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Safety concerns when the earthquake shook Oakhill were real

Published: Sun, July 11, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

The headline read: “Fourth of July and the Oakhill Quake.” Seriously? Editor Todd Franko’s goal was to write about the Oakhill Quake in such a way that “it’s conveniently come back to independence and America as it should, on this important day.”

First of all, it wasn’t the Oakhill Quake. It was a real earthquake that began in Canada. It shook the building twice, a couple of seconds apart. After the second tremor everyone got up and started heading into the hallway. For four flights, we had no idea what happened or if it would happen again. Was it the men working on the other floors? Did someone finally go through with a bomb threat? Was it an earthquake? Personally, all I could think of was 9/11 and all those flights of stairs ... and how people in the second tower were told to go back, that even though their building shook, everything was fine.

The people of Mahoning County Job and Family Services, in particular, have had their share of safety concerns. We are just as tired of our leadership (or lack of leadership), but because we have a “government job with health insurance and a pension,” we are denied our citizenship.

Before 9/11, we did not appreciate our firefighters and policeman. They had to die to get respected. Had the building come down on Oakhill or even part of it — had we died — our leaders would be chastised for not protecting our safety. The news stories would have been about the caliber of people I work with; human interest stories about the people who died, and the lives they touched. Hard working Americans.

Either way, quake or no quake, the newspaper and the political leaders rarely talk about the single most important thing about Oakhill: the clients. They are the other America. Few people acknowledge or recognize this embattled population. These Americans are mentally retarded, mentally ill and chronically ill. Our clients are the elderly, children, men, women, blacks and whites. They are the working poor, intact families who work and struggle to live some form of the American dream.

So, if we want to “come back to independence and America ...”

1. Keep in mind that all people have the right to safety at their job, no matter who signs the paycheck, whether it is a CEO or the citizens of Mahoning County.

2. Sixty-four unborn children lost their fathers in 9/11; their story would have been a great Fourth of July lead in.

3. Instead of being angry that we have health insurance, be angry that not every single American has health care and that in this wealthy land of ours we have deadly curable disease killing our people — no insurance or under insurance.

4. Be grateful, that in this flawed country we have the option of duking it out with the pen instead of the sword.

I am glad “Oakhill Quake 2010” was itty bitty in comparison. I’m glad my mother did not have to read in the paper that I died in a river of concrete and apathy. Even if it means the alternative, that I am a government employee, whose steps are always considered missteps.

Melissa Sellers, Youngstown


1author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years ago

George Tablack really wrote this.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years ago

Youngstown is just in such a sorry state. There is no hope as long as the same Demofailure politicians stay in power. George Tablack showed this in spades when he emptied Oakhill and sent them home with pay.

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3burford(95 comments)posted 5 years ago

To equate Oak Hill with 9/11 is beyond pathetic.

To suggest we, meaning the public, did not appreciate policemen and fireman until 9/11 is just plain stupid.

This is a continuing effort, and a poor effort as usual, on the part of Traficanti and Tablack to sway public opinion.

It doesn't work. Just resign and go away.

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4exposed(66 comments)posted 5 years ago

How long ago was this earthquake? 3 weeks ago? It took Tablack and Traficanti all this time to find someone, anyone, in that building who would put their name on a letter.

It is now reported for the first time that the building shook twice. In a few more weeks it will be reported that the building shook 4 times, concrete was cracking and ceiling tiles were all over the floor. That will cost the taxpayers another $6,000,000.

In two months Traficanti will stand up at a commissioners meeting and say that his heart goes out to all the victims of the Great Earthquake of 2010 including those who perished.

In four months Tablack will demand an investigation of the media for failing to report this terrible tragedy.

And in 7 months the Commissioners will cut each department budget 10% and say this is needed to maintain Oak Hill.

The beat goes on.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Give me a break ! My stomach rumbles more at mealtime than did the Oakhill Quake . Our pampered employees of Mahoning County are out of touch !

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6CompMan(125 comments)posted 5 years ago

If we can get the commissioners, Tablack and county union leaders to move their offices into Oak Hill most of the Mahoning County village idiots will be house together. Does Mahoning County have earthquake insurance on this building?

