Well, the state did in fact overreach on those charges. Anyone looking at the bill of particulars would tell you there is no way a conviction would have been brought on any of that stuff. Sure, the indictment sounds sexy because it involves a commissioner, an auditor, and the Cafaro Company, but there was no substance to the case. If you ask the average person on the street what in particular anyone did wrong, they wouldn't be able to tell you. Try giving it to a jury and see what they do with it.
As far as bashing Cafaro, you know, the guy doesn't have to keep his money in the Mahoning Valley. A person of his means could just as easily move his company elsewhere and save himself the trouble of getting beat up week in and week out around here.
As of July 21st, 2013, he has not been convicted of anything, and yet Mr. de Souza writes as if he ought to be in handcuffs this very day. Think about that.
July 21, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.
Funding of education is not the problem. As ytownsteel said, it is obvious that money doesn't always translate to performance. Youngstown City Schools have a tough way to go, but even if they spent $30,000 per student would the results differ that greatly from what they are now?
The answer is no, and as the Vindicator rightfully pointed out, new schools don't fix the problem. Sure they make a good story and it is good for the politicians, but does it resolve any of the core problems? Not even close.
July 20, 2013 at 7:40 a.m.
Just as an aside related to this since MIZZ brought this up, the whole concept of "reverse racism" is bogus. It is a false term that the media has attempted to use to classify different kinds of racism, particularly when the media uses it to describe whites accusing blacks of "reverse racism" and that it is some unproven phenomenon when they speak of it.
According to Oxford Dictionary, racism is defined as "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior:" Therefore if you were to apply the term "reverse racism" correctly, it would refer to someone who is not racist at all.
The term racism does not belong to one single group, any group could be racist against another group. There does not need to be a separate classification like "reverse racism". Racism is racism, period, and it is a two way street.
July 15, 2013 at 5:18 p.m.
The state failed to make its case, the system works. Parlay is speaking strictly on emotion judging from his posts, because the facts of the case overwhelmingly support the verdict that was delivered.
As far as shooting or not shooting, the reality is this: if you are on the ground getting the crap pounded out of you and you legitimately feel your life is in danger, chances are you are not thinking about where to shoot the guy that would least damage him--you just want him off.
The best the prosecution could have hoped for was a manslaughter charge, and even that was shaky.
July 14, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.
While they might have two years to fill out the paperwork as they claim, the fact they are still soliciting funds under the guise of the 501(c)4 framework to me seems about on par with how the Obama Administration does business.
To me, that is a pretty shady move, but given everything this administration claims not to have been involved in the last five years, I am not surprised they would operate in this manner.
June 10, 2013 at 6:12 p.m.
"In carrying its work, OFA will operate as a "social welfare" organization within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code."
There is your proof right there, right off Organizing for Action's website. You can read about it in its "About" Section, or you can read about it on Wikipedia.
So either they are a 501(c)4, or they are not and they are holding themselves out to be one. Which one is it?
June 10, 2013 at 6:07 p.m.
Actually a decent column Bertram.
I don't think anyone can expect miracles tomorrow or next week when looking at Youngstown unless you are looking more long term. None of the issues mentioned are a quick fix, and that is a fair point. Yes, blight is a problem, crime is a problem, the schools are a problem, and the income tax is not doing anyone any favors at 2.75 percent. I think most people already know this.
The reality that downtown has become viable is impressive on its own in spite of those problems, and a lot of people have done a lot of hard work to help that along. There is a fair amount of suburban money coming into the city on the weekends, and that is a really good start.
For a couple looking at moving to the city, it comes down to schools, safety, and taxes. So in 2013 the benefits of moving to Youngstown may not exceed the costs. In 5-10 years, it could be a very different picture. The new mayor has a lot to address, but these issues will not be solved overnight.
June 9, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
Did anyone here even care to read the bill of particulars? No wonder they didn't pursue the charges because they were a joke! The bigger waste of taxpayer dollars was the money spent putting together that Mickey Mouse list of charges against McNally and Sciortino--the Feds might as well call themselves Stretch Armstrong because every one of those charges at best were a major stretch.
I'd tell you not to quit your day job Bertram, writing this kind of drivel, but seeing as how it IS your day job, you might want to consider quitting and signing up for unemployment to spare the rest of us from losing any additional brain cells by reading your columns.
At the end of the day, an indictment is not a conviction, and to date there has been zero evidence of wrongdoing of any kind by McNally.
May 12, 2013 at 3:07 p.m.
Lighten up Francis
April 14, 2013 at 8:36 a.m.
Maybe Obama would set a better example for Americans by cutting back on all of his vacation time, because a paltry $20,000 a year paid back by him pales in comparison to the estimated $20 million it has cost taxpayers the last four years for his vacations. With the costs associated with using Air Force 1, the security, the staffers, and the lodging expenses, they really do add up.
The idea of him giving back $20,000 is a joke and is more likely about throwing a bone to the public, but really it is more insulting than benevolent.
April 14, 2013 at 8:15 a.m.