The new death valley?


« Brain food from the heartland

by Louie b. Free   | 348 entries


Last week I had a caller that lives on Y-town's south side. The caller referred to her neighborhood as "death valley".How timely,huh? Morgan Quinto Press just released their ranking of the most dangerous and deadly cities in America. Youngstown ranked #4 in murders per capita: _NUMBER FOUR !_
Within 5 days of the ranking's release:

City suffers *fourth* homicide this week
Friday, November 3, 2006
YOUNGSTOWN xc3xa2xe2x82xacxe2x80x9d A busy section of Glenwood Avenue near the Youngstown Playhouse was closed off this morning as detectives gathered more than 40 casings, shells and bullets at the scene of the week's fourth homicide.

An old Ford 150 pickup truck, its left front tire flattened from crashing into the curb on Glenwood at Earle Avenue, had at least 18 bullet holes. The back window had been shot out as well as the passenger side window. Two bullets pierced the windshield at the driver's eye level...

2005 Murder Rate
National Rate=5.6 Murders per 100,000 Population
Youngstown Rate=43.7 per 100,000

Now, when one think of cities w/high murder rates,or should I say when one *thought* of cities w/high murder rates Atlanta,Los Angeles,Cleveland, N.Y.C., and sadly,this nation's capitol-Washington DC come to mind, yet:
Atlanta:20.9 murders / 100,000,ranked 31
LosAngeles:12.6, ranked 73
Cleveland:23.8,ranked 23
NewYorkCity:6.6,ranked 153
Washington D.C.: 35.4,ranked 13
and again,Youngstown:43.7,ranked 4!

A few months back a man was murdered in front of hundreds and hundreds of witnesses.
Just before 11 o'clock this morning another man murdered,executed on a busy street.

An initial reaction to Youngstown's murder rankings :

"We have looked at the list compiled by Morgan Quitno; however we are not sure how they have arrived at their conclusions,[ Detective Sgt.Alli, I *am* sure how they arrived at their conclusions-they merely divided the population by the murder rate...{LbF}] said Detective Sgt. Rick Alli, police department spokesman. "Being well aware that our data [*that's* the data they used{LbF}] is not favorable, we have instituted several different approaches in how we do policing to improve our statistics. As for their naming our city as dangerous, we do feel that this is not an accurate portrayal."

What would be an accurate portrayal Rick Alli ?

Maybe changing the name from the Mahoning Valley to DEATH VALLEY ?

Ignoring,denouncing,challenging or ridiculing the statistics will not improve,change or in any way alter the problem.

In the city of Youngstown, the *best* student w/the *best* parents still come home -in many cases- to thug controlled neighborhoods.
The Youngstown school system graduates about 2 out of every 3 of our children. That stat begs the question : "What do the drop-outs do for a living ?" Yeah, but what are the *graduates* doing for a living in this area ? Is it "living" when thugs control the neighborhood? When you live in fear ? When you are awakened to someone screaming or the screaming of a police or an EMT's ambulance siren?Is it living when hope is absent from your life ?

Months ago, I was interviewed for a story which ran in Forbes magazine(22 May). I remember sharing this w/the reporter:
I can see Youngstown becoming the city of the future. We have a very high drop-out rate in the city schools which adds to the crime rate. Some solely profit-driven private prison parasites , like *the bad* CCA/Corrections Corporation of America, will build a prison to hold all of the high school drops outs that break the laws AND hire the high school graduates as guards !!! It is not enough to say "...where are the parents...?" when a child is failing---the response is "they(the parents) aren't there,now what do WE need to do ?"
2010's a great concept-but we ,here, in this community,in the new death valley need to address the reasons that OUR children are failing-that OUR children are killing each other,raping each other---that WE have allowed a once vibrant,rich soil to turn to sand-a death valley. That we stand idly by our brother's sister's,neighbor's blood -that WE turn our backs to the suffering of others, and in God's name, yes, and in God's name !

Certainly it's going to take more than instituting *"...several different approaches in how we do policing..."*
Our heroic women and men of law enforcement cannot *prevent* murders. They alone cannot create fertile soil for economic growth. They cannot improve the quality of the education system. They cannot parent the un-parented.

~Louie b.



In Morgan Quitno's overall ranking, with 371 cities surveyed, Youngstown ranked ninth in the most-dangerous category.

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