The Mafia got Valley into its current mess, why not let them get us out of it?
It is so depressing to hear people whining about our area. For the past year, I have been consumed with the idea that we can't see the forest for the trees. While we are waiting for everyone else (state and federal governments, etc.) to bail us out, it's time we started doing something for ourselves. We don't realize what we have here.
What Mountaineer Park has done can be done here only bigger and better. The most popular TV program on the air is the "Sopranos." One of the all-time great movie series (still playing in many areas) is the "Godfather."
We are the living history of both.
Why not turn this negative into a positive? Once you begin to think about it, all kinds of ideas start to form: a & quot;speak-easy & quot;-type restaurant, old Packard cars shuttling people around to the churches that the Mafia helped to build. Turn the steel museum (that only school children forced by their teachers and the janitors see) into a museum complete with pictures from the police department -- we have to have them somewhere; building faces redone in '30s theme; everything redone to a '30s theme -- the Warner Theater, the Paramount showing the "Godfather" movies. Maybe, eventually, we could sell the idea of gambling again with a casino on the river.
It would take someone with clout and the respect of the community to present this idea. I have neither. I am a business owner, but it's obvious to me that if I want to stay in this area, something must be done to help ourselves.
As the community grows and becomes self-sufficient, success will also come to the business community.
I am sure that many people have thought about this already, and it may be very hard to accomplish, but you have to admit, there is power in positive thinking.
Leonardi's students will not let his music stop
Thank you for the largely accurate tribute to Tony Leonardi you recently printed. However, I must take exception to your statement that Tony's music has stopped.
All one needed to do was attend the recent memorial services to him to understand the error in that statement. I witnessed his students, who had come from literally coast-to-coast, pay musical tribute to Tony through their playing. I heard the music of Tony Leonardi continue through his living legacy in an exquisite musical example of the circle of life.
I will never again see Tony passionately pull the strings of the bass or lead the jazz band, and I like many others, will miss that. Yet we can close our eyes and hear Tony's music through his students, and future generations of their students, for as long as music is.
BETH HARGREAVES (ENGELHARDT)
Palestinian identity only a recent phenomenon
If you believe what you read in most news sources and what you see on television, Palestinians want a homeland and Muslims want control over sites they consider holy. It sounds reasonable and relatively simple. Unfortunately it is not.
It is interesting that prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, there was no serious movement for a Palestinian homeland. In the Six-Day War, Israel captured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. But they didn't capture these territories from Yasser Arafat. They captured them from Jordan's King Hussein. The question then becomes, why did the Palestinians suddenly discover their national identify after Israel won the war?
The truth is that Palestine has never existed. The first time the name was used was in 70 A.D. when the Romans committed genocide against the Jews, smashed the Temple and declared the land of Israel would be no more. From then on, the Romans promised it would be known as Palestine, but it has never existed as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and briefly, by the British after World War I.
There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture . There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle Eastern lands, while Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the land mass. The entire state of Israel is roughly the size of New Jersey. Unfortunately, even that is too much for some people.
Until all the parties to war and peace in the Middle East acknowledge basic history, there is little point in pretending that peripheral land concessions can bring peace.
RICK V. MASON
Youngstown attorneys capable of center's work
I was more than just slightly disturbed when I read in the July 17 edition of your newspaper that the Convocation Center Board was considering entering into a one- year contract with a large Cleveland law firm wherein they were going to agree to pay this firm $250 an hour for its services with no cap on the number of hours that they would bill for.
It would appear that the members of this board have either lost their memories or their minds of both.
Haven't they ever heard of the clich & eacute; "Charity begins at home," not to mention common sense and community loyalty. We have several large law firms right here in Youngstown who could use this work. When Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube, Republic Steel and some of the area manufacturers closed their doors, many of our large corporate law firms lost these clients and could use this business that the Convocation Center Board is so generously sending out of town.
What's wrong with Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell; Henderson, Covington & amp; Messenger; Manchester, Bennett, Powers & amp; Ulman -- just to name a few? Is the area of sports contracts and the like out of their league? I don't think so. Buy American. How about buying Youngstown?
DON L. HANNI Jr.