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To hear Jason Loree tell it ...

The front page story Sunday by Vindicator Reporter Denise Dick on the effort by Boardman Township officials to sell a 4.1-mill levy to the voters was compelling because of what it revealed about government spending. With 180 employees gobbling up $9.6 million a year, the list of their annual salaries (add another 45 percent for the value of the benefit package) was red meat for private sector workers who have long wondered if those in the public sector know what it's like to live in the real world.

Required watching

The timing of last Sunday's appearance on NBC's Meet the Press show of comedian and activist Bill Cosby and Havard University Professor Alvin F. Poussaint to talk about their new book, "Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," could not have been better for the Mahoning Valley. Host Tim Russert, a veteran television journalist, asked questions of Cosby and Poussaint that went to the heart of the crisis in the black community, especially with regard to young people.

And the winners are ...

The first "Great Political Chili Challenge" Wednesday evening at the Avion On The Water was a rousing success, due in large part to the hard work of veteran radio personality Pete Gabriel, who is president of the Boardman Optimist Club and mastermind of the event.

It's not about the swearing

Attorney General Marc Dann's use of the "F" word in attacking a reporter with the Warren Tribune Chronicle grabbed headlines statewide, but it isn't his potty mouth that's cause for concern. Rather, it's Dann's failure to recognize that having a member of his family on the state payroll is a legitimate news story.

Criticism or fair comment?

Following is the letter ex-Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Patrick V. Kerrigan submitted in withdrawing his name from consideration for the position of executive director of Lien Forward Ohio

Great political chili challenge: beans or no beans?

There'll be a lot of hot air Wednesday evening when area politicians gather at Avion On The Water, 2177 West Western Reserve Road, but it won't be because of their pontificating about all things irrelevant. Rather, officeholders will be trying to win public support for their ... chili.