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

Time to get Creative

Hey Friends. Found out about this kewl site today called "Wordle". You type in text, enter an Atom or RSS feed, or a name, and it will create a word art from the key words. Click HERE to check it out. Part of the way the art works is it takes the key words that are repeated the most and makes them larger. I guess we talk about Youngstown a lot, LOL. I can't even imagine how big the word would be in feeds like Shout Youngstown or Defend Youngstown. Anyway, it's a kewl site and you might want to go check it out. Enjoy........Scott PS. Looks like you have to click on images to see them full resolution.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Accent On Youngstown" Episode 6 (6/20/08)

Hey Friends, welcome to another webcast of "Accent On Youngstown". Please take time to vote in the poll on the upper right of our main blog site to let us know how we are doing. This episode we feature Jennifer and Kelly and their company ERIS Medical Technologies, another success story of the Youngstown Business Incubator. Having just landed a new account, putting their proprietary software in the Humility of Mary health care system, including St. Elizabeth's here in Youngstown, we are sure you will hear much more about their success in the months to come. Next we have the Mahoning Valley's only professional sports team at the moment, The Mahoning Valley Thunder. Anthony talks about the success of the franchise, and what their priorities are and where they are headed in future. To finish up, we feature Derek Caffe, a Youngstown native and Iraq war veteran, who decided to come back and get his degree at Youngstown State University, and stay in the area and open up his own business. U Gotta Eat, is a new delivery service bringing you meals from some of your favorite restaurants in the area. Saving you time and gas, Derek's team charges nothing more than the restaurants regular menu prices and a small $3.99 - $7.99 delivery fee. Thanx to all of these businesses and professionals for sharing some time with us, and be sure to check them out. Enjoy........Scott

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Marketing Professional, Take a Poll

Hey Friends, Accent Media is bringing aboard a new Sales and Marketing expert to assist in our company growth. Jeremy Gatto, is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Criminal Justice, and a graduate of Youngstown State University, with a Master's degree in Business Administration. I am looking forward to bringing Jeremy into my team to aggressively pursue new clients for production projects, as well as be a vital part of our team to create entire business strategies. Jeremy and I are long time friends and allies, and I look forward to what we can accomplish at Accent Media with him at my side. If you are planning a new direction for your company, or need marketing and/or production needs for your current strategy, please give Accent Media a call and meet Jeremy our new associate, and learn how he can help you improve your customer base and name recognition.

Tomorrow we will be launching our next webcast chapter of "Accent On Youngstown." This webisode's guests include; another Youngstown Incubator success story, ERIS Medical Technologies, who has just secured a contract with the Humility of Mary Health partners, including St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown, to provide medical billing software that saves time and cost savings for both the facilities and their patients. Also we will be featuring the Mahoning Valley Thunder, indoor Arena Football team. We talked to Anthony about the teams goals, events, and why they are excited to be playing in downtown Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. The last segment will feature a new restaurant delivery business that has started in town, that is owned and operated by a Youngstown native, Iraq war veteran, and graduate of Youngstown State University. Derek had the opportunity to open a business anywhere in the country and ended up staying in Youngstown to seize on the promise he see's here, and the faith he has in his business plan. I also ask that you take a second and vote on our main blog page, in the upper right, to tell us what you think about these webcasts, and if you would like to see them continue on, or change into something else.

I look forward to seeing all those that signed up for the Cleveland+Youngstown+Pittsburgh Education Network event on Friday at the Youngstown Club. There is another Wick Park organization meeting on Saturday, and if you haven't found it yet, Phil Kidd's website of upcoming city events is almost complete, and you can check it out HERE

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tim Russert and Youngstown's Favorite Son Kelly Pavlik

So I try to keep my national politics out of this blog, but as my close friends know, I am a political junkie. That's why I was very hard hit this weekend, by the passing of journalist Tim Russert, NBC News', Washington Bureau Chief. I have a pretty strict routine on Sundays; up by 8:30, coffee and a bagel, 9-10am Meet The Press, 10-10:30am The Chris Mathews Show, 10:30-11am Face The Nation with Bob Scheifer, 11am Shower, and 11:30am hit up one of my favorite breakfast haunts and read the Sunday Paper. From those Sundays, and from this long Presidential Primary race, Tim Russert was a presence in my life and will be missed. Watching his son Luke today on the Today Show, I think his legacy will move forward just fine.

Part of the weekend coverage about Russert, was his favorite son status to the city of Buffalo, New York. Indeed, over those many Sundays of watching him, If I never heard another Sabre or Bills comment, it would have been fine with me. But that's what a true hometown hero and favorite son does, he talks about their hometown constantly and leave no doubt where they are from. As Chris Mathews said this past Sunday in a tribute, "Russert actually made Buffalo Cool."

Youngstown has a new favorite son in Kelly Pavlik. Like Russert, Kelly talks softly but carries a big stick, or punch rather. For a soft spoken guy, Pavlik takes every opportunity to talk up his native Youngstown. Hopefully Kelly can make Youngstown, "cool" again. The community is trying. Just witness all the hub-bub over the windows in the Stambaugh Building. That's concerned citizens trying to take back their city and proactively preventing a nuisance and eyesore before it evolves.

The only downside I see with Kelly Pavlik as our favorite son, is the sport that is propelling him to that stature. Most boxing names that roll off my tongue are in the heavyweight division. Not being a huge boxing fan, that could just be my ignorance of boxing legends, but I am hoping that Pavliks name will endure after the fight is out of him. Pavlik himself has said he only has a few more years in the sport. Youngstown needs more Kelly Pavliks and pseudo Tim Russerts. Favorite sons AND daughters who are out in the world, singing the praises of Youngstown. Sure, we want some of our bravest and brightest to stay right here in town, but that's not a reality to all of the shooting stars that Youngstown can and does produce. When they go about their careers to points unknown, I hope they are calling out, "go thunder, go YSU." Anyway, just some random thoughts going through my head to day. Carry on Luke, make your father proud, it's your turn to sing Washington's praises now, and where you came from.................Scott

Friday, June 6, 2008

"Accent On Youngstown" Episode 5

Hey Friends, Here is our next webcast of "Accent On Youngstown". This episode we talk to Mayor Jay Williams, Chief of Staff and Interim Parks and Recreation Director, Jason T. Whitehead, about activities this summer, the new Arlington Park project, and a full season at the new Northside Pool. We also have the new working owners of The Music Center in Niles Ohio, Cindy and Kathy, and they talk about the shop and a little about the transition for them as owners after their father sadly passed away from cancer earlier this year. Our food and drink section this webcast has Gordy from Super Suppers, and if you havent heard about all the exciting events she has planned this summer, you gotta stop in and see for yourself. Enjoy friends.........Scott

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Little Trash Talking............