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7nipsy(157 comments)posted 5 years ago

Good grief!!! Let's make mountain out of a mole hill here...The fact is that I have not heard of one other buiding in Mahoning County that was vacated and all employees sent home for the day because of that earthquake. In fact I haven't heard of any in the entire country, other than Oakhill. That said, I am going to wear a piece of white material on each foot today in rememberance of the Oakhill miracle of that day(everyone running home to safety and escaping the terrible disaster that was on it's way). Yep, I am putting on my socks right now...WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE!!!!!

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8Silence_Dogood(1501 comments)posted 5 years ago

"Before 9/11, we did not appreciate our firefighters and policeman."


Before 9/11, Melissa Sellers did not appreciate our firefighters and policeman.

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91970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years ago

Comparing this to 911?!?!?!?!?!!?!? What a shameful load of garbage.
The author doesn't even realize that this letter will just further disgust the public with such nonsense.

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10Silence_Dogood(1501 comments)posted 5 years ago

"Support for sales tax shaken

There has been much said re- cently about the county commissioners’ decision to send the workers home after the earthquake. The commissioners and many other people have said how right it was to send them home, but I do not agree. This was the only place where people were sent home for the rest of the day after the quake.

The commissioners have said over the past few years that they are looking out for the taxpayers of the county, but paying people for work not done does not make their case sound true. I have been a supporter of the sales tax for years because I believe that you must pay for what you want, but I also believe in getting value for my money. So because of the commissioners decision to pay workers for work not done, I will find it hard the next time I am asked to vote yes on a sales tax for the county."

James D. Vaughn II, Youngstown

For every Melissa Sellers there are a thousand James D. Vaughn 's

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11boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years ago

Miss Sellers,
You are now a punchline. Congratulations. you opened your mouth to defend youself for leaving work early when all you had to do was check the internet or turn on a radio and discover that you were completely overreacting. My workplace shook too a little. Know what I did? I stayed at my desk and checked the radio and news organizations and found out what happened and went back to work. You all should have gone outside and stood in the parking lot like the first graders do when they have a drill. Instead you ran home or to the park or to the shopping center and said,"whee!" like a kid skipping shool. Again, you are now a punchline, and I hope the people you are working for don't have to pay the price when you feel as though people are snickering behind your back. And believe me, they are.


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12boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years ago

Maybe Michael knew you had these cowardly childish traits when he decided it was time to go.

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13youngstowntransplant(28 comments)posted 5 years ago

hey Boardmanneedschange again you've opened your mouth before you know what happened there is construction going on in the building for one thing 2nd the safety of our clients were also on our minds so we went outside "like 1st graders as you call us" we waited outside until we were told to leave, we as workers didn't make that decision the Administration did. Oh and must be nice to be able to listen to a radio at work, we have clients in our offices the whole day so radios are out of the question and as far as checking the internet hummmm govt property not allowed to surf the web.... stop the name calling its very ugly!!!

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14boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years ago

Name calling is ugly? No sir, the amount of money spent on the employees of government agencies that employ lazy uneducated workers to sit on their overpaid rear ends and collect our money while doing nothing is ugly, not to mention getting paid to play hooky because of an earthquake that happened in another country. Defend yourself all day, but the fact remains that you were the only office building evacuated for MILES AND MILES. You are a JOKE

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15youngstowntransplant(28 comments)posted 5 years ago

HAHAHA that is the funniest post I have ever read keep telling yourself we are lazy and uneducated and do nothing. Because at the end of the day I know the truth so your silly posts are nothing but making me laugh!!! oh and by the way the little post you made as a after thought to Ms Sellers was a low blow and should have never been posted on here that was a personal attack this forum is for us to voice our opinions not make personal attacks on someone life. Shame on you!!!!

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16norma(2 comments)posted 5 years ago

Boardmanneedschange, You know what change they need. Right. They need you to leave the state.

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17norma(2 comments)posted 5 years ago

For all you people blogging out there you have no idea of what may happen to you at any time in your life. the people who left Oakhill had all the rights to do so. they were told by their administraters to leave. Unless you were there you have no idea what happend. Unless you work there you have no idea of what it"s all about. Pray you never have to go there. If you or any of your loved ones would meet up with the people you would have a very different view of their job. boarmanneedschange i feel for you. You to me is the kid who was always scared and peed his pants.By bringing up Miss Sellers past makes me think you have a inferior complex you big tough guy or gal.

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