From America’s 9th Most Dangerous…

6 11 2006

Once again, someone has given Youngstown negative press. As you already know, Morgan Quinto ranked
Youngstown as the 9th most dangerous city in America, based primarily on per capita crime statistics. The police dispute it of course, saying the stats aren’t accurate, and the stats have improved, but I, like many others, find this argument unfairly irrelevant, with the singular stat of three homicides over two days fresh in our minds.   It’s another blow to the progress we’re all trying to make in re-molding Youngstown’s image, of course. We can still say downtown is statistically one of the safest places in Mahoning County, but no one really cares about that. And on the subject of “safe” places, does anyone else find it interesting that the nation’s 9th most dangerous is located northeast of the 48th best place to live? And then to the south and southeast are two other wealthier, white-bread communities? It’s like a new, smaller version of 1980s Los Angeles, with Westwood, Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills on one end, and then you can just drive down the street to Youngstown, which could be the equivalent of Crenshaw, Watts and Jefferson Park!   For not even one moment would I endorse that comparison. Youngstown has had its share of problems, but they are not of the magnitude Los Angeles experienced. Notwithstanding, our city’s problems still need to be alleviated.  

A friend of mine suggested to me gambling, and that they’d be voting for issue 3 tomorrow. I find no good in the whole matter of putting gambling in Ohio, at least in the form they’re giving us tomorrow. Should it pass, the only people who would benefit would be track owners and (maybe) people in downtownCleveland. It gets masked as beneficial for education, but most of the money will likely get lost along the way, and schools would most likely receive miniscule benefits, if at all. I think of an episode of The Simpsons, when the lottery was legalized under the guise the school would receive new supplies, but by the end of the episode the only thing Principal Skinner received out of it was an eraser. Her argument was that gambling helped cities in situations similar to ours, for example Gary, Indiana. Gary, however, can be included in the
Chicago metro area, which is the third largest in America, and thus has greater access to a wider range of disposable incomes, whereas the Youngstown-Warren area has a lower median income. In addition, there’s a flipside to everything: while the casinos have allowed more events to come to Gary, the performers and people who come to town for the events aren’t actually staying in the city, they’re staying in the suburbs. It’s the same in Youngstown, too: where do you think anyone who plays the Chevrolet Centre might stay the night? I guess my friend also failed to find out that Gary is only one behind
Youngstown on the most dangerous cities list. Nonetheless, idiots who think they’re smart will vote for Issue 3 tomorrow, probably saying it’ll ease the need for schools to use property taxes. The whole education funding system actually needs to be fixed, and not through gambling, but that’s for another time.  But I digress. Another angle to look at our problems is to look at another city in a situation similar to ours:
Wilmington, Delaware. A location rampant with crime and drug trafficking, Wilmington made reforms that were severe, some might say totalitarian. Their entire downtown area was placed under surveillance, and it eventually extended to their more dangerous neighborhoods as well. They also began “jump outs”, in which unmarked police vehicles would literally jump out at anyone on streets late at night and detain them temporarily, under suspicion of loitering. Police would photograph and fingerprint anyone present, and let them go without being charged. It was used to improve the pigs’ database for fingerprints or eyewitnesses of crimes, as well as find people with drugs and weapons, but civil libertarians were up in arms. I’d agree with them, especially now, but if the city were to decide that a reform like that really was needed, and I, a law-abiding citizen, had nothing to hide and felt very strongly my city needed to be cleaned up, then I’d be willing to make concessions  

This is all I have for right now. I was away this weekend and unable to get this printed, and while I have a few more notes, I wanted to get my more detailed thoughts out to you. Check back in the next couple days though, because I’ll be offering more thoughts.

Tonight’s entry is also a sample of what I hope is the future style of writing on this blog. Updates may be more sporadic, probably weekly, but they’ll be more in-depth, better researched and more informative.

Lastly, a few items I’d like to put out in the open, since I hear there’s some sort of election tomorrow (like we’re actually looked to on who to vote for, but still) :

  • New YTOWN endorse probable gubernatorial winner Ted Strickland, so he can add us among his many newspaper endorsments.

  • We also reluctantly endorse Sherrod Brown for senate, although much like his congressional record, nothing much will be done under his rule.

  • New YTOWN advises you to not vote for Attorney General. Dann and Montgomery both suck.

  • The blog is opposed to all four issues. Issues 3 and 4 both grossly misuse the constitution (the gay marriage ban here does that too), Issue 5 takes away rights of smokers to slowly kill themselves and 2 will just up the cost of living, so you won’t be complaining any less. 

  •  After you watch the news tomorrow night, rejoice the fact you won’t have to hear another damn political ad or get a recording on your phone from a candidate for at least the next 13 or so months.

  • Finally, on a non-political note, one of my favorite bands is announcing they’re reformation tomorrow. Genesis will announce the return of their classic 3-man line-up, and will probably tour, like a lot of bands of their stature are doing these days. I’m not a huge fan of Phil Collins as an individual but I love what he did within the band, so I’m more excited for this than I am for the election.

“It’s always the same/ It’s just a shame/That’s All/ THAT’S ALL….



One response

16 06 2008
John W

Youngstown Ohio

Youngstown is still a good place to live. It has its good parts and bad parts. Lots of good food and places to hang out..

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