No, I am not talking about trashing a competitor, or a politician or an idea, this is REAL trash talk. Two things: Jonesfest and Streetscape. I am sure you heard about the success of Jonesfest thru the many other talented blogs out there. We have a little b-roll footage of it, that we are adding to the next "Accent On Youngstown", that is coming out this Friday. I am really happy for the success for the event, but what i want to talk about is it's trash. Yup, kinda silly huh, but worth mentioning. I only came out to the opening hours of Jonesfest, as I had other commitments that night. I did however, get to walk around outside our building around 4:30 and see people finishing setting up their booths, the first band playing outside, and the wind, whipping them all around and around. I saw trash and shirts, and papers and products, flying around at the beginning, I cant imagine what was happening the rest of the night, as the festival was kicking into high-gear.

Anyway, as I have mentioned before, I am a travelling man, having grown up in California, then lived in Oregon, Ohio, New York, and Massachussetts. I have been to, or lived near many festivals in all of these cities. I have to say that in comparison, the City of Youngstown, and the event organizers get some big, "Way To Go Guys", for cleaning up after themselves. I came in to work on Sunday morning to get some things done, fully expecting to see Federal Street literally still trashed. There was barely a scrap in sight. I have seen other cities, let it go to late in the next day or two before they cleaned up properly after an event. Whether it was City mandated, or Jonesfest planned, they did a terrific job putting the block back the way they found it. Hat's off to a great event, and keep the hats flying for the people that took pride in our city to make it look good again, immediately following the event. My thanx, and the business residents at 20 Federal Place thank you as well.

More in garbage news, Streetscape is being held this weekend, kicking off over on East Federal Street. A link about the event IS HERE. From what I hear, over 400 people have already signed up to participate. They will be cleaning the city and planting tree's from Wick Park thru downtown. There will be complimentary donuts and danishes at 7:30, and at 8:15, there will be the opening talks and assignments. Come join this great organization to clean up Youngstown, and take pride in your city. You could be Trash Talking too.........=).....Scott

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jonesfest Weekend, Turning Technologies Opens House, and Main Street Theater Opens

The first weekend after Memorial Day is here and the unofficial start of the summer is still going strong. If you have been hiding under that rock, this Saturday is the much anticipated "JONESFEST", right out in front of our doors here at 20 Federal Place. Work collaborators like Khaled from Prodigal Media, will be on stage with his band The Zou, as well as our fearless leaders bandmate from Jang-A-Lang and Copyright Infringement, Dennis Drummond will be on stage with a solo set, or maybe even some surprise Accent Media accompanyment by Chip.

A big Congratulations to Accent Media client, Turning Point Technologies, for their huge downtown open house event held yesterday inside and in front of the Taft Technology Building. The event was very well attended, and everyone was very impressed with the layout of the building and of course Turning Technologies themselves. We look forward to working with Turning Point Technologies in the future and wish them well as they keep expanding and putting Youngstown, Ohio back on the map. In case you didn't make it to the Grand Opening of The Main Street Theater in downtown Columbiana, which is owned by one of the founding members of Turning Point, Don Arthurs, here is our video we made for him to celebrate the re-opening of this fantastic showplace for movies, live performances, and a whole lot more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Accent On Youngstown, 5/23/08, New Doc's Season in July

Today we will have the new webcast posted! This video includes Brian Palumbo from Selah in Struthers, and John Holt of the Youngstown Playhouse.

Selah restaurant resides in an old bank in Struthers and combines a quirky menu with traditional dishes.

The Youngstown Playhouse has been in existence for over 80 years. The first stage was a barn off Arlington Avenue but, the new home is on Market Street.

Check out the webcast to learn more!

Accent Media is especially excited to be editing Doc's Team Extreme epsiodes. The show will be airing in July this summer on Fox Sports Network. Big game hunts will be featured in each epsiode.

Speaking of summertime, there will be a new demonstration video created for GLI Pool Products. Be sure to remember Accent Media for all your product demonstration needs! We also do a great job at videos for websites, training purposes, and everything in between.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Intern for Accent Media

Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Palmer and I am the new summer intern for Accent Media. I am a senior at Youngstown State University majoring in Marketing Management and, Advertising and Public Relations. Upon graduation, I would love to start my career in the Youngstown area to be near my family.

We will have a new webcast posted on Friday. The most recent webcast features Junior Achievement, Jump Stretch, and the Rosetta Stone Cafe. Also, starting this Friday there will be a new webcast every 2 weeks.

Accent Media has started the planning of "Stacking the Odds." The event is being presented by Oreo and Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Saturday, October 18, 2008. The Oreo stacking contest will be held in the lobby of 20 W. Federal Plaza (the old Phar-Mor building). Participants will stack Oreos in timed rounds. Single elimination competition will determine the Stacking the Odds Champion. Individual and team prizes will be awarded. There will also be a Chinese auction during the event. Last year $18,000 was raised for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Interns Will Save The Day Again, Busy Busy, The Map

So I have some very good prospects for our next Intern. What does that mean for you?? Well, you might actually get updates on our blog more than once in a blue moon. Also, our new Intern will be in charge of the bi-weekly webcast, "Accent On Youngstown", as we get ready to branch out into the Mahoning Valley further besides the City of Youngstown. We had to delay broadcast a week of our 3rd webcast due to huge shooting and editing demands the last two weeks. Our next webcast will be up and running on Friday April 11th, by 5pm. Of course, we have also had trouble getting our web-link for the last episode working on the website. Luckily, it has been up and running on the blog, Youtube, and the Myspace page.

