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Hagan hurt in assault in café

Published: Mon, February 8, 2010 @ 12:02 a.m.


Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown. (AP Photo/Larry Phillips)


YOUNGSTOWN — State Rep. Robert F. Hagan said an assault against him at a downtown Youngstown restaurant over the weekend will not shake his faith in the renaissance of the central city.

Hagan was punched in the face and knocked to the floor shortly after entering The Lemon Grove Café at 122 West Federal Street at about 1 a.m. Sunday, according to police reports.

Hagan told police he entered the crowded bar through the front door and stopped to watch belly dancers who were performing.

“A gentleman asked me to move out of the way,” Hagan, D-60th of Youngstown, said. “I told him to ‘back away, man,’” Hagan said, as the man taunted him with offensive language. The next thing Hagan said he remembered was interacting with ambulance personnel.

When police arrived, Hagan was bleeding from the chin and was being helped up from the floor and his glasses being handed to him, reports said.

He was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center where Hagan said he received 11 stitches to his chin. He also suffered a concussion and an injured rib, he added.

Witnesses identified Hagan’s assailant as 30-year-old Dorian Thomas, who was arrested at the scene on a charge of assault and taken to the Mahoning County Jail.

Hagan said he considered the assault a random act of violence and that he did not think his assailant knew him.

“I certainly don’t hold the restaurant responsible or the people who go downtown responsible for a random act of violence,” he said.

“I will continue to visit and continue to patronize downtown businesses, and I will continue to talk about how great the rebirth and renaissance of downtown Youngstown is,” he added.


1timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

We need more D Thomas ! I don't know Hagan, but I do know every single one of them need this lesson ! And that's at ALL LEVELS OF GOVERMENT. Watch what D Thomas gets out of this. Hagan Political friends will see to that.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't know Dorian Thomas but I do know Bob Hagan . While I may not support some of Bob's political views I will totally support the punishment of Dorian Thomas .

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3PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know what Bob was doing downtown 1am Sunday morning........How would get to early morning mass staying out that late. And watching belly dancers........HMMMMMMMM PHISHIE

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Bob was checking to see if there was any criminal activity in downtown Youngstown .

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5JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

anothermike, two things:

*"All of a sudden this no class jackass becomes the victim." The guy was physically ASSAULTED. It literally doesn't matter for what reason he was assaulted, he's automatically the victim.

*"Wish I was the judge when this piece of garbage goes to court." Watching lots of "Judge Mathis" doesn't qualify you, especially with the demonstrated lack of understanding of the law your above comment reveals.

PHISHIE: "Does anyone know what Bob was doing downtown 1am Sunday morning" -- what does it matter? If you're arguing that if someone is downtown after 1 am that they deserve to be assaulted maybe it is me that's confused on how things should work...

This is not good for anyone, politics totally aside.

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6vinglass(283 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I think Bob "Belly Dance" Hagan will receive an even more powerful knockout when he runs for re-election

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7northsideart(111 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Isn't Bob Hagan almost 70 years old? This sounds to me like another case of some young, bitch-made Youngstown punk assaulting an older citizen of Youngstown. Throw the perp's ass in jail for a long, long time. And no, I'm not a fan of Hagan the politician, but I am a supporter of ensuring a peaceful living environment for everyone.

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8PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


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9CaringMomOf3(1 comment)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Bobby Hagan, although a Democrat, has a long history of public service. He is all about his family, and now with the recent loss of his dear mother, he should hardly be subjected to physical violence. He is human just like the rest of us, and enjoys interacting with the public he represents - and why not. Not only is he handling this incident with dignity, but he will not throw the first stone, or, be that as it may, punch. I am not a Democrat, but I respect Rep. Hagan, and no public figure should ever be physically assaulted. I pray this does not become a trend. I was glad to see that Mr. Thomas did not know him, or claim to assault him based on his political views. Otherwise, other elected officials who choose to serve the public, usually at the sacrifice of much, would need to be concerned about their physical well-being. I like Bobby Hagan and I look forward to seeing the battle scares on his chin that show his devotion and pride to the causes he fights for.

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10Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

But people who go to mass "religiously" never get into trouble? Please! Just check the Vindy archives for all the self righteous crooks that have been charged with everything from theft to sexual assault. There is good and bad in every walk of life and blaming the victim is rarely just or fair. Oh - and last I checked, it is still legal in America to stop into a bar at any hour that complies with their liquor permit. If Hagan was a raging drunken lunatic that night, I am sure it will come out. Re-read JeffLebowski's post - anyone who is assaulted is the victim. If being cocky was all it takes to justify assault, the streets would be empty and the jails full(er).

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11lemongrovecafe(18 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

For those of you that did not get to see the Lemon Grove's Statements on the other vindy message board here they are:

"First of all let me say that I am personally sorry that such an unfortunate incident occurred here at the Lemon Grove. It is antithesis of what we represent. This was an unprovoked attack by a performer in the show (it was not a mugging) on Rep. Hagan.

For those who have been to the Lemon Grove you know that this is not indicative of our atmosphere, we do not tolerate actions like this. Though it makes no difference who the victim is in such wrong doing, it does make this even worse that it was inflicted upon Rep. Hagan, who has been such a strong supporter of us and other downtown establishments.

Here are the facts about "the kind of entertainment" that night.

It was a show put on by Brandon Martin a recent YSU theater graduate. He is the founder of UN ACT, an organization devoted to educating children about the arts.

The emcee was Brandon's mother Monica Beasley Martin who is an ordained minister and veteran of the Playhouse Theater.

