Thursday, May 31, 2012

Metamorphosis: the 300ft long, 70+ window Kickstarter project

YSU Design Students & YBI Collaborate to Launch Kickstarter for Downtown Mural

Do you live in the Youngstown metro area, or do you live outside of Youngstown and have a fondness for our town?

Have you ever thought...

what is a small way that I can personally improve this unique place?

well, here is a unique project that was just launched tonight on Kickstarter.

The goal: construct a mural along Federal Street downtown that will consist of 70 plus vinyl segments spanning over 300 feet in length, all created by graphic design students at YSU.

The theme: METAMORPHOSIS, and the urban development growing up all throughout the city of Youngstown.

Here's how Kickstarter works...people propose a project, any individual from around the world can donate, and when the goal is reached, only then will all donors be charged. If the goal is not reached, no previous donor is charged. (it was pretty easy too, paid with the ol' Amazon account as opposed to typing in another credit card number)

Also, there are some unique gifts for the various funding levels.

$25 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker to show your support for local street art in Youngstown, OH!

$100 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural.

$250 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural, plus a tour of the Youngstown Business Incubator with Chief Evangelist, Jim Cossler

$1,000 or more
- A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural, plus a tour of the Youngstown Business Incubator, plus lunch with Chief Evangelist of the YBI, Jim Cossler

What do you think, Diaspora?
Can you support it?


Friday, May 04, 2012

Youngstown's first ever "Jane's Walk" in a neighborhood to take place on Saturday May 5

Moving to the Mahoning Valley from Rhode Island, YSU graduate student Kasey Johnson is working with one local neighborhood group, The Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association, to organize a walk this Saturday afternoon which will highlight the culture, history, and future investments of this distinct section of the west side of the city of Youngstown.

“Jane's Walk” is in honor of the late urban activist Jane Jacobs and her writings on how people influence a place and place influences people.
The walk through a portion of Rocky Ridge will join similarly structured events taking place that weekend in hundreds of cities across the world.

The two hour walking tour will include the following stops:
  • The Shrine of Our Lady (start point and parking) will highlight the religious and ethnic contributions to Rocky Ridge
  • Chaney High School, its academic and sports history
  • The amazing backyard landscaping of 2011's “Volney Rodgers Emerald Pierogi Award” for home beautification
  • Aspects of Mill Creek Park, including the Robinson Sugar Maple Grove, Morley Pavilion and the actual geologic formation which comprises the actual “Rock Ridge”
  • Industrial and settlement history in the neighborhood by Bill Lawson, Executive Director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society
  • Showing of plans for the upcoming extensive renovations to the Children's play area at the Wick Recreation Area in Mill Creek MetroParks
All interested residents of the region are welcome and encouraged to attend this free event, with ample parking at the start point.

waking path of the Rocky Ridge Jane's Walk
WHAT: Local neighborhood group collaborates with YSU graduate student to host the first local “Jane's Walk”, making Youngstown one of hundreds of participating cities across the world.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012

WHERE: Shrine of Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, 517 S. Belle Vista Avenue, Youngstown

Friday, April 27, 2012

my moustache is more vibrant than your moustache

enough said...


A snapshot from this week's visioning event in Youngstown, O.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

it's been nine months since vinyl siding went up, and degradation persists

Nine months.

A lot can happen in nine months.

A baby conceived in June 2011 would have been born by now.

Juniors in high school from June 2011 are getting ready to now graduate as seniors.

If you started counting from one for every second since June 2011, today you'd be beyond 23.7 million.

However, very little can also happen in nine months too.

Very little.

It's been exactly nine months and one day since the Saturday in June 2011 when cheap vinyl siding was put on a facade at 25 West Federal Street.

This same vinyl siding design for this building was soundly rejected by the city's Design and Review Board before construction, however the owner of the building decided to put up the violating vinyl anyway.

And since the June construction of the rejected design, with citations issued, postponed court dates, and capitulation without construction deadlines, the white vinyl siding remains.

Through nine months, the vinyl siding remains, untouched.

And other current downtown investors wonder...

...why are plans not respected and agreements blatantly ignored?
...why is a city so weak when it comes to code enforcement?
...why do others not follow the rules, when most abide by certain standards?
...why now is the building inhabited, but the original problem still exists?

As these questions set into the minds of those who have made recent investments into the Central Business District, one may ask:

would they make a future investment in downtown youngstown?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Startup Bus takes six-hour detour to visit Youngstown and YBI

Quick, what's the most direct way from Columbus/Cincinnati to Texas for a busload of entrepreneurs?

Why north of course...

... to Youngstown

Startup Buses are launching from all over America, making their way to the SXSW Festival in Austin.

You can track these buses here, as they make their way across the USA with their precious cargo of entrepreneurs... entrepreneurs looking to hone their pitches for new companies.

One bus sponsored by southern Ohio groups such as CincyTech, The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, and the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association took a six-hour detour this morning.

A six-hour detour to Youngstown.

The media was there at the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), watching as folks shared their business ideas. Some of the world-class talent associated with the YBI provided advice.

But a larger question arises:

Why Youngstown?

Why not visit one of hundreds of other incubators in the country?

Simply put, the Youngstown Business Incubator is on the mental map of the state and national entrepreneurs as a remarkable place to build a business.

So much so, it's a stop for a very cool national event like the Startup Bus.

You can watch the travels of the Startup Bus here, as chronicled by a great guy, Thomas Mulready of Cool Cleveland.

The soon-to-be four building campus in downtown Youngstown is home now to hundreds of employees, generating wealth, generating innovation, generating taxes for the region, and generating hundreds of other spinoff jobs in the region.

