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Park Vista residents catch up with families at Internet Cafe



Published: Fri, August 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A class will instruct residents on how to get online.

By ROSA MERCADO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Harriet Broward doesn't get to see her family often.

The seven-year resident of Park Vista says the majority of her relatives live in New York City.

Now they're only a mouse click away, thanks to Park Vista's new Internet Cafe, which officially opened Thursday.

"I just can't find the correct adjectives to describe my feeling about it," said Broward. " I'm overwhelmed and delighted."

The room, with its brick-like walls, lattice work ceiling and slate-style flooring, exudes an ambience of a sidewalk cafe.

"I wanted it to be a place where residents and their guests or family members could relax with a cup of cappuccino or have a snack and enjoy themselves," said Mary Cochran, executive director of Park Vista.

Cochran said she got the idea of an Internet cafe from a trip abroad.

"I was up in Greenland a couple summers ago, and they had an Internet cafe there," she explained. "I thought if they can have one in Greenland, we can surely have one in Youngstown."

Receiving instruction

Residents will receive basic computer instruction and learn how to access the Internet from Youngstown State University student volunteers.

"I've never had any basic training, so that's what I'm hoping to get out of this class," said Dr. E. Thomas Harnish, a Park View resident.

Computer instruction is a good idea, he said. "Once I've learned something, there's nothing to it, but I like to know what's going on 'under the hood' " said Harnish. "It's not enough for me to just turn the key and get the engine going."

Cecilia Szewczyk said her family, who lives in Pittsburgh, is often too busy to send letters.

"They have a new baby and they're busy with their jobs," said Szewczyk. "But everybody can keep in touch with the e-mail, and that's what I want to learn how to do."

The $33,000 project was made possible through the contributions of local donors and foundations.

Szewczyk and her fellow residents look forward to being able to keep up with their computer-literate grandchildren.

"I think it's fantastic," she said. "We may be old, but we're still young enough to learn the new technology."




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