The belly dancers were not some type of sleazy outfit, but members of EOS Whole Fitness which is a holistic fitness center based in yoga.

The perpetrator of the violence was not a random "street thug," but a dancer, poet, and actor. Though he, his mother, and father are now banned from the Lemon Grove, Dorian Thomas has been in many area performances in the past, without incident.

Those who have been downtown recently and have been to the Lemon Grove know what a positive direction we as a city are moving in. It is especially unfortunate that random acts of violence that happen everywhere including Boardman (I know, I worked in the mall for three years), are used to reinforce people's negative and limited perception of what Youngstown is."

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12JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

"Dorian Thomas (Anthony Lavelle) is the vice president/dance choreographer of Excell American Dance company in Akron, Ohio (4 years). He is..." also charged with assault. I don't care if he was Fred Astaire's stunt double and gives all his earnings to charity -- he doesn't get a free pass in assaulting people, especially in public places with multiple witnesses. (I'm taking for granted the validity of the story and realize he's yet to be proven guilty...although I grant that I should probably know better on both counts.)

Typical Y-town BS: justifying assault based on the profession of the victim or the perp. Keep wondering why the area gets worse and worse.

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13nltypecast28(1 comment)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

im not one for pretty speeches or proper spelling and all that. but the ignorance i have read from Most of the posters on this board are indeed unbelievable. I have been to the LemonGrove many times. i have talked to the owners and know much of the staff. all good people, its a great place and has alot of potential to be so much more. its a new business and the owners are new at it. for my money they are doing a hell of a job to have made it into what it is from less than nothing. it is a work in progress. and progress is what i have seen there. and if you have a negative opinion fine. be constructive about it. or dont say it, and before you through a "i have a right to my opinion" know this i have the right to tell you your stupid too.
have a nice day :)

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14tchr222(7 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Very sorry to hear of this for all involved:
Bob Hagan, Lemon Grove, and anyone who witnessed such violence. The arts are meant to be a means of bringing us to better understandings...not to drag us into despair. But remember, we never read about all of the great evenings at the Lemon Grove and other downtown venues that go on without trouble and give artists an opportunity to perform.

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15DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I think you are missing the point JeffLebowski. I think, most of the users are making the assumption that this whole thing was a low brow show, with shady entertainers, at a hole in the wall bar. If that were the case it would be easy to take sides, and place blame on innocent people (like the lemon grove, or anyone else associated with the show). The problem is that the incident did not involve any seedy element. We are not dealing with a lil wayne concert, but a show where people were dancing to bible scriptures, and video game footage. It was just a crappy situation that no one could have seen coming, which happens everywhere.

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16Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Since I don't have a liberal amount of toleration for assault, I support Dorian Thomas being taken to the cleaners for his actions . Dig into those pockets Dorian for Bob's medical and legal bills . Then comes punitive damages . If Dorian is indigent then The Lemon Grove Café will be obligated for the bills .

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17jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks DrGoo & Lemon Grove for clarifying.

I'm Jennifer, the proprietor of Eos Whole Fitness at 1931 Belmont Ave in Youngstown, Ohio's North Side and it was my troupe on the floor when this happened. Ironically, and sadly, the piece being performed when this happened at about 11pm was a dance that begins with a prayer and is about peace and gratitude and positive directions...

If anyone wants to make this out like Bob & his family frequent establishments that promote salacious or lewd behavior, please think again. I'll go to bat on this one every time not just on behalf of Bob and his wonderful family but because when people hear the word "belly dancers", they often visualize something far different than what we actually do. I'd like nothing more than to work every day on erasing that stigma.

We are not* "go go dancers" in any way, shape, or form and while I'm not degrading those who may take part in that sort of thing, I definitely want to make it clear that what *we do is far different.

This particular form of dance is actually rooted in ancient spirituality, and it supports, strengthens, and connects people of all races, genders, sizes, ages, and religions.

Belly dance is *not, especially in *our studio or shows, an exploitation of women. Watching MTV is far more lascivious than coming to a show like the one Brandon Martin produced for us all Saturday night at the Lemon Grove (which is a comfortable, peaceful venue - a coffee shop & cafe that supports the arts & the environment not to mention the downtown Youngstown area's revitalization in general - it is not some dirty hole in the wall; I realize that's been said but I feel the need to reiterate. I highly suggest if you have not done so yet, that you stop in for a Chai Latte some afternoon very very soon!!!!:)

As far as Dorian, I've seen him dance several times though I don't know him personally. Regardless of the wonderful things he has done before this, it does not erase what he did that night. I'm very close with several of the eye witnesses and this was absolutely an act of unprovoked violence.

As a sidenote for the reference of those who may decide to frequent shows at the Lemon Grove Cafe, it's a long skinny bar like many in the area. The stage and dance floor aren't easily viewable when it is very crowded so it quickly becomes "standing room only" and thus far, this has simply not been an issue amongst guests. If you want to see the dances, stand near the dance floor before the dances begin. ;) (The friendly staff of the LGC though would gladly move your chair or wheelchair to the "front row" if you were actually *unable to stand. That was very obviously not the case that night. The woman who started this definitely could stand as well as Dorian and the other man with them. Shameful.)

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18JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Doc, you've actually cited my point. The reason that people outside the immediate area can't fathom that anything noteworthy exists in Y-town (cafe, restaurant, business, etc.) is because of comments to stories like these that lead the sensible reader to believe that if you go to Y-town you'll get beat down and will deserve it for being there in the first place. That's very, very far from the truth. Rather than portray it as the isolated incident that it is the choice is made by the newspaper to spin it one way and let the troglodyte populace spin it from there to, hopefully, positively impact their bottom line.

