Sunday, December 31, 2006
The wife and I had a great dinner there this weekend. It's located on East State St. in the old Chi-Chi's building. Fortunately, the decor and style of the building suits its new occupants as well as they did its former. The location makes it easy to get to and there is plenty of parking.
We entered at 6pm on Saturday and were shown directly to a table with no waiting. There were plenty of customers but the spacious interior could have easily handled more. Service was quick and our dinners were delicious. I recommend the Enchiladas Supremas. Four enchiladas (beef, chicken, bean and cheese) and rice for $7.50 certainly didn't break the budget. Our dinners were cooked fresh and exceeded the fare Chi-Chi's used to serve.
The bar is also nice. We had margaritas that had a nice kick to them. No watered down drinks here.
So, if you are looking for somewhere different to eat, give this place a try. It's minutes from the shopping district in Hermitage so after dinner you can walk around the Shenango Valley Mall, Goldstein's or some of the other businesses in the area.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
As this site grows in popularity I expect to see quite a few 680 drivers popping up.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Capri Cafaro's knowledge of 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass certainly paid off in her bid for the state senate seat vacated by newly elected Attorney General Marc Dann. In this Vindicator article, Dann points out just how important knowledge of Frederick Douglass was:
It appears that Dann is confusing "government" with "history". Knowing about Douglass, his writings and his actions regarding the abolition of slavery is definitely important to having a well rounded education. Placing so much weight on that knowledge that it factors heavily into the decision about who to award a state senate seat to seems ludicrous.
"Capri was the only candidate for that job that has substantive knowledge of government," Dann, a Liberty Democrat, told The Vindicator on Friday.
As an example, Dann said there is a quote from Frederick Douglass, a famed black abolitionist and statesman from the mid-19th century, in the lobby where the candidates to fill his 32nd District seat and the 30th District seat waited to be interviewed.
Cafaro, a Liberty Democrat, was the only candidate interviewed by a four-person screening committee, that included three blacks, who knew something about Douglass, Dann said. Each candidate was asked about Douglass, Dann said.
Dann said that doesn't say much about the knowledge of government of the other candidates, including state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood of Niles, D-65th, who was interviewed for the Senate seat.
What about Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton? After all, those gentlemen helped frame the Constitution that we rule this nation by. Was there any discussion of Plato, Hobbes or Locke? After all, their contributions to the theory of democracy were pretty important, if I recall my Philosophy classes correctly.
I think it's more likely that Marc Dann is getting tired of the constant criticism surrounding Ms. Cafaro's appointment to his vacant senate seat. Her family gave a large sum of money to the Dann campaign and her appointment looks like political payback. That criticism comes from the perception that the political scheming of the Mahoning Valley will become standard practice now that Democrats have won so many positions in state government.
This perception could have been avoided if Ms. Cafaro would have waited until 2008 to campaign for the the state senate seat but given her past performance in two congressional campaigns, all of the concerned parties probably realized this appointment was the only way she was going to run in an election with the word "incumbent" attached to her name.
What Democrats fail to realize is that voters went to the polls in November and swept the Republicans from state offices because they were tired of the corruption associated with the Taft administration. The Governor's guilty pleas, the Tom Noe connections and Coingate proved that the state was not being governed by honest office holders. Therefore, it should seem obvious to the Democrats that the mere perception of impropriety at any level would be poison to them.
Note that I said it should be obvious. This appointment proves otherwise.
Unless state Democrats want to spend the 2008 election defending themselves from claims of cronyism and corruption, it would be best if this were the last decision based on campaign contributions. I can already see the ad campaign being put together by Ms. Cafaro's Republican opponent in 2008. I imagine it will go something like this:
"Was she appointed because of her knowledge of Frederick Douglass or was it the campaign contributions to Marc Dann's campaign? Which sounds more reasonable to you?"Well? Which sounds more reasonable to you?
Posted in 12/7/2006 print issue by lennycrist on the December 7th, 2006
Area bloggers hope to spread word of local renaissance
by Alicia Delvaux
in Intelligence from 12/7/2006 print issue
Among the cam-girl sites, the political tirades, the thrice-daily “this is what I ate for breakfast and this is who I have a crush on and this is who said hi to me today” journals fighting for attention on the internet is a circle of business-people/regular folks/citizens of The Yo’-come-writers.
In the war for city revitalization and urban renaissance in the Mahoning Valley, blog sites written by Youngstown natives, residents, or otherwise fans are aiming to shoot below the (rust) belt with text, photos, stories, ideas and facts that tout the benefits of the Youngstown area.
Mike Prelee, 36, is a Youngstown State University graduate employed at Comprehensive Logistics who blogs at www.talesfromtherustbelt.blogspot.com as a hobby. Tales From the Rustbelt focuses on politics affecting the Valley, satire, and some local news blurbs. He updates several times a week with opinions on candidates, leaders, and issues. “I’d actually like to draw attention to the Mahoning Valley and point out some of the positive aspects of life here,” he says.
I Will Shout Youngstown (shoutyoungstown.blogspot.com) is the brainchild of Youngstown’s John Slanina, 29, also a YSU alum, who began the web log in March 2006 while living in the Netherlands for graduate school. The website was a way he remained connected to his hometown and also a tool for him to express his thoughts on city planning in the downtown area. He called on his travels for inspiration to bring art, character, and opportunity into the city. “You don’t have to invent the wheel, but you can see really great ideas from around the world,” he says.
“My goal is for the blog to become a focal point about new ideas [for] economic development, experiments to try and things to consider,” says Slanina. He’d like to see it evolve into an interactive online place where people can leave their own feedback, brainstorms, discussions and dreams for Youngstown. “I wanted to create a solution-oriented forum where the public can find ideas and contribute opinions…”
I Will Shout Youngstown offers reports, journal articles, a hefty list of links to other local webmasters on the same mission, and commentary about ways to improve the metro ranging from simple sign suggestions to an educated response on why overhauling West Federal Street to create more parking wouldn’t be in Youngstown’s best interest.
Slanina and Prelee are soft-spoken responses to the recent, well-publicized ranking of Youngstown by the Morgan Quitno Press as the ninth dangerous city in the country. “It’s kind of a black eye for the area when there’s a lot of good things that happen here and a lot of good people here,” says Prelee of Morgan’s list. The impact of those negative statistics are exactly what Tales and I Will Shout might be able to shift if their contributors can harness the power and scope of the world wide web to their own end.
“I think the future of the city…has to do with connecting people with ideas and having people meet. If you’re in the government, having people that are involved in the art scene is really important. Building bridges instead of burning them,” says Slanina, although he stresses he is not trying to have all the answers. “In the big scheme of things there’s some really big issues out there, such as kids getting a good education and…people getting jobs,” he adds. The blog concentrates on some of the smaller issues.
Prelee believes that the power of the digitally-written word could cause change. “I think the most effective thing that will happen, if we’re careful, is that people who do searches on the internet will be drawn to the site,” he said. And, just as Slanina’s blog originally joined him from his overseas studies to the city he’s passionate about, he hopes the blog will create a way into the minds and plans of city officials. “I do not know which publicly-elected officials, if any, read the ideas that appear on the various Youngstown blogs,” he says. “But I do believe that people exist within local government who are very receptive to new concepts. The trick is getting these ideas into the heads of the decision-makers – and that’s how the internet may help – by creating a conduit to community leaders.”
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This won't make anyone in flood prone Boardman Township happy. A water main broke Saturday morning on Market St. near the Jeep dealership. The huge fountain of water didn't slow holiday traffic, however. Folks just drove through the deluge on their way to the mall. I shot this video around noon on Saturday.