Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 32

Bootlegger Edition

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Northeast Ohio is full of great entrepreneurial talent. If you have an idea and you want to make it happen, SunDown RunDown is the best place to showcase your idea and grab a beer while you’re there. Doors open at 5:30pm, pitches start by shortly after 6:00pm You have a little over a week to get your pitch in order to make a pitch as this will be occurring on March 22 at the Historic MVR.

Here’s how it works for those who pitch:

1) Before the event: Submit your idea to us on our site here. – you’ll actually hear back from us, no secret handshakes, no buddy, buddy shenanigans with us.

2) Register to Attend

3) We’ll schedule you to pitch at one of our events – and you better show up!

4) You pitch, get feedback on your idea, and maybe make a connection to help move your idea further. And we do this at night and we try to have 4 pitches during that time.

Here’s how it works for the audience:

1) Register to Attend

2) Give critical, but constructive feedback to the pitched business idea.

Sundown Rundown with the Mahoning Valley Podcast

A little about the Group who is sponsoring this event. SunDown Group has come a long way since it started offering business pitch events in Columbus in May of 2013. Our community has grown to over 1,350 individuals and our programs and services have expanded well beyond pitch events. We are helping entrepreneurs Connect, Do, Expand their businesses and Learn. Check out everything SunDown currently does to help out entrepreneurs everywhere.

This event is being held at the historic Casseses MVR on Walnut Street. This place is a landmark here in the Mahoning Valley. Started in 1927 by Carmine T. Cassese as a means of well, I am not sure exactly what they were doing there because I was not there. I could guess as 1927 was smack in the middle of the Prohibition Era in the United States and as soon as that failed experiment in representative democracy falied; MVR got one of the first Liquor Licenses in the State of Ohio.

Not that matters to me, but there is the possibility that Carmine was brewing up some fine beverages there at MVR. I know that we do not hear much about it these days, but there was a time when drinking was illegal. Can you imagine that? People having to break the law to drink?

Bootlegger Bust with the Mahoning Valley Podcast

Not only that, but there was quite a bit of drinking going on anyway. In fact, the term bootlegger was coined during this time. I am not alleging that anyone at MVR or anyone else did this. But, there were people here in the Valley who were so serious about getting drunk and getting other people drunk that according to Ohio History Central, “Many Ohio cities gained a reputation for lawlessness while Prohibition remained in effect. Toledo supposedly was a safe haven for mobsters and bootleggers from Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit, Michigan. Bootleggers from Kentucky smuggled alcohol into Cincinnati, Ohio, and then shipped the liquor to other communities in the state. It was rumored that law enforcement officials in Steubenville and Youngstown, Ohio, risked their very lives if they attempted to enforce Prohibition. Bootleggers did not exist only in Ohio.” That is a serious commitment to getting drunk there.

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Idora Park was created as a result of a Street Car Company wanting to expand their business and get more riders on the weekends and in the evening. According to Rick Shale writing for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, “In the mid-1890s streetcar companies across America looked for ways to increase ridership in the evenings and on the weekends when the regular commuter traffic slacked off. Locally, the Youngstown Park & Falls Street Railway Company held the franchise for routes south of the Mahoning River, and it decided to build an amusement park in the largely undeveloped south side of Youngstown.

Idora Park (for its first season known as Terminal Park) opened on Decoration Day, May 30, 1899, and was an immediate success. Ideally located adjacent to Mill Creek Park and sufficiently far from the smoke and dirt of the mills that lined the Mahoning River, the new park was about 3.5 miles from Youngstown’s Central Square—far enough to convince most people to pay a nickel and ride the streetcar to the park rather than walk.

Back Wabbit at Idora Park

In 1902 Idora Park built its first roller coaster, a figure-eight toboggan slide, the first of three coasters constructed in approximately the same location on the western edge of the park. This coaster would be replaced by the Firefly in the 1920s and then by the famous Wildcat. In 1914 a second coaster, the Dip-the-Dips, built by the T. M. Harton Company of Pittsburgh, opened in the park’s southeast corner. It would be remodeled in the mid-1920s and renamed the Jack Rabbit.

