Maurice Clarett's choice to outsource his organized crime needs to an Israeli mobster has some in the local mafia concerned. In this story reported by ESPN, Clarett was apparently bankrolled by an Israeli mobster while waiting to enter the NFL draft. This alleged organized crime figure gave Clarett a place to stay on the beach in Malibu, CA; a car and picked up his expenses in return for 60% of his rookie salary once he was signed to an NFL team.
Local crime figure Joey "The Fish" Baccala, President of Goombas Local 317, said the local Youngstown mafia was hurt by Clarett's decision to seek services from the foreign crime organization. "You have good, hard working men right here in Youngstown that could have looked after the kid," the mobster stated. "But he chose to outsource that work to the Israelis. Why? The services our organization provides are just as good as those found overseas. Once again, a foreign competitor has been allowed to enter the American market and use cheap labor to undercut our wages. We need a level playing field if we are going to compete."
Baccala said the services the Israelis provided weren't enough to garner 60% of Clarett's rookie contract. "Are you kidding me?" Baccala asked. "We could have put the kid up at Northside Willie's two bedroom trailer on Mosquito Lake and offered him his choice of any Cadillac he wanted from Tommy Two Times used car lot in Campbell. And we could have gotten him a piece of the action on that eastside paving job. Our rate for setting him up that good would have been no more than 25%. What's so great about Malibu anyway?"
Asked if the local crime organization could do anything to help Clarett now, Baccala replied, "What are we? Second choice? The way things are going now the kid won't even end up playing indoor football. There's nothing on the table to deal with. Fuggedaboutit."
There have been two reports recently of a man exposing himself to women while fondling himself. One was in Girard at the high school track and the other was at Liberty Memorial Park. You can read the story here. Basically what we have is some pervert who gets his jollies by surprising women when he is naked in public. You see, what I've said before stands. Mahoning County has a lot of crime but the truly screwed up yo-yo's all call Trumbull County home. Sure, Mahoning County recently had the foot kisser but at least he kept his clothes on.
If anyone knows who this deranged guy is, please notify the Girard police. Let's all remember that as humorous as something like this can be, eventually this deviant will need to do something more serious to satisfy his urges. No one wants their Mother or sister running into ugly naked guy while they are out for a stroll.
Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams recently commissioned a $100,000 study to review the feasibility of forming Joint Economic Development Districts with neighboring communities that currently buy their water from the city of Youngstown. The ABC communities of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield currently purchase their water from Youngstown and pay a surcharge for it.
JEDD's usually involve a city annexing nearby undeveloped land and extending services such as water and sewer lines to new business developments. JEDD's do not affect residential properties. The city collects income taxes from the workers and the townships collect more property tax on the now devloped land. Recent successful JEDD's include the Flying J truck plaza constructed in Hubbard Township with services provided by the City of Hubbard. Cases like this are a win for both parties.
However, Mayor Williams also wants to extend JEDD's to existing businesses according to this article in the Vindicator. This is where the criticism begins.
People working Austintown, Boardman and Canfield do not want to pay Youngstown city income taxes. Mainly because the current municipal tax rate is 2.75%, the highest in the state of Ohio. Many workers live in other local cities and already pay local income tax. Unfortunately, many municipalities only have reciprical agreements of 1% or less. Carrying this tax burden to workers in established businesses would effectivley give them a 1.75% pay deduction for working at the same business they currently work at doing the same job they currently do. For example, many workers could end up paying Youngstown city taxes for working in a JEDD and paying some of their local taxes as well, depending on their local reciprical agreements are.
That's a heck of a hit for workers to take.
The mayor thinks if more revenue were to enter city coffers due to these proposed JEDD's the overall tax rate may fall to as little as 2%. I've never ever seen a city reduce it's income tax, especially one that has as many problems as Youngstown. The city will always need more police, more firefighters and raises for city workers. The city also faces problems with abandoned housing that needs demolished, neighborhoods that need refurbishing and a criminal population that can't be housed because the county jail is underfunded. All of this leads me to believe taxes will never be reduced.
Mayor Williams is right to study the feasibility of developing JEDD's in neighboring townships for new businesses but if there are plans afoot to impose them upon established businesses, he may end up pushing businesses farther from the city or forcing the ABC townships to purchase their water from another source. My guess is higher water rates for all will be cheaper than asking workers to pay such an enormous tax increase.
The guy in the picture tried to rob the Mini-Mart in Liberty with a bomb. Well, he claimed it was a bomb. The owner of the store said it was some sort of thing with wires attached to it so it may have been something else. Who knows? If you are working the counter of a convenience store and some fruit loop tells you to hand over the cash or he's going to blow you up, you probably wouldn't quibble about whether it was a real bomb or a Mag-Light with a spark plug wire attached. This guy thought quickly, though. He pulled the old "Look behind you" and the guy got so rattled he ran out of the store without the cash. Anyway, if anyone knows who the Unabomber wannabe in the surveillance picture is, give the Liberty police a jingle at (330) 759-1511.
This story is another example of a theory I've had for some time. Mahoning County may have more crime but Trumbull County seems to have the weirdest.
