Episode 17 of the Mahoning Valley Podcast

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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.

FEMA PSA

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