The time to start rebuilding Youngstown has come
I attended the Youngstown 2010 public meeting on Jan. 27, at Stambaugh Auditorium. I thought most of the plans were pretty good. I did not like that there was no starting date for any of this. I love Youngstown and it has so very much potential. I would think that those in charge would want to do whatever it takes to make it the great city it can be.
We have a mayor who refused to sign the landlord inspection bill, which most outlying areas have already put into place. We also are probably the only city in the nation that allows a business to write graffiti all over its walls pertaining to the business next to it and when taken into court is declared legal. It is things like this that give Youngstown the bad name it has. Is this what 2010 will bring; all of our buildings full of graffiti saying what we dislike about our neighbors? I hope this will be one of the first things taken care of. I don't care what any judge says, this certainly is not legal.
We need to start right now and enforce our laws and make new ones when necessary concerning the small stuff as well as the big stuff. Our major streets need to be cleaned up and kept that way. Then we need to clean up our neighborhoods, making them places where people want to live. 2010 begins in 2005 or not at all! I have great hopes that it will, because I have chosen to stay here and do what I can to clean it up. We, as residents, can do a lot, but most of the burden lies with the city government. Hopefully they will start today with all the plans they have laid before us.
A message for pipe thief
I am a property owner on the West Side of Youngstown. According to my mortgage, the bank and I own three rental units on Eleanor Street. During the past week some uninvited intruder entered a vacant unit and took it upon themselves to remove the copper plumbing. Hating to jump to conclusions, I am guessing they do not have a plumbing background because they left the house with a gas leak by mistakenly cutting the main gas pipe that enters the house from the street.
So I ask myself why? And I come up with this: If you took my plumbing to scrap it for drugs, I truly hope you overdosed. If you scrapped it for food, I hope you choke and no one in a five-mile radius knows the Heimlich. If you scrapped it to buy The Vindicator, this is what I want you to read: You have successfully left this divorced mother with three unrentable apartments. My, you are tough!
'Peaceniks' have nothingto be ashamed about
According to the letter writer in the Jan. 16 Vindicator, our "peaceniks" don't get it. The essence is, that they don't subscribe to the actions of secretary of defense and the president and our war in Iraq. Further stating that our history proves them wrong.
His example, "The peaceniks were there at the founding of our country, arguing against fighting the British." Further stating, "where would we be today had we listened to them?" In that rebellion, which I am glad that it turned out the way it did, those so-called "peaceniks" as he called them, were "Tories," and they were far from being "peaceniks." They fought to keep the revolution from succeeding.
The telling point in this abuse of history is that without the assistance of the French marines and navy under the command of Marquis de Lafayette, the Tories may well have succeeded. In using history to bolster one's arguments, one should pay more attention to the facts and not change the story to fit his argument. Other arguments used by the letter writer to prove his point leave a lot to the imagination.
As to the "how wrong peaceniks are," we need only to read the New Testament, look to India and Gandhi, and in our country to Martin Luther King, Jr. to find what "peaceniks" have accomplished in the world.
LEONARD J. SAINATO
Ohio needs tougher law for drivers who refuse tests
In light of the recent publicized DUI arrest of Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick, it is time for the citizens of Ohio to speak up on behalf of the serious problem of breathalyzer test refusals in our state.
Currently in Ohio, there is no incentive for someone who is arrested for drunk driving to submit to a breathalyzer test. The penalties for losing driving privileges are identical, whether or not one submits to a test or refuses to submit to one. While it is possible for a driver to be convicted of drunk driving even if he/she refuses to submit to a test, the task to provide sufficient evidence for conviction becomes more difficult when a test is not administered. Drunk drivers and their polished defense attorneys who represent them know this all too well, and will adopt this strategy to avoid a drunk driving conviction.
Allowing drunk drivers to avoid conviction when in fact they are drunk, is equivalent to providing "blinders" that can cover the eyes of "justice." This manner of thinking takes us in the opposite direction of what our goal should be -- that is, to seek and establish the truth. In terms of its effect on drunk driving behavior, allowing test refusals will weaken the overall deterrent value to stop future drunk driving behavior that a conviction would bring. The time is long overdue for our state to adopt stronger laws that will make it more difficult to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. Ohio is currently among the worst states in the country for rates of test refusals.
It should be alarming to all of us that 44 percent of suspected drunk drivers in Ohio refuse to submit to a test. Now, an Ohio Supreme Court Justice has employed that identical strategy in hope of avoiding her own drunk driving conviction. What can be said about elected officials who are in the position to interpret and pass judgment on the law, but turn around and break that very same law, and then make further attempts to evade its consequences? At the very least, it sends a horrible message about the level of seriousness that some of our leaders take towards drunk driving behavior. This display of bad judgment is something that no law-abiding citizen should tolerate.
Last year, there were 469 people in our state who were killed by drunk drivers. Our legislators must act now to stop this from continuing. Allowing drunk drivers to refuse breathalyzer tests opens huge loopholes in our law. Unfortunately, breathalyzer test refusals will continue at an alarming rate in Ohio as long as our leaders condone, tolerate or participate in this behavior. Too many young men and women have had their lives cut short by a drunk driver. We can't sit back any longer and allow this to continue. It must stop now, and it must start with proper leadership.
State Executive Director
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Ohio