Monday, February 25, 2008

2 supurb opinion pieces in the vindy

Two pieces in the Vindicator have really caught my eye this week, and I wanted to share them with you. Even if you don't agree with all of their points, they are extremely well written.

Youngstown still sees its shadow by Eric Planey
"However, instead of a Groundhog, Youngstown gets Democratic presidential candidates, who tell us that the shadows that the smokestacks used to cast will be replaced with four years of long-awaited sunshine. After the last ballot is cast in the general election, they disappear into their nocturnal Washington slumber.

This past Presidents Day weekend there was so much coverage of Youngstown nationally that I felt that I was at my childhood home in Lansingville instead of Brooklyn. My favorite coverage was of Kelly Pavlik continuing the Youngstown tradition of winning titles while shouldering the pride of a hardened yet spirited Mahoning Valley. But it seemed that there were more punches being thrown over the weekend between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

"But I also recall a commitment [from Bill Clinton] to land a Defense Department payroll center that the elder Bush administration short-listed Youngstown for and Clinton committed to keep. When Clinton’s defense secretary abolished the bidding process because he didn’t like competition among cities, people were left with a sour taste in their mouths. But I always wondered how different Youngstown would have been if we landed that defense center and the several thousand white-collar jobs around it. Would the Valley still be as hopeful to the promise for a better tomorrow, or would Youngstown be further down that road already?"

"But if these candidates want Youngstown to favor them, they must understand that there is a cost. And that cost is straight talk with the Valley that occurs more than once every four years. If such a pledge is lost in translation for them, then Youngstown has the right and the obligation to itself to look outside the Democratic party for such candor in November."
Of course, these are just snippets from the editorial. Read more here.

No one likes to pay taxes, but WRTA provides a public service worth supporting by Timothy Wagner
"No one likes to pay taxes. And I will admit that I have voted against a few ballot levies over the years. But there comes a time when we need to examine the cost benefit of what we are asked to fund. WRTA, our community-wide bus service, is one such entity. A writer on Feb. 4 very lucidly explained the nature of the ridership and the value WRTA has to these individuals. And it would be easy for me to blow it off, because I do not ride the buses. In fact, I don’t recall ever being on a WRTA vehicle. I am fortunate enough to have my own transportation and the Youngstown area is generally easy enough to navigate and parking adequately available that travel in a personal vehicle is not a problem."

"Each rider on WRTA is most likely someone who would like to be able to provide their own transportation. It is not fun standing in the cold or heat, in rain or snow, and in the dark and the wind waiting for your ride to come. The next time you walk to your car, think about carrying your packages without the cart and standing next to your vehicle for ten or fifteen minutes before you get in. Make it at night when it’s cold and rainy. You will understand what the sight of a bus means to someone without their own auto. Consider taking the bus on your next work day or for your next shopping trip. You will understand the value of the WRTA to our community."

"Stop for just a moment and think about where you would be and how you would maintain your day-to-day life if you were unable to go in your own transportation whenever you wanted. And please, vote “Yes” on the WRTA levy. It is the least we can do for our neighbors."
more on that here.

This is also cross-posted at In The Yo.

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