As I said, we have been really busy lately, (thank you Gods of business,) and it has been a lot of fun. We shot some excellent footage for Sheely's, worked on Doc's Team Extreme Big Game Show for the new season, put together the beginnings of a very touching video for an upcoming fundraiser, put together a new commercial for Advanced Chiropractic, and a whole lot more. The reason I am writing on a Sunday, is that we are on a 12 hour shoot next door at the Rosetta Stone Cafe for a set of four upcoming commercials. While the guys are doing all the heavy and hard work next door, I am upstairs watching the fort and working on stuff for the office, while they are coming and going for the shoot. This week we have shoots set up for Shine! in Columbiana, a couple shoots for the webisodes, and a bunch or our edits from the previous shoots.

There's too much that has gone on since my last blog entry, but I do want to point out one thing that was posted over at Shout Youngstown the other day. Janko and his friends have taken the time to create, "The Map", "Gems of Youngstown." It has started with about 50 places of interest, including food places, historic places, drink places, outdoor places, etc. You are also able to submit some of your own ideas, which will be reviewed extensively by the Peer Review Group, LOL, kidding. Go ahead and take this link over to his blog and check it out. Talk to you soon blogger friends............Scott

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Accent On Youngstown" Week 2 3-21-8

11:30 at night and my work is never done. Still working on some technical problems for website. Video will be up; there on is our second installment of "Accent On Youngstown"....Will post more later.......Scott

Rosetta Stone Cafe Revisited, Dog See's God, Dinner and a Show

It's Friday blogger friends, and that means a new "Accent On Youngstown" will be up by 5pm this evening. This weeks guests are; Randall Craig Fleischer, conductor of the Youngstown Symphony, George Mager, of Cafe Cimmento here in Youngstown, and our very own Danny Mizicko, and some footage from his own Extreme Sports production company, "Stuck In Ohio". Tell your friends and be sure to call me if you want to be a future segment on our webcast.

Last night I was able to see our friend Brooke Slanina and her Oakland Theatre Gang perform their latest play, "Dog Sees God". More on that in a sec, but I started the evening with dinner at Rosetta Stone Cafe, and had a nice chat with the owners and found out that they are a little disappointed that my mixed review of their restaurant is still showing up close to their website when you google them. That's definitely understandable, and even though I thought my two-part review was very fair and acurate, as I said in them both, I am always rooting for Downtown Youngstown businesses, and have always been rooting for the Rosetta Stone. In fact, I am actually a regular enough that one of the waiters knows my favorites already, and the manager recognizes me and is very cordial each time I come in. Let's hope that this follow-up piece goes above my last review in google, because the owners really have made some great strides in the short time they have been open, and are learning more and more each day.

I am very pleased they have expanded the dinner menu, and although it is not updated on their website yet, I am sure it soon will be. The nightly specials are a treat as well. I also don't see the hostess that I thought was not a good hire around, and the rest of the staff is as courteous as always and have really been getting into a groove themselves. I have tried more options on the menu and I am still a great believer in their food as I always was. I still disagree with some of their presentations, but at least presentation doesn't take away from food quality.

The stage in the back of the restaurant has been put to good use the last few times I have been in as well. I have enjoyed a couple great trio's bringing jazz and blues and some soft fusion, and they have a Friday night regular that has a great rapport and sound. They are adding more musicians nightly it seems by the board out front, and I think that should be a big draw as word gets out. Their still does not seem to be enough diners coming in yet to make me feel entirely comfortable as an owner, but they have had to turn people away for some of the more popular shows at the DeYor Centre, and I find that very encouraging. As the first few weeks of my initial reviews turn in the first few months of the restaurant being open, I do think they have what it takes to make it work, and are improving daily. I still think their dinner menu without sandwiches and lighter fare make it a bit steeper climb than it needs to be, but I am much more confident that they will see it through.

It was good to talk with the owners last night. They showed they are open to criticism, but really believe in themselves and have a vision for the future. I found they are not just leasing the storefront, but have the entire building available to them and have plans for the basement up to the rooftop, four floor above. As I said, my first two reviews I don't feel were overly negative, nor do I want this one to be totally positive as if I am sucking up to the owners. They have made some great strides since opening, but they still have some challenges on the table and ahead. However, after seeing the improvement first hand over the last 5 or so weeks and getting a better feel of the direction from the owners themselves, I continue to wish them well and make the Rosetta Stone Cafe a major force in the revitalization of Downtown Youngstown.

"Dog See's God, Cofessions of a Teenage Blockhead", is the latest production of the Oakland Theatre in Downtown Youngstown. A parody based on the Peanuts comic strip, the names have been changed to protect the animated, and they are about 10 years later, all facing their teenage years with the angst, turmoil, and new use of the english language, (the F-bomb drops like the rain in April), that haunts all of our lives around that time. I have lot's of experience in restaurants, so I don't mind reviewing them, but I will leave theater reviews to the experts, lets just say I really enjoyed this production. I was expecting a lot of humor, and there was definitely a liberal amount thrown in, but it definitely had it's somber moments, and the ending, though extremely gratifying, did NOT leave you laughing.

The casting was excellent with each cast member with maybe the exception of "matt" (ie: pigpen), having some shining moments. The actor who played Matt was fine, just no great scene written for him. My two personal favorite scenes were the dramatic interpretation by "CB's Sister", and the scene with CB and "Vans Sister" (ie: lucy). The writing wove familiar memories of the peanuts gang throughout the show, exhorting chuckles and full our guffaws from my audience with each glimpse of recognition. Stand out actor has to be "CB" (ie: Charlie Brown) portrayed by Gary Shackleford, but fine performances was given by the entire cast with special recognition to Greg Mocker as "Beethoven" (ie: Shroeder) and Amato D'Apolito as "Van" (ie: Linus turned hilarious stoner). Brooke Slanina shows she is capable on either side of the fence, performer and soon to be President of the Executive Board of the Oakland. Brooks portrays "Tricia" (ie: Peppermint Patty) as definitely a Tomboy no more. As I said my two favorite scenes were by Alecia Sarkis as "CB's Sister" and Suzzane Shorrab as "Van's Sister) As I said although Ric Panning as "Matt" has a critical plot set-up, he and Denise Glinatsis as "Marcie" (ie Peppermint Patties friend Marcy) give fine performances, but really have no stand-out scenes, (well okay, Marcies soliloqui? on the spork was hilarious,) which if you think about it, fits the play well because their characters were not stand-outs in the comic strip especially either.

