I frequently use State Route 304 and noticed last week that the traffic signal at 304 and State Route 193 has one of the new red arrows in the left hand turn lane. Previously it was a solid red signal. The new signal is a little confusing in that it send s a message that says stop because its red but also turn because it's an arrow.
Most drivers I've seen at the intersection stop at the new signal but Monday morning I did see one person stop, look both ways and turn left even though it was red.
WFMJ reports that ODOT said the signals are being changed so there's continuity across all highways across the country. Well, it's confusing and I think it could cause an accident. I'm concerned a driver could think they are allowed to turn left after stopping.
Time will tell but I think these arrows are a mistake.
The Austintown school board deserves all of the ballyhoo and criticism it is receiving for its insane plan to transport elementary students by WRTA buses to parochial schools outside the township. Basically, students as young as 5 would get on a WRTA bus, ride to the Federal St. station, hang out unsupervised for 35 minutes, transfer to a second bus and get dropped off a mile from their school to which they would then walk.
I am not posting this to debate the merits of the plan. There are none. It's ridiculous and clearly a feint to get the Catholic schools to provide funding for transportation or to get parents to transport children themselves.
My concern is that the students of Austintown are attending a school system lead by people who think this is a good idea. How damaging is it to their reputation to release a plan like this? They didn't consult the Catholic schools and they didn't contact the WRTA (who came up with a better plan almost immediately, to their credit). They aren't taking interviews and they aren't addressing the plan except to say it gets the kids to school on time.
This isn't leadership. This is straight up hucksterism masquerading as a bureaucracy "following the rules". The goal is to get the students to school safely, not give them a bus pass and wish them luck.
I hope these school board members aren't looking for re-election because if they think this is a good idea, who knows what other brain farts they're capable of.
These Account Services people are up to their old scammer tricks again. This is the phone scam where a recording calls you and telles you that this is your last chance to lower your credit card interest rate. They invite you to press one so you can talk to some schmuck who will try to weasle your credit card number out of you.
As always, do not press 1 and hang up. Or press 1 and waste their time by pretending to be interested. That's completely up to you and your mood
Today's call was from phone number 360.529.6177, which is almost certainly spoofed but I have received calls from it before. What's most annoying about these morons is that they call your cell phone and then hang up when you try to pin down where they are.
The previous post looked at the devastating impact absentee fathers have on the Mahoning Valley. Specifically, Youngstown was compared to surrounding communities and we saw that in communities with a higher incidence of female heads of household with no husband present a stable home life was more difficult to achieve. One of the outcomes of a less stable home life was a lower high school graduation rate. If dad is not in the home children have a greater chance of not graduating.
Today, I would like to look at the economic impact of that lower high school graduation rate. What does it mean for a community to have a higher percentage of the population that are high school drop outs and to have a smaller percentage of the population with a Bachelor's degree or higher? Is their a correlation between quality of life and education?
Going further in school and obtaining more education grants people the ability to take advantage of opportunities. Dropping out of high school is easy when you don't have role models to pattern yourself after. If dad is gone and mom is struggling to make ends meet children may not see examples of how success is achieved. They may not see any way out of a life that revolves around government assistance or subsistence level poverty. That lack of vision can wear on a community.
In our first graph, we will compare the high school graduation rate for Youngstown and it's surrounding communities with the rate of persons who have achieved a Bachelor's degree or higher. the data is clear; the more students who graduate from high school the higher the percentage of population that obtains a Bachelor's degree or higher.
High School Graduation Percentage - vs - Bachelor's Degree or Higher Percentage
All those high school grads and college grads translate into money. Those folks generally have better jobs and live in more affluent areas. This graph shows that succinctly. Compare Canfield to any of the other communities on this graph. That 95% high school graduation rate is translating into a college educated population of 43%. The lower the high school graduation rate, the lower the percentage of population with a college degree. But what is the cost of that lower rate?
Poverty. Less education translates directly into a higher percentage of the population living in poverty. The next two slides confirm that having a lower percentage of the population graduating from high school or college means that community is dragged down with a greater percentage of their population living in poverty.
High School Graduation Rate - vs - The Poverty Rate
Percentage of Population with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher - vs - The Poverty Rate
All that education pays off. The data clearly shows that the more education a populace has the lower percentage of that population living in poverty.
But what about the money? What's the overall effect of having that education? Does it really pay off or does it merely keep you above the poverty line? Can it help you thrive?
You bet. Our next two slides look at the high school graduation rates and the percentage of population with a Bachelor's degree or above and the per capita income in their respective communities. Some of the figures are stunning.
High School Graduation Percentage - vs - Per Capita Money Income
Bachelor's Degree - vs - Per Capita Money Income
These two graphs show that communities with a more educated population have a higher per capita income. That's very important for any community.
So between these two posts I think I've drawn a direct correlation between absentee fathers and the success of a community. If fathers aren't in the home, a child's hom life is destabilized. When that happens, children don't get the help they need to be good students and subsequently they have a higher chance of failing at school. Once these children fail at school they fail to find decent employment and the communities they live in pay the price.
To make matters worse, if this failure begins to pick up a generational roll and entire decades go by where no one in a household succeeds, failure becomes a way of life.
I've seen children just entering school and they are all eager to learn. They want to explore. Programs like the United Way's Success by Six help prepare kids who are already falling behind. These kids are not predestined to fail. It is the apathy in a home toward learning that teaches children that they cannot accomplish what others do. It takes a parent who does not help or check homework to let a child slip behind their classmates. It is the attitude that teaching a child is solely the responsibility of the teacher that strangles a student's ambition. Being a parent means sacrificing your own time so your children can succeed. If you are having multiple children with multiple men you are dooming your children. If you have multiple children with multiple women you are dooming them.
I don't believe that the suburbs have more success simply because of where they are. It comes down to the people who live there. They have to value what they have and protect it by bringing up the next generation to do better than they did. Could they do better? Sure. As a resident of Hubbard who just saw millions of dollars pumped into new school facilities and who has seen the 'Excellent' rating the schools receive I was dismayed to see a graduation rate of 90%. There needs to be a plan to increase that to 95% by the end of the decade.
Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley can do better but the improvement must come from those who live here. The government will only leave us hanging. We must make sure our kids are in school, away from gangs, away from drugs and away from any distraction that can keep them from succeeding. We cannot afford for our area to be an intellectual void. The only way to make this area better is to point the finger at those who are sabotaging us and get rid of them. We know who the gangs are and who is in them. We cannot accept murders and arsons as a way of life and expect to succeed. Only we can make our home a better place to live.