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The Negativists

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published December 15, 2008

Word came late last week that Chaney High School in Youngstown, along with three other area schools, earned a bronze medal for performance during the 2006-07 school year. Just over 1,500 schools were awarded medals, out of 20,000 surveyed. That's a fine achievement, though no one piped up to say so in the Vindy comments.

Of course, if the school had been listed in a survey as one of the lowest performers, the usual suspects would have shown up with their told-you-so's and Youngstown-sucks tidings of joy. So, let me congratulate Chaney in particular and Youngstown schools in general for the improvements they're working hard to bring about. I hope they prove responsible custodians of the new funds they will receive from the election.

In other news, Austintown has now joined the ranks of Forbes's most-maligned towns in the U.S. That article, of course, has become the second-most commented Vindy page.

It begs the question of what some in this community want to see. Are they just stuck here and bitter because of it? Are they just generally unhappy in their lives and anxious to take it out on the rest of us? Or does pointing out shortcomings somehow satisfy them on some level?

I have to believe that, in many cases, they simply haven't been able to leave and are dying to go somewhere. It's not easy to get up and go, as there are many ties that bind us to family and places we've known for so long. I say this because the many people with whom I've spoken who have left and then returned, though not unaware of the problems we face as a region, are optimistic and excited about what's happening here.

Maybe we'll never bring these--to coil a phrase--nattering nincompoops of negativism around. But I'd love to know what piece of evidence might finally prove to them that the Youngstown of today is a different animal from that of yesteryear. Will anything bring the negativists around?


1Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Tyler writes, "It begs the question of what some in this community want to see."

For me, less mealy-mouthed, abysmally ignorant musical-chair-playing politicians.

This article may help explain some things also:

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2lucy(123 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

That is good news about Chaney, and I hope it, and the recent state award to the East High English teacher, are previews are more to come from Youngstown schools. Thanks for drawing much-needed attention to the good news. Sometimes it seems that it's not a matter of what ytowners want to see so much as what we refuse to see or that lens through which we choose to see.

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3projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Great post Tyler. As new studies are pointing out, when someone has a positive attitude, it is contagious. The same goes for negativity. Why live life so bitterly? Now, I propose that city leaders who are trying to attract new businesses to the area utilize bits of news like this in presentations.

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4Erplane(482 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey Tyler - First to you and the readers here a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

I always see two different Youngstowns when I go home. One is on the individual level, where people are warm and friendly and personable. The second is on some sort of collective level, where everybody is down on things. I blame this on a complete vaccuum of leadership politically. There are improvements with Mayor Williams and Tim Ryan. But I gather from my reading of the Vindy that other leaders, like local township trustees and administrators, dont have the political courage to do something for the whole TEAM- that being the Valley. They are more worried about the interconnections of their jobs with other political jobs. We live in a world of finite resources these days, esp in the Valley. And given the population shrinkage of the Valley, isnt it time to reduce these positions? I get amazed when there are these fights b/t Youngstown and Austintown, and Liberty and Girard, etc.... Everybody needs to step back and realize they all live in one Mahoning Valley.

I wish the Valleys leaders can all be sent away...for a year. Send them to Seattle, Providence, New York, Berlin, Shanghai, etc., so they can realize there is another world out there, and the Valley is a small player in it. I say this so that they can come back and work for the greater good, and not for themselves.

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5tylersclark(182 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Eric, I completely agree that regionalism is key to our future. I hope others begin to see the light. What better time to look for collective solutions to our problems than these Winter Holidays? Best to you and yours.

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6Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

regionalism = suburbs subsidizing the urban communities

regionalism = loss of identity or distinctiveness

regionalism = piss poor service

PROOF? EXAMPLE? Just look REAL CLOSE at your County roads

There's a metaphor for regionalism...in this area anyways

A fragmented body politic prevents tyranny

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