So I recommend seeing "Dog See's God" in this last weekend of performances very highly. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, March 21/22 at 8pm, and a Sunday matinee at 2pm. The Oakland theatre is located at 220 W. Boardman Street in Downtown Youngstown. Tickets for the show are only $15 dollars and it is worth your money so head on down there this weekend. You will enjoy it....I did.........Scott

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Webcast Up Friday Eve, Chevy Centre, "Stacking The Odds"

So I really have things I want to blog about almost every day, and how often do I post?? Seems like weekly if I am lucky! So episode 2 of "Accent On Youngstown" will be posted this Friday evening by 5pm, so be sure to check back or subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Three more guests this week and a lot of great guests lined up for the future. We are even in talks to make it expand and be more often and more content soon. Be sure to check this blog, our MySpace, our Website, here, and Youtube to check out Accent on Youngstown,episode 2, Friday evening.

Next, I want to take a little issue with Bertram De Souza's commentary in the Vindicator this past Sunday about the Chevrolet Centre. Most of the time, I find I actually agree with what "Bertie" (okay, I dont know him, but Bertie just seems to fit him,) has to say, at least in bits and pieces of his commentary. However, as was noted in a Vindy piece earlier, if the city did NOT ask for the money to satisfy the loan from the 3 front-runners, wouldn't it have been foolish if the companies had no problems with that in exchange for certain concessions. I do agree that the city should have had some carrots on the stick for the company who would be willing to meet the debt demand, but it's not the worst idea in the world to ask for what you want, and let the companies make counter offers of what they would need in order for them to make that commitment.

Agree or Disagree that the Chevy Centre was needed or a smart use of money, the fact is, it's done and built and we have to rally around and support it and make it succeed. To that extent, I whole-heartedly agree with the proviso the city put out to retain Eric Ryan as Executive Manager of the Centre. This is a hometown event center and needs someone from the hometown to run it. If Cleveland felt it was a deal breaker and had to back out, oh well, 2 others did not, and they says great things about them and our city for trying to keep their interests protected this time around. I hope we find a company that can be a strong marketing arm and procurement arm for future events, but I love the fact that it will be a hometown boy running the show. I wish Eric, Brandon, Bridget, and Jennifer the best, and look forward to attending many more events at my local arena.

Last, but probably most important, we had our first meeting last night for this years "Stacking The Odds", a fund raiser that was started last year that we participated in and have decided to become a major sponsor for this year. The event is to raise money for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure, Breast Cancer Foundation. There are offices in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and the organization is widely known around the country and even the world. "Stacking The Odds", is a contest to see who can stack the most Oreo Cookies in timed heats against other competitors who have friends and family pledge money for how high they can get their Oreo's stacked. Of course Nabisco, maker of Oreo's was a big corporate sponsor last year, and will be on board again this year. Last year they donated 10,000 Oreos for the event and have pledged even more this year. The event took place outside of Pittsburgh last year, and with Accent Media as a major sponsor, we have asked them to hold the event in Downtown Youngstown this year. We are in negotiations on where to hold the event, but are hoping for maybe here in the first floor of the PharMor building if it's big enough. Besides the stacking event, there is a huge silent auction, vendors selling food and products, and a place for kids to build Oreo castles and pictures. I will be asking all of our Youngstown and Mahoning Valley neighbors and friends for help as things get closer. We will need donations and volunteers and stacker participants. Below is a video we made of last years event. Enjoy and talk to you soon blogger friends........Scott

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good Response to Webcast and The Blizzard of '08

Thanx for all of the kind calls and emails on our webcast. It was a lot of fun to do, and we are looking forward to the next one already. Since we are slamming a bit at work, we will be doing them every OTHER week for now. So did you all survive the blizzard of '08?? I hope everyone was able to get home safely Friday and spend the weekend indoors. Sunday was a fantastic shovel snow...UGH!

One of our lead camaramen and rough-cut editors, Frank, was scheduled for a shoot Saturday night at Leo's Banquet Hall in Howland and the show will/did go on. Bel Duetto, a fantastic singing team consisting of former Miss Ohio Amanda Beagle and her husband Craig Raymaley, who are a fantastic client asked Accent Media a while back to create a new demo for them. They are awesome to work with and the demo came out real well. Saturday, they were booked at Leo's to put on their show and asked us to shoot and edit the event and add clips to their demo. What started out as a simple one camera shoot, later turned into the care being stuck in the snow in the middle of the road until 5 good samaratins pushed him out, an unexpected overnight stay at the Fairfield Inn, and a good show with a good crowd of over 200 that braved the weather to hear Amanda and Craig. Frank wont be forgetting this shoot anytime soon.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Accent Media Presents.........."Accent On Youngstown"

So here it is blogger friends, the very first edition of "Accent On Youngstown." It's very fulfilling for us to get this pet project off the ground. We are still on a big learning curve as to what the final product may look like down the line, but we think we have a good start. We still have a bit of technical issues to work out on our website, so for now it is just a link on the site and it will be playing here and on the MySpace page. It will also be kept unlocked on YouTube so anyone may share it if they wish. Special thanx to Phil Kidd, Brooke Slanina, and Charlie Staples for being our first guests. To balance this project with our ongoing projects we have for our clients, we will be putting up a new video every 2 weeks. Eventually we hope to make it weekly and perhaps turn it into a weekly television series we produce for one of the local networks. Thanx for sharing in our work, and enjoy this first webcast of "Accent On Youngstown", we would appreciate you giving us feedback and sharing it with your friends......... Scott

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Webcast Launches Tomorrow Afternoon!!

Well, tomorrow is it!! The launch of our very first self-produced webcast. This is a chance to use our new studio and shooting space, to meet people we really want to meet and respect and are curious about, and give a little sumthin, sumthin, back to the community who has welcomed us to Downtown Youngstown. The Webcast should be up tomorrow afternoon. The earlier the better, but there is still work to be done. I promise to have it up by closing time tomorrow latest.

