History shows why Mickey's is closing
''Heartfelt goodbye to Mickey's Army-Navy,'' Tribune Chronicle, June, 24, 2014.
It was only a matter of time. On Main Street when I started working at Second National Bank, there was a grocery store across the street, several stores and restaurants, the Savoy Bar and Grill next door. Betty was the chef for the Canzonetta brothers who ran the bar. The Blackboard Hardware store and Berk's coin shop also did business in the same block.
If you want to know more about the decline of the downtown area of Warren, ask Jim Economos of the Saratoga Restaurant, started by his father in 1916. The Village Cafe next door that was run by John Payiavlas, who went into the vending business in a big way, helped in the flourishing business in the Warren area in those days. It would not last.
When C.D. Betters bought RG Steel, I wrote that he would sell the mill for scrap. This was the last vestige of the manufacturing base that made Warren a thriving community.
The start of the decline had roots much further back. The repeal of the Steagall-Glass acts of 1933 and 1934 did not help. It took away all the regulations that to some degree kept bankers from becoming too greedy.
Education does not give us insight into what happened to the manufacturing, especially on steel that was slowly becoming obsolete in this country over the last several decades.
After 1950, the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company published a book on the first 50 years of its business. During the deep days of the Great Depression, the company was continually upgrading its facilities with new equipment and methods making the best steel that could be made.
The steel industry stopped modernizing the process while the rest of the world was building better and more modern methods of making steel easier and cheaper.
Increases in wages won by unions helped, but the reason was deeper than that. Steel owners took huge profits and ran with the money.
The deregulation of the banking industry allowed banks to indulge in practices that helped bring the Great Depression. Banks were not to be investment bankers, they were not to be stockbrokers, and they could not be sellers of insurance.
In addition, they were not allowed to pay interest on checking accounts.
It did not take long before the economy began to feel the effects of this change in the banking laws. World Com and Enron went down the drain, and before long the foreclosure of homes and other businesses followed. Investment in equipment and new steel industry facilities were no longer possible.
What entrepreneur would want to invest in a multibillion-dollar enterprise, and have the bank in every aspect of his business? What bank could put billions into a virtually new enterprise with Mr. Betters at the helm?
Without manufacturing, we no longer have a support for the services provided by the Marty Cohens of our community.
-- Leonard J. Sainato, Warren
Stolen shirt won't dampen spirit
I just returned from River Rock at the Amp. What a great night. Jersey and Elevation were the featured performers and so was the rain. But many of us hearty concert-goers stayed.
I went alone, because my family is not rock and rollers, but being a 1970s girl, I am. I felt safe walking in alone, and with my beach chair with the pocket in the back, I set up to watch the show.
I came prepared with an umbrella and poncho. Several nice people around me took me under their wing by talking to me. The couple next to me even gave me chocolate chip cookies. That made my night. I love cookies.
Jersey was great. And then I went down to get my free stuff, playing corn hole to get a free t-shirt. I went back to my spot. I placed the shirt in the back pocket of the chair and continued to watch the next band, Elevation.
As the night went on, it poured and stopped and poured and stopped. The people who stayed had a great time. And then the concert was over. I turned around to put my stuff in the chair to leave, and the free shirt was gone.
Someone had lifted it as I was enjoying the show. How sad, I was going to give it to my daughter. My joy was snuffed out, but not for long. I thought to myself, maybe someone needed it. Maybe they grabbed it to not get wet. Or maybe they just outright took it.
Anyway, whoever did this will not prevent me from going back. Warren is a great place and has a lot of wonderful things going for it, River Rock being one of them. The rest of the people were great, especially the couple who gave me cookies.
So, whoever took the shirt that I won for my daughter, I hope it fits you. But you will not prevent me from enjoying the things that this great little city has to offer. I am not scared of you. Just sad for you.
-- Cathy Santiago, Cortland
Mayor is example of a good politician
In this day and age when nothing gets done in Washington, D.C., it is a welcome change to ask a city official for something of them and have it come to pass.
I live on Packard Street N.W., and I wrote the mayor about the road that we live on. In my letter I advised the mayor that our street was in very bad condition and full of potholes. I am a homeowner and was asking him to look into this situation to see if he could do some patching and resolve this problem.
Once the holes were patched, I wrote him again to tell him that the cold patch did not stay in the potholes and that what they had done was a waste of money.
The next thing I know the city crews came out and repaved the entire street. So I am saying thank you to the mayor for being a responsible city official and for going above and beyond the call of duty by solving this problem.
There are so many problems that can be resolved if these politicians would just do what they were elected to do, and that is just do the job. Our so-called leaders in Washington should stop playing games with this country's needs and do the job that they are paid to do. If we don't work we get fired, so why is it any different for them? They seem to think that they are above the law.
So, for you big fat professional politicians, I say take a page from our little town's play book and do your job before our great nation goes down the tubes because of your inaction.
-- Terry M. Placer Sr., Warren
Government never made it on its own
All of us remember the infamous quotes to the American people by Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren who stated, ''You didn't build that.''
Barack Obama quote:
''Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own ...
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.''
Elizabeth Warren quote:
''You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory - and hire someone to protect against this - because of the work the rest of us did.''
The fact is their argument is completely baseless. It doesn't even meet the standard of ''which came first, the chicken or the egg?''
That is because we know which came first: the factory.
Then, and only then, the company that invested in and owns and operates the factory made a profit, and then paid federal and state taxes. Their employees worked, earned an income and paid federal and state taxes.
