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Mayor vows to raze 25 houses near St. Dom



Published: Sun, October 3, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mayor Jay Williams is vowing that 25 vacant houses, suspected of being havens for criminals, on the city’s South Side near St. Dominic Church will be demolished by the end of the year.

Calling the project “Operation Redemption,” Williams said most of the houses are on Lucius and Auburndale avenues and Southern Boulevard.

Williams made the announcement outside the church on East Lucius Avenue during a Saturday prayer vigil planned as a response to a series of recent violent crimes.

Thomas J. Repchic was murdered, and his wife, Jacqueline, was seriously injured during a Sept. 25 shooting. The couple were leaving St. Dominic’s when hit by gunfire in their car in what police say was a case of mistaken identity.

Also, real-estate agent Vivian Martin was murdered Sept. 20 on the city’s East Side.

The vigil was also for Angeline Fimognari, an elderly St. Dominic parishioner who was murdered in January in the church parking lot after attending Mass.

The Rev. Gregory Maturi, St. Dominic’s pastor, had a list of 20 houses.

“We’ve got to tear down the houses as part of the city’s revitalization,” he said. “They are blighted, dilapidated, nuisance houses; places for drugs and other criminal behavior. They are places for gangs to hang out and for them to go to after committing a crime.”

In addition to those 20, Williams said he and Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, whose ward includes the church and the surrounding streets, found five other houses that are also “trouble spots” in the area.

All of the houses are on the city’s demolition list, but not all were supposed to be knocked down this year, Williams said.

That has changed with the murders, he said.

Some will be taken down by the city’s street department. Money for the rest will come from a federal grant the city received to stabilize neighborhoods and from people who have agreed to donate for this particular purpose, Williams said.

“These houses are such a plague on this community,” he said. “St. Dom’s is raising money to expand its parish center, and they shouldn’t have to deal with these houses.”

Once the demolitions are done, the area will be converted to green space, Williams said.

“They could be used to help revitalize the neighborhood,” he said.


Comments

1southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It is such a shame, the area was a beautiful and safe neighborhood 35 years ago.

Now drugs have taken over and destroyed the fabric of society, as in so many other cities in our nation.

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2tiger09roar(9 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The Mayor and the Ward person need to do the RIGHT THING, getting rid of these vacant houses later than sooner has contributed to the problem...once those houses are gone it can not stop there...we need to move the South Side along and keep getting people on board to HELP!! What ever it takes!! It just can not HAPPEN when there are KILLINGS. This has been festering since the 80'S. LET'S get something done!!

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3Silence_Dogood(1315 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I can never figure out why there are $40,000 SUV's parked in the driveway of homes that are worth at best $10,000. In life people have thier own priorities, and they have every right to choose what they value most. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that thier pimp rides are waxed and polished to a T, but the house that they live in is a falling down, cock roach infested dump. Trash is scattered about thier yards, garages are literally falling down, gutters have trees growing in them or are hanging down from the eaves of the roof. There is no self respect when it comes to thier CRIB but damn if they don't look great as they drive down the street going thru stop signs and red lights.
The City can pay to have these 25 homes torn to the ground, but that will not be the long term solution.The baloon that gets squeezed will not loose any volume it just is redistributed and changes shape.The City will tear down these 25 homes and then these people will move into another 25 homes and run them into the ground just like the last 25 homes. In ten years from now there will be another 25 homes that will need to be removed, and on and on the cycle goes.
These people are no better then a swarm of locust, they will use up everything in thier path and then move on. You will not see the pride and self respect that most normal people show with a well maintained property for thier priorities are half assed backwards and that will never change.