It's a tide rising all boats.

It's a tide selling product across the world, building a connected Global Youngstown.

It's a tide that is becoming more and more known across the nation.

Monday, March 05, 2012

ethnic food vendor and marketplace forms for Simply Slavic Fest now available!

For a first-time festival, the 2011 Simply Slavic event in downtown Youngstown was an amazing success!

Over 3,000 people came down for the inaugural one-day event last June, which was filled with delicious food and drink, dancing, educational opportunities, and most of all ... FUN.

Now, onto this year . . . mark your calendars for Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Do you want your church, business, or organization join in the ethnic festivities and make big profits like last year's participants?

Here's a great summary of the day from the Casey Malone Show:

All the forms to participate in the day's activities are now online:
Food Vendor Form
Craft/Marketplace Vendor Form
Heritage Table Form
Business Sponsorship
Family/Individual Sponsorship

Please note: vendors are expected to sell food and crafts of an ethnic variety. Vendors are welcome from anywhere in Northeast Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and all over the world!

If you are a church, and your parishoners make the best home-cooked food, then this is the festival for you!

If you are an organization, and your members sell unique ethnic crafts, then this is the festival for you!

If you are a stromboli vendor or a snow cone vendor, please call the folks at Youngstown's many other wonderful ethnic festivals for vendor opportunities.

Food vendor and marketplace vendor forms are due March 30, so tents can be ordered at a resonable price.

Please connect through contacts on the Simply Slavic website if questions arise.

- - -

These modern-day nations in Europe represent the origins of our Slavic ancestors: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Can we get a organization/church from every one of these ethnic groups?

Monday, February 20, 2012

in a first, publicy traded company mentions Youngstown Earthquakes as risk factor 10-K documentation to the S.E.C.

For all publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ, a company must file a document every year called a 10-K to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A somewhat standardized document in terms of content, the 10-K contains information about how the company participates/competes in the global marketplace, the compensation of executives, financial data, etc, etc, but also a list of "risk factors" that may impact a company's future ability to attain earnings.

On February 12, 2012 the publicly traded Consol Energy (CNX on the NYSE) with a market cap of $8.5 billion mentioned in its 10-K the following "risk factor" which can cause an investor to lose value in their investment:

"If we cannot find adequate sources of water for our use or are unable to dispose of the water we use or remove it from the strata at a reasonable cost and within applicable environmental rules, our ability to produce gas economically and in commercial quantities could be impaired."


"As part of our drilling and production in the Marcellus shale, we use hydraulic fracturing processes. 

Thus, we need access to adequate sources of water to use in our Marcellus shale operations. 

Further, we must remove and dispose of the portion of the water that we use to fracture our shale gas wells that flows back to the well-bore as well as drilling fluids and other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of natural gas. 

Our inability to locate sufficient amounts of water with respect to our Marcellus Shale operations, or the inability to dispose of or recycle water and other wastes used in our Marcellus shale and our CBM operations, could adversely impact our operations. 

For example, in Ohio, injection of gas well production fluids was temporarily suspended for underground injection disposal wells near Youngstown while regulatory authorities investigate whether injection of wastewater into the wells is causing low category earthquakes in the area."

- - -

While this one perceived risk factor is among a laundry list of risk factors, it is interesting to note how the Youngstown earthquakes (presumably caused by the D&L disposal of fracking waste into the earth) has made it into a company's released documents to the SEC.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on economic impact of Lordstown's third shift

this approximation of direct and indirect spin-off got my attention:

"A third shift at a Midwestern U.S. auto plant typically requires 1,000 autoworkers and creates 7,850 spinoff jobs ... about one-third within 60 miles of the plant, with others [two-thirds of jobs] at farther away suppliers and service providers."

And with subsequent real-life examples of how a third shift impacts the bottom line in a community, this week's Bloomberg Businessweek magazine profiled some of the economic activity around Lordstown/Youngstown from the third shift assembling the Chevy Cruze.

Here is this week's Putin cover if you are looking for a copy to pick up:

An interesting line of work I did not know existed is overnight childcare. Parents drop off their kids going into their shift around 10:00pm, and then after their eight-hour shift, pick them up after 6:30am and take them to school. Wow.

What other unique opportunities come about in a third-shift kinda town?

links to slideshow and story

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

renovations to begin next week for new market near YSU & Wick Park

In 2011 Mr. Ali Adi opened the Downtown Circle, which brought to downtown Youngstown a clean market stocked with goods, also serving daily unique freshly-prepared ethnic foods.

Less than a year later in January 2012, the successful entrepreneur will expand this model to an additional location in the city, but with a larger footprint.

Beginning next week, renovations will begin at the former R&S Market near the corner of Elm and Madison, just north of the YSU Campus and adjacent to other new and established private businesses near Wick Park such as Edward's Flowers, Dorian Books, and The Flats at Wick.

The new location, to be named the "University Circle," will have both a full market and a cafe space with wi-fi and seating for 46 people.

The existing two entrances will be remodeled into a single central entrance, with a complete physical redesign to the visual appeal of the building.

Similar to the location downtown, specialties such as chicken shawarma, grape leaves, smoothies, veggie falafel sandwiches, slowly-roasted meats can be ordered for lunches and dinners. The architectural drawings for the new place even have a space/drawn component for "vertical rotisseries."

What can north side residents and YSU students expect inside the "University Circle"?

Here's some quick shots of the interior and food from the "Downtown Circle" on Federal Street:

long live pickles on your pita...