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Friendly opposition

Published: Tue, December 27, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

Struthers neighbors display their loyalty to 2008 presidential candidates

By David Skolnick


  Political Yardsigns

In a friendly neighborhood rivalry some Struthers residents are making political statements.

In a friendly neighborhood rivalry some Struthers residents are making political statements.


Though the 2012 presiden- tial campaign is under way, neighbors on a quiet cul-de-sac in Struthers aren’t letting go of the 2008 race.

Tom Vasvari, a former 24-year city councilman and council president, put a yard sign in support of Democrats Barack Obama for president and Joe Biden for vice president on the front lawn of his Eve Drive home during the fall of 2008.

Around the same time, his neighbors across the street — Darryl Heavrin and his wife, Susan Kondos — put a sign on their front lawn for the unsuccessful Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

While the McCain-Palin sign spends time outdoors and indoors — “it kept walking away,” Kondos said — the weather-worn, tape-covered items face each other.

So why are the 2008 campaign signs still on display?

“I don’t usually do that, but it’s a reminder to people that you elected the president to make a difference, for change, and he needs our support,” said Vasvari, who’s lived in his house with his wife, Rosemarie, since it was built in 1950. “I feel really strong about him. He’s trying his best and doing a good job, but people are against him.”

Vasvari, a retired foreman at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, said he’s not “feuding” with his neighbors, adding, “I don’t know who those people are.”

It took this Vindicator article for the neighbors, who’ve lived across the street from each other since Heavrin and Kondos moved here in June 2007, to have their first conversation.

The talk had a few uneasy moments and some political trash-talking but ended with a hug and handshake.

Heavrin said he and his wife kept their sign because Vasvari kept his on display.

“It’s all in the spirit of fun,” Kondos said. “It’s never anything mean. We respect [Obama]. We disagree with him, but he is our president.”

Also, Heavrin said the sign remains because “I don’t see anyone in the Republican stable I’m enthusiastic about for president.”

Kondos said she was disappointed Palin didn’t run because she wants a woman for president. If she had to choose a GOP presidential candidate, she said it would be Newt Gingrich.

But once Republicans select a candidate, the McCain-Palin sign will be “retired” and replaced by a sign in support of the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Heavrin said.

Vasvari received a new sign a couple of weeks ago that he put next to the old one. He has no intention to get rid of his 2008 sign.

Vasvari’s sign has been through a lot, particularly bad weather, but is still in one piece, sort of.

The sign’s blue color is faded, the bottom is torn and frayed, it’s covered in tape and the back is missing.

“It blew off in a windstorm,” Vasvari said.

Helping to keep it in place is a Gov. Ted Strickland-Lt. Gov. candidate Yvette McGee Brown sign that replaced the missing back.

“It shows the signs of weather, but it’s still alive,” Vasvari said.

The McCain-Palin sign is in better shape, primarily because it’s spent time inside.

The sign is covered in clear packing tape with a portion of the bottom back side missing. Though still a dark blue, the sun has caused the color to fade, Kondos said.

Kondos, staff accountant for Mill Creek MetroParks, and Heavrin, who teaches vocational carpentry to prisoners at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, recently decorated the sign with red garland and went all out for Christmas by installing white and blue lights near it.

“It’s a little amusing,” Vasvari said about watching his neighbors take the sign out of the window and spend several hours using it as the centerpiece of their outdoor decorations.


1db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey Vasvari, how's that $3.50 gasoline working out for you? I don't expect you to be intelligent enough to understand the national debt ramifications, EPA job-killing legislation, or 140 czars absurdity but... The "9.1%" unemployment rate that is actually 21% plus the additional 20% of underemployed. The sell-outs to the unions, illegals, big banks, and welfare crowd. The millions spent to conceal his college transcripts and original birth certificate (not the copy that Mr. Trump prompted). How about his pals Bill Ayers, George Soros, & the Rev. Wright; all America haters. Yep Vasvari, you're a real genius.
Obama advocates get their meager government handouts and sell out their country for a handful of dimes. Shame.

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2300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

URRRRR, I hate those DemocRATS!!!! That Marxist Fascist Muslim Atheist! Ayers, Soros, Reid, Pelosi, Wright! That Communist in office who keeps supporting free-trade deals!!

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3JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Slow news day for Vindy?