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4Silence_Dogood(1315 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I can recall the beauty of the North Side and South Side of Youngstown in the sixties and seventies, they were safe neighborhoods were everyone watched out for each other. It is sad to realize that the locust have gone thru these areas and used up all that they offered and have left an empty shell behind.
There was a term used in the sixties to denote people moving away from Black people, it was termed "white flight", it is sad, but that is happening again in Youngstown, and I don't blame them one bit.
I can't help it if people take offense to this phenomenon and want to view it as racist. The reality is it has more to do with self-preservation then the color of the skin.When you look at things with open and honest eye's you can see how neighborhoods have turned color over the decades and you can see the increase in crime and the deterioration of homes.
An honest look at the last thirty years of VIOLENT CRIME in Youngstown will reveal that the overwhelming majority of it was commited by the Black Male 13 to 35 years of age (over 95%), a group that over that period was about 15% of the population.Government has no solution to this phenomenon, Black Churches have no effect on this trend. Having a Black Police Chief, a Black Mayor, A Black President has no effect. There are Thousands upon Thousands of Black Citizens in this town that have tried in vain to stop and reverse this trend. all to no avail.
Those that left, left because they know that it is beyond thier control to have an impact on those that do the most harm. It is beyond thier control to cause another person bent on leading a life of crime to change course and lead a normal and productive life. We after all live in a Country that gives us the RIGHT to Free Will, and we have no say in the choices that others make. If someone wants to have ten children out of wedlock ,that is thier right. If someone wants to have five children with no means to support them that is thier right(and our duty to support them),If someone wants to father seven children with six different woman it is thier right.
If we really want to cause a change in the trend that society is going we need to make changes as to how we as a Country deals with this type of behavior. First and formost there needs to be accountability for those that milk the system for thier benifit (and the taxpayers detriment).Unemployment compensation, welfare , food stamps, WIC, ADC, ect. ect. ect. are all good programs that should be used as a short term solution.The last time this Country was in the depths of a Depression and had great numbers of unemployed people we put them to work. We did not give them unemployment checks to stay at home and do nothing. The people got the aid that they needed but at a price, they WORKED FOR IT.All of these social stop gap programs should be given just as before but with one caveat, you work for your benifits that you otherwise would have recieved for free.

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5candystriper(575 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

mayor...good job!

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6areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Give me a break! Why are wee giving a free pass to Father Greg Maturti? After the death of the first member of his congregation, he was SILENT!

Now that it's election time, he's being pimped by every politician.

When asked during a radio interview what he and his congregation does for outreach he said, "Nothing" He continued on talking about a fund-raising WINE TASTE so they can expand their parish hall.The behavior of using cathedrals as a haven to do nothing.

Many have been ongoing trying to rid the area of crime and their efforts should be noted. Its committed folks like MVOC and ACTION working hard to bring about change.

Where these folks are looking out for the whole, Father Greg is only talking care of himself. IF he acted in January, things could have been different.

For that matter, the Rephic's were not victims because of the blighted houses around the church, yet this is now being lifted as the solution. HELP US GOD!
Opportunists like Father Greg and the politicians HE IS STROLLING WITH should be charged with "DRIVE BY COMMITMENT!"

It was reported on today's news there was a stabbing at a home in the area of the church, While folks are concentrating on mobile crime, what about these home invasions?

A Cardinal Mooney student was also most sexually assaulted last Friday when some two thugs in their late 20"s or early 30's broke into her home to burglarize it. They did not even know she was in the house initially. If she was not able to call 911 on her cell phone, things would have been tragic. Yes, this occupied home- which is not blighted is within the vicinity and walking distance of the church.

I do find it interesting that the church has a strong stance AGAINST capital punishment, yet its members are advocating it. I'm just saying.

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7Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

areu

"Give me a break! Why are wee giving a free pass to Father Greg Maturti? After the death of the first member of his congregation, he was SILENT! "
"Where these folks are looking out for the whole, Father Greg is only talking care of himself. IF he acted in January, things could have been different."

Are you serious dude?? After Angelinas senseless murder:

Mr. Maturi called the crime “a random, senseless act,” and noted that the church plans to increase security.

Measures being considered are hiring police, increasing the number of and upgrading surveillance cameras, altering the times for people to leave and the gates to be open, and reviewing security procedures in place, he said, adding that St. Dominic’s has cameras all around the premises and security guards patrolling during every service.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/jan/25...

areu

"For that matter, the Rephic's were not victims because of the blighted houses around the church, yet this is now being lifted as the solution. HELP US GOD!"

Who said that was the solution? It's a start dude.

Once blighted homes come down, Maturi says the next step is for Mahoning County Commissioners to create a land bank so those properties can be rehabilitated and renovated.

A stronger police presence is also a key element. Maturi has spoken with both the Governor and the Attorney General to help the city keep up its patrols.

