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Valley24.com asks Santa for love, presents

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Published: Wed, December 19, 2007 @ 8:22 p.m.

Dear Santa Claus and other civic leaders:

All right, Big Man, our staff has tried our hardest to be on the nice list all year. We've been promoting the Youngstown scene, tipping bartenders and helping everyone have fun. Doesn't this warrant some presents?

Here's what we're asking for:

Our sales guy Hitch and web developer Thomas Hibbard want an Apple store in Youngstown, like they have in New York — especially SoHo. Hitch also thinks you should help the Chevy Centre pull in more big-name acts.

On a sentimental note, he hopes you can help out Lordstown and cut crime in the Mahoning Valley. Also, snow on Christmas Day would be great.

Designer Dan, Valley24.com staffers Sarah Poulton and Katie Libecco and promotions girl Jess Waskin all want new and clean apartment buildings downtown. Designer Dan says if you help clear out the old abandoned buildings it could help revitalize downtown into a more commercial area. Jess says then we could build a Starbucks downtown, too. You could put it right next to the winery Sarah Poulton wants on Federal Plaza.

With the winery, Katie, Thomas and Jess all really want some good ethnic restaurants to hang out at after work. Thomas wants an Indian one, and shares hope for a Thai one with Katie. Similarly, Online Content Production Specialist Jonathan Ireland thinks you should help Tokyo House and Dragon Palace with renovations and marketing.

Also, Designer Dan thinks you could bring us the Mahoning Avenue trolley and he'll take it to work. If not, then he wants a "HUGE" parking lot near all these businesses we want. Please also put in a hotel downtown that we can walk to, maybe with a nice bar and restaurant inside.

Our editor Cindi Rickard wants a wealthy city-lover or two to develop the Mahoning Riverfront into a summer riverwalk of cool boutiques and lively cafes, like San Antonio, and a winter skating canal with hot cocoa stands and an annual ice festival, like Ottawa. Santa, how can you argue with that?

Oh, and when you build these new places, Jonathan thinks it'd be nice if they had security systems to keep them thriving and safe from people getting coal in their stockings this year.

As for events, since we are required to go to them, Jess thinks there should another outdoor amphitheater and Katie is holding out for a Mahoning Valley flair bartending competition to showcase area talent behind the bar and help promote lesser-known bars.

On an intellectual note, maybe you could help us pass the word along to some people about a few issues. Designer Dan and Katie think you should really help us tell people that there should be less steel references in sports teams, initiatives, improvements programs., etc. Sarah wants to add that maybe we should all embrace Youngstown as it is now, and let the steel issues rest in peace.

Just a few more things. Designer Dan thinks you should help Nintendo make Wii games with graphics that aren't so lame. Jonathan thinks his good behavior should turn into a new iMac 24inch with two gig of ram large hard disk and one of those spiffy new keyboards, but would settle for a Mac Mini with the same stuff or a 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora from Cole Valley (silver, or beige.) By the way, since the price went down maybe you can bring us all iPhones, too? And make sure they include flash.

Also, Sarah wants her hero, Lennie Strollo, to get out of jail. She says, "He has served his time, and my God, I'd love to hear his stories." Maybe you could help her set up a date at that new winery you'll open for us. And Thomas is hoping to see his best friend Matt who just got back from a six-month tour in Africa.

Well Santa, we know it's quite a list, but you have connections. There's plenty of grants and resources for you and other startups in Youngstown. We'll leave cookies and Jameson out for you Christmas night. Please send our love to Mrs. Claus and the elves. Let us know if you're ever up for a night partying in Youngstown!



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