Use model from NC to develop North Side of Youngstown

Use model from NC to develop North Side of Youngstown

High Point University in High Point, N.C., has similar demographics to our home of Youngstown. The only substantial difference between these two university towns is the crime rate. Youngstown nearly doubles High Point’s, but this wasn’t always the case.

In 1999 High Point’s crime was rated at 712, (the national average being around 300) while Youngstown was rated less than that at 707. So what happened in the past 14 years that caused so much change? Business people invested into their local college, creating an immaculate learning experience that now attracts many students locally and nationally to their city. So what are we waiting for? HPU investors saw growth opportunities in a buyer’s market, and they are capitalizing on that investment. Those same opportunities are at YSU particularly the north side of campus. If current landlords would only rent to students and re-invest in their properties, it would help fix a major problem at YSU by providing students a safer place to live off campus.

It’s not rocket science, and the need is obvious. YSU students have the means to rent but would rather live at home, in neighboring areas such as Austintown, or in the newly refurbished but more expensive apartments downtown. Downtown’s nightlife has become developed and much safer transforming itself into a high traffic weekend getaway.

It’s time to move the money north, and the students will follow. There are open fields between Michigan and Ohio avenues that could use some new apartment complexes and landscaping.

Tighten the reins in Wick Park and Broadway where some fraternities are located and you just created a college town that can offer a safer and more complete college experience. Re-investing will attract top students nationally and help prevent top local students from leaving.

There is little to no difference with the education levels between HPU and YSU so let’s continue to develop the campus and downtown but more importantly the North Side. The city of High Point rests with the success of its university, which is no different from Youngstown. If the necessary investments are not made and YSU’s attendance continues to decrease, the university could fall into bankruptcy that would be devastating to the local economy.

Nathaniel Whaley, Youngstown

School districts must monitor health risks for student athletes

Question: When has it become normal for high school student athletes to die in the name of sports?

Answer: It hasn’t.

Sadly, it is becoming more common to find articles in newspapers concerning high school athletes dropping dead due to an unsaid condition during a sporting event or practice.

Tragedies such as the one experienced by the Truax family in Everett, Wash., could have been stopped, which brings up the issue of high school sports safety.

The family’s youngest son, Matthew, only 17 at the time, died unexpectedly when he went under cardiac arrest while running a mile during his gym class.

Matthew was an avid soccer player and had never experienced problems or had shown symptoms of having an ill heart. When he died, his high school did not have a defibrillator on hand, and Matthew never had received an electrocardiogram test for his physical.

Matthew’s parents say that if their son had undergone an EKG two years ago, he would still be alive.

This death and many others can be blamed solely on the school districts where these children attended. It is the job of the school and its coaches to make sure that all students are fit enough to play sports, and if they are not, that the students do not play on the team or are given a lighter workload.

If an EKG is required for a physical instead of recommended, Matthew’s life and many others’ lives could have been spared. What is an extra couple dollars on the parents’ end to ensure the safety of their child? Sports are already money-suckers, with most having an entry fee or many add-ons during the year; why not pay to at least make them safe?

Also, many high schools do not have AEDs close by sports areas. If the schools had proper equipment for situations like these, many would be avoided.

Tragedies like these bring to light just how unsafe school sports can be. If young adults wish to participate in these dangerous activities representing a school district, it must be that school’s job to make sure that all the stops are pulled in reassuring the safety of its athletes.

Gabrielle Fellows, New Springfield

Why pay $700M to dead Americans?

The U.S. government is pay- ing the deceased too much money in Social Security and retirement benefits. The outdated system also allows for the living to be “dead.”

Keeping track of the 2.5 million people who die each year is the job of the federal bureaucracy; however it’s the Social Security Administration that oversees it.

At least 750 living Americans a month are put into the Death Master File in error, according to news reports. “They (the records) never intended to be perfect,” said Marianna LaCanfora, Social Security official. It’s an important job in the hands of someone who doesn’t believe in doing things perfectly.

With all the technology in 2013 there should be an easier and more effective way to keep accurate records and fix the imperfections of the system. Social Security has 90 million reports in the Death Master File, not all of which are correct. Information can be entered in the system in error and not be checked. If a person who is recorded deceased is living, it takes several months to correct. Stories reported show elderly being marked deceased and their banking, prescriptions, and insurance canceled.

Social Security can’t get all the blame; dishonest relatives and identity thieves are taking advantage of the free money.

The government paid more than $700 million to the dead, according to audits from 2008. Why are there living elderly being denied or limited coverage when the dead are still getting paid?

What also needs fixed are attitudes of government officials so they take better care of where the money goes and where it belongs. They need to realize this can affect someone’s life and should aim for perfection. The middle class elderly are struggling after they worked their whole lives to ensure a secure future. The over $700 million paid to the dead could have been spread out and dispersed to the current recipients. I bet they would notice it.

Ashley Hice, Masury

Reform city income tax system

Ohio’s municipal income tax system is like death by a thousand paper cuts for taxpayers. House Bill 5 will help to fix this barrier to economic development.

The problem? Ohio is the only state in the nation where almost 600 cities dictate their own tax rules, regulations and deadlines. That means many Ohioans who live and work in different cities must file and pay in both places. This process is multiplied ten-fold for small businesses that are forced to file in dozens of cities where they provide goods or services. Ohio residents should not be paying more to file taxes than they owe.

Forbes got it right recently when it said that Ohio has the “most complicated, absurd, and punitive system of municipal taxation in the nation.”

This common sense legislation will establish uniform rules and regulations across Ohio, making it easier for taxpayers to understand where and when to file local taxes. HB 5 is the right choice to help make Ohio an attractive place to live and own a business.

Urge your state legislator to vote yes.

Scott D. Wiley, Columbus

Wiley is president of the Ohio Society of CPAs.