Friday, July 27, 2007

youngstown and YBI featured on c-span sunday


I am looking for some audio of the Edwards' visit to the YBI. Does anyone have it?

Here is the closest thing I could find:

- - -

While sitting outside in Coventry with some Strickland's ice cream, with the smell of clove cigarettes all around us, we decided to head back to youngstown.

So at 1:44am, after a full day at the Ingenuity Fest in downtown cleveland, we were able to kick off our shoes and watch a little Futurama. But en route to the Cartoon Network, we came across c-span and there, live on tv, was the blue and purple walls of the confence room inside the Youngstown Business Incubator.

It was a replay of a show watched by people from all over the country earlier on Sunday, at that moment showing Youngstown's mayor speaking with presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.

John Edward's trip to Youngstown was featured on "The Road to the White House", a weekly show following presidential canditates throughout the country. This week's show featured his stops along the Cle-Yo-Pit corridor, when he was in the region earlier this week.

This evening, c-span put the two hour show online, when can be accessed here. The segment in the YBI begins around minute 39.

Here are some exerpts from Edwards' comments about youngstown after hearing a briefing from city leaders:

"You've figured out . . . you're not going to allow this place [youngstown] to disappear . . . you're doing this in a visionary way."

"I'm impressed by how you've reached out to the community . . . to bring communities into the effort."

Youngstown is "a very different stop than what we've had on this tour . . . a model of what can be done nationally"

- - -

and so, just like the features in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, npr, and USA Today, the follow-up articles began streaming in from all over the country.

For example from the regional press, an editorial published Sunday in Cleveland's Plain Dealer stated:

"So let's hope Edwards was listening when the go-getters at the Youngstown Business Incubator pleaded for a government that makes it easier for them to launch new ventures and to train workers of the future."

that's right. go-getters.

nice work, Team Youngstown.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

not a slow news day

I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with the number of stories in the Vindicator about technology based economic development and urban design today.

Here is a quick smattering of articles in case you missed them:

Female immigrant from India builds tech future downtown

Empyra leaves incubator, eyes rapid expansion

Incubator company's high rankings in Entrepreneur magazine

Turning Tech ranks 7th in U.S. for growth

YSU and partners to begin Center for Metrology and 3-D Imaging
Ryan's district would get additional $10.5M in bill

Faniro explains downtown ice cream innovation, winner in Parade magazine contest

How sweet it is: In the name of Good Humor, a plaque marks site

Port authority puts it in perspective

Official: Valley's full of economic prospects

Spring Commons Bridge downtown will retain Mr. Peanut
Groundbreaking kicks off renovation project

Plans for new city library released for the first time

New East Library will offer much more than just books

Pride and beauty on display downtown

Black culture and history are celebrated at the new art gallery

State champs in baseball again

Youngstown wins state title

the lansingville parade and congressional appropriations

One of the south side's most historic areas is the Lansingville neighborhood. Inhabitated for the most part by families of Slovak decent, this neighborhood is still hanging in there, and every year has a parade and picnic to celebrate its existence and its future. This has been quite a busy summer, so while the event occured almost a month ago, here are pictures from that day.

The parade began from the parking lot of St. Matthias' Church, where the Slovak and Vatican flags still fly under the sun. The next few shots show the parade sneaking through the streets, ending at the Adams school where everyone had the chance to eat and relax next to the old stone fences surrounding the school.

So you'll have to turn your computer (or your head) to see this one properly, but here is a video of Mr. Peanut taking a stroll that afternoon:

speaking of peanuts,

went over to Tim Ryan's webpage today and discovered that $10.5 million dollars in R&D funding for the 17th District has made it through the House Appropriations Committee in the Defense Spending Bill and is now headed to the House floor, hopefully making it through conference, then both houses, and over to el Presidente for passage.