And then, and only then, did the federal government and state government acquire the money to pay to build the roads, build the schools to educate the workers and hire the police, teachers, etc.
The state and federal government didn't receive the funds to educate the citizenry, build the roads and hire policemen by producing a good or service and then selling such products or services at a profit, taking the risk inherent in such an endeavor.
Instead, the funds they receive are taken. They are in the business of confiscating their funds from the citizenry. Granted, it is written into the Constitution as their right (at least the federal government's), but the whole idea she posits is completely upside down.
The government and its employees are completely free of and exempt from the risks that businesses take by participating voluntarily in the free market system.
The government's revenue is guaranteed. It is inexhaustible as well and can never even become bankrupt or shut down, because they can always print money via the Fed or issue U.S. bonds to keep things going.
If there is any entity that never made it on its own, it is the federal government.
-- Cathy Lukasko, Brookfield
Who is really to blame for mess?
There was a poll recently in the Tribune Chronicle: ''Who is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian plane?''
Sixty-four percent said Russia. I disagree with the results. You see, if you dig deep enough you will find the answer. Before Mr. Obama was elected for a second term, he had a meeting with Mr. Putin. Leaning over, Mr. Obama said, ''I will have more flexibility after I am elected.''
No one knew at the time what this statement meant.
Mr. Obama then convinced Ukraine to give up its defense weapons to Russia, and the world would live in tranquility.
At one time, Ukraine had the third-largest number of nuclear weapons. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, they were convinced by the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France to get rid of them with the guarantee that these countries would protect and defend them.
How well has that worked out so far?
Then all hell broke loose across the Middle East, known as the ''Arab Spring'' and chaos across the world.
But with Mr. Putin, the only thing he was focused on was the Olympics. Right after the first athlete left Russia, Mr. Putin invaded and took control of Crimea. The Russian rebels invaded parts of Ukraine and took control with the help of Mr. Putin, with little to defend themselves and making them vulnerable. Those parts of Ukraine are now under their rule. And now we have 298 lives lost.
Think about the answer, it should come to you.
-- Ruth Lilley, Niles
James doesn't deserve respect
My thoughts on James coming back to Cleveland, yawn.
Loyalty - what exactly is it? James had it all before he left Cleveland. Money wasn't why he left; faith was the issue. He had no faith that he could win a championship in Cleveland so he left for less money to pursue his only real dream. He went to a team where he relied on other stars to get what he wanted - a hollow victory even if he doesn't understand it.
James had his own personal dream and pursued that regardless of who he hurt. Loyalty means nothing to James except the loyalty of those fans who follow the athlete and not the team. James showed, and is showing, that which we have all come to accept from people, serve yourself not others.
Professional sports have lost that which was its mainstay, team support or loyalty. There are still the fans who are loyal to their team through thick and thin, Cleveland fans are a prime example of that kind of loyalty. They will take back the one who abandoned them like the prodigal son, even if the son doesn't act as the prodigal son acted in the famous story from Christ. James has shown no remorse for what he did and, in fact, claims to have expected to come back some day to finish his career in Cleveland. Sounds more like a planned mission than a change of heart.
James will not get back my respect. Everyone has the right to pursue their happiness as they want to. You can use people or serve them but you cannot do both. The vast majority of people today choose to use people and accept that as the way and the truth and the light. James is no exception even though he is an exceptional player.
We have to start having people who are exceptional resist the temptations of using that for their own personal gain at the expense of others. Sacrifice can be hard or easy.
Like Art Modell taking the Browns out of town then Browns fans watching the team win a Super Bowl. Painful. But bringing the Ravens back to Cleveland to win a Super Bowl - I don't think many fans would want that.
I would rather wait and be a fan of the new Browns until our time comes. I may die before it happens but I will still have my soul.
-- Leif P. Damstoft, Warren
Group deserves praise for spirit
Much has been said about ''community spirit'' in the city of Warren for a number of years. As mayor, I've often encouraged citizens and organizations alike to become more involved and participate in community projects that improve the appearance and quality of life of our residents - and visitors to our community as well.
When I see that community spirit at work, I feel it is important to thank those who continually step up to the challenge of improving our community. Recently, one group in particular went above and beyond that challenge and I want to give them extra praise for their hard work.
After two months of planning and discussions to deter illegal dumping at the Thomas Road and Burton Street bike trailhead, a neighborhood clean-up day was scheduled for the bike trailhead as well as surrounding neighborhood areas.
On Saturday, June 28, under the leadership of the Rev. Avan Odem and Deacon Donald McMillan from Brother's Keepers Men's Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church, 43 volunteers came together to help with the cleanup, including the Salvation Army volunteer team, Councilman John Brown (3rd Ward), Councilman Greg Bartholomew (4th Ward), Councilman Eddie Colbert (7th Ward), Butch Butcher, members of Local 935, the Kenmore Neighborhood Association, Interfaith Group and the Southeast Side Community Association.
This small army of volunteers made great strides in the improvement and beautification of the southeast side of Warren.
Of note: 83 tires removed, 12 corner lots mowed and trimmed, overgrown brush along Thomas Road cut back, and the landscape of vacant commercial property on Niles Road improved. Most importantly, this group is a shining example of collaboration, volunteerism and community spirit.
That said, I personally thank everyone who participated in the southeast side cleanup, and ask others in the community to follow their example.
-- Mayor William D. Franklin, Warren