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19anothermike(221 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I see I was talking way above "Lebowski's" mental capacity when I posted. I WAS referring to the jackass that did the suckerpunching as being tagged as the victim by some of the posters. As far as your last post, it is within the realm of possibilty to get a "beat down" anywhere in downtown Yompton. Not an "isolated incident" by any stretch of the imagination. Don't have a clue who judge mathis is, but I do understand there is a law somewhere on the books that says you don't go around punching people you don't agree with.

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20Tigerlily(506 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Actually, Jeff, probably not many people outside of Youngstown read these comments. Maybe they're reading their own town's newspaper comments, but not really looking into little ole Youngstown's paper. So your fears that others from outside the immediate area will see these comments and think the town is downplaying any wrongdoing is unfounded by default of no one from out of town really caring enough to read these comments to begin with.

I'm sure Dorian is being taken care of at the jail and will probably be charged with misconduct of some nature, or assault. What more do you want? It's the legal system. Would you prefer the people of Youngstown to get their torches and pitchforks and bust into the jail to take him out and teach him a lesson? That's not very civil either.

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21anothermike(221 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Moral of the story: If you plan on patronizing any establishment [ I use the term loosely] within the municipalities of Youngstown, make sure you are properly armed and prepared for anything, even from the self-appointed minister/entertainers. So much for live entertainment............

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22jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

In this instance, if I were the one saying "people outside of the immediate area", I'd probably be meaning Boardman, Poland, Canfield, Austintown, Girard, Hubbard, etc. Many of those communities read the Vindicator and many in those areas still have a belief that downtown is a bad, scary place regardless of the efforts and changes made in recent years and months. As someone who frequents downtown and is trying to support it's revitalization and especially the arts here, that "bad rep" is something I deal with constantly. I don't think many in Boardman who already don't want to come downtown out of fear or a preconceived notion about it are reading these comments though either... However, it's worth noting in case any of them are or in case something said here can later be communicated to them. Imho... ;.j

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23thirdthink(11 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Vindy: Why do you consistently publish two news stories that have conflicting information in them, but are essentially the same article? (11p.m. vs. 1 a.m.)

I am shocked by the people that suggest Hagan had this coming or that he, or anyone, deserves violence. Ironically, these are probably the same people that won't visit downtown, but rather sit at home and promote fear.

I love how detractors of Hagan's hard work have used this as an attempt for political insults about elections and government in general. How appropriate of you....But then again, Teddy Kennedy's haters couldn't even wait a day before they started in on him.

Violence is never a solution. Perhaps Hagan knows that better than most.

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24jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Sadly, even if you are licensed to carry, you can't carry in that establishment. That's the law. I'm not necessarily agreeing with it. I'm certainly not one to promote violence but I'm also not one to ask someone to remain unarmed or allow themselves to be victimized because they are afraid or simply unable to defend themselves. In this situation though, being armed would have turned a pointless act of violence into an even larger pointless act of violence.
Also, I'm not big on ministers that were appointed by others rather than choosing* that life, ... ? wth... nor entertainers. Well.. I do love me some Mikhail Baryshnikov.. so perhaps I should scratch that last one... Maybe a little communism could be the ticket to better promoting arts in the Yo.. (joking, of course)...

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25Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

jenniferrobyn :

Well, at least Dorian Thomas didn't get hurt .

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26jeffhoef1(45 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I have heard from everyone but Dorian Thomas. He must have a reasonable excuse for beating on seasoned citizens. I for one can't wait to hear it. I also admire Bob Hagan, he gets to stay up past my bedtime. Now if there were only something useful to do at 1am.

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27woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

sure woulda loved to have seen George W. Bush get knocked on his a$$

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28jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I'd have paid to watch GB Jr.. nevermind.. Stan: Um, Dorian might've gotten a round house to the back side of his head had this all happened just a few moments later (contrary to some beliefs about it, yoga certainly doesn't make for weak legs or a lack of flexibility nor speed;). I'm pro-gun and budo, albeit while practicing ahimsa (budo means to *stop the fight so I feel justified and comfy in my own little belief system here;).

The real fact of the matter though is that no one knew it was coming... I think everyone around would agree that it was quite ridiculous, definitely unexpected and it all happened extremely fast. Outside of a mosh pit, literally "fighting for a spot" is pretty rare these days I think... lol.. But c'est la vie, I guess.. I'm comfortable in the meantime just leaving it to karma (since he's long since been hauled away anyhow...)

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29sky(38 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

First of all, I was down there right after this happened. He walked out of the bar under his own power, in my opinion the only reason why the ambulance was called was his wife would not stop screaming to press charges. She demanded that an ambulance take her husband away so it would more validate pressing charges. Looking at him he seemed fine if he was truly hurt his wife should have been more concerned with his health than pressing charges that very instance.