The amount includes:

  • $2 million - Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology & 3D Imaging Research, Youngstown State

  • $1 million - R&D of Variable Transmittance Visors, Alpha Micron

  • $1 million - R&D for Alternative Energy Fuel Cell Generation, Kent State

  • $1 million - Advanced Reinforced Materials and New Materials Research for Aircraft Tires, Goodyear Tire

  • $1.5 million - R&D for or Secure Mobile MANET System

  • $1 million - R&D for Feeding Tube for Battlefield Trauma Patients, Syncro Medical Systems, Canfield/Youngstown

  • $3 million - R&D for Tactical Metal Fabrication Systems (TacFab), Ajax Tocco, Warren

- - -

that's a lot of peanuts.

nice work, Team Youngstown.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

jack's project of Paramount importance

On Friday, July 6th I was a passenger in a car heading down Federal Street.

Although I had never met Jack Carlton face-to-face, I knew it was him.

"quick, pull over," I said, "he putting up the new murals."

And so I was able to meet the artist who has been changing the face of Youngstown over the past few years with his "Museum Without Walls Project".

According to this vindicator report, Jack has installed 50 murals downtown since 2000.

You can see his work when relaxing in the garden at Cedars. Jack also reproduced our world famous "Snap the Whip" towering above pedestrians belowt. And for his latest project, Jack and his assistants placed 11 vinyl murals around the perimeter of the ol' Paramount Theater.

The pieces illustrate Youngstown's rich entertainment history, with collages of long gone venues like the opera house, of the first programs at the Warner Brothers (of Youngstown) theater, and of the acts that have graced downtown's stages throughout the years.

In a response to a request from "Towntalk" at the Mahoning Valley message boards this evening, here are some close-up photos of Jack's work.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

impressive Brain Gain [Mahoning Valley] report released by an handful of young volunteers

Ready to have your socks knocked off?

A few weeks ago a new report was distributed exclusively via email with the title "Brain Gain: Mahoning Valley".

It's an extremely well-written and beautifully laid-out forty page document, describing the current state of the region and offering best practices and ideas for improving the economic development and quality of life in the region.

But this report wasn't requested by a government entity, wasn't created by a consulting firm, wasn't paid for with tax dollars.

It's the product of passion.

This report is based on the efforts of ten individuals, all members of Mahoning Valley's young professionals group. I phoned one of the authors immediately upon finishing the document, to share my thoughts on the quality of the piece. I was even more impressed when she told me the writers composed this report in their free time, meeting on Saturdays at each other's apartments and houses.

They just did it.

No budget.

No money spent.

A complete volunteer effort. Young people coming together.


The report begins: "The Mahoning Valley is in a state of flux. While the spirit of revitalization is alive and well, many issues continue to obstruct our forward progress . . . It is not the intention of this project restate those issues that have already been addressed, nor is it meant to be a definitive statment on what will "save" our community. Rather, this report should be regarded as a catalyst for current and future administrations, and a foundation for any endeavors meant to enact positive change in our Valley."

- - -

learning from others.

The authors utilize site visits to Akron, Milwaukee, and other cities as well as the concepts perpetuated by consultants like Rebecca Ryan and Richard Florida to add to context to the report.

The look at the region's history, of its people and its innovation, and what brought us to the present moment. They create a profile of the issues that are important to their generation. They provide examples of local companies that are making the successful transition to compete in a global, information-based economy. They profile other regional entities like business chambers and media associations outside of the region that are making an impact.

Their suggestions, well, you're just going to have to read the report . . .

but they end it with this statement:

"As a committee with several "boomerang" participants, we encourage area youth to pursue their education and early career development outside of the Valley, if necessary. We believe that one cannot disregard the importance of diversity of education and experience that the young professionals who return to our Valley will have, which will be crucial to our future success.

Family members and mentors should be asking them to keep an open mind in regards to bringing their talents, skills, and ideas back to the Mahoning Valley. Many of those who move away may become dissatisfied with their experience elsewhere, and would consider returning to the Valley if other local residents or family members encouraged rather than discouraged their decision.

