District's seat in Congress may be lost because of Traficant's indictment
Bertram de Souza and David Skolnick did a nice job in their columns on the Traficant indictment. The only letter from A-Z that they left out was "L" as in legacy. Jim Traficant's legacy will not be bad hair, out-of-style clothes, one-minute speeches, the air base or a convocation center. It will be that his antics cost us the 17th congressional seat.
The happiest people in Ohio are not Hagan, Alberty, Walter, McKelvey or Sherlock (the front runners). It is the state GOP that will decide now that Traficant has been indicted to eliminate the 17th congressional seat to meet census requirements that Ohio lose one congressional seat. Gov. Taft would be a fool not to eliminate our seat.
With no elected Republicans to lobby on our behalf, this area has once again shot itself in the foot by abiding by a one-party rule over the years.
Traficant should resign now, so that maybe the winner of the race to replace him would be able to demonstrate to the powers that be that our area has hit rock bottom politically and has no place to go but up.
SAMUEL M. MOFFIE
Neighborhood watch group not doing its job
When is the South Portland Avenue Neighborhood Crime Watch not a neighborhood crime watch.? When it is run by one family like its own personal kingdom and regulatory agency.
Another family and I applied, through our councilman, to the city to allow parking in front of our homes. This was granted in due course. Since this request was approved, our families have been subjected to a campaign of verbal abuse and threats of violence against those we love. We've even been threatened with arrest or fines from various Mahoning Valley enforcement agencies because of false statements provided by the chairperson of the crime watch and members of her family. We've even had to defend ourselves in court.
The purpose behind a neighborhood crime watch committee, as I understand it, is for neighbors to gather and discuss any possible criminal activity in their neighborhood and safe ways to address these activities. Invited speakers, such as law enforcement personnel, might speak of the newest available methods for preventing neighborhood crime.
Not at a South Portland meeting, no sir. At our meetings, only those who hold the same opinions as the chairperson will be invited to attend. Everyone else should just stay home. Will the chosen discussion for the evening be about neighborhood crime? Not this time. The topic, as noted in their most recent flyer, will be on finding further ways to attack the families that applied for legal parking.
Oh yeah, the other topic will be finding ways of removing the honorable councilman who allowed this to come about. Lots of crime preventing going on with this crowd.
I have always supported the crime watch program. I found it a wonderful way to meet neighbors and bond behind a common cause, the protection of our person and property; our neighborhood. Sad to say that isn't the case here on South Portland Avenue. I don't know who charters the crime watch committees here in good, ol' Youngstown but somebody needs to look into this one.
Fitch students falsely maligned in drug story
The purpose of this letter is to express my deep concern over a recent article that appeared in The Vindicator regarding the drug arrests of some Fitch High School students.
My concern is with the manner in which the writer presented statements in the article. At the beginning of the article the writer presents statements to lead one to believe that the availability of drugs at Fitch is "wide open," which is totally misleading and an insult to the student body, staff and community of Austintown. It appears to me and to others I have spoken with, that the writer took a statement made by P.O.P. Officer, Jeff Solic, about high schools in general and used it in such a way as to indicate it was in reference to Fitch High School.
I realize that this situation was news worthy, but I find the manner in which it was presented to be misleading and an injustice to the Fitch student body, staff and entire Austintown community
X The writer is the superintendent of Austintown Local Schools.
State proficiency tests unfair to some students
I do not think the Ohio Proficiency Test should have anything to do with students getting their diplomas. If students earn their required credits and passes all classes, they should get their diplomas.
The OPT is causing some students to drop out of school. The students feel they are useless, not very intelligent and wasting their time because they have not passed all parts of the test. I would feel the same way knowing I went to school for 12 years and would never walk across the stage to receive a diploma.
If they do not pass all parts of the OPT, it should not stop graduation. Instead, they should receive a diploma that states the part or parts that were passed. There are hard-working students not getting their diplomas. The makers of this test need to put themselves in the shoes of the students.
I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, to support the removal of the OPT as a criterion for receiving a diploma in Ohio. Instead, rally to make the OPT a way of highlighting the diploma by stating the section or sections a student passes. By stating the portions passed, anyone viewing that diploma will know who succeeded with the testing.
Grateful for deputies
I'd like to thank the Sheriff's Department for being in my neighborhood around Jackson Street. I think the sheriff should recognize the good job his department is doing.
The deputies have arrested many drug dealers on nearby streets. There are fewer dealers in the neighborhood so there are fewer crackheads around. The deputies are stopping the loud teen-agers from walking our neighborhood too. The little kids aren't outside real late anymore either. I also think fewer cars are getting broken into and fewer houses are being burglarized.
I'm really thanking whoever brought the deputies into our neighborhood and helped us all feel safer in our homes.
X Tyawna and Tiarra are seniors at Woodrow Wilson High School.