homes are in the architecture styles of English Revival, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Chateauesque or Norman."

You can download a powerpoint presentation of homes in the 5th Avenue neighborhood here.

more community college news

New college would be a feeder to universities in region
from the Youngstown Vindicator
"YSU has said it would like to . . . see the community college become an independent entity within 10 years. YSU has already been working on the concept for nearly two years and perceives it as a collaborative effort among regional educational institutions.

YSU and its president, Dr. David C. Sweet, are proven advocates of a community college here, said Sen. Capri Cafaro of Liberty, D-32nd. YSU trustees believe that starting a community college here could increase overall college enrollment in the region, as well as serve as a feeder system for more advanced degrees offered by the university."

read more here.

12 January 2008

How to Fight Lenders Over Abandoned Homes

Tales from the Rust Belt reviews some recent stories about programs in Buffalo and Cleveland:
"The real brilliance to this approach is that New York state "amended the definition of "owner" in its property maintenance code to include not just titleholders but others who had "control" over a premises." This allows Cooper to drag even the largest firms into court. Lenders contend they own a lien on the property and not the property itself but that argument falls flat in reality. It is in their best interest to maintain their investment and the community in which they do business. If they do not understand that it is altogether proper that the courts in the communities remind them of their responsibilities.

Cooper is a true crusader, eloquently using the law to protect Buffalo from the growing blight that is threatening the entire Rustbelt. Youngstown and Warren could capitalize on this idea, especially since it compliments the Youngstown 2010 plan so well."

So what is the plan? Read more from Tales from the Rust Belt here.

11 January 2008

accent-uating the positive

Accent Media looks back at their 2007:
"Of course the biggest thing for Accent Media, was our move to Downtown Youngstown.

. . . The 4,500 available square feet was perfect for growing into. We could use half of it immediahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giftely, and have first option on the second half as soon as we were ready. No walls would have to be moved, there was a sound room and a special effects room and a full studio all just waiting to be used. Three months of hard labor later, painting, decorating, moving equipment in, etc., we proudly held our Open House on Thursday, August 16th with none other than Rick and Mary Jo singing for us as we invited 300 of our friends and neighbors to check out the new spot. We love showing off the place and giving tours, so if you haven't had a chance to stop by, just give me a call and I will take you on a personal guided tour."

You can read more details about finding a place in downtown youngstown here.

rock anniversaries and timebanks

Youngstown Moxie pontificates on the recent anniversary at Cedars:
"For those unfamiliar with Cedars Lounge it is located on Hazel Street in downtown and has served as the home of Youngstown's underground musical scene since 1981. Its walls are covered with local and regional art and the cafe serves Lebanese and American food.

Many Y-towners believe that Cedars is a vortex that everyone should experience, preferably on a summer night when the patio is open, or on a winter's evening, when the place is so crowded everyone is warmed by body heat; or sweating because they have been dancing non-stop for hours."

more info, and videos here.

Also, another post picks up on the Time Bank of the Mahoning Watershed, which is a new concept to me:
So you ask, " What does this wonderful celebration,and associated poem have to do with Scrooge's Auto Shop and Municipal Ordinances?" Well, as you can imagine a celebration such as Nut Night requires many hands to assist in the preparations. Being a supporter of the Time Bank of the Mahoning Watershed I withdrew some help from my account. I can't say enough wonderful things about the help I received.

new program to teach students business and economics

JA Joins with City Schools
from the Business-Journal
"Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley Inc. and Youngstown schools officials announced that Junior Achievement would conduct a business education program for city students in fourth and fifth grades. With financial support from area businesses, Junior Achievement will provide the curriculum and materials for the program; volunteers from the business community will lead the one-hour sessions.

The purpose of Junior Achievement is to inspire and prepare young people for the global economy, Merkel said. Volunteers will come to the classes once a week for five weeks. Her long-term goal is to offer Junior Achievement programs to city school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

Mayor Jay Williams, a former banker, remarked that too many adults lack a good understanding of economic fundamentals, which leads to frustration and sometimes poor decisions. “If you can get them at this [age] level, whether they end up in business or not, these are things that they’re going to need to know just to be good, productive citizens and contribute to their communities,” he said."

read more here.

10 January 2008

coveted creativity

Burgh Diaspora writes about stuff:
"Moving along with my nefarious plan to seduce Youngstown away from the clutches of an unappreciative Cleveland, please note the positive outcome of Chris Barzak World Domination Day:

The winner of the 2008 Crawford Fantasy Award is Christopher Barzak, for his first novel One for Sorrow (Bantam).