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30jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

TheLostPatrol: The woman with Dorian, evidently his mother, was sitting down along the far west wall saying something to the effect of, "Get out the way... Get out the way... Watch from ovah thare... I can't see"... The place was crowded, the door is right next to the dance floor & stage, it is very typical to have to stand to see performances there like any long and narrow venue in Youngstown or any downtown area for that matter. Bob acknowledged her, said he was waiting for his wife or something to that effect (several people were coming in and greeting each other in the entry), and then more people were moving in from other directions to watch but she had her sights set on him alone at that point I suppose. (I have no idea what she was drinking or if she had been drinking before she arrived but I'd like to assume such low level language and rudeness could only come out of a drunk person. Sadly I bet this is not the case.) She continued. Dorian joined in with some expletives of his own, Bob shrugged and moved a bit, and Dorian said something to the effect of, "Yah, I thought so!!!" and Bob looked back with a shocked look, I'm guessing, and some sort of "whatever man" being peaceful and quite frankly, probably shocked at the ridiculousness of it all. Dorian then sucker punched him. Bob's daughter shrieked or yelled or something and Dorian's father (I am presuming from the so-called reports thus far that this is who the second man is) grabbed her and threw her down on top of Bob. The mother (?) pulled out a taser (not sure if was legal or illegal) as if SHE were the one being assaulted.... ? They quickly were escorted out. There's some video where you can hear her playing with the taser. She didn't use it ON anyone to my knowledge. No, I'm not posting it. :) I'm sure you can read the court reports or maybe if there is some trial, it'll be public.

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31Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

sky :

Perhaps they should charge Bob then for offending Dorian Thomas ?

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32jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

pressing charges for violence, especially violence that was unprovoked, is definitely the right thing to do. letting the "perp" know that this would be the case immediately (probably not knowing who this kid was, not knowing if anyone knew him/how to find him, i would have definitely caused a scene as well and bob was being looked after while she did this). I personally saw her holding a napkin to his chin still looking over both shoulders to be sure nothing else was coming and quite possibly that he wasn't running off without being arrested for assault.
he was* knocked down/out and came to... he was then able to walk. that is normal.
he did* receive 11 stitches.
he *can afford an ambulance and after experiencing violence, driving is never the best choice if you have another option as your adrenaline is up and your nerves are shot. your emotional and mental state are often not conducive to driving safely.
you hit a cop, yer gonna pay. you hit a politician, yer gonna pay. you hit a thug, yer gonna pay. just in different ways.

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33abcd987(9 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

The Lemon Grove is a perfectly safe, locally owned business. Anyone who has ever been there would attest to that. How many bar fight's occurred in suburban establishments over the weekend?

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34Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

abcd987 :

"The Lemon Grove is a perfectly safe, locally owned business. "

I'll be shure to bring my out of town guests there . :)

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35abcd987(9 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

There is no reason not to. They may thank you!

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36tchr222(7 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

The Lemon Grove is very pretty inside. The lighting and art are uplifting. The narrowness of the business is similar to urban spaces. Cities are not for everyone, but if you enjoy city atmospheres, your guests would be sure to enjoy it!
A random act of violence, wherever it takes place, is wrong.

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37Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

abcd987 :

OK . .. Let me know the next time Dorian Thomas has a gig there .

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38here(17 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I've been to the Lemon Grove many, many times. I'm not typically a bar person, but then again, the Lemon Grove doesn't have the typical bar atmosphere. I've seen EOS and Brandon preform before, both at the LG and Jenn's studio on Belmont. I know how passionate and dedicated they are about making Youngstown a better place.

That said, it really broke my heart to hear about this incident. These people are one of the last groups in Youngstown that deserve to have something like this tarnish their image.

You can lock up every last criminal, drunk, drug addict, etc in the state and Youngstown (or any city for that matter) would still be a ghost town if it weren't for people like this going out and DOING SOMETHING. Brandon, Jenn & Co., and a significant enough part of their generation are just being a little more proactive about it.. they aren't sitting around waiting for this city to be a flawless place to live while bitching about its imperfections on vindy.com.

I know they don't need my encouragement to keep going, and that they won't let all the crap that has/will be talked bring them down, but I still felt compelled to speak my mind (which I rarely do on this site...I'm pretty sure reading the comments here makes me dumber).

PS. When people get drunk, stupid things do happen, even when state representatives are involved. I'm trying to understand why this is so fascinating to some of the people here, but all I can come up with is: You really didn't get out much, did you?

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39DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Stan, I kinda worry about you. Mostly cause it seems you post here all the time and you never post anything of value. I would think you were funny if you only posted some of the time. I would think you where a concerned citizen if you posted something of value in your frequent bablings. The problem is you don't do either. I can never understand what would cause a grown man to dedicate so much time trolling a website.

Don't you have some kid's to worry about, a job, or a hobby?

What ever is the case, I hope you find something more positive to do with all this free time you have.

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40MFC997(255 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

When you are raised in a culture that glorifies violence it becomes very easy to justify such behavior. This is not a hip hop video and Mr. Thomas ( Lavelle ) is about to find out there are consequences for you actions. Criminal as well as civil.

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41here(17 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


I think it was pretty bold of you to say "all we..."

It's pretty obvious that plenty of these comments aren't concerned with knowing 'the truth.'

Like I said, I've been to a number of similar performances, and I KNOW that the LG was packed full of witnesses that don't give a damn about protecting Bob Hagen's image. Covering for public figures just isn't...fun! I'm sure if there is some dirt to be dug up, it will make itself know. They don't need you to encourage them to share their accounts.