Some may ask what makes our committee the experts on topics addressed in this report. Frankly, we aren't.

However, we are the target audience claimed by local officials and business owners as crucial to the success of this Valley. We all hold at least one degree from institutions of higher education, are well-respected and responsible professionals who volunteer in the community, and - most importantly - we have all chosen to live in the Mahoning Valley, despite numerous opportunities to reside elsewhere.

We are committed to making a difference.

We are committed to family.

We are committed to making this Valley succeed."

- - -

wow. nuff said.

every single person who reads this blog, or is an elected offical, should read their report.

How to access their efforts?

Go along the column on the right side of this webpage, and look for the section "reports to download". There you will see a white button with the words "Brain Gain Report". Clicking on the button will automatically download the pdf to your computer.

And again, to those volunteers who but their sweat equity into this report . . . nice work.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

youngstown featured on NPR's Morning Edition (Tuesday, July 17th)

UPDATE: The four minute NPR story aired this morning.

You can listen to the story here.

A little heavy on the John Edward's poverty angle, a little light on the planing process . . . but we'll take it.

Being labeled as a progessive city who is thinking ahead and a leader is just fine.

Continued below is an exerpt of the meeting featured in the NPR story . . . the planning process will be coming to your neighborhood soon!

- - -

Friday morning I wandered over to Fellows Riverside Gardens to enjoy a coffee (there was also a wireless network I could jump on) and take in the view of Mill Creek Park's Lake Glacier.

Here is a video of the serenity around me:

Recently, this blog had a story about the neighborhood meeting that took place at the Gardens two weeks ago. It was the first meeting to review the draft plan of the "Garden District" neighborhood, where the public came together and with technology developed at the downtown incubator, provided their opinions on various proposals.

Since that meeting, the City Planning Department has created a website for the Garden District on the Youngstown 2010 page showing conceptual drawings, powerpoint presentation, and comments from the public, among others. It's a nice intoroduction to the neighborhood if you have never visited this section of the West Side of Youngstown.

Among the 70 or so people that attended the meeting, were reporters from NPR in Washington.

They came. They listened. They interviewed.

And on tomorrow's (Thursday's) Morning Edition, there will be a feature story about Youngstown and the city's planning process.

It should take place in the morning between 7am - 9am, and you can listen to it at Youngstown State University's NPR station at 88.5 FM, or streaming from their website here.

Here is a picture of of the Garden District from above:

And one proposal for the neighborhood (only a proposal, the components still yet to be decided upon):

Here's a picture of a possible new neighborhood park . . .

of a new walkway with a view . . .

of new paths connecting the neighborhoods through the park . . .

I have a few friends who moved into this neighborhood in the last few years and they all love it. One remarked to me that she always wanted to live in a neighborhood where the hand-crafted houses are close together and the neighbors are even closer.

"We are like a big family" she said.

The Garden District seems to be becoming a neighborhood that newcomers and new homebuyers are relocating to. There's immediate access to Mill Creek Park, the neighborhood is safe, the houses are sturdy, and it's about a mile to the downtown.

I don't know this for sure, but I would estimate houses there would sell for less than $70,000. That's crazy.

It's hard to figure out housing markets, but even with all those amenities when you are a small neighborhood in a shrinking city (population), contained in a shrinking county, contained in a shrinking metro area, contained in a shrinking state . . . supply and demand seems to dictate the prices.

Maybe the Garden District can become a targeted neighborhood for us younger folk looking to plant some roots in this city . . .

- - -

In international news . . .

Last week Youngstown Community Development Director, Bill D’Avignon, gave an interview and city tour to Philippe Boulet-Gercourt. Mr. Boulet-Gercourt is the U.S. Bureau Chief for Challenges, France’s largest business magazine. The French reporter was very interested in how Youngstown has accepted and embraced the “shrinking city” concept.

