Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of Bears today and days gone by.

Bears Roll Continues

How ‘bout those Bears: Thanks to Jay Graft, Cal Sabo, Jim Hartman, and all who send me updates on our Clairton Bear Football team. The regular high school season is over in the WPIAL and post season play has begun. CHS played their second playoff game. Elizabeth-Forward Warrior field hosted the game between Clairton and Bishop Canevin and the bears won another squeaker, 47-0. That was the Bears 26th consecutive win and they move on to the semi-finals next week against Springdale.

Senior Josh Page used the game to demonstrate his skills, intercepting four passes on defense and while on offense catching four on offense for 95 yards and a touchdown. The score was 35-o at halftime! Halftime! In a playoff game! Pitt recruit Desimon Green didn’t do too badly either, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for two more.

The next opponent, Springdale (10-1), is no patsy. They are the last team to beat Clairton, 21-20 in a 2007 semifinals. The two teams have not played since. It should be a whale of a game, and of course we will bring you the results.

Those who stayed: Many readers of this blog are ex-patriot Clairtonians who moved away for school or work or service, and did not return. Others who have stayed include a core of hard workers whose desire is to male Clairton the best it can be. The Clairton Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of current leader Kathy Tachoir has been a key influence to that end. To that end, I encourage all who can make it to attend the CLAIRTON COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMUNITY MEETING which will take place MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2020 6:30PM at the CLAIRTON EDUCATION CENTER-AUDITORIUM

The plan will be presented to the Community for their knowledge and understanding.
There will be time for questions and answers.

The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee along with the City and School District have worked for many months to develop this plan. We listened to the residents comments from the first Community Meeting in January and incorporated the items the residents cited as concerns.

We ask you to contact your family and friends who can make it and invite them to join with us begin to: "MAKE CLAIRTON THE BEST THAT IT CAN BE".

Republicans sweep election: The election was a landslide in many parts of Pennsylvania including Clairton as Republicans swept the election two years after one of the most enigmatic presidents was elected on the Democrat ticket. Despite the popularity of the young, good looking president, many of the young people who supported him in the previous election simply did not turn out to vote in the mid-term. Still the election of a president with his background was groundbreaking. But Republicans constantly hammered away at issues such as the economy and the fact that he has not kept many of his campaign promises. The result is the new mayor and several councilmen were sworn in. The list included Mayor Bob Stokes, new councilmen James J. Daily and Ross Valvo, Controller Dr. George Wright and Congressman James G. Fulton. The year was 1962 and John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic to hold the presidency had been elected on the strength of the youth vote.

Tight budgets: The economic circumstances of 1962 caused the City Council to pass a smaller, more austere budget. That budget did not contain enough money to meet the payroll for City workers for the rest of the year. The previous year’s (1961) budget had been just over $1 million, but the new one came in at $958,870. Although the budget was reduced by just over $64,000, Councilman Bob Medvivovich complained that his department could not be run on the $86,000 allotted to it. There had been no tax increases the previous four years for Clairton residents.

More bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step: A prominent family from Large, the Marion Batinich family, owners of Marion’s Tavern, was returning home from a holiday visit to Florida. The big car was loaded with six family members when the driver lost control on a state highway in Dillon, South Carolina. Killed in the crash was Marion Batinich, 62, believed to have been driving, his wife, Mary, 52, daughter Carol Ann, 20, and another daughter, Anna Mae Majernich. Frances Batinich and Mrs. Majernich’s one month old daughter were taken to a local hospital.

Things looking up in 1962 Clairton: Newly elected mayor Robert Stokes in his “State of the City” speech, predicted that Clairton would become “the most booming mill town in the valley” within the next four years. Speaking to a standing room only crowd in the Clairton High School auditorium, the mayor stated there will be a “tremendous effort to supply jobs to the jobless.” Among the other dignitaries on the stage were Congressman James G. Fulton, Commissioner John Walker, and former Clairton Mayor Robert W. Ostermayer. Mayor Stokes outlined several projects that would help the city get back on its feet, including the establishment of a new Housing Authority for Clairton and the release of some 400 lots in the city that could be used to build affordable housing.

In Summary: Republicans being swept in during a mid-term election two years after the election of a young dynamic Democrat president, budget woes in the city, a high jobless rate and the need for affordable housing. A review of the January 3, 1962 Clairton Progress, aside from its single copy price of seven cents and annual subscription rate of $3.00 suggest considerable truth to the old adage, “The more things change the more they stay the same.

Thanks to Jim Hartman and the Mifflin Historical Society for the copies of the Clairton Progress.

A little blogging Maestro: The number I hit song five weeks in a row in 1962, “Sherry,” by the Four Seasons.

Dr. Forgot

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