Monday, August 18, 2008

YAWN!! Very Tired After 3 Days In This Dying City of Youngstown

So my only comment to add to the myriad that has been said and written about appearing on Forbes list of dying cities is......Balderdash, Balderdash I say. So here is how my last three days played out. Friday I brought aboard 2 people to assist us in all the work that has been coming to us here at Accent Media, from this supposedly dying region. We really have been working like crazy here lately, and have a lot more projects coming down the pike. It is with a lot of happiness that I can welcome, and maybe now breathe a bit, with the addition of Bill Mease, as a part-time editor and web designer, and Jake Blasko as an Intern assistant in web building and graphic design. It's exciting to find both talent and dedication out there amongst the peoples of the Valley who are looking for jobs in the creative fields and have so much to bring to the table.

Friday also called for a meeting about a new entertainment venue that we are working in conjunction with to bring to Youngstown, that looks like it's heading in the right direction and should be announced soon. I relaxed in the evening with a casual outside dining experience in the area, a little music and for dessert, ribs at the burn-off, (hey chubby people have weird dessert cravings, lol.) Saturday morning featured a trip to the Farmers Market in the Northside, and was another round of bringing people to the Rib burn off at the Chevy Centre, but alas, they would not let me stay to hear "Dust in the Wind", by Kansas. Sunday had me stopping in for a meeting about publicity for conducting a Pride week for our area GLBT community, and a loud and crazy stop at the Vexfest in downtown, (are we really supposed to fit that many people into one block?' Let's go up to Wood street next year huh?). Maybe Forbes will fill in for me a bit here at Accent, so I can get some nap time after all the stuff going on in this dying city..............Scott

P.S. I forgot to talk about the extra long light I waited through on my way to McD's for my sweet tea to get me through the morning(thank you mr. traffic cop), for the nice people to cross 5th street over to YSU for Summer Graduation. Congrats to former Intern Daniel Mamoun in his graduation. Yup, yup, lots going on in this here dying city. Balderdash I say!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

This, That, and other Ramblings

So as you have probably noticed, "Accent On Youngstown" has not been updated in a couple weeks. It is actually going on Hiatus until September. The reason is because we have become consumed with new projects all of a sudden, and there is just not the extra editor I try to keep working on emergency projects, it's All Hands On Deck. We are also getting ready to transition into the Fall school semester as well. Two of our wizards of production are still in school and we have to adapt to their new school schedule over the next few weeks. It all works out in the end, but usually takes a bit of getting used to. As soon as we get into a new organized routine, "Accent on Youngstown" will return with all new guests about town.

Speaking of the Fall semester, will anyone else be glad to have a weekend off again when school starts back up? (Well I guess unless you are IN school and have to study, lol) This has been an amazing Summer full of festivals, concerts, downtown events, and some wacky weather. Kudo's to all of the artists showing their wares at Cedars yesterday. If anyone is looking for some early Christmas shopping, I really enjoyed a lot of those scrap metal sculptures, especially the rings around the bowling ball type thing. For a mere $350 dollars, you would be making me a happy blogger, hehe. There are a couple great events coming up to cap off the Summer celebrations, and I am really looking forward to the Rib burn off at the Chevy Centre, and a couple more music venues.

If football is your thing, and really in NE Ohio it seems to be EVERYONE's thing, we are currently working with the Vindicator on their High School Football Blitz that is coming up in the next couple of weeks. Look for a couple commercials we have put together for them, along with some great coverage in the Vindicator,, and available through just about any communication gadget you got; cell phone, Ipod, computer, newspaper, television, the Vindicator has it covered. Take care and have a great week friends, more things to share with you later this week..............Scott

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Fine-Tune" Youngstown World Movie Premiere at Ford Family Recital Hall

I was invited last night to the world premiere of the made in Youngstown movie, "Fine-Tune". The premiere was held in front of an almost packed house at the Ford Recital Hall in the DeYor Performing Arts Centre. Youngstown native Chris Rutushin, returned to the area to shoot a film based on his family and it's Italian heritage, after an Emmy winning turn in broadcast news in Las Vegas, and learning behind the scenes of his craft at the Today Show in New York. The movie provides a slice of life view of a typical Italian family, circa early 1970's Youngstown Ohio. Shot entirely on locations familiar to most Mahoning Valley residents, Fine-Tune, is a light nostalgic ride through a time not too long ago.