We are definitely still in the development stage, and will be ironing out the concept over the next few weeks. We are starting with no host and just letting our guests talk, but that may change. We are not sure of timing yet, too long, too short, not sure, please give us some feedback. The eventual goal is a possible half hour weekly tv series dedicated to people and events around Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. A HUGE Thank You to our inaugural guests; Phil Kidd, Director of Downtown Events and Community Outreach and founder of Defend Youngstown, Brooke Slanina, Board Member and Performing Artist at the Oakland Theater in Downtown Youngstown, and Charlie Staples, Owner and Operator of Charlie Staples BBQ Restaurant.

The webcast is titled, "Accent On Youngstown", but will soon feature other people and places all over the Mahoning Valley. If you have a segment idea, or would like to be featured yourself, drop me a note at Sfullerton(at)Accentmediaonline(dot)com. The webcast will also be put up on YouTube, so feel free to share it with your family and friends. Thanx for the support.........Scott

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Webcast Is A'Coming, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,

So putting together a webcast is not as easy as we thought, but it's coming together nicely. It should be posted by this Friday afternoon, not Thursday as we originally intended. I think Friday afternoon's will work better for us with our workload flows on Thursdays. Our graphics guy Justin has made an awesome opening for the show and we are lining up guests for future show segments as we speak. Do YOU have an idea of a segment you would like to see about people or events in the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley area? Drop me an email and we will sure consider all requests. Be sure to check back Friday afternoon or this weekend for the first, "Accent On Youngstown".

One of the first projects that got Accent Media noticed in the national market, was our work we did creating the companion DVD to the Mr. Fred Rogers tribute CD, "Songs From The Neighborhood". The CD went on to win a grammy and we received some national exposure for our candid shots of the different recording artists as they recorded songs from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in New York, and Nashville. I am adding a video compilation of some of the interviews and footage we took for the DVD. The reason I am bringing this up you might ask? Well Pittsburgh, PA is having it's annual, "Won't You Be My Neighbor Days," this upcoming March 15 - March 20th.The concept was developed by Family Communications, Inc. (FCI), the non-profit company founded by Fred Rogers, to honor his deep appreciation of what it means to be a caring neighbor.More than 30 southwestern PA organizations are planning to show just how neighborly they can be. By offering free or reduced admissions, they will enable children and families to enjoy activities like puppet making, interactive events at local libraries, musical presentations, and exhibits at our museums — enjoying experiences that inform and enrich their lives in unexpected, remarkable ways.

For what would have been Mr. Rogers 80th birthday, on Friday, March 20th, the Mr. Rogers Family is asking everyone all over the country to wear a sweater that day in honor of Fred Rogers. It looks like with the extended cold we have been having here in Ohio, wearing a sweater in a couple weeks should be no problem. We at Accent Media are all wearing a sweater that day. I want to get the word out to everyone in the Mahoning Valley to wear a sweater in honor of Mr. Rogers. C''lll be fun......wont you be our neighbor??

I hope you all took the time to vote today. We have a split team here, with my bleeding heart of a liberal beating next to some conservative Democrats and Socially progressive Republicans, next to the Neocons. It's an interesting mix, definitely dont want to talk politics or religion in here without pulling up a chair for a We do ALL agree however on the importance of Voting and I hope you made it out today or voted early. ..........Scott

Thursday, February 28, 2008



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A New Endowment For The Arts, Accent Re-Focus's on Commercial Production

So we are working on a promo video for a new arts endowment that is to be announced soon. Thing is that I am not as plugged in as I should be right now and I am not sure if this is public knowledge or not. I don't want to speak out of turn but i think it's an absolutely fantastic idea. Those in the arts community I am sure know what i am talking about, and are probably thinking I am dumb and that it has been talked about forever, but i dont want to take that chance. Regardless, I promise that after the press conference, you will be the first people to take a look at our video we have put together for them. I got a sneak peak today, and it's really fantastic. I do want to tell you that I feel that the arts is playing and will continue to play an important part in Youngstown's revitalization. I get very excited hearing the buzz about whats happening in the local arts scene. From thought provoking pieces like "The Colored Museum" at the Oakland, to rennasaince men like Matt Palka to filmmakers like Chris Rutushin and others who are dedicated to bringing the arts to life in Youngstown, the city really starts to feel alive as you tap into this community.

This week there are many fun ways to explore your inner artist or meet new ones. The Oakland Theatre is holding another "The Stage" open mic night, tomorrow, Thursday, the 28th. For only a $5 dollar admission charge, it's worth it many times over. For those who want to get your "Roller Groove" on, Selah Cafe in Struthers is hosting a "Xanadu Sing-a-long Night", also on Thursday, followed by their own open mic night on Friday.

Accent Media is excited about our new phase in commercial production. As a company, we have chosen to primarily market to companies in search of long-form videos. That means productions such as Training and HR Videos, Trade Show Videos, Product and Service Demonstration Videos, Company Profile and Promo Videos, etc. Of course we are known for producing fantastic looking commercials as well, but that is not something we have been actively marketing. To be honest, it's a truly competitive field to sell commercials, and it's a little uneven when television stations can give away free production by buying their airtime. Unfortunately the trade-off to that for the advertiser, has always been a lower production value commercial, with usually not a lot of originality or thought put into it.

