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Where's the beef?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where's the beef?
On a recent Saturday, my wife and I were looking for a place to eat lunch. We saw a place that we had not been to for about 15 years due to prior bad experience. We thought we would give them a second chance so we went in.
I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and coffee and my wife a tuna sandwich. While eating my cheeseburger, I noticed that if felt strange and tasted different. I opened it up and found that it was missing the burger; there was only cheese and bacon. I had a burger-less burger.
The waitress indicated that the cook made an error, however since we were in a hurry, I told her to forget it thinking that she would make an adjustment in the bill. When I got the bill, I noticed that she changed it to a bacon and cheese sandwich, which I never knew existed. I also noticed that she charged me for the full price of a bacon cheeseburger. I am somewhat of a nice guy, so I paid it and we went on our way. My wife, as usual, left a generous tip.
The purpose of this letter is to warn your readers that there are burger-less burgers out there and they may want to lift the bun and take a peek inside before they take the first bite. It is also possible that this phenomenon may spread to hot dog-less hot dogs or fish-less fish sandwiches, so I suggest you be wary.
If I am still breathing in and out, I may try this place again in a few years, as it is always fun to enter the twilight zone, even if just for an hour.
Youngstown's criminals earn title of terrorists
Bertram de Souza's column last Sunday, "Extreme measures needed in Y'town & quot; was inspiring and should motivate every Valley citizen to action. He has clearly delineated some of our pre-eminent failures that require emergency action to protect our families and community.
His reference to murderers and violent criminals as "terrorists" is absolutely correct and legitimate. Will the people of Mahoning County awaken and hear this call for community and business crime reform, or will we continue in abject apathy, unconcerned about the anarchism and danger and impervious to the violent crime and death in our neighborhoods and streets?
Youngstown sorely needs a staff of professional crime prevention specialists to offer programs and recommendations for its citizens and for their input to our local police departments. Our law enforcement professionals need the most recent and effective crime reduction concepts and modus operandi to control our rampant crime epidemic.
We must offer to all of our people crime prevention information and programs to help protect the entire family. Our police departments must change their isolationist policies and begin working more closely with crime prevention specialists, citizens and their well meaning anti-crime organizations. We need more neighborhood block watches, video surveillance cameras and police and adjunct civilian patrols. Reward incentives for informants would be helpful. We must step up street gang and drug busts.
Frightened seniors, the elderly and vulnerable children need special protection. We need more arrests with incarceration, not early prisoner release or weak judge sentencing. A Department of Justice investigation and evaluation of Youngstown's crime travesty might be in order. Crime prevention is everyone's business and we need all the help we can get.
New law held no surprises
I have to question a conclusion of a recent letter that the election last November was a mandate by informed voters.
When I went to the polls I knew in advance who or what issues I was going to vote for. This was my own choice after long thoughtful consideration. I assumed that other voters did likewise. However I have found this is not the case.
The proof of this is the "No Smoking Ban" that is at present being ignored by a huge portion of the public. I hear every day that the 58 percent of the people didn't understand what they were voting on. I also can't find more than a handful of people who will say they voted for it.
I am a proud member of the VFW and our state leadership has gone on record as saying we members were duped into voting for the ban. This in spite of the fact that the issue was quite clear to anyone who read it and media reports indicated that it would ban smoking in all public workplaces. Also stated was the fact that the law would apply to private clubs that had employees.
Now everyone is complaining that the law was passed by a group of people not smart enough to know what they were voting for. How can anyone so stupid give a mandate?
As a footnote to this I also must say, the government did not take away the right of someone to pollute the air we all breathe. A majority of the voters did.
New Springfield
Follow the smoke to Pa.
Prior to the passage of Ohio's smoking ban, proponents argued a similar ban in Columbus had no measurable economic impact on Columbus restaurants, bars and other businesses. Since Columbus sits in the center of Ohio and the nearest "smoking state" is a good drive away, I can accept this argument as valid.
However, here in northeast Ohio, smokers have other options in nearby Pennsylvania. As an Ohio resident and smoker, I am beating the ban by spending my money and tax dollars in the Keystone state. My friends and I have moved our weekly dart league to Sharpsville, Pa. My wife and I now dine exclusively in Sharon and Hermitage Pa. As often as possible, I purchase groceries, cigarettes, beer and other taxable goodies in Pennsylvania.
I invite all area smokers to join me in beating the ban. Take your money and tax dollars outside of Ohio. Not only will you enjoy sucking on a smoke without being treated like a criminal, but the politicians will certainly notice the sucking sound of your tax dollars leaving the area.
Youngstown needs a blitz, but of jobs, not police
Although Mayor Williams sincerely wants to reduce the violent crime rate, the plan that he has set into motion to increase dramatically the number of drivers stopped to find drugs or weapons will hurt not help the citizens of the city of Youngstown.
Though there are many who are afraid to travel the city at night, there will even be more who will be afraid to get behind the wheel because the police have been given orders to stop drivers even for the most minor infractions. This severely compromises the freedom of every single citizen and will cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. It may lead to racial profiling, to targeting teenage and elderly drivers, and to the type of abuse that arises when authority figures are given too much power.
An effective approach to reducing violent crime in Youngstown is to blitz the community not with police but with jobs and retraining centers to retool those who are unemployed. The dramatic drop in crime in the '90s is the direct result of putting people back to work. We learned that when citizens are working jobs that produce decent salaries, there is no need to sell drugs to feed, clothe, and shelter families. Therefore, I call upon Mayor Williams to redirect money, time and energy to putting the poorest citizens in Youngstown back to work.
A veteran's lament
I am a World War II veteran on 100 percent disability. I have been waiting for one year for transportation that was promised to me.
But the government for the last 10 years cannot pass a budget for the Veterans Administration on time.
Without transportation I am housebound. Sure, I can pay for private transportation out of my pocket and that amounts to approximately 105 for each round trip.
A convict that has committed a crime has more freedom than I have.
There are more casualties with the current war. Maybe we should tell our boys who are coming home what kind of treatment to look forward to.
Our government does not appreciate what we have done and are still doing. The politicians get free medical expenses, and a nice big fat salary that they vote for themselves. If it were not for the veterans, they would not be sitting in those chairs.