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Music of all types played a significant role in Idora Park’s history, and the park’s success was due in part to its policy of booking top attractions. John Philip Sousa played at Idora in 1918, and by the end of the Big Band era of the 1930s to the 1950s, virtually every significant dance orchestra in America had played at Idora Park including Cab Calloway, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Guy Lombardo.

In the 1950s and 1960s tastes shifted from Big Band to rock and roll. Dan Ryan of WBBW radio introduced record hops to Idora in 1953. Live music was not abandoned, however, and the park continued to book national acts such as the Eagles, Monkees, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Sherman, and many others. Polka bands also drew huge crowds to Idora.

Youngstownbaseball at Idora Park

Sports were popular attractions at Idora, especially in the 1920s when Major League teams would play exhibition games there. The Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates played at Idora as did the Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers, and many more. By 1920 Idora Park had the only fenced-in ball field in Youngstown, and the city’s premier semi-pro team, the McElroys, used Idora as their home field. In July 1920 the legendary John McGraw brought his New York Giants to Idora. Though the New York lineup included five future members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, the McElroys won 8-2 marking the first time a local team had ever defeated a major league club.

By the 1960s most visitors to Idora Park were teenagers, not families, and several changes reflected this new demographic. In 1967 Idora charged admission for the first time, inaugurating a Pay-One-Price policy that included unlimited rides for $2.50. The Rapids was re-themed as a jungle ride and renamed The Lost River, and the fun house became the Whacky Shack to reflect the psychedelic 1960s.

On April 26, 1984, a catastrophic fire destroyed Idora’s Lost River ride, part of the Wildcat, the park office, and most of the game booths on the lower midway. Despite the losses, the park opened on schedule for the 1984 season. But the loss of major attractions proved to be a fatal blow, and the owners announced that the 1984 season would be the last.”

Although the Park is long gone, the neighborhood still exists and the YNDC will be out there with volunteers cleaning up the Glenwood Ave this Saturday March 18. And of course they could use some help. Why not go ahead on click the link and let em know you can come out to help. And you can reminisce too about simpler times while you are there. Help us clean up Glenwood Avenue! We will be removing overgrowth and debris from vacant lots, cleaning up trash, shoveling sidewalks, and more! Meet at YNDC Office, 820 Canfield Road. Parking available around the corner at 822 Billingsgate Avenue.

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Meals on Wheels PSA with Mario Andretti. Head on over to their page and give em a like, then get in touch by calling 330-744-3583 and do lunch with some of our treasured seniors here in the Mahoning Valley.

The Fowler Market Spring Fling with Mahoning Valley Podcast

The Fowler Market will be holding it’s Spring Fling on Saturday and Sunday. We will be hosting a two day “Spring Fling” vendor event with TONS of local handmade crafters, homemade edibles like chocolates, breads, jams & jellies, and much more!

Break that cabin fever and come join us with all of your favorite local vendors! There will also be a Chinese Auction, 50/50 drawing, and of course our weekly Queen of Hearts drawing – plenty of chances to win some unique goodies and a little extra spending money!

Tickets for the drawings will be sold on both Saturday and Sunday, but drawings will not take place until Sunday. Winners need not be present to win!

Donna from Wooden Barn Shop will be hosting a Sip & Build from 12:00-2:00 on BOTH days. Cost will be $40 with all materials provided and Builders may bring their own beverages to “Sip” (let’s stay within reason though, please! Remember, it’ll only be noon. Please RSVP to Donna at 330-442-1722 or message Wooden Barn Shop on Facebook.

Free Shoutouts with Mahoning Valley Podcast

This is the Mahoning Valley Podcast and it occurred to me that there a plenty of people here who may want to do a segment. Who may want to have their voice heard on a Podcast. Maybe you have an event or cause or just want to say hi to the Valley. This podcast was never meant to be all about me. It has been a work in progress. Well, it is your turn. If you want to record a segment and email it to me, I will consider adding it to an episode.

Because this is a community project, you must be a part of the Mahoning Valley or have some connection to the Valley. If you want to talk about your grandma or how you grew up in Struthers or what you favorite restaurant is, or favorite gym, or favorite bar, or favorite band or anything. It just needs to be about something or someone in the Mahoning Valley.