Most of Accent Media's commercials we have produced or made, has been brought to us by advertising agencies. We are very grateful to all of them for the work, and have some long established relationships with many fine agency's in the Mahoning Valley. Our only internal frustration with ourselves is that over half the time we are guns for hire, meaning we don't have a lot of creative imput into the commercial. Our job is to shoot it so it looks crisp and edit it so it comes across as the advertising agency directs us. When we are able to coax the agencies in creative directions that look good on screen, the result is usually a high quality production that can match most national ads. We are going to continue to make some great looking ads for advertising agencies whenever asked, but we are also starting a new push for landing our own clients for their commercial production. While the downside is that the client must still purchase airtime for their spots separately, they will recieve all the creative direction from Accent Media at no additional charge that normally is associated with agency's fees. We KNOW what looks great on video and the tricks of the trade to make your commercials stand out. We also can still put you in touch with advertising agencies who can find you some great airbuy deals, and we have made some great inroads with the stations into getting some great airtime prices negotiated ourselves. So if you or a friend is looking to put together a concept driven, high production value commercial with all of the creative and marketing energy included. Give me a call, or be looking for my sales rep to be coming by your office soon................Scott

Monday, February 25, 2008


Jeeeeesh I cant wait to get an Intern in here to help me with this blog, the entries are coming just to far and in between with me doing it solo. Hope all our blogger friends have been well. I want to announce 2 exciting things here at the blog (main blog only and MySpace homepage, you wont see it on the MySpace blog page. If you look over to your right ----------> I have installed a new "Call Me" button!! Blogger has introduced this great new compatible software that is available in Beta over at Grand Central dot Com. All you have to do is click on the button, type in your name and phone number and click on Call. The computer will then dial your own phone and connect you to our voicemail. TA DA!! When we have a message I get a notice in my email. How kewl is that?? So there you go, simple as that! I hope whenever you have a question, or want to comment, or even just say HI, that you will use this spiffy new feature.

My next big announcement, is our new Accent Media webcast called, "Accent on Youngstown". We have been thinking about putting together a :30 minute television show or infomercial for a couple of months, and have decided to test the waters with a :10 minute webcast on our website, blog and MySpace pages. We will be starting out with at least a bi-weekly pre-recorded webcast, and possibly weekly depending on our workload. We will playing around with the format the first few weeks to see how it best works for us. The plan is to get into a groove to tape segments at our studio on Wednesdays, and have the webcast up by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

We are planning on bringing all sorts of relevant topics and information for and about Downtown Youngstown and the surrounding Mahoning Valley. I am happy to announce our first webcast will have as our inaugural guests, Phil Kidd, founder of Defend Youngstown blog and newly appointed Director of Downtown Events by City Council. We will also have Brooke from the Oakland Theatre coming by to talk about upcoming events there. Also don't be surprised to find a restaurant review in the first webcast of one of our wonderful downtown establishments. You have ideas of things you want to see? Use that fancy new phone message system above, lol. We are looking forward to covering lots of segments and events. Extreme Sports, Natural Medicine, Entertainment, Bands, Food, Festivals, Bloggers, all sorts of interesting things. We are excited and are looking forward to this new venture. Stay tuned for more updates about this as it becomes available.......Cya.....Scott

Monday, February 11, 2008

Busy Busy in a Tizzy, and it's Monday!!

So being busy is supposed to be good right? Never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I wouldn't mind being just 'okay' for a day or two. I am excited to say that Accent Media is doing some great projects right now, and are really enjoying ourselves, but I am swamped. We have a short month and my Sales and Marketing Assistant is in Mexico for a week, and Fearless Leader the bossman is leaving Thursday for a week in Florida. Meanwhile, I got to spend 30 hours locked in the office non-stop to copy 1,000 DVD's for a new client. Some Southern sun is sounding pretty good to me right about now too, LOL.

We have a new client we are talking to that has some excellent products I cant wait to tell you about, but I have to wait a bit as we finalize the proposals and get the ball rolling for them. It's been a busy time for commercials as well with Sheely's, Quaker Steak and Lube, a political candidate, Windsor House, and a Sports memorabilia shop to get out the early part of this month, plus a couple of our long form projects............whew, fun and exciting, but busy. I am currently working on a deal to bring even MORE commercials to Accent Media for production, but that's for another blog.

I have had some interesting responses to my restaurant reviews for The Rosetta Stone Cafe, from 'right on the money' to 'anybody can have a rough first month'. Actually I agree with both of those, and like I said, I hope the Rosetta Stone is here to stay. Rosetta Stone did recently change their hours recently to opening a little later and closing a little earlier, probably due to Winter. Look at their website above for the new hours. We recently were called by Paprika to come try out their restaurant. I have been wanting to go there forever, and am looking forward to taking a couple people from work there soon. I will give another review when we have gone.

I am excited about the new Youngstown Blog, "44503 Live". It's been created by Phil Kidd, founder of Defend Youngstown, and newly appointed Downtown Outdoor Event Coordinator, by the City Council. As was remarked over at Shout Youngstown's blog, it really shows transparency in government and I am all for it. It goes to show just how Kidd as hit the ground running in his new position. I am looking forward to seeing Youngstown Fever hit again this week as Kelly Pavlik hits Las Vegas this weekend and a rematchto make us proud again. I wish we were on the Pavlik bandwagon earlier, it would have been awesome to make a video diary of this fight and share it with Youngstown, but he was just understandably mobbed with people and offers when he got back from Atlantic City. Who know's, maybe down the road. Any reader know Pavlik or his camp? Let him know there is a great production team in town who would love to make an awesome video for his fans.

Well, I will leave you with some unfortunate factoids about this dreaded day of the week Monday, as culled from the Cleveland Plain Dealer............

*Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend is more likely to break up with you on a Monday than any other day of the week. (whew, glad Valentines Day is Thursday this year)

*More workplace accidents and injuries occur on Monday than any other day of the week

*"The Revenue Act of 1861", the nations first federal income tax law was enacted on August 5t, 1861, a Monday of course.

*In the mid 1990's, job-placement firm "Challenger Employment," reported that empoyers announced more layoffs on Mondays than any other day

*More strokes occur on Monday than any other day of the week.

*Mondays are the east popular day of the week to go out to eat, rent a movie, or go shopping.

*John Lennon and President Reagan were shot on Mondays.

*The Titanic sank on a Monday.

*Your car is more likely to break down on a Monday than any other day of the week.

*People usually start dieting...therefore suffering...on Mondays than any other day of the week.