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42emmaR92(3 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I am a close friend of the Hagan family. I was there the night this incident happened and saw the whole thing. The Police quoted me as a witness. Mr. Hagan was out to a nice dinner with his wife, daughter, and friends. We all decided to go to the Lemon Grove afterwards. The lemon Grove is a very pleasant place to be and random acts of violence, such as this, are unusual. This whole incident happened at around 11p.m., not 1a.m. This is what I saw that night:
On Saturday February 6th after attending dinner at Café Cimmentos downtown with Mr. and Mrs. Hagan and their daughter, we went to the Lemon Grove. The restaurant was crowded and there were belly dancers about to perform. An older woman was seated at a table in front of the door and stage trying to watch the belly dancers. There were people standing in front of her blocking her view and one of them was Mr. Hagan. She was complaining angrily because she could not see due to the people standing, blocking her view. Mr. Hagan said something that I don’t quite remember what it was. It was crowded and Mr. Hagan was trying to make his way through the crowd to where Mrs. Hagan, Natalia, and I were standing. On his way over a young man started to yell at Mr. Hagan for standing in front of the woman. Mr. Hagan turned and said something like there is no problem here. The young man continued to yell at him and was coming towards him. Mr. Hagan said something and then the young man punched Mr. Hagan very hard in the face causing him to fall back on the ground. Mr. Hagan was bleeding and could not recall being on the floor.

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43JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

anothermike: After reviewing your comment I guess you were referring to the perp. The subject of your first sentence was “Hagan,” you never specified a subject in your second sentence and I was led to believe that Hagan was the continued subject. I guess your inability to write effectively is my fault…whatever the case you are clearly fit for judgeship. I retract my initial criticism, Your Honor.

jennifer: I was referring to the outside world in perpetuity, not just suburbs of Y-town. Stuff like this gets picked up by political and other types of blogs which link the site directly. So people read the story, read the comments and deduce that Y-town is the worst place on Earth. On the flip side people in Y-town burbs like those you mention read these comments too, this perpetuates the negative and incorrect assumptions that places like the establishment in question are “$hhitthole bar(s)” as so eloquently described by the Honorable anothermike. That’s not good, either: it negates the likelihood that people will patronize these places. In any case I honestly respect your efforts in owning a small business in Y-town and trying to shed some light on a subject that the local paper clearly isn’t interested in accurately portraying, whatever the reason.

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44Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

There is no reason for violence, especially in a public place. And to sucker punch someone not expecting it, that is just low class. There is no reason to jeopardize everyone (could have gone way out of hand) over something so stupid as this. People need to get a grip and quit thinking everything needs to go to violence. Grow up!

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45watchingthepolitics(97 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

" Hagan Hurt In Assault In Cafe' ". Maybe Bob "DO Nothing" Hagan is starting to feel the pain that the people of the Mahoning Valley have been feeling for a long time now. Don't worry Bob you'll still be collecting your ridiculous salary and soon your obscene pension. To bad they aren't both based on what was accomplished while you were a State Rep.

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46photolady(1 comment)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

my family has known dorian and his family for over ten years. Dorain is a good christian person who helps youth and people in the community. Hagan was drunk, the women that they were talking about was dorian's mother. She asked Hagen to moved over a bit politely so she could she the show and he started getting irate with her. So someone let Dorain know that Hagen was messing with his mother. So he went over and asked Hagen politely to please stop harassing his mother, then Hagan says.MF your mother. So dorain hit him. I would of hit him too if he disrespected my mother. Dorian and his mother are good people and this story has been taking all out of porportion and is incomplete. If you are gonna cover a story get both sides, I have a BA in journalism i know the rules about checking all your facts and having reliable sources, not a just a police report and Hagan. Dorian is not a hoodlum and neither is his mother.

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47SilverMtZion(4 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


And what are your sources, besides your admitted bias towards the family of the perp?

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48Drepster(13 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

probably best just not to respond but that's a BS story photolady. I don't know if it's a journalism trick that you BA journalist sort learn but are Hagan and Hagen that you write about the same person?
I wasn't there but I've been around Hagan in the downtown scene a few times before and he's not a sloppy drunk and is well aware that what he says in public can and will be scrutinized and "MF"ing an old lady just doesn't fit the bill, not likely in public or private cause that's just not Bob Hagan. I can't stand his politics but Bob Hagan is a good man who just lost his Mother a few months ago and would be nothing but gracious in obliging said Mother's request. He actually believes what he's selling politically which is where we part ways but as I said he's a caring concerned citizen with or without the political tag. Sure he gravitates to the camera when one's around but that's no reason to slander the man. Beyond that if he would've had a bit too much, as you suggest, Hagan's wife and daughter wouldn't have him staggering around downtown. Your claim to know one party does not justify posting hearsay regarding another. You're the journalist you should know better. I don't feel this Dorian is being considered a common "hood" as you put it. I'm sure there was a lot of confusion involved and although I've never been to the Lemon Grove itself I'm sure it's loud on weekends as most establishments are. I can't have conversations with people that aren't within a foot of me in several such environments I'm familiar with. I don't know what transpired but it's hot, it's loud and, as performers know, their blood is already pumped.

Now lets take this fallacy and say it had some legs. Now to the point of when it's legally fine to take a swing at someone? You say someone disses mom and that's the line for you. Surprised to hear this from someone with a degree but I presume you're taking the swing knowing you're probably going to ruin some chances of future employment and turn over anything you might legally possess to this guy who's dissing your Mother....wouldn't she be proud. In this case, certainly a member of a "group" that was performing would not be intimidated to feel threatened by a 60 year old man with his wife and daughter that he couldn't have notified the Lemon Grove staff of a problem.

