Dearth of development in Valley proves government is a fraud

Dearth of development in Valley proves government is a fraud

Citizens’ thanks should go to Vindicator politics writer David Skolnick for his pointed expose of Youngstown’s urban-development planning and its imminent additional outlays. He did everything but say the word.

Our government is a fraud. With the exception of a handful of private individuals, most heroically Volney Rogers (whose modest house on Falls Avenue after 100 years of complete neglect was recently allowed to burn to the ground without even a thought for its heritage value), there has never been any interest here, beyond lip-service, in developing and enhancing the elements of healthful community life.

“Urban development” has never meant other than toadying to the Chamber. Former Mayor GeorgeMcKelvey knew better than anyone the Traficant Sports Palace would be a millstone, and loudly proclaimed as much, until crunch-time, which found him enthusiastically singing the Chamber’s tune.

Jay Williams spent a number of years as our city planner and fathered “Youngstown 2010” before becoming mayor and being lionized nationwide with many offers of speaking engagements. But strangely came Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” and call for “shovel-ready projects”, Mayor Williams, renowned genius of urban revitalization, laid a big goose egg. We got nothing but blacktop.

The pols know well where service is due; Youngstown is a “corporate-ocracy.” For blimp factories and Ben Lupo’s, it’s royal treatment; for the citizen, the bum’s rush. Even in the case of their most glorious achievements, GM and Vallourec, for all the taxpayer subsidies, it’s hard to discover any return in terms of government development projects.

Robert Scheetz, Youngstown

The writer served on the Economic Development Committee of the Youngstown 2010 plan.

Media should show sensitivity to family of Officer Hartzell’s killer

The Vindicator does a nice job with articles about honoring fallen police officers and memorial events for them. Over the years, I have read many articles in The Vindicator about the tragic death of Youngstown Police Officer Mike Hartzell 10 years ago.

I sympathize with the Hartzell family and totally understand their grief because my family and I received the same kind of phone call, telling us that our son/brother had been taken from us at the age of 27.

Having said that, I want to address the subject of another family that also is grieving over this same terrible accident but from a different perspective. I am referring to the family of Martin Koliser. They are good people and had no control over what he did. And I know that every time they see their son’s/brother’s/grandson’s name mentioned in these articles, they feel terrible about what he had done.

Is it possible for reporters to honor Mike Hartzell without always repeating Koliser’s name in every article? I am aware this letter will arouse anger in some of the readers, but because I know this family, I feel it is the right thing to do. Repeating the details of this tragedy over and over doesn’t help either family, and it should stop.

Gerry Vasko, Youngstown

Here’s what medically insured and communists have in common

Is if fair to call our medi- cally insured America’s last communists?

Like communists, our medically insured believe in giving to each according to his need. That’s why the $10 an hour worker and the $100 an hour executive at your office or factory will have the same health care plan.

Like communists, our medically insured believe in new forms of social organization. The communists had collectives to fulfill the revolution. The medically insured have the insurance group. No one knows what insurance groups do.

Insurance groups are taken to mean workers and families. Groups are neither. Insurance groups may be not unfairly described as gay-preferred, worker- indifferent, family-denying, jobs- and capital-destroying and union-discrediting.

Unions, for example, don’t bargain for workers’ benefits. They bargain to fund insurance groups. That means almost all unions bargain harder for nonworkers than workers. Some unions even bargain harder for other companies’ workers than their own workers. They just don’t know that’s what they do. All power to the insurance groups, right?

Communists offered high-sounding explanations for offing chumps in the Gulag. Our medically insured can’t even explain how that group health insurance card got in their wallets. They’re trapped in The Matrix; they don’t know their coordinates, and they don’t want to know, either. That’s why all health care debate is crackpot rhetoric.

That’s why Mahoning Valley leaders need to prepare now for the abolition of group health insurance that I believe is inevitable. A massive congressional inquiry triggered by Obamacare’s stupidities will set off a political whirlwind that will rip our medically insured from the false theories of health care that they’ve stroked themselves with for decades.

There’s no down side to preparedness. The up side is the Mahoning Valley will be ready before other communities for the health care change that’s long overdue.

Jack Labusch, Niles

Add Youngstown area’s 673,614 people; watch NE Ohio take off

Over the past decade multiple organizations have been formed to promote regionalism and cooperation among Northeast Ohio communities, and this is a great thing. The Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area includes much of Northeast Ohio; the 2010 census indicated that 3.5 million people resided within this area, making it the 15th largest CSA. Most consider Youngstown to be a part of Northeast Ohio, and if the Youngstown-Warren CSA were to be wrapped into the Cleveland-Akron-Canton CSA, the total population of Northeast Ohio would increase by 673,614 residents, making the total population of Northeast Ohio 4.1 million. I feel as though it’s important to throw out such statistics to help understand how Northeast Ohio shapes up against other CSAs. Northeast Ohio has a lot going for it, and it’s time for us to start exploiting all of the region’s attributes.

Toward that end, Northeast Ohio communities should work together to develop a new international airport. Not only would this big idea do wonders for this region in the short term, but it would promote major growth within the region in the long term. It’s important that this new international airport, let’s call it NEO, be constructed in a geographical location that is favorable to all Northeast Ohio stakeholders, potentially near the intersection of multiple U.S. interstates that connect major Northeast Ohio cities. In 1973, mayors in Akron and Cleveland proposed Richfield; this may still be a great location. Richfield is located at the intersection of routes 77, 80 and 271, 60 miles from Youngstown, 20 miles from downtown Cleveland, 20 miles from downtown Akron, 40 miles from Canton.

This has been accomplished in the past. Dallas and Fort Worth worked together to construct a great airport in a location beneficial to both cities. Northeast Ohio has a greater population than that of Charlotte, Denver, Orlando and Salt Lake City; those four cities are home to airports that accommodate more than twice the volume that Cleveland and Akron- Canton combined currently support.

NE Ohio can do better. There is no reason why we can’t begin to turn this around.

Jason E. Ziegler, Mentor


Dr. George Sutton is dean emeritus of the Youngstown State University College of Engineering and Technology. He was misidentified in a letter to the editor published June 11.