The premiere was a who's who of young and old, in those that are vocal in championing our city and putting their words, actions and money, where their mouth's are. Fine-Tune's Executive Producer, Tony LaRiccia, and his lovely wife and thespian in the film, Mary, were welcoming invited guests, and seen mingling were Janko from "I Will Shout Youngstown" blog, Phil Kidd, Youngstown's Downtown Director, Khaled Tabbera and his band the Zou, and many, many more. I was honored to be invited by the Maluso Family, who's patriarch John Maluso, pretty much steals the show as "Grandpa". John's wife Claire, former downtown Youngstown Director was greeting the crowd and singing Youngstown's praises as always along with the talents of the director, cast and crew of the film. Mary Jo Maluso was beaming with pride about her fathers work in the film, as was her husband and musical partner Rick Blackson, who was equally proud of his father-in-law. Together, Rick and Mary Jo's company, Beyond Broadway Entertainment, are excited about the surge of artistic talent that is energizing in Youngstown, and have some exciting plans of their own for the City to be announced in the coming months.

The film itself was overall, very enthusiastically recieved by those in attendance at the premiere. The premiere's opening remarks compared the independent nature of the film, to "Napoleon Dynamite", that captured the slice of life exploits of the underdogs in society, and went on to gross over a million dollars in box office and rentals. Running a production company, it is not fair for me to review the artistic merits of the film, because we all have our own production biases. I will say that the set decoration and mood of the film, certainly captured the look and feel of the period. There was a good mixture of comedy and plot development. The acting was enjoyable and fun, and let you see the characters as well rounded. The themes of family interaction, responsibility, race, and friendship, ring true to the period and contrast how far we have come, and how much we have remained the same. Some inside and mainstream jokes had the audience laughing in all the right places, and of course, being a hometown film for a hometown audience, some of the biggest applause came at the opening and ending credits, in recognition of the work of both friends and neighbors that collaborated in the making of this film.

Congratulations to Chris Rutushin and his crew for turning his dream into a reality and creating his own, "Accent On Youngstown," with his film inspired by his family and the City where he was raised. Check out the trailer below, and look for this film to come to a theater near you. I am sure that no matter what happens in the extremely competitive film distribution business, you will hear a lot more about "Fine-Tune", and where you can watch it for yourself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Choose Youngstown

"I Choose Youngstown!" I recently read that in some comments on a post by Vindicator Editor, Todd Franko. After some dispariging comments about the City, a few or our more vocal citizens re-iterated their reason for being here. They CHOSE it. I reference that because of other comments I was hearing last night at an event for the Positive People Group, at the B&O Station. The mandate for that group is to promote growth and purpose and happiness in our region, with a group of like minded, "Positive" people.

While Positive People Group, (PPG), is a new organization, the goals they are trying to achieve, and the obstacles they have to overcome, are as old and tired as the day is long. Can a group of positively thinking people win out over the same old, "Youngstown is Over", mentality. You hear the same old arguments creep up again and again. Downtown Youngstown is not safe. If you provide bussing to the outlying community, it will only attract people with no money in their pocket to the subarbs, and back into downtown. There is no housing downtown to keep the area alive. There is no inftrastructure or services to support housing downtown. Blah, blah, blah. The truthfulness, or lack-there-of, of those statements aside, it is what is constantly being heard on the street and in some of the media. The admirable and attainable goal by the PPG, is to turn those negative comments around to positive affirmations about the City. There are always going to be sour apples in the bushel, but a lot of positve can outweigh the negative if working together as one. I personally believe that, and am trying to do something about that. Many others in the community, and even outside the community with strong ties to the area are trying as well.