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4captainpeewee(76 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

db well put ,

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5redeye1(5354 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Vasvari If you feel Obama is good, you are nuts! This guy doesn't have a clue on what he is doing. All he does is throw money at the problems hoping they go away. If he should get reelected, watch out, your taxes are going up sky high. This guy has an agenda that doesn't help you or this great country. I feel he really doesn't like this country , but he 's sure enjoying seeing the world on our dime." The Bro gotta go" in 2012

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6300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Wait! Obama is throwing money at things? I don't want my taxes to go sky high! He obviously doesn't know nothing about nothing! I could go into detail with actual specifics, but I'm just choosing not to!!!

Get this NAFTA supporting Communist out in 2012! He's so dumb, going around with his advanced degrees! The real smart people don't need any education, we know what's correct because we feel it!

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7southsidedave(5161 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Obama for 4 more years? That is not a good idea!

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8UNCOMMONSENSE(565 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

db, were you bitching when gasoline began its climb under Bush? How about the increasing unemployment numbers? And not to forget the hole he blew in the deficit and debt. At least the economy has stabilized and my 401K is no longer vaporizing.

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9iBuck(231 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I used to know a couple members of the local civic association. Each, at one time or another, was a poll-worker. They delighted in finding donkey and elephant carvings to exchange as gifts. Later, they had statues of "liberty enlightening the world" and images of "liberty leading the people" added to the mix.

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10rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Does that stand for dirt bag?
Just asking.

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11LtMacGowan(693 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Well since Kucinich2012 isnt likely to happen I think I'll be voted for Obama again.

Although as I said Id love to see a Kucinich/Nader ticket

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12briant(57 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Who the frick cares....look at our economy, our state of the union and our own people suffering! Tea party? Time for "change?" where is it?

Vote Traficant and Stan in...we may have a chance...

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13paulydel(1508 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I guess Rocky must stand for rocks in your head. Just say'n. Obuma is no leader. He is dragging this country down and using the office of the presidency as a four year vacation at the taxpayers expense. As most smart people who actually read or listen would know that Bush nor Obuma cause gas prices or the world economy to take a nose dive. It was the oil companies and they continue to hold the world hostage now. Obuma's problem he has done nothing to help the economy and he is a contributer to the dollar being devalued. Some of you should wake up because all he wants to do is dig deeper into your pockets and he won't find oil there.

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14rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


The Repukes ran on term limits in 1994.Then after they got in,they lied and went back on their word.lol

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15redeye1(5354 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Rocky 14
You are a fool to think that this prez is good If you could tell me one good thing that he has done to help the WHOLE country please.

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16rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

When Obama took office in Jan.2008,under Bush we lost 730,000 jobs.
Under Obama,we have created over 100,000 jobs a month for the last 6 months.
Enough said.

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17300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

1. Saved GM and Chrysler and the millions of jobs that are related to those companies.

2. Has deported far more illegal immigrants than any previous administration.

3. Made health insurance more available than it was previously (even if he did fall short, he did what he could).

4. Got Bin Laden, and has handled the various Middle East revolutions pretty well.

5. Got rid of the systematic bigotry that was DADT.

6. Has us pretty much out of Iraq, with only political and a few military personnel left.

7. Cash for Clunkers has helped increase the country's fuel efficiency, and helped lead to the increase in new car says we're seeing currently.

8. Has made it possible for the Russian people to end their support of Putin (by not playing the role of the "enemy" that every leader like Putin needs to survive).

It's only your OPINION that he's been such a failure, since the facts don't back you up. Maybe you stand for discrimination, bigotry, and the like, but that places you on the wrong side of history, not him.

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18rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Were you about to say something?

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19AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

chico. You can't be serious. Bush is what got us into this mess.
The massive snowball, unemployement, stocks, deficit was rolling down hill so fast, nobody can fix it in three years. We are on the right track now, and you want to relight the fuse to continue the explosion we were in three years ago.

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20rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

No ---the economy is not great.But it is a he!! of a lot better than when Bush and the Repukes were in charge.

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21rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

If i remember right,Bush took a hell of a lot of vacations too.

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22300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Formerytown, who holds our treasury notes? For someone who claims to be so successful and informed, you just posted something that you should've known better. Better yet, use that paralegal training to research this topic a bit.

Take some time and look up who owns our national debt. The Chinese are there, but they're a small minority T-note holders. Besides, all Presidents take vacations, and usually it's to where they were from. If you weren't bent out of shape by Bush's unprecedented use of vacation time, then you shouldn't now.

