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Youngstown can’t get respect

Published: Fri, December 4, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Youngstown can’t get respect


When I was a kid, I remember one of my older cousins wearing at T-shirt that said on the front, “Where the hell is Youngstown?” The back of the shirt said, “Who the hell cares!” I think it was around the same time that some famous guy named Orson Bean told Johnny Carson on national television that he didn’t think that Youngstown even existed. I never understood why anyone would be down on my hometown enough to publicly denounce it like that.

When I shop at most stores I pay with a credit card that provides some kind of reward for using it. Since moving back to Youngstown from California, I find the comments of most store clerks disturbing. Whenever they hold up my license to match my face with the picture on it, they always say the same thing. The clerk looks at the state written across my driver’s license and says, “Why would you come to Youngstown if you’re from California?”

For the few months that I have been back, I have already heard that comment more times than I can count, and its getting pretty annoying. However, its not the comment itself that bothers me, but the attitude of many of the people who live here. I was at the mall and listened to some guy that I didn’t even know complain about his low paying job and the area’s depression for 20 minutes. He talked about how horrible it is to live here and how the sun only shines about 10 days per year. I think that it shone more than 10 days in November alone. The funniest thing was that somehow this disgruntled older fellow connected the poor performance of the Cleveland Browns with the poor economic conditions of the area.

Yes, the economy is horrible here, but it is just about as bad in California too. The difference is that there are about 25 million more people out there. Many of the people in California are homeless too. Whether its Los Angeles, San Francisco or Beverly Hills, there are large numbers of homeless people living in the alleys, on the hillsides and in cars or beat up RVs. Many of my friends have lost their jobs or businesses and are relying on the generosity of their families for help.

The sons and daughters of Youngstown have seen the worst of times, but warm weather and palm trees do not make a poor economy any more tolerable. People are suffering every bit as badly in Los Angeles as they are in any other city, but California is a very complex place with too many people, too much crime, too much traffic, and way too much hype.

So, if you meet someone from out of state maybe its better to say, “Hi there, welcome to Youngstown.” You never know, that person could be the CEO of some Fortune 500 company, looking to relocate 100,000 jobs to the area, or it could be an old Y’towner like me looking for a new beginning. Either way, lets stop shooting ourselves in the foot.



Tickets for ‘fuzzy dice’


In the recent election, voters in this area nixed the idea of an increase in taxes to improve the streets and roads.

It seems to me that if law enforcement would simply ticket those drivers who continue to display Handicap tags from their rear view mirrors once they have left the parking space, we would all benefit from the increased revenue generated from the citations. The money could go a long way to road repair.

They are a view obstruction, just as much as a pair of fuzzy dice ... or maybe that is their handicap.




1downforce(8 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Buzard,
Welcome back to Youngstown!!
A place with heart. Those old neg. attitudes are part of an ever shrinking number! Some of us love this place!

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2CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Jeff Buzard: You are absolutely correct in your observation. I have been guilty of saying such things myself...and I'll do a better job next time I meet someone from out of the area. And...as the previous poster stated: Welcome back to Youngstown!!!!

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3howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Buzard --- As a native Californian who has chosen to move to Youngstown, I have also run into the shock that Ohioans feel at someone moving from the 'Golden State' would choose to live here. I look at it as an opportunity to educate them about what is better in their own backyard; for example:
1. The cost of buying a house is only 4% of the San Francisco Bay Area where I came from (that means that a $20,000 fixer upper here sells for $500,000 there!)
2. The crime rates in general and especially the violent crime rates in California have nearly tripled since 2006; therefore there is less crime here per capita than in California.
3. Food, medical care, restaurants and entertainment (plays & concerts) are all 50% less expensive here than in California.
4. People here are nicer, warmer, more hospitable and more involved in their community.
5. Traffic, in California the average commute is 48 minutes here its about 15 minutes; but the contrast really is that the avg distance of both commutes is about 12 miles!
6. The weather here is great there are actually four seasons; as a child growing up in California I quickly learned that there were only two seasons Dry 85% of the time and wet the other 15%. Oh yeah and no droughts that require water rationing!
7. Location, Location, Location! California may have its beautiful coastline and mountains (some of those are volcanoes), but Youngstown is centrally located; when combined with the lower cost of living that means that Florida, Mexico and the Caribeean are just a couple hundred dollars away during our cold and snowy winters. and New York City, Chicago, Phildelphia, DC, and Nashville are only a short flight or a days train ride or car trip away. For those that are really adventurers Europe is much more accessible and affordable.
8. Open space! In the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown greater metro area we have about 2.5 million people and lots of small rural communities. In an area only 80% of that size the San Francisco Bay Area has nearly 10 million people and virtually no open space other that parklands that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to save from development.
So some may ask why Youngstown or why Ohio? I answer to them with "its a better quality of life."

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4howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I forgot to mention Unemployment, while this is bad everywhere, many Ohioans are under the impression that its easier to find work in California, that's just no the case anymore. Ohio's unemployment rate is 10% California's is 12.5% which is the same as the Mahoning Valley. The grass in California just looks green from afar; once you get there you realize it dried to a golden brown under all of that sunshine.

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5Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Buzard,
A HUGE thank you for the editorial, I've been saying this for a long long time on here, and I always tell the oh so negative people "It's not always greener on the other side" and that it's the same everywhere, there is no such thing as the perfect place! And I hope one day Youngstown will be the thriving city it once was. It starts with the people!

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6howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Just to back up some of my points take a look at this article from the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle


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