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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?

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