Community Columnists

Inside, outside model trains change places

My first experience with outdoor model railroading was at just about this time of year, but back in 1940. I was 4 years old. After breakfast, I headed for my sandbox only to find that all the toys I had usually left there were all gone. Maybe some neighborhood kids had borrowed them. A bit ...

Are we trapped in debt spiral?

WASHINGTON — From Scotland, where Adam Smith pioneered systematic thinking about economics, comes an adjective, “carnaptious,” that fits people who are allergic to economic euphoria. It means cantankerous. Let’s think carnaptiously about this fact: The interest rate on 10-year Treasury ...

Paul Ryan’s failed exorcism

WASHINGTON — Given the cornucopia of issues Americans have to select from each day, the recent firing and rehiring of the House of Representatives’ chaplain may not have bestirred many to form an opinion. But these days, the Hill is alive with buzz as people absorb the odd goings-on ...

Repair, reuse or redo it, but never throw away

Back in the late fall, I received a letter from reader Lloyd Revis, who lives in Warren. He has written before and apparently we had similar backgrounds and experiences when we were growing up. My apologies to him because when I tried to find his letter to re-read it, I had put it someplace ...

Interior Dept. moves on drilling regulation

Last fall, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke began formally unraveling an Obama-era regulation that would raise the cost of drilling for energy on federal lands. Environmental groups are already claiming the Interior Department’s moves are unlawful and environmentally disastrous. They’re ...

Christening ‘Miss Minute Man’

It was 1942. Many of us kids at Garfield Elementary were preoccupied with the war that had started for the U.S. right after Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. I was in first grade. We had fire drills, air raid drills and demonstrations on extinguishing incendiary bombs. We were told to keep a ...

Tragedy dampened joy of moving

It was 1940 in good old Warren. Spring had come and we were having a new home built next to the water tower on Genesee Avenue. It was exciting for me to run through the unfinished rooms of that strange new place. I turned 5 that October and had a big birthday party at our York Avenue home ...

Tax reform would benefit local firms, families

Today the United States tax code is a whopping 74,608 pages. According to the National Taxpayers Union, 94 percent of all Americans use tax professionals or tax software to prepare their returns. Our businesses in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys also incur costs, sometimes tremendous costs, ...

Seven was always lucky number

It was 1947 in good old Warren. That year certainly didn’t hold the drama that 1946 did. Even though the U.S. was at peace for a while, we still worried about the atomic bomb and Russia. Shortages had just about come to an end. It was the year that Dad lost his mom and I lost my dog, ...

Judicial branch least understood branch of U.S. government

Q: What is the “least understood branch of government?” A: Most people are aware that our government has three separate and co-equal branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. However, the judicial branch is often the least understood, perhaps in part ...

Back Pittsburgh for Amazon bid

A phrase I use a bit too often, but I love nonetheless, is “punching above your weight.” Maybe it’s too many fond memories of Boom-Boom Mancini and Kelly Pavlik, but it’s a source of pride when I get to use that phrase. That’s why I was so happy to see collective agencies in the ...

Ups and downs of life in 1946

It was 1946 in Warren, Ohio. I was 10 going on 11, and the post World War II era had just begun. The future seemed so very promising. All of the rationing, shortages, fears of air raids and blackouts, and concerns about friends and relatives serving in the military were over. I could buy ...

Older is better: Think of senior dogs this Adopt-A-Dog Month

Along with pumpkin spice and everything nice, October is known as a month of change. With the leaves turning and the weather finally cooling down, people and pets alike are starting to snuggle up on the couch and enjoy fall. Dogs young and old are looking for new homes before the cold of winter ...

An eMOTIONal ruling from mom

Mom couldn’t stand any sort of motion. As a 3 or 4 year old, I would try to sit next to her on the front porch glider on York Avenue. I had to sit stock still because the slightest motion of that glider would bother her immensely. Maybe it was an inner ear problem. Now, let’s zoom ahead ...

Forced tolerance turns into great friendship for pair of siblings

How would you like it? How would you like to be the center of attention — perhaps the princess — for five years, two months and 20 days? Then, out of the blue, her mom came home from St. Joseph Riverside Hospital with a little bundle of joy — me — her little baby brother. This must have ...

WWII aircraft transfixing to 6-year-old in Warren

It was early 1942 — a few months after the beginning of World War II for the U.S. I was 6 years old and had a family friend named Bill who was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy (the U.S. Army equivalent was captain). He had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to Pearl Harbor — as had ...

What’s the modern equivalent of the old game kick the can?

It was usually close to dusk on a hot and humid late summertime evening when our games would start at the standpipe on Genesee Avenue NE. Carly, Ronnie, Sonny, Bonnie, Bill, Bob, Bob (there were two Bobs), Jackie, Bev, Stanley, Dale, my sister and I would gather around the base of that ...

Agricultural degrees aren’t just for farmers

It’s school time. Maybe you are like me and have a child headed off to college this week. As parents, we try to help our kids decide their career paths. As a farmer’s daughter and someone whose career is dependent on agriculture, I’ve encouraged my daughters to pursue agriculture-related ...

No visit for Asian relatives

As some of you dear readers know, I’ve begun my ninth decade as a native of good old Warren with little interruption. (I’m 81.) When I was of working age, good employment was available to me here, and I spent much of my career at Packard Electric. My two sons grew up here, and after their ...

Cool Warren, Ohio, teen boy fads

It was the summer of 1951. We had just finished 10th grade. I really thought we were quite stylish when two other classmates and I went for a stroll looking for girls on the boardwalk of an upscale East coast resort town called Rehoboth Beach. However, the way we were dressed resulted in ...