Concerning the comment about the Railroad crossing in Hubbard- Bob has been a CSXT engineer and his railroad doesn't run through Main Street in Hubbard. The former Erie then Conrail and current NS runs through Hubbard and the location your referring to is Tony's at Main Street. Any train blocking a public crossing for over 15 minutes outside of an emergency would be subject to fines. A CSX train being stopped in Hubbard just doesn't make sense. The NS locals in the past used to stop at Tony's but obviously there train was secured in an area other than Main Street crossing.

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49northsideart(111 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


If you're 30 years old and a good person, you don't hit a 60 year old, no matter what they say.

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50mikeymike(469 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Photo Lady,Christians don't commit felonious assault on people,they turn the other cheek.Doarian's actions don't show a man with good character.

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51Lynds(16 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Emma, Im sorry that you had to witness this. People that do visit Downtown know that this is not the norm, especially in the Lemon Grove. Yesterday morning it was nice to hear all the people calling into 570 wkbn defending Downtown Youngstown and its continued revitalization.
If you haven’t been Downtown in a while you will notice an amazing energy, the place is NOT filled with drunkards and street bums, the place is a cultural hub for the arts, music, and discussion, a lot of the people who patron the establishments Downtown are professionals, students, artists, musicians, families, and yes...elected officials.
It's completely unacceptable to defend a man who assaulted another. This could have happened to anyone anywhere. Imagine being clocked in the face with out any warning….could you imagine the consequences if Rep. Hagan would have gone down and really hit his head hard?? The assailant is lucky and so is Hagan.
State Representative Hagan and his family have been a tremendous help to the City of Youngstown and Downtown Youngstown, I am truly sorry that this happened.

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52northsideart(111 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree that Hagan and the assailant are very lucky that a more serious injury didn't occur. The sucker punch is a vile and too often fatal form of violence, especially when the victim is 60 YEARS OLD. I'm sure that Hagan is pretty vibrant for his age, but I still can't get over it when violence is done to our elders. The law should designate harsher sentences for crimes like that. We'll all grow old someday. Personally, I don't want to live in a future or present world where as an older man my right to speak up and live peacefully is hindered by the potential violence of the younger generations.

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53Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

DrGoo :

"Stan, I kinda worry about you."

Concern is good DrGoo . With a name like GrGoo I too am concerned for you . Can we expect leadership and a sense of direction from you DrGoo ? Being a liberal you do live up to all the expectations that I have of you . Kind of like a dead horse at Thistle Downs winning the race . I can assure you that you have never disappointed me .

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54DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

lol what? You don't know much about me. Lets just leave it that way.

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55valleytransplant(37 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Brings back memories of the Hagen homestead...kids a plenty! Now where's Don Hanni when we need him?

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56atreyu19832001(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

everyone on here is full of crap. were you all there went it happened? I'm pretty aware of the truth and both parties should have thought things through. Hagan isn't all that innocent. "It was just a random act of violence?' Bull! He had to have provoked Dorian. I personally know him and he doesn't just go around whooping on old guys for no reason. I agree with one of your comments, who said it was a cover up. Definitely. I really believe Hagan is lying and all of the so called "witnesses" are just to chicken to say anything.

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57atreyu19832001(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

ok, so what if Bob Hagan was black and Dorian still punched him? We would still go on with our lives. It probably wouldn't even have made the paper.

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58Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

atreyu19832001 :

Race card alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Dorian was arrested because he was black ?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm !

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59DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

if bob hagan was still a (black)senator; yes, it would still have made the paper. The real question is if he was just a normal person would it have made the paper? Probably not, and if it did it would have been one blurb next to who stole what from the liberty wal-mart.

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60dateline111(41 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

What kind of ordained Minister emcee's a godless performance at a downtown bar on SATURDAY night, and preaches the bible on Sunday morning.The average black so-called Christian or White so called Catholic does not have a clue what it means to be a Christian or Catholic as evidenced by these two jerks(Hagan,Thomas) God help us, As for Mr.Hagan what 60 year old public figure(Devout Catholic) goes bar hopping with his wife and children on Saturday night after recieving attending Mass earlier in the day.Both of these religious phonies deserved to be sucker punched.

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61DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Are you serious? You have no clue about the performance that night, the venue or the parties involved. Maybe things were done that should not have been, but that does not mean these people are any less Christian than the next person. Please don't talk about godless, especially since you dont know what you are talking about.

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62Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


You can't be serious? If so, you really need help.

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63dateline111(41 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Ordained Minister performing at a sleazy downtown bar on the eve of the Lords Day? Alcohol,drunks,druggies,belly,hookers,thugs dancers,11:00pm-2:00pm showtime. Are you kidding me. CHRISTIANS PERFORMING AT THE LEMON GROVE BAR. PRAISE THE LORD.

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64DrGoo(297 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

lol never mind you're a gimmick poster...

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65SilverMtZion(4 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


I assume you've never been to the Lemon Grove, but even if it were a 'sleazy' bar (which it most certainly isn't), where do you think Christ would have taken his message?
I'm enjoying this board too much to indulge in this off topic debate but It angers me how todays 'christians' are so pious but only when it comes to preaching to their own flock.

and if you'd ever dare venture out of your ivory tower, perhaps even on a SATURDAY night, and come down to the Grove I'd be certain you'd not see and drugs hookers or thugs. Yes, they have a liquor license, but even Christ has been known to imbibe every now and again.

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66lemongrovecafe(18 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

The Lemon Grove is not a sleazy bar, but a cafe centered around the arts. The reason why Rep. Hagan and many others frequent our establishment, is because we bring a diverse group of people: rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, old, young, spirtual, religious, secular, conservative, and liberal, together in a positive environment. Our main mission at the Lemon Grove is to bring people together for the economic and cultural benefit of Youngstown. We have been successful at this thus far and one unfortunate incident will not deter us.