Perhaps citing the success of our "blogathon" is stretching the truth, but I do think the people who support Youngstown's creative endeavors deserve kudos for their efforts. Of course, congratulations are in order for Mr. Barzak.

What is good for Youngstown is indeed good for Pittsburgh."

YSU enters partnership with UARF

Youngstown State to gain tech transfer aid
from Crain's Cleveland Business
"The University of Akron Research Foundation has agreed to assist Youngstown State University in its efforts to commercialize technologies developed at Youngstown State.

The research foundation will help Youngstown State evaluate products for commercialization, negotiate contracts regarding intellectual property and identify opportunities to form partnerships with companies and other organizations. The foundation also will assist young companies formed to commercialize Youngstown State technology.

Cleveland State and Youngstown State stand to benefit not only because they will gain access to technology transfer expertise at the University of Akron, but also because the foundation, unlike public universities, is able to take equity in startup companies."

penguin video invitation

The Experience Evangelist blog writes about some new outreach efforts by YSU.
"I’ve been to Youngstown State University a few times and it always exceeds my expectations. The campus is very well-groomed and their admission office one of the best decorated I’ve come across during my travels.

Recently Assistant Director Todd Pilipovich sent me a link to their President’s Day Open House Video Invitation. I love it. Narrated by Pete the Penguin (YSU’s mascot) this video is funny, informative, and engaging."
You can read more here.

triple blog delight from the oakland

The Stage at the Oakland blog unleashed a triple dose of saucyness:

First, In the Moonlight Eddie Kicks Off 2008
"The play is a nostalgic show highlighting the strain between a father and son pursuing their dreams in New York City. Both creative types, they find their way back to each other as Eddie recovers from a nervous breakdown and Gil recovers from his first big hit show in years.

Second, Barzak snags Award
"It was officially announced today that CHRISTOPHER BARZAK, author of the fabulous Youngstown-based novel ONE FOR SORROW has been honored with the prestigious CRAWFORD AWARD for BEST FIRST NOVEL. There's only one winner of this award, and because it's the first literary award announced this year, it's kind of a big deal.

Check the Press Release below, and please feel free to repost the news for posterity and publicity's sake. Remeber, great things happen everywhere, everyday...but they're much better when they happen in Youngstown! "

Third, Retail Therapy
"There are no independent designers, and the few boutiques we do have stock the same designers you can find in the mall. And some other trendy, high-end ones that appeal to doctor's wives in Poland.

But no one sells locally-designed or hand-made clothing. And that's disappointing. The closest outlet we have is Ohio Vintage. We need more indie boutiques downtown, ones that stock a variety of clothes, jewelery, handbags, luggage, shoes, and fun little pieces. Christ, I'd settle for one single all-in-one boutique somewhere among the sea of bars on W. Federal."

09 January 2008

two days of spring in winter

Meditations in an Emergency writes about the feel of his north side neighborhood during the recent warm weather. You can read more here.
"It was that sort of day when neighborly love comes up like the buds on trees and returns like the sighting of a robin on my back fence. In these two days, I’ve felt so spoiled, I will probably feel jilted and rejected when winter returns again very soon. It’s one of those whirlwind romances, a weekend affair, when spring blows through winter for several days, and makes you feel young and full of possibilities again."

up to bat

The Youngstown Moxie blog reviews a recent city council appointment.
"This position requires great skill in organizing, knowledge of marketing and promotion, budgeting, and most importantly this job requires a skilled negotiator. I think it is important that council recognize the fact that it is through events and special projects that Youngstown can acquire a reputation for being a progressive city and attract the attention of those who have not in the past made Youngstown a destination for night life or culture."

Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation Study

Ed Morrison provides links at Brewed Fresh Daily to the new report.
"The Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation Study Commission, established by the General Assembly as part of House Bill 699, issued its final report after a year of examining ways to improve the quality of public higher education in Northeast Ohio.

Its key recommendations urge adoption of strategies to increase the number of college graduates in the region, and expansion of collaborations among the schools to strengthen the region’s research momentum and focus university programs on critical regional economic needs and opportunities."

two new websites

Youngstown Office of Economic Development
The official page of the city's Office of Economic Development

Crimestoppers of Greater Youngstown
A non profit group formed by citizens to fight crime

07 January 2008

news: 7 Jan 2008

Rep. Tim Ryan a Rising Star for Democrats
the Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Washington -- The face of the Democratic Party's future forgoes shaving once in a while.

