Pay attention to message if not to the messenger

Pay attention to message if not to the messenger
The Citizens' League has come in for a lot of heat lately because they've made us aware of the Cafaro Roundtable of lunches. I've only got two questions. (Pass the ketchup, please.) Who's paying, and, what kind of binoculars does Bob Fitzer use? Let's think about if for a minute. If J.J.'s paying, then who's to say he isn't directly influencing his guests? If everybody's brown baggin' it, then maybe it's a roundtable discussion where just ideas are exchanged -- no influence. It all comes down to who picks up the tab, and, naturally, who gets on the guest list. (Tony, you look like you need a napkin. Bob, are those 7 x 35s you're looking through?)
The Citizens' League has been around for a long time now, promoting the strange idea that the awareness and tolerance of organized crime by our leadership has hurt the area's economic development, not to mention the moral climate we pass on to our children. Can you imagine? (J.J., you want fries with that?)
Probably it's a sad thing that we needed the posse from Washington to come in and start cleaning things up for us, because we seemed somehow unable to do it ourselves. But then, it took Elliot Ness to get the broom started in Chicago a few decades ago. (Joe, how about trading those Twinkies for a Snickers?)
The bottom line for me is, maybe we ought to take a look at the message the Citizen's League is trying to get us to hear, and not look so hard at how embarrassing it is. We've made a lot of good moves in the Valley lately, cleaning up our act. Let's not back away when we're on a roll. In fact, don't you think it's a good time to expect "zero tolerance" for corruption from our elected and law enforcement officials? (Who took that last cream-filled doughnut? You, Jim?)
Nightmare points to unfortunate reality
After reading a recent letter about the school board members' tenure in the city of Girard, I went to bed and had a nightmare. I was walking behind a woman going toward a giant golden gate, where a man dressed in white held a golden key.
The woman asked the gatekeeper if any school board members passed through. "No," said the gatekeeper. "Not one.
"Why not?" asked the woman. "They are the pillars of our community.
The man answered. "They are out beautifying the city; they are involved in sports, politics, and band boosters. They belong to women's clubs, senior citizens groups and fraternal organizations. They are involved in city parks, historical buildings, sports games and children groups.
The gatekeeper said, "they didn't pass because they haven't the vision of how to run a school system, and 2,000 signatures on a petition filed in a court of record to remove them negates all the non-school activities they have expertise in.
As I approached the gate, the man with the golden key asked, "Aren't you the man who ran for a school post in 1966 and wrote to The Vindicator about how foolish it was to incorporate into the curriculum what was then called "modern math" and left a decade of children to flounder and wallow in confusion? I also see that a few weeks later you wrote to The Vindicator concerning the city administration."
His smile left his face as he admonished me. "I'm sending you back. You didn't finish your job. You don't belong here yet. Go back and ask the present administration how the former administration got the city into this mess."
I realize it is not entirely the new mayor's fault, but when he ran for office he should have known that bonds carryover to the new administration. He should distance himself by naming those who favored the over-run, produce the payment receipts and, especially, question the official that made out the payment checks that the citizens must now cover.
The man at the gate said, "Ask the administration why they headlined the 3 percent raises given to deserving employees as one cause of the deficit and not mention the 48 percent raises given to administration officials."
I humbly said to the keeper of the gate, "I will sir, but I have one request, Please don't call me back before the next election."
"Granted," he said, but keep your phone off the hook for a few days.
I woke up,startled and bewildered. Am I living a dream or is this a stark reality.
Senior citizens have great opportunity at YSU
In my opinion, Youngstown State University has been, is at present, and will continue to be, one of Youngstown's greatest assets. Youngstown has problems with unemployment, urban plight, inability to attract new businesses, danger on the streets, stolen cars, crime, drugs, reprehensible politicians etc. but YSU remains a positive influence in all respects, and a joy to be associated with.
One outstanding resource it offers to the older generation in our community is the opportunity to continue education.
Any person 60 years old or older who has been a resident of Ohio for the past year has an opportunity to enjoy a tuition-free education. This opportunity is without the pressures experienced in high school, where test taking, homework and perfect attendance had an impact on the grades received.
Any course of study may be pursued if there is room left in the classroom after regular students have enrolled and are seated, and student privileges are included in this "Over 60 Outreach" program.
Dr. John Loch is the program director and can be contacted by calling 330-965-5809 or 330-965-5800
I have enjoyed several years of classes in a variety of disciplines listening to interesting lectures, participating in discussions, and using the university facilities, and so I invite you who are so inclined to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to enhance life.