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67candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Decades of high joblessness has changed the life course and character of a generation of adults-and quite possibly those of the children behind them as well. It will leave an indelible imprint on blue-collar white men and on white culture. It will change the nature of modern marriage, and also cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It is plunging many inner cities into a kind of despair and dysfunction not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our policies, our culture, and the character of our society for years.

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America
by Don Peck

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68Nunya22(315 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if the whole truth was being said or was they both drunk. Because this just sounds crazy I think it's more to this story.

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69meganemily(1 comment)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


I happen to be one of those "bellyhookers" matter of fact.
The funny thing about it is that well, we're far from hookers you blind fool.
If you would have read jenniferrobyn's posts earlier this would have all been explained to you.
We're not sleazy, we were actually performing to a dance that begins with a prayer.
So if there was any place better for a Christian to go, it would be to see our dance (:

It's a shame how close minded you people really are. This situation is about Bob. Dorian was wrong to act in such a way. Bob did nothing wrong, and I do not care who you are, have a little damn respect for someone.
The Lemon Grove is a place that supports love and respect for others, their goal is to bring the community together to celebrate all the wonderful talent in this area.
Don't bring us belly dancers in and commit slander against us. We're all very talented and educated young women, we love what we do and we do it with more passion than you'll see in a lot of places.
If you'd like to talk about us, mention how you feel bad that our performance wasn't even seen because of such a rude act of violence!

Plain and simple-- none of this needed to happen. Grow up people and open your eyes.

This is a simple game of telephone. You people are SO far from the truth.

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70jmpt37(43 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

formerytown prob the best comment ive seen in a long time. kudos my friend kudos. but we all know that bob "belly dance" hagan was just doin some undercover work to stop the rampid crime that occurs at 1am in downtown youngstown. LMAO!!!!!!! never knew there were belly dancers in downtown

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71JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, "yay" for narrow-minded ignorance!

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72Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps Jimbo could give Bob a few pointers on how to defend himself ?

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73computer_rick(137 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately, too much of the wanna be Godfather influence pervades the town, and will forever after...

"They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls."

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74louisbeaver(24 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow! I've never seen so many idiotic and ridiculus posts on just one page. Some of you people really need to get lives of your own. These comments are so close-minded and uneducated it really saddens me to know that most are coming from people that live in Youngstown.
Dateline lady: You take the cake by far...you call yourself a "devout Christian" yet you sit back and judge all of these people you don't even know like your God! You've obviously never been downtown before so why do you sit back and call the Lemon Grove Cafe a sleazy downtown bar? The bars downtown are much more upscale than almost all Austintown, Liberty, and many other suburban bars.
Thank you to MeganEmily for sticking up for yourself, I was thinking what you wrote.
Stan: the man with 3474 comments....really Stan? And none of them have any merit or bring any new knowledge to this page. You must be really bored with life and spend all your free time commenting on Vindy message boards to stir stuff up.
Lombardo: Your posts are all completely off-topic for one. You talk about leveling downtown to put in parking lots, but obviously don't realize that many young entrepreneurs have put a lot of time, money, and effort into their establishments to help revitalize downtown and bring people and the community together in these bars, restaurants, & cafes. This also doesn't include all of the jobs that these places have created. Then you switch it up again and start bashing democrats, which thats great if it makes you feel better (I'm a republican, FYI) but what other point is there? Your demoCrooks post has nothing to do with this article? Sorry but all of these random negative posts don't do much for your character. But Lombardo you're not the only one so don't feel singled out.
I could go on and on but don't want to waste my time.
I would like to say that I do feel for the owner(s) of the Lemon Grove and I hope that this doesn't affect their business (I doubt it will). For one, this would have never made the news if it didn't involve a State Rep. and two, its a shame that some people on here have to bad mouth a nice place like the Lemon Grove when they've never even been to a downtown establishment. And lastly being that I've worked downtown before I will agree with Chief Hughes because downtown is much safer than almost all of Youngstown City as well as many other suburbs including Austintown, Boardman, Girard, etc. If you ever are out on the weekends downtown you can't walk down the street without seeing a police car and I've never ever felt threatened or had a problem with people being violent around me while in downtown establishments.

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75Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

louisbeaver :

"Stan: the man with 3474 comments....really Stan?"

Yep, REALLY ! I come here to learn liberalism . What can you teach me ?

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76dateline111(41 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

This Dorian Thomas is a flaming Homosexual this entire group of dancers are queers and sodomites, GAY AGENDA SUPPORTER Bob Hagan knew full well this was a sodomite production so what does that tell you? Is Bob Hagan a undercover sodomite? What kind of minister of GOD would frequent this sleazy bar during business hours,God forbid a minister emcee a bunch of semi- nude gay and lesbian dancers performing an abominable skit. As for the Lemon Grove bar, everyone in this area know full well that it is a hot spot for sodomites and swingers.

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77Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

dateline111 :

Downtown Youngstown has undergone a change that has tried to embellish the lowest level of human culture . Perhaps real growth will emerge when the decay has run its course .

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78Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I support heterosexuality and make no excuse for doing so ! What has been unnatural in the past continues to be unnatural to this very day ! Life revolves around procreation and not homosexuality !

