Monday, July 1, 2019

Goodbye to The Vindy, Like Family

Newsrooms don't look like this anymore.  Soon, this particular newsroom won't exist at all.

This is The Youngstown Vindicator newsroom circa 1953.  My grandfather, Dick Platt, is depicted at the "State Desk" where he served as assistant state editor.

My grandpa worked 43 years with The Vindy.  As a young reporter, he covered the infamous Little Steel Strike in 1937, later telling us kids of bullets buzzing past his ears.  As copy editor, he wrote the headlines for Black Monday in 1977, a sad day for the economy of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.  He retired in 1979 two years after VCTs (computers) confoundedly came to his copy desk.

With 43 years of employment at one place, the history of The Vindicator is family history to the Platt family.

It's been a reservoir of Ohio History.

In less than 60 days, only the history will remain.  The Vindicator will cease to produce a newspaper in August 2019.  After 150 years of print publication, it will stop printing.

I wrote to Bertram de Souza, the editorial page editor whom I met 30 years ago and who recalled stories about my grandfather, "Be proud of all you have done.  Know that what you reported and deterred by the threat of reporting made Youngstown and Ohio a better place."

God bless.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Population Preview: Newark's Population Gains Stand Out

The annual look at U.S. Census Bureau estimates for cities isn't due out until May.  However, has given us a preview based on 2018 Census estimates.

Newark is now Ohio's 15th largest city.  The preview predicts Newark will stand out with another rise in the rankings again this year.

Newark's 1.8% estimated population increase versus 2017 estimates is best among Ohio's twenty largest cities.  There were four Ohio cities--Columbus, Lorain, Newark, and Middletown--that predicted population gains among the top 20 cities.

Further, Newark will retain its status as the second largest city in the Columbus metro area. It's hard to ignore a rise like Newark has seen among its peers.

Population growth is a measure of as well as a predictor of economic success.  Newark's growth among it's Ohio city peers stands out as a sign of its economic gains as well as a strong predictor of its ability to sustain a growing workforce to accommodate future growth.

Congratulations, Mayor Jeff Hall and Newark.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

My Story: It's Like Teaching Triplets to Drive

I didn't get the chance to really introduce myself at the first meeting of a new Board I was asked to volunteer for recently.

It's kind of a shame.  I had prepared, in my head, my personal story thinking it as an analogous insight into what kind of Board member I will strive to be.

I'll share.

No personal story of mine is complete without talking about my kids.

Since September, I've been teaching my triplets to drive.

I know.  It's a shock to the system to even think about doing that.  I was mostly calm.  

Add value or stay quiet. That was my aim going in.

So far, my daughter seized the most of my discretionary time to train.  I'll pick on her for the story.

She was driving 90-degree-turn country roads a mere four hours into her training.  We went everywhere.  She drove suburbs.  She drove exurbs.  She drove cities.  She really needs to know all of these places to be good at driving.  

She also can't just drive where it's easy to drive.  I knew she was up to the challenge and challenged her to go where it was harder. 

She got beeped at and, probably, sweared at behind her back.  She had to learn to not take it personally.  It comes with the territory.

We got root beer in Zanesville and smoothies in Coshocton.  We picked up her grandma at the airport in Columbus.  Driving herself gave her a greater appreciation of her home state than she got just being along for the ride.

When she too often was looking backwards in her rear view mirror, I would break my silence to redirect her to look forward and care about what's in front of her most of all.

We all have blindspots.  It's natural.  It's how our brains work.  That's what I taught her.

She became a better driver when she recognized she had blindspots and went about knowing where they were and compensating for them.

Side note.  I'll have to confess my own proverbial blindspots.  I don't have any idea what it is like to be a teenage girl driving a car nicknamed Marvin.

Back to the story.  

Good news!  My daughter got her license the day after her 16th birthday.

She's a good driver.  I'm proud of her success.  She knows she has a lot of room to get better.  I'm proud to be there to help her get better.

There are some big changes coming for her.  And for her mom and me.  Change beats the alternative.

Final side note.  I was, strangely, calmer turning the driving over to my teenagers than I was to the autopilot in a car I had a chance to sit behind the wheel of recently.

What does that say about me? 

I'd like to think it says that I believe in people.  I am more comfortable trusting, mentoring, and delegating to people in the future, because I am fortunate to have learned from people who have trusted, mentored, and delegated to me in the past.

I'll have to look for another way to make my Board introductions, but I didn't want to miss sharing my personal story in the meantime.