Friday, October 27, 2006

the $35,000,000 question


That's how much outside investment the Youngstown Business Incubator has attracted during the last fiscal year ending on June 30th, 2006.

And among the 11 other business incubators in the state of Ohio, the YBI ranked first in this category.

It was also #1 in total annual payroll ($9,579,076) and #1 total sales revenue ($25,040,000).

- - -


innovation happens here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

defend youngstown: an update

The "defend youngstown" phenomenon is growing and growing in popularity. I counted three cars during the weekend that had the defend decals on their car windows. Others fans were spotted wearing the t-shirts at the YSU football game on Saturday.

And at the Peace Race Sunday morning, Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams wore his shirt when he ran the 10K race.

More good press can be found in the October issue of The Metro Monthly. Their story highlights this quote from the man behind the vision:

"This is our town. We are going to stand up for it. It's going to be a long battle. But this is it. This is Youngstown. This is your home . . . and do your little part, do whatever you can do to defend Youngstown."

fight the good fight . . .

Friday, October 20, 2006

le graffiti français

was walking down Hazel street the other day and took this picture in the alley between Cedar's and the back entrance to the Paramount:

writing it out more clearly, it says...

à chaque étage un amie qui m'attend
est-ce qu'on voleur?
est-ce que moi?

Well, what does it mean?

so the grammar of this writing isn't quite right. The one weird thing about french lyrics and poetry is that they are almost always gramatically correct. But is it cool to see this painted on the wall nonetheless. In a nutshell, it says:

at every floor is a friend who waits for me.
is it a thief?
is it me?

hmmmmm . . .

Who is the mystery author? And why is this in downtown youngstown?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

time to defend youngstown

yes, it is time.

time to defend youngstown.

- - -

And leading that charge is Phil Kidd, creator and distributor of the "Defend Youngstown" line of clothing and merchandise. Phil has sold to date over 2,000 t-shirts in various colors to people throughout the world.

Phil's story has been told numerous times in the local media (including here and here), but the story in abbreviated form goes like this:

a kidd comes to youngstown
the kidd grows love for youngstown
and now this kidd is speading the word

And this message is spreading futher out than just Northeast Ohio. Soon, each Youngstown-American who is currently deployed overseas will be receiving one of these t-shirts as a symbol of appreciation for their service.

Here is a great photo of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland wearing Phil's shirt at a rally in our downtown. Behind the Governor is Youngstown's Representative to the U.S. Congress, Tim Ryan.

Click on the "defend youngstown" image along the right-hand side of this blog to gain direct access to Phil's website at any time in the future. And new t-shirt designs will be available very soon. Check the web page often.

Special thanks to local photographer Katie Libecco for the photo of Ted Strickland. This blog posting would have been incomplete without her help.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

update on NEO stickers

Kudos to Rusty, a reader of this blog who went to The Sticker Cafe and designed a NEO oval sticker.

He worked with their design team on the concept, and a few moments later...

* bamf ! *

Northeast Ohio stickers for the back of your car or office, available for $5 (including shipping)

click here to check them out!

also coming soon in dtown ytown . . .

- - - stage fright - - -
oakland center for the arts
220 w. boardman st.
yo, oh

pre-registration 7-8pm
performances 8-11pm

Just in time for Halloween (the actual day, unlike all the other fakers who are celebrating before 10/31/06)

-- Costume Contest (so please wear a good one if you want a prize)
-- Trick-or-Treat style concessions
-- Special Effects make-up "lesion session" in the gallery from 7-7:45
-- Performances by:
* The ZOU
* Funny Farm stand-up headliners Murad and Ryan
* Local film by Steven Andrew
* B-Movie celebutantes DSK Productions
* Tap Dancer Extraordinnairre B. Martin
* YOU?

come and hang out in youngstown!

$3 at the door -- ticket for free glass of straub [at cedars] for every donation ($2 or more) to the oakland...

tell everyone you ever met, ever. even if you only met them once and don't think they remember you...i bet they do, and they'd be mad if you didn't tell them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

lies, damned lies, and statistics

Is YSU really 12th in the nation in Civic Education?

Today's Business Journal contains a story on this topic (sorry, no links to the story. they became a pay site as of last week) as well as this story in the Youngstown State eUpdate. The articles are titled "YSU 12th in Civic Education" and "YSU Ranks High in National Civic Education Study" respectively.

Both articles begin: Youngstown State University ranks 12th in the nation, above schools such as Yale, Georgetown and Duke, in a new study that measures how much colleges and universities are adding to their graduates’ understanding of America’s history and government. “This study provides independent confirmation of the fact that students are getting real value for their tuition dollars,” said Paul Sracic, political science professor and coordinator of general education at YSU.

Well, kinda...

Except if you really look at the numbers in the report, I think a different, less optimistic conclusion can be reached. But then, like all statistics, it depends on how you look at them.

Let's start with the methodology of this experiment: An organization, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, surveyed 14,000 randomly selected freshman and seniors at 50 universities across the nation. Each student was given a quiz with 60 questions about American history, government and the market economy. So about 140 freshman and 140 seniors were asked the quiz at each university, and their scores were averaged to assist with creating comparisons between universities.

So true enough, the difference between the average freshman score and the average senior score at Youngstown State was an increase in 4.9 percentage points. For Yale the scores decreased over time by 1.5%, for Georgetown the scores decreased by 1.2%, and at Duke the scores decreased by 2.3%. You can access the entire chart with the means scoring here.

And so, Youngstown State, when compared to the other 49 universities in the study, ranked 12th. Point taken.


But let's look at this chart in a different way: The average score for a senior at YSU taking the test was 42.5%. At Yale, the average score was a much higher 68.3%, Georgetown's average score was 67.9%, and Duke's average score was 58.3%.

In fact, compared to the other 49 universities in the study, only 4 score worse than YSU.

So perhaps the more accurate title of the story should have been;
"YSU students score in bottom 10% for Civic Education"

What is a little disconcerting is how much I have heard this study used by various faculty and adminstration members at Youngstown State in the past few weeks. While it may be true that students are getting a real deal for their tuition dollars, and it may be true that YSU students learn a great deal more in civic education while attending school here, it is definitely not true that on average, YSU students score higher on these tests and are better than other universities.

The headlines in these articles may lead you to believe otherwise.

And as usual, lies, damned lies, and statistics are in the mind of the beholder.

That being said, there are things that YSU does kick butt at. Their undergraduate mathematics program in one of the best in the country and they win many awards throughout the nation during mathematical modeling competitions and scientific conferences. Many of the graduates of that program have been awarded their PhDs and teach at the highest levels of mathematical scholarship and are engaged in cutting-edge math research. And the university does a fine job of promoting their excellence.

The same can be said for many other departmental programs, too numerous to fully mention here. So perhaps while the average entering student may score lower on their test scores, people who appreciate a good education can surely find one at Youngstown.

I would like to publically affirm the quality education I gained at Youngstown State. I would not trade my time there for any other, as many of the faculty I encountered at YSU are simply fantastic teachers and researchers. I am sure I could have also had a good undergraduate experience at Yale, Georgetown, or Duke as well, but meeting others in my field across the country in graduate school and research laboratories, I can say with all honesty that the education and preparation from Youngstown served me and my other classmates extremely well.