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79dateline111(41 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

The Lemon Grove is a Sodomite gathering place and a promoter of the sodomite lifestyle.If I'm not mistaken they had a gay pride festival last summer.What straight man would take his wife to a gay and lesbian hangout?(Rock Hudson) America has gone to far with this gay and lesbian movement, and will be conquered by are enemies because of sodomy and abortion. "Google" Lemon Grove/ gay, and dozens of Gay bars nationwide will appear, Lemon Grove is a code name for Gay oriented entertainment. Yes I am homophobic and would not want to unsuspectingly enter one of these sodomite hangouts and be propositioned by one of these queers. Who will also get punched out like the gay Ohio state senator Faggan

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80BJ(18 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

First off, HAGAN BLOWS.

Secondly, I love D. Thomas for what he did. I wish I could have delivered the blow that took him down.

This man is a weasel. He is slime. What has he done for Y-town? It's not like he's in the news for all the good things he's done. He's in the news because he got pounded for being inappropriate.

His poor wife. If she only knew...

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81BJ(18 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

dinner with family: $50
cover at lemon grove: $20
hagan gettin beat down: PRICELESS

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82Heartland(38 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I think the Lemon Grove is great. With so many young folks leaving our area it’s terrific someone like Jacob has stayed here and is committed, to making our area better. On the other hand we have too many quick tempered people like Dorian Thomas. Reading about the violent nature of Thomas’s parents we can see where he gets his anger.

Beings Dorian does not have a record I am happy Rep. Hagan wanted to let bygones be. He’s a better man than me as I might have forgave Dorian but not his father if he had knocked my daughter down. I don’t believe in violence but I would have stomped Mr. Thomas into the ground if he had injured my daughter.

Another issue is the fact that I had attended a show a few months ago at the Lemon Grove with much the same acts as the night in question. I had gone with three friends to see a band at Cedars. We went early to get seats as I can’t stand for long as I need a knee replaced. An hour later a crowd stood in front of us and could have cared less that we couldn’t see. We asked people to move and they refused. Instead of attacking anyone we left. I decided sometime ago to never go to big concerts and pay big money for a floor seat as people are just going to stand in front of you. Much better to get balconey seats and be able to sit and see.

We walked over to the Lemon Grove to see the dancing show. We were about an hour early and got good seats up front. We bought some drinks and settled in. The show started and people came from everywhere to stand in front of us. We asked people to move and they turned around and stared at us like we didn’t exist. I note that Dorian Thomas was one of the dancers. He didn’t care that those of us who arrived early to get a seat now had our view blocked. He never stood up for us. I guess he is only concerned when his families view is blocked.

I am not saying Bob Hagen should have been struck for blocking peoples view. I am just asking, why can’t people actually look around and see there are other people on the planet besides themselves?

I commend Jacob for trying to set up a projector so people could see. I think many clubs need to figure out a seating arrangement to include everyone. I will continue to patronize the Lemon Grove and other downtown places but I hope they are not patronized by violent families like the Thomas’s and by by folks who don’t care about anyone but themselves.

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83blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Where is all of the outrage for the Crime in Canfield???!?!?!?!???

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84here(17 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Visual and performing artists are freaks now?

Well, I can honestly say I'd rather watch the freak show than strippers or another cover/garage band (since that's generally the only other live entertainment you can get in this area after 8pm).

Low end jobs are jobs. The governments see money from their property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, permits, etc. All this money may not be given directly to Youngstown, but this entire country is one giant business, and the state and federal governments aren't going to reinvest it in us until they see a potential for growth.

You can hope that low end bars and restaurants may lead to other low end businesses that open to provide other low end necessities like gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and so on...

...or you can just sit inside and watch a city die, if that's what gets you off.

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85northsideart(111 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Youngstown needs to move the bus station and the plasma donation building to a less visible place. It also needs to work with HUD to re-locate the SSI population. Actually, if downtown wants to truly re-vitalize and become a drawing card for reputable business, all social services should be moved out. Youngstown also needs to significantly reduce its crime problem and public education. No industry will be able to attract a decent workforce to a place that has chaotic neighborhoods and lousy public education. This is just common sense. A few bars are so far from being the answer that it's ridiculous. All that the bars achieve is the opportunity for their owners to pat themselves on the back for doing something completely non-innovative for their community. Really? Is that the best you can come up with? You built another bar?

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86here(17 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Government needs to this, government needs to do that...That's fine, go ahead and wait. In the mean time, you can expect the 'new adult' population to seize the opportunity and utilize some dirt cheap property in an attempt push downtown in another direction, for better or worse.

The Lemon Grove may just be yet another bar after 10pm, but they support too many progressive locals to consistently deserve that label. The display and sell local art, provide a popular venue for non-mainstream performing arts (people are implying they were over capacity at a tap dance show? in Youngstown?!), host discussion, debate, and reading groups , showcase some of the local ethnic groups with themed music and food once a month...Even when they are just being another bar end on weekends, the live entertainment is nothing like anything else you can find in this area (it's easy to see why so many natives were quick to categorize the belly dancers as strippers, since that's all 'we' know).

That may not sound significant to all the naysayers --- I know too many people are just sitting around waiting for someone to wave a magic wand overnight (be it the government, some giant industry, whatever) so they can wake up to a booming, crime free Youngstown again --- but at least it's something! Who knows how many young people that are passionate about the more independent arts may be inspired by the potential 'success' they see at this venue? And they are forwarding their share of money to the government. Maybe, just maybe, a portion of that will be truly reinvested in some magical way that will make the city more appealing to our true 'saviors.'

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87mrdavey(10 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Blah, blah, blah.....................belly dancers are whores. It's written in the Good Book.

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