You may be thinking, how much is this going to cost me. Nothing. Nada. Just record on your phone. Record with your friends. Record on your laptop or tablet. Save the file as an MP3 and send it over. Send it over with any links or pictures you want to include. This is all about everyone here in the Valley. So give it a try. It is easy and free and will get your voice added to the Mahoning Valley Podcast Archive. Send as many as you want. Any topic. BUT, no bad language. I look forward to helping you be a part of the Mahoning Valley Podcast.

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Episode 17 of the Mahoning Valley Podcast

Please listen or download this episode here. You can also subscribe from this link.

Show Summary: Ohio Posts Record Year for New Business Formation. Harlem Globetrotters Tall Enough to Install Smoke Detectors. Austintown School Counselor Recognized by The First Lady. Idora Neighborhood Workday. McDonough Museum of Arts Receptions. Pet Look-a-Like Contest Starts Friday.

According to the Business Journal, Business formation in Ohio saw a seventh consecutive record-breaking year in 2016, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported. Last year, 105,009 new filings were made with the secretary of state’s office, up from the 97,746 new businesses that filed in 2015, setting the previous record.

“We are offering better services to entrepreneurs at a lower cost and as a result, more are choosing Ohio for their new business than ever before,” Husted said in a news release announcing the 2016 results.

Making it simpler and less costly to do business in Ohio has been a top priority for Husted since taking office in 2011, according to the release. Initiatives toward that goal include the launch of Ohio Business Central, which enables Ohio-based businesses to form and renew their business status online; establishing a partnership with Google’s “Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map” program to put additional tools in the hands of new and growing Ohio businesses; and partnering with the Cleveland Sight Center to reduce wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center.

The initiatives have enabled Husted to reduce spending in his office by $14.5 million in his first term when compared to the previous administration, he reported. In his second term, he requested a cut, not an increase, in his budget, and last December he requested a 100% cut in General Revenue Funds for the next biennium while announcing his plan to run the office for the remainder of his term without the use of taxpayer funds.

This is the sort of thing that deserves recognition. Growing opportunity without growing cost. I figure that anytime anyone can figure out a way to increase opportunities for the Mahoning Valley without asking for more money to do it, they deserve some props. So well done, Mr Husted. And Thanks.

According to WKBN, A Harlem Globetrotter helped the American Red Cross install free smoke detectors in Youngstown homes on Wednesday. To prevent fire tragedies, the Red Cross is working to set up free smoke detectors in homes across northeast Ohio.

On Monday, volunteers installed 61 smoke detectors as part of the Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign. Volunteers were back at the life-saving project again on Wednesday. Most of the time, a volunteer needs a ladder to install a smoke detector, but not Zeus McClurkin. The Harlem Globetrotter is 6’8″.

He said the Globetrotters partnered with the Red Cross for this project. “We’re doing an amazing initiative trying to help install some smoke detectors to underprivileged areas in the city. One thing that we’re going to be doing is replacing old smoke detectors and giving people free, new smoke detectors.”

He installed smoke detectors in two homes Wednesday afternoon. At one of the stops, he and the Red Cross installed three brand new smoke detectors for a man on the east side of Youngstown.

McClurkin said he’s happy to be part of such a great program.

“There are actually three home fires in northeast Ohio every night and we’re hoping to make that number go down every day,” he said. “Hopefully, we can do that with these free smoke detectors that we’re installing.”

But it wasn’t all work for McClurkin. He showed off some of his Globetrotter moves and even had a homeowner join in. The smoke detector program is ongoing. For more information on how to get a smoke alarm or volunteer with the program, visit the Red Cross’ website. Volunteers work about three to four hours a week to install them.

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According to the Vindicator, Austintown Elementary School counselor Kelley Mills was among the school counselors from across the country who stood onstage with the First Lady during her final speech in that position.

Mills was in Washington, D.C., to be recognized as the 2017 Counselor of the Year State Representative for Ohio after being selected as Ohio’s Elementary School Counselor of the Year and overall School Counselor of the Year.

Education has been a centerpiece of the first lady’s agenda during her eight years in the White House. In her final speech, she talked about her “Reach Higher” initiative, which launched in 2014.