There's more, but I am just happy I am typing this less than 5 hours away from Tuesday or I would be really depressed. Have a great week blogger friends....Scott

Monday, February 4, 2008

Finishing My Thoughts on Rosetta Stone Cafe

I left off my last post, having been bummed about the food choices and presentations from the Rosetta Stone Cafe's dinner menu. I will repeat one caveat and lead with another; I have been in the restaurant business for about 15 years before I became the Sales and Marketing Director for Accent Media. I have managed various types of restaurants and owned my own for 2 years. Unfortunately I didnt make the wisest choice in location myself, which is a little why I know of what I speak. My second caveat is to say that I really am very Pro Yo and want the Rosetta Stone Cafe to succeed here. So having already talked about my very good lunch and so-so dinner the first week they were open, let's get into my last visit for dinner last Monday night, and my thoughts and recommendations for the cafe.

Last Monday evening I left work around 6pm and decided to stop by the Rosetta Stone Cafe for dinner before heading home. I was dining alone and brought my Sunday paper from a day earlier that I had not had a chance to read yet. At a little after 6pm there was one other table there of 6, and a table of 2, with about 6 patrons at the bar. The hostess seated me at the row of 1/2 booth and 1/2 tables, directly across from the bar. I sat on the booth side, facing the bar, kitchen area and host station. After I was sat I began to read my paper. And read, and read, and read, until 3 pages later I have still not had a server drop by. It seemed as there were 3 servers on with one of the 3 in the process of being sent home since it wasnt busy. I looked up from my paper and began to search for eye contact to get my meal started. As I sat looking around, the bartender was in conversation with her guests, the other 2 servers that were still on were putting in orders, and chatting and the hostess was polishing the silverware of the tables in my row, but at the opposite end. I kept looking and trying to make contact and nothing. Finally, after the Hostess made her way from the far table of my rown to the table next to mine, I asked if she would mind getting me a server and maybe some water to drink. The Hostess walked over to a server that was doing something at a register and pointed my way and said something to her. The Hostess then went and filled a paper cup with water and walked right by me back to her Host stand with her own water to drink. It took another 3 minutes for my server to finish what she was doing at the register and then go into the kitchen and bring the table of 2 something out.

Once the server made it over to me, she was very nice and pretty much attentive throughout the rest of the meal. About half-way through my meal, a table of 8, including children came in to eat. To add to the insult of my inattentive Hostess who never seemed to notice I was not being served, I saw her walk this family to their table while thoroughly enjoying her chewing gum. This brought a total of 4 tables in the restaurant my entire dining experience, (almost 2 hours, it was a big sunday paper folks.) My meal this time was much better, although I still wish the dinner menu had more options. I ended up with the Bruschetta, which was fantastic, and the Baby Spinach and Fruit Salad, that was perfectly fine. The sweet taste of the balsamic glaze over the tomatoes and roasted vegetables on the artisan bread was a perfect mix. Although it wasn't the best Hot Bacon Dressing I have ever had, my salad spinach was crisp and the strawberry's and mandarin oranges a good compliment. For dessert, I had the homemade Tiramisu that was very flavorful and rich, with an excellent cup of coffee. Overall, once the meal got started, it was a very enjoyable experience.

Overall after 3 visits, I have to say that the service, with the exception of my last visit until I was greeted, is pretty much on par for where a new restaurant should be. I believe the food is primarily excellent in taste, but there are definite presentation problems and the variety of the menu is not one that I think will succeed in Downtown Youngstown. One of my best arguments to back that up is the family that came in to eat this past Monday. I really have no idea what the children at that table could have ordered. This I believe is the hidden jewel of what is needed downtown. Not a 4 or 5 star dining experience, but a place where families can come, have a great tasting meal, and be able to enjoy downtown life. If I had to guess, I would say that the DeYor's core audience is 35- 65, but they offer many great children's fare throughout the year as well. The Chevrolet Centre on the other hand, has it's most successful events with families, IE: Disney On Ice, Hockey and Football Games, Ringling Brothers Circus, etc. Of all those events, where can families really eat Downtown Youngstown that is not catered to more upscale diners. I can think of BW3's and I guess Tomasino's if you dont want atmosphere. You can go a little outside Youngsown to MVR and Charlie Staples and thats it. I believe another harbinger of bad news for upscale and innovative dining is definitely Oscar's on 224 in Boardman and GQ's in Canfield. Oscar's parking lot was always half-full compared to the more family friendly and sports bar oriented Blue Wolf Tavern next door. Now Oscars has closed their fine dining concept and changed itself into a sports bar called Jeremiah Bullfrog. GQ's has already cut it's menu prices which was Oscar's first step. If you cant find fine dining diners in Boardman or Canfield, you are going to be very hard pressed to have them come to Downtown Youngstown. I definitely applaud their efforts, but if the Rosetta Stone Cafe wants to be in business over the long run, they better think about changing their menu concept quickly. The atmosphere they have created in the design of the place is fantastic for a Bistro type place with their Lunch menu intact and then some great midrange meals that cater to families more than the more refined taste's. I would love to be listening to some great jazz, blues or fusion on their stage while having a great tasting sandwich or entree in the $8-$12 dollar range that has taste appeal across a wide spectrum. Of course this is just one man's humble opinion. More power to them if they prove me wrong and are the next big thing in Downtown, but I also hope they are around for the long run, we need some stability back in Ytown and then we will all be a happier community....Scott

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is The Writing On The Wall For The Rosetta Stone Cafe

I hope readers know that Accent Media and especially myself, are very Pro-Youngstown, and most definitely pro Downtown Youngstown. That being said, I have promised a review of the new Rosetta Stone Cafe that opened just half a block from our wonderful 20 Federal Plaza West building, and I have to say that is decidedly mixed. When I heard of the plan 3 years ago at a YAEDA meeting, it was originally to turn the location into a working media and computer company with an Internet Cafe added for downtown techies. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and was looking forward to the opening. I understand there was unfortunate and unforseen circumstances that caused the owner to enlist a new partner and start over again. The new vision was to still have the Internet Cafe concept, but gear it more towards a full fledged restaurant, rather than the original concept. I was actually even more happy because I obviously love to eat, and as the Sales and Marketing Director, I never want more competition in the market.

