Ironies abound in Bush administration
One of the definitions of irony in Webster's is; & quot; A condition of affairs or events exactly the reverse of what was expected or hoped for. & quot; Here are some examples.
All the states that George Bush won paid less in taxes to the federal government than they received. The states Al Gore won paid more in taxes than they received from the federal government.
Spencer Abraham, the secretary of Energy, when he was a senator introduced legislation twice to abolish the Department of Energy. He was defeated in his re-election bid in 2000 by the people of Michigan.
John Ashcroft, the attorney general, did one better than Abraham, he lost his re-election bid in 2000 to a dead man in Missouri.
In one of the most important cases in U.S. history, Bush vs. Gore, the author of the concurring opinion that the five justices signed is unknown. It is the only case in U.S. Supreme Court history that has happened.
That & quot;big-time & quot; Dick Cheney did the same thing that Marc Rich did, only he did it last year when he was the CEO of Halliburton. He traded with the Iranians in violation of federal law.
These are a few of the ironies of the current administration.
THOMAS P. LAMB
Beam him outta here
I grew up in Murder Town (a.k.a. Youngstown), reading countless headlines of the war between the Cleveland and Pittsburgh crime families fight to control Youngstown. Listeners of talk radio recently heard our astute congressman inform us the Mafia was just a myth. Maybe the congressman's aide wasn't a bag man, just a messenger from the tooth fairy. Step into the transporter Mr. Traficant. We have got to beam you back.
Try finding a decent job in the Mahoning Valley
In response to the comment in your article, "Accent positive, leaders suggest," last Sunday: "The Mahoning Valley's negative view of itself plays a role in keeping it from success." I think these professionals are wrong. This isn't a negative view; it's a realistic view.
As one of the many Youngstown State University graduates who chose to stay in the Valley, I, as many of my fellow grads, have found that it is a full-time job looking for a job here.
We are looking for viable employment. Viable equals a livable wage, at the very least $13 per hour gross. A single person would net $9.75 per hour times 40 hours for $390 a week or $1560 a month. An average rent or house payment in a non crime-infested area is at least $500 a month. Car payments, insurance, utilities, and our student loans, medical care bills and prescription coverage leave not much wiggle room -- especially when the jobs here are retail or telemarketing for $7 to $8 per hour.
That's the reality of the Valley. Look in The Vindicator's want ads. Compare them to those in The Akron Beacon Journal or Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Dr. Cynthia Anderson, vice president of student affairs for YSU, whom you quote, lives in an academic bubble. All she needs to do is walk through the retail stores and poll how many "Can I help you?" cashiers have degrees. With the declining enrollment, increasing tuition, lack of available classes and parking nightmares at YSU, should that fine school close its doors (God forbid), Dr. Anderson would be moving out of the Valley or taking a drastic pay cut.
Just ask the guys at the former Bliss Manufacturing. If they were lucky enough to get re-hired at the bolt and screw company that took over the Bliss facility, their wages and benefits are less. Ask them how difficult it is to find equal-paying jobs at the same skill level.
I must resign myself to the fact that if I stay here, I will work for peanuts. It doesn't matter what my field is because it's not that of doctor, lawyer or political Indian chief.
This community has given us hope, like the Peter J. Schmidt Co., the Sonnet/Adelphia communications ring that never happened, the 30-plus years of talk about the 7-11 connector that won't happen for another 30 years, the CCA prison on the verge of closing -- and now the convocation center.
It won't happen because our "leaders" (a term I use loosely) are too busy with their chronic Youngstownish ego trips. Everyone involved, except Bruce Zoldan who seems to be genuine, wants to be the chief. The nit-picking will result in time running out and the center never taking shape. Another chronic Youngstownish problem, history repeating itself. Please prove me wrong.
Take heed all you YSU grads: run, run, run for your livelihoods.
TINA M. GABRIEL
Here's the real problem: subliminal new photos
Hey, Vindicator, I love your business model. The Mahoning Valley economy is on the rocks, so what do you do? You encourage all of the Valley's bright young people to leave the area by publishing an endless stream of negative articles about YSU, and promoting other universities at every opportunity.
Your front-page photo in last Sunday's paper, with strategically positioned pennants from Kent State University and Ohio State University, is just the latest and most obvious example.
When all the talent,all the jobs, and all the people who can read are gone, who will buy your paper?
SCOTT C. MARTIN
X The writer is professor and chair of the Department of Civil/Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Youngstown State University.
McConnell's Mill Parkis asset worth protecting
McConnell's Mill State Park represents a unique resource for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It combines historical significance and natural beauty into a superb recreational resource for all people, not just local residents, but national and international visitors as well.
It is an area loved for its many recreational opportunities, its rare, endangered, threatened and vulnerable species of flora and fauna, its magnificent wonders of nature and its energizing wildness and peaceful serenity.
Unfortunately, this resource is under constant attack. Remember the Sechan landfill located on the park's east boundary that was closed in the 1980s after hazardous material leaked into the Slippery Rock Creek? Now this same person has submitted a preliminary site plan for a residual waste landfill in the same general area. Some of that waste would include contaminated soil from leaking underground fuel storage tanks.
Imagine soil from hundreds of these sites dumped into a landfill, and that contamination carried by water through a leaking set of liners into the geologic cracks and fissures caused by previous blasting and finally leaking into the Slipper Rock Creek. Contamination would occur again. There are no absolute guarantees against leaking liners.
Next, visualize the high-pressure gas pipeline for East Coast benefit slated to go through a portion of the gorge, causing environmental destruction during construction. Again, no absolute guarantee exists against a break and consequent explosion and leaking of gas into the fragile ecosystem.
Third, Quality Aggregates plans an expansion of its limestone mining to within 300 feet of the western park boundary (a climbing area) and will remove 80 acres of forest cover along this boundary. Daily blasting, damaging dust, soil erosion and stream and wetland obliteration or diversion threaten every aspect of the park.
NANCY H. BERGEY
New Wilmington, Pa.
Slippery Rock, Pa.
X The writers are officers of Friends of McConnell's Mill State Park Inc. of New Wilmington.