“Now, when we first came up with this idea, we had one clear goal in mind: We wanted to make higher education cool. We wanted to change the conversation around what it means and what it takes to be a success in this country,” Obama said. “Because let’s be honest, if we’re always shining the spotlight on professional athletes or recording artists or Hollywood celebrities, if those are the only achievements we celebrate, then why would we ever think kids would see college as a priority? So we decided to flip the script and shine a big, bright spotlight on all things educational.”

Obama credited school counselors such as Mills with helping to make her initiative a success.

“And we know that school counselors like all of the folks standing with me on this stage have played a critical role in helping us get there,” she said. “So our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the ‘Reach Higher’ story. And that’s why we created this event two years ago, because we thought that they should finally get some recognition. We wanted everyone to know about the difference that these phenomenal men and women have been making in the lives of our young people every day.”

Obama went on to tell the assembled counselors, “You see the promise in each of your students. You believe in them even when they can’t believe in themselves, and you work tirelessly to help them be who they were truly meant to be. … These men and women show them that those kids matter; that they have something to offer; that no matter where they’re from or how much money their parents have, no matter what they look like or who they love or how they worship or what language they speak at home, they have a place in this country.

“And as I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send our young people in my last official remarks as first lady,” she said.

The experience was inspiring and rejuvenating, Mills said. “I thought it was really powerful, and I was really excited because the little ones at Austintown Elementary live-streamed her message, so they were able to see me as well as hear her message,” she said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me – for anyone, really.” Well done Ms Mills and congratulations.

Saturday January 21, 2017 Join the YNDC for a day of cleaning up and working in the Idora Neghborhood of Youngstown. Meet at YNDC Office, 820 Canfield Road. Parking available around the corner at 822 Billingsgate Avenue.

McDonough Museum of Art Events,

Selections from the collection of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University

January 20-March 3, 2017 Public Reception, Friday, January 20, 6-8pm

The permanent collection at the Ross Art Museum consists of more than 2,500 works of art including American and European prints, drawings, photographs, paintings and sculpture. Artists featured in the exhibition include Elliot Erwitt, Joel Meyerowitz, Alen MacWeeney and Frank Stella. We are grateful to the exhibition sponsors Dr. Albert and Suzanne Cinelli for introducing us to the Ross and its outstanding staff.

Alex Webb: La Calle, Photographs from Mexico

January 20-March 3, 2017

Public Reception, Friday, January 20, 6-8pm

An elusive presence identified as “no one” wanders, strays, gets lost, and finds itself again in the poem “La Calle” (The Street) by Octavio Paz, which is set in a silent, desolate territory bordering the world of sleep, where dreamlike street corners always lead to the same place. It is from this extraordinary literary work that photographer Alex Webb (born in San Francisco, 1952) took the title for his compendium of street photographs of Mexico, which he’s taken over three decades. However, the street that appears in Webb’s images, in contrast to Paz’s, is an often crowded, vibrant, ever-changing place, where “no one” becomes a metaphor for the precarious, the chaotic, the multitudinous.

First in black and white (1975–78) and then in color (1978–2007), Webb has documented the multicultural, syncretic, lively, overcharged, and at times turbulent reality of a nation that during this period has known all sorts of political and economic crises, but has also offered ample evidence of its capabilities for resistance and survival, despite the relentless pressure of threats and tragedies, most recently the ferocious violence caused by the growth of organized crime and the government’s erratic fight against it.

The Business Journal will be sponsoring it’s annual Pet Look A Like Contest starting January 20. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love between people, but there are plenty of kinds of love in the world. That’s why The Business Journal is celebrating furry, four-legged friends in our newest contest.

The Pet Look-Alike photo contest wants to see who loves their pet so much that they actually look like each other!

Beginning Friday, The Business Journal will hold a photo contest on their Facebook page to see who loves their pet the most. The contest closes Feb. 19, with the winner announced on National Love Your Pet Day, Feb. 20.

Entries are limited to one picture per email address. Voting is limited to one vote per Facebook user per day. The Business Journal reserves the right to remove submitted pictures that are inappropriate.

WWF PSA