On Wednesday, July 11 th Mr. Joost van Egmond from NOS Dutch Public Broadcasting will be in Youngstown for a radio series on urbanization throughout the world. He will portray Youngstown as an example of a post-industrial city, with an explanation of how the city is redefining itself via the Youngstown 2010 Citywide Plan. NOS is the main news broadcaster in the Netherlands, a country of 16 million people.

A research group of professors from six different universities in Japan will travel to the City in September to learn about Youngstown’s urban revitalization efforts. Specifically, the research team is interested in the smart decline policies and practices of Youngstown 2010. Dr. Hiroshi Yahagi, a professor at Osaka City University (the second largest city in Japan), is coordinating the visit.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

how to live forever

"a stellar example of what a citizen should be"

Such was written in a local newpaper about Bob Fitzer, musician and citizen activist who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in May.

He was a renowned clarinetist, playing Carnegie Hall at 19 years of age, and was a faculty member at Youngstown's Dana School of Music. He was the president of the Citizens' League of Greater Youngstown and from 1995 to 2001, he served as host and producer of the WYSU radio show Commentary Cafe.

He was a friend and teacher to many.

And in the weeks and months after his passing, many tributes to Bob appeared in the media and local blogs.

Stories were written in the Youngstown Vindicator, the Warren Tribune-Chronicle, YSU publications, the Jambar, Louie Free's blog, the Business-Journal, and message boards . . .

The Metro Monthly even has a special page up for Bob, which includes a recent interview and his entry in the Congressional Record.

Here is the most recent photo I have of Bob, leading a tour in January after the initial meeting to save the facade of the State Theater. He is explaining to a group of people the structure's footprint between Federal Street and Boardman Street downtown:

- - -

So depending if someone decides to leave these stories in the archives or on data servers, the memories we produce on the internet will exist for public access for hundreds, if not thousands of years to come.

In the year 2050, will someone stumble upon the memory of Bob Fitzer?

In the year 3000, will someone be reading the archives of the Shout Youngstown blog?


But only if we generate the content.

Blogging and the internet presents us with a unique format to preserve the memories that are important to us, even when we are no longer on this earth.

What stories do you have, that you wish your family may read one day?

Is there some detail about your mom, or your old neighborhood that you can share?

Blogging allows us to do this for future generations. If you want to create a blog recalling the stories about your family, setting up a blog is as easy as creating an email account. You can start here or here and have a story online within twenty minutes.

Interested? Give it a try, and then post your blog in the comments section below. Then others can read your stories, and perpetuate the memories that are important to you.

Perhaps then, leveraging technology to record memories, is a way to live forever.

- - -

Bob's public memorial concert will be on Friday, July 27 at 7:30 in the Ford Recital Hall at the Deyor Performing Arts Center in Downtown Youngstown.

Another great local blog, Youngstown Renaissance, listed Bob Fitzer's 10 rules of living. Some good words to live by, now recorded to be read for generations . . .

Bob (aka "Bobby", aka "Bobbo") Fitzer's 10 Rules of Living:
1. Get Involved
2. Be Kind
3. Never Give Up
4. Rejoice in the Success of Others
5. Take Chances
6. Be Humble
7. Embrace Chaos
8. Take Time
9. Trust in Your Intuition
10. Don't Move to the Suburbs

don't look now, but accordians are making a comeback

First Gogol Bordello jams with Madonna . . .

and then the Yo's finest, Del Sinchak, graces us.

how could the summer ever be more complete?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

the funky fourth at the doo dah parade

I went to the fireworks last night downtown.

Wow was it packed.

Stuck in traffic forever getting out.

And my photos from last night are totally jenky.

Which made me wonder, are there any recent really nice photos out there of downtown youngstown with the buildings all lit up? If you go to the wikipedia page for youngstown, or a site like, not-so-nice photos are up.

We are way more picturesque than what 2.0 shows us to be.