Also, it's not a stereotype that he's a Democrat. It's a display of rationality. The irrational one is the lady who works as a teacher in a prison who votes GOP. She does know that they'd like to do away with her, right?

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23lumper(291 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

all obama has to do is play the video of him announcing the execution of osama bin laden a zillion times and he's a shoo-in for re-election.

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24redeye1(5354 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

300 and rocky If yoy feel that he is so great maybe you shopuld just wait alittle. His health care will cost us alot more in a few years then it does now. You will paying for all the lazy slobs from all over the country instead. WOW that really is an improvement. Secondly more immigarnts are crossing the borders now more then ever So he threw some out yesterday, but they are back tommorrow, WOW again. You see I have relatives who live in Texas. They see this happening everyday. If he had kept them out then he would have accomplished something, but he hasn't Secondly Bush started the bail oyuts of GM and Chrysler not the bro . So what else do you have.

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25redeye1(5354 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

300 and rocky His cash for clunkers was another joke. All it did was rasie the prices on all used cars. Not counting what used parts from wrecking yards cost us now. Once again it was a joke. Oh in just you haven't heard the VOLT by GM ( goverment motors) is about to br recalled and prodution stopped. By who , you might wonder, well our fine Federal Gov't that's who. The Bro has ordered the production stopped Why because the car isn't living up to its reputation. They a have found that they are dangerous in wrecks because of the batteries, that could cause sereious injuries. They are also a hazmat problem if they are wrecked.

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26db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Rocky, you & your pals haven't been paying attention. The country started downhill when the free-trade policies of your beloved Bill Clinton took effect (NAFTA, CAFTA, & GATT). Those policies were in full swing for W. Bush's regime. When 911 happened during Bush's watch, the world changed. You cannot blame Bush for the free trade/global economy nonsense or the repercussions from 911 & the resultant war on terror. The death knell to our economy was when Democrats Barney Frank & Chris Dodd enacted and passed their fair housing bill which literally mandated millions of loans to lowrents who couldn't afford the first payment.

Obama, a socialist bordering on communist, is anti capitalism and hopes to make this a socialist country. Unfortunately, socialism is a failure. The folks paying for all of the freebie government services eventually stop working and the system goes bankrupt (as is happening in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, & Ireland).

If you love freedom and think this is the land of opportunity; vote Republican. If you are looking for a government handout & hope someone else will pay your way, Obama is your man. America under Obama will end up like Cuba; a ruler elite and everyone else desperately poor.

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27rocky14(788 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


First of all.you don't have a clue what is in the health care bill.Look it up!


911 did happen on Bush's watch.He was fast asleep.
You are wrong--Mexicans coming across the border has slowed down because of our economy.

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28db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Rocky, simply calling people names make you look small & ignorant. If you have a valid point and the intelligence to express it; have at it. If not, don't act the fool.

911 happened after Bill Clinton refused to take Osama Bin Laden serious and would not take him out as our CIA advised. Mr. Clinton also questioned the power of Al Quaeda and allowed it to grow unabated.

G.W. Bush was not a great president but unlike Obama, he is a true American and had America's best interests at heart. Bush was not asleep; he was unfortunately in power while the global economy transition, the 9-11 attack, and the war on terror all occurred. His main fault was that he too wanted free trade and went along with Bill Clinton's NAFTA/CAFTA/& GATT. Other countries have tariffs, so should we. Bush also underestimated Al Quaeda.

Obama's foundation is with America haters; Bill Ayers, George Soros, Rev Wright. Obama does not believe in capitalism and is anti business. He prefers government control of business and society. The change that Obama promised was to make America a socialist country; the problem with socialists is that they soon run out of other people's money. This just happened in Greece and is near in Italy & Spain. We have 5-6 years before it will be us.

Obama has bought off the unions and the entitlement crowd (welfare, illegals, freebie program advocates, and environmentalists). He gives them perks, they give him support; but in the end the country is destroyed. He has banned drilling in our Bakken oil reserves and in the gulf to appease the greenies (the greenies are funded by OPEC). The Bakken Reserves have more oil than the entire middle east and would provide light sweet crude at $6 a barrel. This would destroy OPEC. Obama has also shelved the oil pipeline from Canada to Texas; now China is pursuing it.

Pay attention to what is happening, we are very near the tipping point.

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29slappysmith(55 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

db and redeye, you two should stop listening to rush limbaugh and watching glenn beck and watch things closer to reality like cartoons and sitcoms

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30southsidedave(5161 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

This story and the associated comments seem silly...but to each his own

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