Suburbanites know what’s best?

Suburbanites know what’s best?

I laughed when I read the recent Vindicator article pairing Dave Betras and Tom Humphries in a love fest, holding hands and joining forces to ridicule and degrade the efforts of Youngstown city residents who oppose hydraulic fracturing in the city. These residents are engaging in honorable civic duty and due diligence to protect the health and welfare of their fellow citizens. This grass-roots effort to obtain a citizen (not special interest) vote is the very essence of our democracy. Dave Betras and Tom Humphries do not even live in the city and yet have the nerve to speak for what is best for Youngstown.

I could not help thinking back to the time my Croatian grandfather came to America, lured by the promise of “streets paved with gold.” He came in 1910 at age 20 with $20 in his pocket. I was trying to imagine the back breaking work he and so many others endured. I was particularly moved to think that he and other immigrants probably cleaned up the debris following the flood of 1913 recently recalled in The Vindicator. I wondered if when he was drinking his shots and beers if he ever questioned whether he made the right decision for himself and his family. He died in 1957 without seeing the industrialists pack up and move, leaving streets not paved with gold but broken and filled with scrap metal.

Fast forward to 2013. Another wave of industrialists is luring us with promises much too risky and life-threatening to believe. I would like to see both Betras and Humphries commit to a fracking pad in their own backyards. Perhaps that would put some teeth in their empty rhetoric.

I firmly believe that this time around Youngstown city residents who have weathered so many empty promises will stand up for their dear city by voting yes on the proposed charter amendment enacting a community bill of rights for the city of Youngstown.

Kathleen Berry, Youngstown

Requiem for a restaurant

I’m sorry to hear Cimmento’s is closing. It was a fine restaurant, but was doomed from the outset, just as most of the other restaurants in downtown Youngstown are. Why? Because the unhappy fact is that Youngstown is not coming back as touted, and those who believe it is are fooling themselves.

Notwithstanding an occasional concert, there is nothing to bring people to town — like retail stores — and there never will be. Those in the suburbs will not come to town merely to dine. Most suburbanites have no interest in the city. They see it as a crime-infested, dangerous place to avoid. Most would not be able to name the streets that make up the downtown area because they have never been there. They live in their two-story colonials and ranches with their manicured lawns and brag about their excellent schools and view the blighted neighborhoods and failing schools in the city with haughty contempt. Most wouldn’t care if the city would just dry up and blow away.

So, good-bye Cimmento’s. It was nice having you. You did your best to bring a little class to our poor, little city.

Henry E. Miller, Youngstown

Don’t send the wrong message

A group of misguided citizens of Youngstown is trying to influence the people of Youngstown with their ideology on a bad charter amendment.

This amendment is bad for Youngstown and its citizens, because it sends a message to the rest of the country that Youngstown, Ohio, is not open for business.

The supporters of this movement should take off their rose-colored glasses and see the big picture here.

This amendment will curtail any economic advancement achieved by the Marcellus shale. We must have the vision to see past this distraction and move forward to achieve a better way of life for us and for generations to come.

Vote no on this amendment

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township

Put prayer, not guns, in schools

There is much being made about the need for more gun control legislation these days and how it will help reduce the awful killings that have gone on in our schools in recent years. I would like to submit that the real reason that we have these acts taking place in our schools is not the lack of gun laws, but the absence of prayer in schools.

When prayer was taken out of our schools we said that we did not want God to be part of our educational system. God is a gentlemen and when you tell him you do not want Him in your life, or in this case our schools, he will step aside. And when God is not present Satan will step in and make his presence known. This he has done, slowly at first but it seems to be taking place more often as time passes.

I would suggest that if we are really interested in protecting our school children from the awful acts that are taking place in our schools we would again permit prayer in our schools. The effect of that would be felt not only in the schools but in the entire country. Since prayer has been taken from schools, violence has increased in the entire country.

If we are interested in reducing violence, permitting prayer in schools would have better results than more gun laws.

Robert Ryzner, Girard