Back to my first statement. "I Choose Youngstown"!! That to me is very positive. It's an affirmation that there is something going on here that I agree with, believe in, get behind, support, or am involved in. I consider Youngstown Downtown Director Phil Kidd, to be a friend. Someone I believe in and appreciate his hard work. To be honest, reading his blog, Defend Youngstown, is one of the reasons I steered my company to come to downtown Youngstown last year. However, after listening to the negative comments, constantly being put out there, I believe we have focused on the negative for too long. "Defend Youngstown" is actually sounding negative lately. I know that is not the case, nor the intent, but to "Defend", means you are concentrating on the negative that is coming at you. Now "Choose Youngstown" is positive in it's meaning and intent. Are there problems in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley? Absolutely! Are there a lot more things going right in Youngstown now and the Valley? Yes! So I too join the commenters above and Choose Youngstown. I hope all of our friends out there decide to Choose Youngstown as well. And Phil, maybe it's time to have a second line of t-shirts. "Choose Youngstown", it's a good choice.........Scott

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Accent On Youngstown" Episode 7, 7/11/08

Hey Friends. "Accent On Youngstown" is up and running with our new episode #7. I want to thank Julie from the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Liz for the Children's Museum of the Valley, for stopping by to chat with us for a bit. If you are looking for great business advice, YBI is the place to start asking questions. A true key to revitalization of downtown Youngstown, the Incubator has a waiting list to get in, and some stellar company's putting it's resources to good use. If you are looking for something to do with the kids this Summer, the Children's Museum of the Valley is a must-stop event. Support the museum with your visits, and also help this no profit continue to serve, by helping out any way you can.

Finally, I know I am beating you over the head with Oreo's lately, but we are so supportive of this worthwhile event, we really want to make it a success. We NEED Oreo Stackers, Volunteers, Corporate Sponsors, and Chinese Auction Donations. Cash or merchandise for the auction with a value of $100 dollars or more, gets your name listed on the famous, "I'm Stacked" T-shirt. Please contact me on how you can help with this event...................Scott

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Accent on Youngstown" airs 1 week later, Happy Fourth of July

Hey Friends. With the short week for the holiday weekend, we will not be posting out next webcast of "Accent On Youngstown," until next Friday, July 11th. We hope you will all have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend. Tonight is the exciting Pub Crawl, taking place over 15 establishments throughout the area, with t-shirts and trolly's provided. The event will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display over the City at midnight. Tickets have been pre-sold, and will also be available at the event. The crawl begins at 5pm at the soldiers monument for sign-ups and getting your maps and information.

Of course there is also the 4th of July Riverbend concert over at Anthony's on the River, featuring Frankie and the Sensations from 7-10:30pm on Friday the fourth. If you are ever looking for something to do around Youngstown, I hope you are checking out the recently completed Youngstown Events website, at Downtown event director Phil Kidd has made sure to keep this website updated often and chock full of good information. Well, we are off for the 3 day weekend blogger friends, enjoy your holiday, and talk to you all soon.........Scott

Monday, June 30, 2008

Stacking The Odds........Breast Cancer Fund Raiser

We are getting ready for our next meeting as we organize the major fundraiser we are sponsoring this October, "Stacking The Odds", benefitting the Susan G Komen For The Cure Foundation. I am very proud and pleased to announce that our very own Youngstown Vindicator, has signed on to be one of our major "Big Stuff" sponsors for the event. They will be helping organize online registrations for Stackers, and also be promoting the event in their newspaper,, and Accent Media has been very proud of our working relationship with the Vindicator. Having worked with Jason Holmes on their Vindy Jobs,, and Valley Wheels commercials, and Todd Franko, Editor, and Nena Perkins, Sales, we know their integrity and commitment to the Valley and worthwhile causes such as this.

This now brings our list of "Big Stuf" sponsors, sponsors who have donated over $1,000 dollars in Cash and/or Trade, to 5: First National Bank, Accent Media, The Youngstown Vindicator, Oreo and Dean Dairy. We are still looking for more, and there are plenty of sponsorships available in the "Double Stuf", "Regular Oreo",and "Oreo Mini" sponsor categories. Look for the Accent Media Intern to be calling your business in the next couple of weeks for stackers and/or donations. We hope you will support this great cause. The first event last year raised over $18,000, and we hope to at least double that this year. Give me a call if you have any questions about donating your time at the event, entering to stack, or sponsorship opportunities.........Scott