Warren residents deserve fire and police protection that added tax will afford
I would like to enlighten Warren residents as to the necessity to vote for and pass the fire and police income tax levy on Tuesday.
Since Jan. 1, 2000, when 19 police officers were laid off, our city has experienced a dramatic increase in numerous types of both violent and nonviolent crime -- increased drug activity, property crimes, auto thefts, aggravated robbery and assaults.
We have also noticed an increase in felonious assaults, drive-by shooting attempts and shootings into houses. These increases in criminal activity have occurred in all areas of the city without exception.
Furthermore, your police department has become strictly reactive instead of proactive because we are operating so short-handed.
Unfortunately, it is also taking us much longer to respond to most calls for service because of our lack of manpower.
I have been a proud member of the Warren Police Department more than 19 years, and I can honestly tell you that you deserve and should demand and expect more from your police department than we are currently able to provide for you.
Your police department used to have D.A.R.E. officers and school resource officers working inside the Warren City Schools, but these programs ended in 1999.
We used to have eight Community Oriented Policing officers who were able to target and resolve neighborhood issues and specific types of problems throughout the city, but this program also ended in 1999.
We used to have specific officers assigned to traffic enforcement throughout the city, but this ended in 1999.
In general, the quality of life and safety has declined for residents of the city of Warren.
In order to improve the quality of life and increase the safety for Warren residents, the fire and police levy must be passed on Tuesday so that your safety forces can start providing the higher standard of service that city residents deserve and that currently we are unable to provide.
X The writer is a captain in the Warren Police Department.
When all else fails, try bread and circuses
We have a lot of problems in the Valley. There's no denying it. CCA is about to close its doors. The nurses are striking at Northside Hospital. Jobs are being outsourced from the GM Lordstown facility.
What do are fearless leaders give us? Sport. Like the emperors of ancient Rome we are getting gladiator games to keep us complacent. Maybe I'm getting a little carried away. I like a good sporting contest as much as the next guy. But let's face it, minor league hockey and arena football are not logical solutions. It does not make sense to apply big city solutions to the Youngstown area.
The statistics do not lie. My understanding is that the average age of area residents is somewhere between the mid-40s to the mid-50s.
This is hardly a viable demographic to warrant the construction of a sports arena.
Another statistic that is not all that surprising is segregation. Youngstown just placed fifth on the country's most segregated list. An argument can be made that Detroit and Buffalo support their downtown sports franchises and they are just as segregated. Their teams have traditions of support. Youngstown will be starting from scratch.
The Hawks fiasco is all the proof you need. The majority of area residents have no reason to travel downtown. Cable television provides most people's entertainment needs. Youngstown has one of the highest viewing rates in the country.
Why don't they let a hockey team use YSU to test the market? I'm sure Beeghly Center can hold an ice rink. The Dayton Bombers of the ECHL use a college facility for their home games.
People may say that I'm just a complainer who has no solutions. I do have a solution. Why not assemble blimps between the Market Street and South Avenue bridges?
Mill Creek Park shows environmental damage
With all due respect for Mike Braun (who does write an interesting column for sportsmen) there is a local spot actually quite close to Mike's desk where nature lovers can observe how wildlife will flourish where no hunting or fishing is allowed.
I'm referring to the Lily Pond in Mill Creek Park where on these beautiful spring days (as the pond's waters warm) one can observe multi-hued carp the size of small logs; black bass and sunfish; platter-sized snapping turtles and a host of smaller turtles; and wood and mallard ducks, Canada geese, and Great Blue Herons. Noisy crows and frisky fox squirrels are much in evidence, and visitors might glimpse a colorful pileated woodpecker in the surrounding trees. All this in, on, or near a two-acre or so pond frequented by the public
But just as the Lily Pond represents how wildlife will thrive if left relatively untouched by man, Birch Hill, which overlooks the pond, represents the opposite effect. There a once-scenic grove of white birch trees is dying, the apparent victim of global warming. Most of the largest trees have fallen to the ground and are rotting. A few dead birches are still standing, and only a few live ones are leafing out.
The white birch, also know as paper and canoe birch, is a northern tree which grows up to the edge of the tundra. The Birch Hill trees apparently thrived after being planted there as long as our local winters were sufficiently cold. But it now seems that the warming of our local climate has doomed the grove.
Perhaps Birch Hill and the Lily Pond can be viewed as a microcosm of the controversy surrounding whether or not to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
If left alone. ANWR wildlife will continue to thrive as it does on a minuscule scale at the Lily Pond. If drilling is allowed, the caribou herd and a wide array of other wildlife will certainly suffer.
Drilling would also further promote the use of fossil fuels. Such use results in global warming and its manifold dire repercussions, again represented on a tiny scale by the high mortality of the trees on Birch Hill.
ROBERT R. STANGER