Another view of the racino

Another view of the racino

In the fall of 2002, Austintown zoning board changed the zoning in an area that came to be known as CentrePoint or CentrePoint Park where the future racino would be built. One hundred fifty Austintown residents attended the hearing and two spoke in favor of changing the zoning from agricultural residential to RI light industrial. The zoning board voted unanimously in favor of the zone change.

Next trustees Ditzler, Pritchard and Edwards voted unanimously to approve the zone change. Four hundred people attended this hearing, two spoke in favor. (Democracy in action.)

Next step, place the issue on the ballot. A total of one thousand and nine hundred fifty eight signatures were gathered. Attorney Alan Wenger was hired by the citizens committee to make sure everything was in order. The Mahoning County Board of Elections then threw out the petitions at a protest hearing where only Ditzler was invited to attend. The reason given was improper language stating anyone misrepresenting this petition would be guilty of a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

For 10 years nothing happened, then suddenly last year tremendous publicity by the corporate-controlled media for a racino at CentrePoint Park. Prior to the media blitz, local state Reps. Gerberry and Schiavoni and Austintown trustees Ditzler, Davis and Oles worked privately with Gov. Kasich and key members of the Republican controlled state legislature to make this racino a reality.

Never did any of the aforementioned Democratic politicians ever conduct a public hearing on this issue.

Presently I tried to give the residents’ side of this issue on a radio talk show and was cut off and told I should have bought the land at CentrePoint, if I objected to the racino.

Instead of kings, queens, prime ministers and dukes, we have the corporate CEO who runs the show. (The dog and pony show is run by our government officials.)

Jim Bunosky, Austintown

Democrats have her seeing green

Why I am leaving the Demo- cratic Party:

1) Concerned about the dangers of fracking, many citizens, including professors and health care professionals, have spoken at city council meetings. They discussed the chemicals used in fracking, including benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde, among others. They also informed council about the Halliburton Loophole, which makes the industry exempt from the Clean Air and Water Act and allows the industry to keep secret the chemicals used in fracking. Instead of listening to these citizens with an open mind, the mayor chose not to attend several of the speeches, stating that he had already heard it all.

2) One councilman signed the petition for the Community Bill of Rights, yet at a neighborhood meeting, attempted to dissuade the public from supporting it.

3) The endorsed mayoral candidate also signed the petition, yet as county commissioner, he signed water sales permits for fracking near the Meander Reservoir, the source of our drinking water.

4) Despite the fact that an identical Bill of Rights was passed and enforced in Mansfield, Yellow Springs, and Broadview Heights, local politicians use scare tactics and mistruths to discredit our Bill of Rights. They claim it is unenforceable and create ridiculous scenarios about how it might be misinterpreted. The Bill defends our inalienable rights to drink pure water, breathe clean air, and live safely. It does not threaten any businesses or jobs.

5) Citizens provided seminars about the negative impact of fracking, but local politicians never attended. By ignoring citizens’ concerns, these politicians have failed to uphold their oath of office. Instead of protecting us, they support the industy, which will export our gas to China, leaving us with poisoned air and water .

Why would I want to be a Democrat?

I am switching to the Green Party, whose goal is “an America where decisions are made by the people and not by a few giant corporations … and a sustainable world where nature and human society co-exist in harmony.”

Vote yes on May 7 for the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights.

Chris Khumprakob, Youngstown

Don’t write off Youngstown

I was sorry to read such a neg- ative letter last Sunday from a Youngstown resident in regard to downtown. Why? Because I see Youngstown as coming back, especially the downtown area.

And, yes, people do venture downtown from the suburbs to eat and sometimes catch a show, or go to YSU for an event.

I am sorry the writer feels that Youngstown should just dry-up and blow away; he is really missing out on a lot the downtown area has to offer as well as the city.

I understand the city needs help in the neighborhoods, but I think that pertains to any city during these times.

Our neighborhood groups are a vital impact in making the community and city a better place to live, and as a neighborhood resident I think we do a pretty good job with the resources we have.

The decline of downtown Youngstown did not happen overnight, nor will the rise of downtown Youngstown happen overnight.

I am sorry Caf Cimmento is closed but it does happen in business. As far as having little class in a poor little city — maybe we are not rich in money, but we have class, and we have pride. Those are two things that no one can take away from us.

I am going to keep believing in the city, and its residents.

Christine Silvestri, Youngstown

Temporary solution

Just a thought. During con- struction of the Meadows Casino in Pennsylvania, they set up an inflatable dome that housed the slot machines temporarily while the permanent facility was under construction. Would this be an option in Austintown while the political posturing continues?

David J. Childers, Boardman

Support urged for bond issue

The Ohio School Boards As- sociation strongly encourages Columbiana Exempted Village School District residents to vote yes on the district’s bond issue on the May 7 ballot.

Passage of the $4 million issue will enable the district to begin much-needed renovations, repairs and improvements to South Side Middle School, which was built in 1962. The 1.23-mill, 29-year bond issue would cost property owners $18.83 a year per $50,000 of property valuation — just $1.57 a month. The renovations would extend the life of the aging school by approximately 40 years and eliminate the need for costly ongoing repairs.

OSBA encourages citizens to keep their schools and community strong by voting for the bond issue. It’s a sound investment in the future.

Rob Delane, Columbus

The writer is deputy executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association.

Cost of immigration is too high

Only in America could non- citizens rally to demand citizenship. Not only are they noncitizens, but they are here illegally.

Could you imagine 20,000 strong illegals marching in the capital cities of other nations demanding legislation? Absurd to even imagine it.

I am not opposed to guest worker visas, but not citizenship. I was never rewarded for doing wrong, but illegals want that very thing. The U.S. can’t afford 11 million-plus illegals as citizens. Most are poor and where will we get the extra money to support them?

The illegals are hard workers, but we just can’t afford them.

Nell Higgins, Hubbard