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Bertram de Souza

Stories by Bertram

Is our Mafia history a factor?

To hear the mastermind of State Issue 3 tell it, Youngstown was under consideration for one of the

Heads must roll at board of elections

Having a clerk take the fall for what is by any measure a major foul-up at the Mahoning County Board

Vote ‘yes’ on Issue 3 to end the hypocrisy

From the anti-gambling puritans, to the group leading the charge against State Issue 3, to some

YSU is not coming up ‘aces’

In just a matter of weeks, Youngstown State University has gone from walking on a $5,275,000 cloud —

The vanities of the ex-cons

There he was in all his criminally convicted glory, talking about running for Congress. Who, James

They rise up in defense of their man

You’ve got to hand it to the supporters of ex congressman-turned-criminal James A. Traficant Jr.,

‘Come to YSU, we even have computers’

To hear Youngstown State University’s administration tell it, the $4,500 bonuses that 400 or so

Traficant: Master of the disguise

The mug shots of James A. Traficant Jr. aren’t meant to highlight the fashion sense of the former

Traficant bans writer from bash

Former congressman and now former federal prisoner James A. Traficant Jr. will in all likelihood

Respect? Not a little bit

The ex-sheriff’s self-destructive streak did him in. From this day forth, legitimate journalists

Blessed is the criminal? Read on

It is not surprising that politicians, by and large, rise to the defense of one of their own —

Years Ago

Today is Sunday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2009. There are 130 days left in the year. On this date

Tsagaris has last laugh with wrist tap

Just two months ago, this space was dedicated to the proposition that an officeholder who corrupted

What would Traficant say?

A telepathic conversation with former Congressman-turned-federal inmate James A. Traficant Jr.:

Judge ignores reality in Y’town

Retired Cuyahoga County Judge Thomas Curran, sitting by assignment in the case of Youngstown killer

Federal judge pick is not a surprise

Let us stipulate that Gene Donofrio, a 7th District Court of Appeals judge, is a nice man who, from

An arena of false profits and false prophets

The headline on the front page of Tuesday’s Vindicator screamed — OK, perhaps not screamed, but

At YSU, ‘me-too’ defines greed

If employees at Youngstown State University had not shown such unadulterated greed in gorging

Why pay to strip homes in Y’town?

At first glance, the city of Youngstown’s “deconstruction” program makes so much sense you wonder

What’s the criteria for granting immunity?

One of the main subtexts of the political saga of James A. Traficant Jr. is how the man who admitted

Governor’s scheme for slots isn’t surprising

Early in his administration, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was lumped in with other prominent Ohio

Cities can punish ‘foreign workers’

Now that the Republican dominated Ohio Supreme Court has told public employees they are free to live

Tsagaris can’t be chuckling these days

In September 2005, at the formal announcement by Pan Am Airlines that its regional carrier, Pan Am

It’s a good thing area wasn’t on feds radar

Now is not the time for the Mahoning Valley to be attracting national attention to the crucial role

Pros and cons of stores in the Hood

The May 10 column headlined “Will store closings end crime in Y’town?” opened with the following:

Opposition to casino proposal growing

It’s always risky to bet against a guy with boatloads of money, but here goes: Dan Gilbert, owner of

Dann’s apology churns the stomach

Yes, a year does make a difference. Last Tuesday, the disgraced former attorney general of Ohio,

Will store closings end crime in Y’town?

Let’s get something straight: The owners of the neighborhood markets in the city of Youngstown, many

Rep. Ryan’s decision to stay put is right on

There was a collective sigh of relief in the Mahoning Valley, especially within the ranks of the

A plucked PETA chick vs. plucked KFC chick

Warren Mayor Michael O’Brien should consider the following question as he decides whether to hitch

Antonini remains a joker to the end

A tip of the hat to Lisa Antonini for the comic relief she provided as chairwoman of the Mahoning

To repeat: Rep. Ryan should stay in House

What a difference three months make. On Jan. 18, this space was dedicated to the proposition that

Cafaros know how to get even

Reports of Anthony Cafaro’s political demise — in this space — have been exaggerated. Cafaro, chief

Is a sweet deal in the works for YSU prez?

Having failed to get the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio to agree to a plan that would have

Strollo, Madoff: Corrupt soul mates

One is now in federal prison, where he’ll spend the rest of his life; the other was in federal

Let the Y’town judges roll dice

Youngstown’s municipal court judges have threatened to go to the Ohio Supreme Court to force city

Valley left out of casino proposal

If the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and his high-rolling cohorts think they can pass a

There are none so blind as those ...

Stupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstup

Make the GOPers beg for stimulus

Ohio stands to receive $8.2 billion from the stimulus package passed by Congress — with no

Rendell creative with gambling

There are at least 17,000 illegal poker machines operating in Pennsylvania, and Gov. Ed Rendell

Obama should send CEOs to Valley

President Barack Obama wants top executives from companies seeking federal bailouts to experience

Y’town needs a new ‘court’

A half century ago, when Youngstown was justifiably the center of the Mahoning Valley universe, when

It takes courage to be a leech?

“Today we agreed to put to rest a series of events that was unbecoming of the leadership of the

Rep. Ryan should remain in the House

To understand why U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, would do well to disabuse himself of the

Should ’09 be the year to embrace our slugs?

“Nice job kicking a guy when he’s down!”

Antonini, Cafaros good for a laugh

About a month ago, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairwoman Lisa Antonini, reacting to an entry

Is $45M cost fo arena valid?

That question has preoccupied this writer ever since the publicly owned Chevrolet Centre opened three years ago. An effort to get the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a cost analysis of the downtown Youngstown sports and entertainment facility failed because neither the mayor at the time, George M. McKelvey, nor members of city council expressed interest in such a review.

Traficant has not asked for a break

President Bush’s latest list of pardons made national news last week — but received passing mention

Dem chief Antonini should step down

To quote Chris Matthews, the insightful and aggressive talk show host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, “Ha!”

McCain’s pick of Palin cost him a vote

If only the John McCain on the presidential campaign trail had been the John McCain in the United States Senate.

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