And the readers say ‘Leave the Name Alone’

Responses to state park moniker pitch say it will always be ‘Mosquito’

In this 2019 file photo, Jacob Metz, 12, of Kinsma, heads to his favorite fishing spot at Mosquito Lake State Park. The majority of readers responding to the question of what should the park be called favored leaving the name Mosquito alone. (Staff photo / R. Michael Semple)

A Mosquito by any other name won’t be the same.

That’s the verdict from Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator readers, who were invited to pitch their ideas for a different name for Mosquito Lake State Park.

“I say leave Mosquito, Mosquito,” Jim Cartwright of Canfield said. “That’s where I fished with my Dad, sailed my boat past fall foliage and waded in summer with my family. The name never interfered with my enjoyment of the place.”

Ethan Kistler of Newton Township agreed. “The name should remain the same and not be changed to anything else. It was named after the reservoir, which was given that name over 70 years ago. Before the reservoir was constructed, it was Mosquito Creek. Leave the name and history alone, and don’t bring divisive politics into something that isn’t political from either side.”

On March 12, state Rep. Michael Loychik, R-Bazetta, proposed renaming the park Donald J. Trump State Park “to honor the commitment that our 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, bestowed upon the great people of Trumbull County.

“This enthusiasm for our former president was also historic throughout the state of Ohio last November as he pushed for initiatives and policies that (were) very well-received with my constituency and the state. I will soon be introducing this bill to recognize the triumphs Trump brought over the last four years to this great nation and the Buckeye state,” Loychik stated in his March 12 news release.

Loychik did not respond to multiple phone and email messages seeking comment for this article.

Some respondents agreed with Loychik’s suggestion; most did not.

Dawn Tallman of Champion responded, “Mosquito Creek became Mosquito Lake. That is the most reasonable name. There is no reason to believe any other name would be as appropriate. During the pandemic, the most fun we had was driving over to Mosquito Lake with a sandwich from home and eating it in the car. The best response to Mr. Loychik is ‘buzz off!'”

John Bassetti of Hubbard countered, “I’m in favor of renaming Mosquito — or some similar natural resource in the area — for Trump, who didn’t toe the line with politically correct-isms to appease any group, nor was his agenda designed to reverse racial progress. Despite his coarse discourse at times, Trump had the country headed in a better direction than the current administration is demonstrating.

“It’s OK to destroy statues and landmarks of American history, but not to add or rename a park for a president who was in step with the will of the resourceful American?” Bassetti asked.

Here are more thoughts from our readers:

“It’s an absolutely beautiful lake. Leave it alone. Even if you change it, it will always be Mosquito Lake.” — Susan Hoon Holinbaugh, Old Town, Fla., formerly of Warren.

“History is being removed from this country at an alarming rate. … Why change the name? It’s a nice name, everybody knows it, and it’s not being offensive to anybody. I say keep it as it has been for decades.” — Jeanette Carabbia, Youngstown

“Leave the park’s name as it is. It’s a memorable name, and his is not.” — Tom Abbey, Bazetta

“I am in favor of changing the name of Mosquito Lake to Donald Trump Lake for two reasons: One, (the) mosquito is an important insect in our ecology system. However, for humans, they are a true nuisance pest. … Two, like him or not (and there is no middle ground here), Trump did do many good things for our community. What cannot be ignored is that this area has always been a strong Democrat voting area. However in the last two elections the area voted for Trump … that answers any questions I might have about Trump’s positive support for our community.” — Bill Wonders, Middlefield, formerly of Warren

“You should never name things after someone living. Old rule.” — Nancy Androsko, Youngstown

“Although personally I did like Donald Trump as president, I absolutely am against changing Mosquito Lake to Donald Trump Lake. … (I would favor) Jim Traficant Lake. Does he not have a legacy in the Valley? Politicians, like everything else, come and go, but the legacy of Jim Traficant will persist.” — Bob Lockiec, Struthers

• “Given what we have seen lately in the current ‘Cancel Culture,’ it is probably not a good idea to name anything after any person, living or dead, no matter how good and deserving that person is considered by today’s standards. After all, who is to say that some future generation will not find something in the honored person’s character or actions, which runs

afoul of the then-current values of some member or members of that generation? … Far better, perhaps, to stick (to) nonhuman or even inanimate names. Actually, Mosquito Lake State Park is just fine with me.” — Alan Stiver, Youngstown

“Woke-Diversity-BLM State Park. How could anyone object to that name? It should be especially satisfying for all the name-changing, statue-toppling, cancel culture loonies out there.” — Ed Cooper, Fowler

“You can leave the name alone or if it must be changed, anything but Trump would work. Trump’s legacy of corporate failures, divisive politics and lies leading to the insurrection of Jan. 6 are not something I think we should memorialize.” — Michael Swiatkwich, Bazetta.

“I am submitting some Indian names that I believe would continue the line of heritage which our lake deserves. Here is what I found during my names research: Lakota, Shawnee, Cherokee, Silver Eagle, Cheyene, Valor, Choctaw, Seneca, Heritage.” — David K. Irish, Cortland

“I don’t think the state park should be renamed. It is an area well-known for great fishing and wildlife opportunities. It would be a substantial cost to change signs, maps, tourism guides, etc., and this money could certainly be used in better ways. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful area in our backyard — why not just leave well-enough alone?” — Dawn Hanna, Warren

“I feel a name change of Mosquito Lake Park is very unnecessary. Keep this beautiful area just as it is!” — Nancy Harris, Lisbon

“(Call it) Donald J. Trump Mosquito Lake State Park of Trumbull County. That gets all three in — the county, it’s still Mosquito, and he (Trump) deserves it for all the abuse he took. We need some class around here and he’s it.” — Glenda Berlin, Warren

• “I think it should stay named as is. … Way back in 1917, the federal government was giving serious consideration to creating it as the summit water supply level for an ambitious Lake Erie to Ohio River Canal. Bought an original study done for that massive water transportation concept. Well, the canal never happened, but had it been so constructed, then small laker ships and large barge tows would have been a common sight passing through Niles, past the Eastwood Mall.