But Tim Ryan -- a former high school football star from Niles who is already a three-term congressional veteran at age 34 -- never forgoes a chance to snag federal money for his down-at-the-heels district, or tout his party's agenda on the House floor.

Ryan's doggedness on behalf of his Akron, Warren and Youngstown-area constituents, coupled with his ability to sound like a regular guy while discussing arcane topics like Chinese currency manipulation, has earned him the reputation of a political up-and-comer who could be a candidate for the U.S. Senate as early as 2010."

For the Love of Books

The Meditations in an Emergency blog reviews moving all of the collected books into one place:
"Between fifteen and now, thirty-two, I’ve purchased hundreds and hundreds of books. I’ve never counted, so I’m not sure exactly how many, but it feels like a ridiculous amount, and probably that cousin who once asked me if I’d really read all those (fifteen or twenty) books would see how many I have now and decide I was completely crazy. Sometimes I wonder if I am too. Couldn’t this be just one more compulsion or obsession that, if books weren’t associated with goodness and learning and information or various other cultural values, in some other form would be diagnosed as some form of neuroses? I don’t know if it’s a little overboard, and I really don’t care in the end; if it’s a neuroses, some compulsion that means something more than the thing itself, but it makes me happy, then it’s a neuroses worth having, is the way I figure."
You can read more here.

06 January 2008

71st Annual Area Artists Exhibition

The Youngstown Art blog previews the upcoming exhibition at the Butler.
"The Butler Institute of American Art will hold the 71st Area Artist Annual Exhibition opening on Sunday, January 13th from 1-3 pm. There will be light refreshments by Winslow's Cafe'. This is FREE event but reservations are required. Call 330-743-1107, ext. 210. The show will run through February 3rd, 2008.

The "Area Show" as it is affectionately known, is perhaps the most prestigious show in the region, second only to the Mid Year Show (also held at the Butler). It is a difficult show to gain entry as the competition is stiff and only a relatively small amount of work is accepted. Artists over 18 years of age who live within a 40 mile radius of Youngstown are eligible to enter."
You can read more details here.

Big Splash in the Mahoning River

The Youngstown Steel Heritage Preservation blog post a really cool video of the trusses of the Marshall Street bridge falling into the river during its demolition.

That was a very structurally distinct bridge. I wonder why the unique shape on a major road into downtown was not preserved like the Mahoning Avenue Bridge is currently experiencing.

Watch the video here.

news: 6 Jan 2008

Opportunites Emerge at Youngstown Business Incubator
the Youngstown Vindicator
"Two new tenants already are [newly] signed. Eris Medical Technologies, a Canfield-based hospital software developer, and Visual Impact Imaging, an Akron-based landscape design software company, are scheduled to move into the incubator this spring.

The incubator also will be part of collaboration to develop the Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology & 3D Imaging Research. Involved are Youngstown State University, M-7 Technologies, which is a Youngstown precision management company, and the Columbus-based Ohio Supercomputer Center.

The process [of selecting client companies] involves making sure the company’s concept is feasible, testing its product, then asking some of the companies in the incubator’s network to examine it and make sure there’s a market for it. If the product passes these tests, the company will be put under consideration by the incubator’s board."

College Coaching is a Youngstown Thing
the Kansas City Star
"So what does boxing’s most inspirational bout of last year have to do with Monday’s BCS National Championship Game between LSU and Ohio State?

Youngstown, Ohio.

That’s the home of Pavlik and college football coaches spread across the land.

By native-son status or a relationship with Youngstown State, coaches from this Rust Belt city halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh are defining college football with a blue-collar toughness, and Youngstown will stand and cheer no matter who wins in the Superdome."

Valley Needs Community College, says Report
"The results of the Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation Study are in, and they call for a community college in the Mahoning Valley.

The report, released Friday, came after a year of research by officials from Youngstown State University, the University of Akron, Cleveland and Kent State universities and the Northeast Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The result was 18 recommendations aimed at increasing college enrollment and reducing tuition costs.

YSU already has taken the lead, without state sanction, in developing plans for a local community college, after a directive from its board of trustees to come up with a plan."

Review of the Mayor's State of the City Address
the Youngstown Vindicator
"He focused his discussion of the year to come on detailing plans for a new crime-prevention program, known as Operation Ceasefire.