At First Night Youngstown, I took the owner of Accent Media, Chip, and our lead editor Kevin, down to check out the preview that Rosetta Stone was giving that night. We were immediately amazed at the renovations and decor that had occurred in such a short time and gave great kudos to the chef/co-owner that gave us a fantastic tour of the facility including the immaculate kitchen. We marveled at the chocolate sculptures, loved the colors and set-up, took ouur preview menu they were passing out and left, excited to come back as soon as they opened. Looking over the menu when we got back to the office, I was both impressed by the boldness of their selections, and worried that such said boldness would be appreciated and accepted by the community that currently comes downtown. To be honest, I thought they were a bit ahead of their time, but I was excited to try a lot of the dishes myself.

My first experience dining there was their second day open, when I took a potential client there for lunch. There was a decent smattering of tables seated and 6 patrons sitting at the bar. There also looked as though they were getting some take-out business at the front display case. Unfortunately on day 2 they had a few servers call off that day, and the manager was going to be our server. Although stressed a bit. the manager was in definite control, and handled our order fine. I chose the reuben sandwhich which was very tasty and served on a fantastic ciabatta bread roll, and served with an interesting and delicious mix of granola and apples. My client enjoyed the turkey sandwich and also had the granola and apples. We had water to drink and no room for appetizers or desserts, but we were very satisfied and the cafe was off to a great start in my eyes.

I then went 2 days later on Thursday evening to bring a friend and try the dinner menu. I had a late lunch that day and was not overly hungry, but my friend had brought a healthy appetite and we were ready to enjoy a nice dinner. The wine list has a very nice variety of wines available, however I thought the choices for each wine was not as imaginative and daring as they could have been. We settled on a bottle of Cabernet and it was enjoyable. We then decided to share the Roasted Artichoke and Andouille Dip, that sounded fantastic on the menu with creamy artichokes, baked with a blend of 4 cheeses, flavorful creole sausage and garden vegetables, however turned out to be very hard to manage with what I believe was poor concept. The flavor was very good, however it was served in a nice cereal bowl for lack of a better word, but you get the general idea of the shape, with pita chips surrounding it on a plate. Whether it was intentional or not, however the server never noticed if it was a mistake, the cheese had been baked into a liquid form around the sausage and vegetables. As I said, great flavor, but impossible to eat. The pita chips were not baked crisp, so they were very limp, with no way to hold either the vegetables and sausage, or the cheese, that simply drizzled and dripped off the chip. We honestly ended up eating most of it with our spoons and without the pita chips, those we simply dipped in the cheese sauce and tried not to drip on our clothes as we brought them to our mouths.

For entree's, my friend chose theRustic Alsacian Chicken, a Roasted Chicken Half with Peasant Roasted Vegetables and Angel Hair Pasta in a Rustic Buerre BlancSauce. The presentation was very well and the flavor was excellent according to him. I thought his portion was very generous, as was the entree's I saw going around the dining room that night. Since I had shared the appetizer and was still not overly hungry, I ordered the bowl of French Onion Soup and the Iceberg and Roquefort salad. Here in I believe is a major problem for this restaurant. Nothing that was on the lunch menu was available, and even though a sandwich would have been perfect for my appetite, none was available and I asked and was told they could not be served. If I bring anyone here with a small appetite at dinner, they are limited to appetizers soups and salads. While the flavor of the soup was okay, it was served in a large pasta bowl, with croutons and cheese layed on top. The bowl was too big for the cheese to cover, so the soup cooled quickly and unfortunately they did not have their soup spoons delivered yet, which I was not told. So I ate my soup with my teaspoon where the croutons would not fit and dripped everywhere from the bowl to your mouth. The salad was 3 large wedges of iceberg lettuce which was topped with the roquefort that had a nice enough taste, but only 4 slices of a roma tomato garnished the dish. It was overall very plain and not the best tasting salad ever.

We were both too full to order and enjoy dessert and left soon after finishing our meals. Definitely it was not a great experience, but as I said, my client and I had enjoyed our lunch thoroughly and it was only their fourth night, I would definitely give them another chance. I went back for my third time alone on Monday night. I have to say the food was fantastic this time, but the service was very poor indeed. I will leave that story and my recommendations for the Rosetta Stone Cafe in my next entry. I do wish this restaurant all the success, but it still has a way to go do survive in downtown Youngstown....Scott

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We Let a Month Slip By, So Here's the Update!

Hello blogger friends. Without an Intern this semester from YSU, our blog has been a bit neglected, and I want to drop a little note at whats been going on at Accent, and what I have been noticing out and about. Lets start out by welcoming all the new clients to Accent Media this month. After a busier Holiday season than planned, we have some great new clients and lots of fun and excitement in store for 08. We are about to begin working with Prima Health Care, and love what we have seen from this company. Their goal is one-stop shopping for all of your family health care needs and are fast approaching that goal with 5 locations in and around the Mahoning Valley. We also will be bringing Revolution Sports Marketing aboard as a client, with some logo design and commercial work. This excellent sports memorabilia shop out in Creekside Plaza behind Rockne's has some great items and collectibles. Commercials we have put together for some of our advertising agency friends include: American Gladiators Fitness, Eastwood Mall Bridal Expo, Windsor House Skilled Nursing Care Homes, Austintown ER, and a political ad or two.

Downtown Youngstown is continuing to thrive and there has been a lot of excitement happening down here. A big congratulations to Phil Kidd, from the Defend Youngstown blog, who has been selected Downtown Plaza Director. Phil has always been a serious Downtown and city cheerleader and activist, and this job is perfectly suited for him. Word on the street is that there is going to be some forward momentum on the Realty Building and Wick Building to getting the housing construction started up again soon. Our own building here at 20 Federal Plaza West has a new eatery in our food court, The Capitol Grille, and next door, Franko's has added breakfast to his menu. The new Rosetta Stone Cafe has opened, and while I will be putting out a very mixed review about my experiences there tomorrow, I applaud them for all the hard work they put into the location and getting it open.

That's all for now, but please take a minute and look over the links of other blogs we have at the right. We will be adding more soon, but I really enjoy reading those we have now. Tyler at Youngstown Renaissance has a fantastic piece about the recent meeting on violence in the city, and John over at Shout Youngstown, always has some great notes on happenings about town. I definitely enjoy reading Brooke's blog over at the Oakland and keep scolding myself for not spending any time there yet, I have to get my down time organized better, LOL. Thanx to all that read, and stay tuned.........Scott