One of the really nice things about a blog is the lack of homework assignments from teachers or editors. That means I get to rant about all those little things that have been aggravating me. I rant, feel better and maybe you discover that the stupid little thing that has been bugging you has been bugging other people too. Here are the five things that have been bugging me lately, in no particular order:
1) This commercial: Head on! Apply directly to the forehead! Head on! Apply directly to the forehead! Head on! Apply directly to the forehead! Head on! Apply directly to the forehead! If they are going to stick with this advertising campaign I hope they stay away from hemorrhoid medication.
2) The Avian Flu. I know it's real and it's deadly but damnit, it's just like Y2K all over again. I've got water in the basement, food in the pantry and enough batteries to keep my flashlights going for months. After seeing the government response to Katrina, I think it's understood that in the case of a pandemic we'll all be starring in a real life George Romero movie.
3) Gas prices. I'm in awe of the amount of money oil companies are making right now. Really. There are Powerball winners who don't think they were this lucky. The minute prices dipped below three dollars a gallon they found some rusty pipes and shut off the supply. Rusty pipes? For God's sake, these things have oil flowing through them. Isn't that enough lubricant?
4) Rush Limbaugh. What is it with this tool? I usually hear him for a few minutes in the car at lunch time and he's simply the most repellant human being I've ever come across. His show doesn't resemble a discourse on political matters because no one ever talks but him. There are never guests to refute his straw man arguments and I don't know if that's because he honestly thinks he's correct whenever he opens his mouth or because logical, reasoning people don't want to get too close to him. I think it's time for him to retire somewhwere he can get all the Viagra and Oxycontin he can lay hands on and leave the rest of us alone.
5) Flip This House. Why A&E? Why did you take this neat little show about buying, fixing up and selling houses and make it so lame? Richard Davis had a neat idea that was sort of fun in a voyeuristic kind of way that allowed us all to see how his company invested in real estate in South Carolina. The drama was a little forced but it was fun to watch Ginger wobble through contruction sites in those ridiculous heels clutching that little poodle. It got so that I felt sorry for Kevin, the guy who had to fix these houses up when they were bought sight unseen. Heck, even Richard was fun in a way, especially when he was dropping late '80's slang like "mac daddy". But no, you TV people had to mess with this formula and bring in the Montelongos from San Antonio. Bah. Out of all the applications you must have had you chose this overbearing ass that demeans his wife, belittles his sister-in-law and intimidates contractors with a dog. Think I'm overstating it? Click here to see what the Television Without Pity folks are saying. You couldn't give me a house they had their meathooks on. The second team in Atlanta isn't as bad but they are boring and in TV I don't think there can be a bigger sin.
Well, that's it. The five things that bugged me last week. I know today starts a brand new week and more things will pop up but for now, I feel better.
I don't know where to begin with this story. The selection of topics is wide and deep. To begin with, the name for this indoor football team is incredibly disrespectful. The Mahoning Valley has made some serious strides toward moving beyond it's "Crime City, USA" days and stunts like this don't help. Team owner Jim Terry may not be aware but there are lots of people in this area who remember when actual hitmen were employed in this valley by the mob. Even today, Youngstown has more than it's share of murders. In my opinion, naming this team the Mahoning Valley Hitmen does nothing but hurt the area by resurrecting a reputation we would all like to see go away.
The website for the team features photographs of criminals and gunshot sound effects.
Of course there is the constant stream of confusion surrounding all the information from the team. Clarret will play for them, maybe, if he faxes the contract back. JFK in Warren will host the team tryouts. Except they won't. It's very strange that their website now says that tryouts will be held but doesn't say where. Maybe it will be in the same place Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Of course, we don't know where that is either.
The team slogan is "Get whacked indoors". Whatever. A lot of people living on the Northside and Southside have trouble not getting whacked outdoors in their neighborhoods so this probably doesn't appeal to them.
And of course, there is the ongoing saga of Maurice Clarett. Everyone familiar with his story knows that this is a tale of wasted youth. After a stunning 2002 season as an Ohio State Buckeye, Clarett unsuccessfully sued the NFL to gain addmitance to the draft before he had been out of high school for three years. He sat out the 2003 season after being suspended because of filing a false police report. When he finally was drafted, he went to the Denver Broncos only to be released in August of 2005 without ever playing a game for them. After that came the allegation that he robbed a couple of a cell phone on new Year's day 2006. Finally, he was arrested in Columbus after failing to stop for a police officer. He was pulled from his vehicle and subdued after being Maced. He was found to be wearing a bullet proof vest and had loaded handguns and a rifle in his car. He hasn't said why he had those items or where he was going. One thing for sure, he probably won't be playing for the Hitmen this year.
However, if the Hitmen do field a team, where will they play? They had a deal to play at the Thunderplex in Vienna, OH but the owner has since backed out of the deal and asked that the football turf the team plays on please be removed from his parking lot.
For a really in depth review of what's going on, you can listen to the internet talk radio Moohead show by clicking here. It really gets interesting during the last half hour. The owner of the Thunderplex calls in, Jim Terry makes claims about this thread on the Vindicator message board giving him trouble and some insults are thrown.
It seems like this area attracts new businesses that resemble circuses more than real enterprises. Avanti cars, the non-existant cargo hub at the airport and indoor NASCAR racing are just a few of the wacky ideas we've had thrust upon us here in the Valley. Only time and good taste will tell if the Hitmen will ever play ball or if this is just another idea that could have been.