The strategy calls for aggressive law enforcement and prosecution — gunshot detection systems and video surveillance and gang suppression through grass-roots community initiatives. It was shown to be effective in curtailing lawlessness in Boston.

Williams encouraged members of the community to keep their heads held high in spite of adversity."

“There is nothing wrong with Youngstown that cannot be fixed by what is right with Youngstown,” he said. “When faith is not enough, we must still believe.”

05 January 2008

news: 5 Jan 2008

Report Suggests NEOUCOM Stays Independent
[the report] "recommends that NEOUCOM expand its BS/MD degree program (which already has Youngstown, Kent and Akron as partners) to include Cleveland State, albeit with sufficient funding being provided by the state or private resources to make it happen.

The study also calls for expanded medical and health science-related research in the region."

Stavich Family Gives $2.7 million to YSU
"The trust is designed to provide scholarships for Campbell students at Memorial High School who plan to attend YSU. The fund is projected to provide between 20 and 25 scholarships each year that will offset tuition and other expenses not covered by other financial aid programs.

Students are selected for the scholarship based on their financial need, academic performance and service to the community. More than 10% of the Campbell Memorial class of 2007 attends YSU tuition-free because of the Stavich scholarships.

During the 1980s, the family donated a large sum of money toward create a scenic 10-mile bicycle path that stretches along the Mahoning River from New Castle, Pa., through Lowellville and Struthers."

04 January 2008

Youngstown Symphony Webisodes

Accent Media Matters is preparing for the winter season and discusses thier projects in Cali, with Coach's Jumpstretch, and making webisodes for the Youngstown Symphony. You can read more here.

And you can watch the symphony pieces here.
"In completely unrelated news, we got a new coffee maker at the office. We're talking the king of the coffee makers, a Keurig single-cup machine that will make coffee, cider drinks, hot cocoa, and tea. It keeps us warm in this cold Ohio winter."

news: 4 Jan 2008

20 Federal Place Will Be 85% Occupied, City Says
An architectural and engineering company and a call center is approved to move into what used to be the Strouss' Department Store.(from the Business Journal)
"A five-year lease for space begins at $2.25 per square foot the first year and rises incrementally each year to a maximum of $5 per square-foot. An additional $1.75 per square foot is assessed for common area maintenance.

The formula has worked, Woodberry stated. Since the city acquired the building three years ago -- then, mostly vacant -- 20 Federal Place has leased 85% of its space."

03 January 2008

in the moonlight eddie

The Oakland is hosting a new show this month. Check out their blog for more information.
"Also not to be missed: our facelift! We are curently undergoing a paint job, ever so generously donated and designed by Something New Florist, the area's premiere design store and event coordinators. Check out the daring new color combo adorning our walls: orange, blue, and green! We can't wait to see the final product, or you!"

Also recounted is this separate post on First Night:
"If you're like my lame loser friends, you're probably passing this begrudgingly slow time post-xmas/pre-new year by whining to anyone within hearing distance: "I have noooothing to do on New Year's Eve! There's never anything cool happening!!"

Well, here's what I have to say to you lameo squares: Ring in the new year with FIRST NIGHT YOUNGSTOWN. Something for EVERYONE from toddlers to teens, hipster 20-somethings to peppy seniors! Tix are unbelievably cheap: $10 for adults, $5 for students with valid ID, and kids under 12 FREE!!"

Palka's 07

Matt recalls some recent events in 2007 and looks forward to 2008. Read more here.
"I'll be back recording in early January to finish up my FIRST STUDIO ALBUM with the Bihlman Bros! Look for the new album early this spring. Then I'll be tripping back to the West Coast. What's to follow that? Relentless touring and some other surprises."

news: 3 Jan 2008

Market-Rate Housing on the move in Smoky Hollow
Read about Wick District-Smoky Hollow Developer Nate Zaremba's outlook, the plan for gaining needed city council approvals for the development in early 2008 and a new vacant property initiative in Youngstown - plus much more about the Wick District - in the latest Wick Neighbors Review.

news: 2 Jan 2008

Realty Towers work to start this month
"The plan is to convert the upper 11 floors into about 25 condominiums or apartments for young professionals who want to live downtown. It could also include a community room or health club, Frangos said.

Frangos said he’s finalizing a deal to open Cafe Maria, a restaurant, in the location of the former Bean Counter on the building’s ground floor."