“In 1935, the Corps of Engineers changed to a revised proposed canal concept to use rather a larger Grand River Reservoir, as the summit level, for a 120-mile interconnecting canal, through Youngstown, Niles and Warren. That ‘Dig We Must’ proposal was championed by former U.S. Reps. Mike Kerwin and Jim Traficant. I joined his efforts in 1985, by volunteering on his engineering committee, and did so up until 1994 when the Corps stopped planning.” — Ron Reid, P.E., Newton Falls

“I am a Trump supporter but this is ridiculous.” — Debby Melvin, via Facebook

“When political cycles turn (and they will — they always do) and the Democrats are again in control in Ohio, will he be all right with re-naming Trump State Park — or any other state park — Biden State Park or any Democratic politician’s name? Likely not. Ohio claims to be ‘The Mother of Presidents,’ claiming eight of them. Interestingly, except for … Harrison Creek State Park, there are no state parks specifically named after any of our president sons … are going to start naming state parks after an out-of-Ohio president when we don’t even honor our own? … Leave Mosquito Lake State Park as is.” — Brian J. Macala, director of law, City of Campbell

“I suggest for a name Harriet Taylor Upton State Park because few national parks, monuments are named for women.” — Professor Rosemarie Kascher, Youngstown

“Please consider name Mosquito Lake area to the Mary Boyer Smith and Joseph E. Smith State Park and Wildlife Area. They were very instrumental in the early administration and formative years of Youngstown College, now the prestigious Youngstown State University, and still have many former students who would champion this wonderful cause.” — Claranne Lyden McCloud, Canfield

“It’s my opinion to let the name remain! It’s a part of the history of Trumbull County.” — Lynda Boucher, Mecca

“I don’t think we should change the name of Mosquito Lake State Park. It is so well known and beautiful. … As a side note this reminds me of something I once read that may be ‘legend’ and not necessarily true but interesting. When the explorers discovered ‘Iceland’ it was a gorgeous green vegetation island. They did not want others to go there so they named this beautiful island Iceland to keep people away. Likewise when they discovered ‘Greenland’ it was all ice and very cold but that is where the explorers wanted people to go.” — David Alter, Girard

“Don’t change the name and if you do at least don’t name it after Trump!” — Dennis R. Stewart, Braceville

“For whatever reason a change may be made, the state park landmark should be named after a leader who was responsible and deserving of such an honor, who stood for all Americans with social justice reform that included the civil rights of each man, woman and child, rather than a former U.S. president who lost his bid for re-election to the White House but still declaring it a fraudulent election.” — Teresa Massucci, Warren

“My suggestion is Sunset Lake. The lake is in the western part of the county and the sun sets in the west usually.” — Danielle Jenkins, Warren

“I vote for renaming the park after Harriet Taylor Upton. I told him (Loychik) that if he wants to worship his idol, he can name one of his kids after the guy — but don’t impose his idol worship on the rest of us.” — Diana De Vito, Liberty

“I suggest that, if that is our wish, we rename the park after an indigenous person or tribe who hailed from this area. After all, they were here, along with the mosquitoes I suspect, well before us pale-faced immigrants showed up.” — Stephen Hanzely, Poland

“I’ve lived in Trumbull County my entire life and I’ve enjoyed the facilities at Mosquito for many years. I see absolutely NO reason or benefit to change its name. This is NOT a political statement BUT Donald Trump has caused so much hate and evil in four years, we certainly do not need to honor him in any way. With this said I’m a registered Republican. More importantly, we’d be better off getting rid of both parties. Thank you for listening. God bless our country.” — Kathy Antonelli, Hubbard

“Absolutely no reason to change the name. Leave it as is!!!!” — Christy Conde, Warren

“I would rename it the Operation Warp Speed Memorial Park.” — John Watkins, Youngstown

“Just because someone suggested it, why does it have to be renamed? Just leave the name as it is!” — Judi Sullivan, Poland

“I don’t feel the need to change the name, but if I were to name it after a person …one person that comes to mind is the late Phil Hillman, who was a dedicated employee of the Ohio Division of Wildlife for 30-plus years before his untimely death at the age of 62. Phil was the District 3 fish management supervisor and a staunch conservationist and avid fisherman / outdoorsman. Let’s keep the politics out of it.” — Mike Shane, New Middletown

“The name I came up with — People’s State Park. It seems like a family place, many activities.” — Linda Stash, Youngstown

“Leave the name the same!” — Jacki Burbach-Mitton, West Farmington



Here’s what you suggested

On March 28, the newspaper asked readers, “If you could change the name of Mosquito Lake State Park, what would you call it?”

Here are the answers readers submitted with varying degrees of seriousness:

* Keep the name Mosquito — 58

* Any name but Trump — 6

* Donald J. Trump State Park — 4

* Harriet Taylor Upton State Park — 2

* Mecca State Park — 2

* Name it for a local indigenous person or tribe — 2

* Donald J. Trump Mosquito Lake State Park of Trumbull County — 1

* Jim Traficant Lake State Park — 1

* Phil Hillman State Park — 1

* Mary Boyer Smith and Joseph E. Smith State Park and Wildlife Area — 1

* People’s State Park — 1

* Sunset Lake State Park — 1

* Woke-Diversity-BLM State Park — 1

* Operation Warp Speed Memorial Park — 1

* Lakey McLakeface State Park — 1

TOTAL — 83 comments


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