Maybe we can sponsor a competition for someone to take a really nice picture of downtown, and we can use that on all the open network sites. The only rule is that there cannot be a parking lot or automobiles in the picture.

- - -

in other news, made it down to the annual Doo Dah Parade in Columbus on the morning of the 4th.

The Doo Dah Parade takes place in the Victorian Village neighborhood, celebrating the zany people and politically outrageous events that have happened in the past year.

Everyone in the parade gets dressed up in funky costumes, and if your float is deemed as" too commercial" by the crowd, you get booed.

Here are a handful of pictures and videos from the event for you to enjoy:

The Marching Fidels are an annual crowd-favorite.

I wonder when Castro passes away, will they also retire this routine?

After Bo died last fall on the one day of the year the band performs, the musical group "The Dead Shembecklers" announced on stage their retirement.

I believe "The Dancing Saddams" win the award for the most inflammatory message . . .

It was a great event.

Do you think this kind of thing, on a smaller scale can take place in Youngstown?

What neighborhood is funky enough to host it?

(Go around the circumference of Wick Park perhaps?)

Maybe we should send a goodwill peace contingent from Youngstown next year . . .

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

tool concert fills chevy centre, locksley downtown at Cedars on saturday

Has anyone noticed how the quality of music acts coming to downtown Youngstown has tremendously increased over the past few months?

Tool was here on Sunday, filling the arena with people from all over the tri-state area. Stevie Nicks last night. Locksley at Cedars on Saturday July 7th.

To share what the atmosphere was like inside the Chevy Center, here are some videos:

So Locksley from Brookyln is in town over the weekend.

Khaled Tabarra (from the Zou) and Koebel are both bands from Youngstown (who also have music in the Fine-Tune movie) who are opening for Locksley.

Haven't heard Locksley's sound?

Here are two videos, one from Jummy Kimmel:

And one of their "official" music videos that play on MtV and such...

word. see you this saturday downtown in The Yo.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

walking tour of mill creek park history this weekend

I was walking to the vegetarian gathering at Slippery Walk Pavilion over the weekend, and the combination of the weather, the scenery, and the meal awaiting me - can only be summarized in one word.


- - -

How many of us realize how absolutely unique something like Mill Creek Park is in the world?

I'm sure many of you have travelled to many cities and have seen their parks, but really, Mill Creek Park is exquisitly different.

- - -

It's not just a rectangular parcel of land with trees, grass, and public space that you'll find in many places.

It's a living sculpture, whose walking paths and tributaries meander through forest and stone. It's an ecosystem, filled with wildlife and singing birds. It's a playground, open for anyone who wishes to explore its trails and run in its fields.

And it's a point of pride for Youngstown.

Not many other place in the world (trust me) have anything reasonably similar to this place.

The little details of the park's design are what's remarkable as well. The stone bridges that are everwhere. The rocks, big and small, placed thoughout its trails and riverbeds. The cascading waterfalls by the lakes.

All designed by landscape architects, and built with the sweat of individual laborers.

Hundreds and hundreds of homes thoughout Youngstown border the narrow park, now covering 2,600 acres. Here then are some pictures from the short hike, just a sampling of what the place has to offer:

and now dessert . . . fresh blueberries and pie to wrap things up

But besides the physical beauty, there are many special events apart from the usual golfing, gardens, and greenery one can see every day. Happenings such as yoga, kayaking at sunset, wildflower hikes, music concerts, and crayfish hunts are all occuring this month.

You can see the entire special events calendar here.

And on this Sunday, July 8th at 2pm, there will be a hike describing the history of some of the park's most unique places.

Ed Galaida: Mill Creek Park's First Historian
Meet at Ford Nature Center
July 8, Sunday, 2 p.m.

(In 1941, Ed Galaida wrote the first history of Mill Creek Park at its half-century mark. His friend, naturalist emeritus Bill Whitehouse, will reflect on Galaida's contributions through readings and personal memories. Moderate difficulty, 2 miles.)