"I asked Governor Strickland, we need state troopers here in the city to do targeted saturated enforcement just long enough so that Youngstown can build its police force," Father Maturi explained.

If the city could secure $3 million from the federal government, 40 police officers could be hired and trained.

The Attorney General's office will hold a summit meeting with specifics of the plan on October 27 at St. Dominic's church.

http://www.wytv.com/content/news/loca...

areu

"I do find it interesting that the church has a strong stance AGAINST capital punishment, yet its members are advocating it. I'm just saying."

And were are the members advocating capital punishment? The ones I seen interviewed haven't been talking about it? Get the facts dude.

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8areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Life2short- I am very serious! The Father hid behind the stone fortress until flushed out by this latest incident.

Where has he been and where were these "solutions" before now? They were being trumpeted by other voices in the community. Father Greg's idea and concept is not new nor original. He is carrying the message of impotent politician who want to only use the church and its leadership for votes in this upcoming election. Notice how this priest from the DC caters to politicians? No surprise to me!

What has Strickland and Cordray or any of the other public prostitutes done for this valley consistently for the past four years, besides sound bites and camera muggings? Now they want us to re-affirm them as the pain and loss of this dear family is exploited!

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9areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Life 2short: fact: A person who identified themselves as a member of St. Dom's in the article regarding the Vigil advocated the death penalty in the comment section. Read it for yourself! There you go dudette, the facts

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10areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Life2short- here is the facts as posted by
" kensgirl (27 comments) posted 17 hours ago"

I grew up attending St. Dom's. Baptism, First Communion, Confimation and Marriage. That church has my heart. I pray something gets turned around! God bless Fr. Maturi and what he has inherited. It will be a LONG ROAD INDEED. NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL WE PUT THESE LOW LIVES IN PRISON FOR LIFE OR REALLY START ENFORCING THE DEATH PENALTY.

Not my words or thoughts (although I agree with them) but their own!

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11Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

areu

"The Father hid behind the stone fortress until flushed out by this latest incident."

He was only installed in November, so how his he hiding???
And once AGAIN, read the article from January 25th, 2010.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/jan/25...

areu

"What has Strickland and Cordray or any of the other public prostitutes done for this valley consistently for the past four years, besides sound bites and camera muggings? "

I've been saying that! Not to mention Mayor Williams and the Police Chief and all the other leaders of Youngstown. Comprehend!

areu

"He is carrying the message of impotent politician who want to only use the church and its leadership for votes in this upcoming election."

And if the idiots re-elect these fools then that is pitiful. But don't go blaming a Father at a church for the idiot officials we have in office now, blame the fools that voted for them.

areu

"Life2short- here is the facts as posted by
" kensgirl (27 comments) posted 17 hours ago""

I agree also, but that is just ONE person, not a whole congregation! Unreal.

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12Cowboyfan(105 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

You would have had the money to demolish these houses if someone would have filled the paperwork out right. Now they are trying to use these senseless murders as a means to get the money they missed out on. They can hire all the Police you want them to and then they will lay them off to scare you into voting for a tax increase.

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

No operating crackhouses will be damaged during this event .

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14areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Life2short_ I agree with you Mayor Williams, Janet Tarpley and the other local figures are part of this madness. I also referred to the state folks who are more out of touch than the local misfits. Please do not think I am giving them a free pass.

I just find it insulting that men and women like Father Noga and Annie Hall and many others have been stalwarts in addressing the issue getting little help, resources or attention from others and now you have this lone preacher on the media circuit pledging to work solo except with the cast of characters fitting to keep their power.

If WE are to be effective, it will take the WHOLE community- families, concerned/nosy neighbors, caring teachers, honest law enforcement, and with all the churches in this town- TOGETHER it can be fixed.This effort cannot be personality driven.

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15areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Here's some hope, the YOUTH of this community sought for the concept of Non violence week.

"The only way to stop acts of violence like those perpetrated in the city during the last few weeks is to change the way people think.

The week was the idea of city school students who last year participated in the Sojourn to the Past, a 10-day trip to sites in the past that were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement.

The students petitioned city council, the Youngstown State University trustees and city school board to make recognition of the first week of October as Nonviolence Week an annual event."

Perhaps it would be wise for the community to listen and engage the minds of these young citizens who are committed to doing the right thing.

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