President Barack Obama visited Boardman Township Friday morning, July 6 during a closed event at Summer Garden Food Manufacturing, 492 McClurg Rd.
Only so-called pool reporters were allowed at the food manufacturing plant. Following that visit, the President went to an event at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland where he appeared before a crowd of an estimated 250 invited guests.
President Obama came to Boardman as part of his Betting on America bus tour, arriving at Summer Garden’s near 9:45 a.m. After a 40-minute stay, he was off to Dobbins Elementary.
Prior to his visit in Boardman, acting upon the orders of the U.S. Secret Service, Boardman police shut down the roadway from 8:00 a.m. until about 11:00 a.m.
Some local business persons said they couldn’t get to their offices until the President left the food manufacturing plant.
A report posted on the web site Obama Foodorama, described Mr. Obama’s visit here:
Friday, July 06, 2012
Bus Tour: President Obama Visits
Summer Garden Food Manufacturing
According to Obamafoodorama, President Obama last Friday morning took a break from eating his way across Ohio to visit a place where food is actually produced.
Arriving in Boardman on his huge bus at 9:46 a.m...the President toured Summer Garden Food Manufacturing. He was escorted through the gleaming hi-tech facility by Tom Zidian, the company’s President and CEO...The company produces private-label pasta sauces, including for chef Mario Batali, who has visited the White House.
“I smell a little oregano around here or something,” said President Obama, his shirtsleeves rolled up and his collar unbuttoned, as he strode onto the factory floor, and asked Zidian what they were making.
The President was actually standing next to a vat where onions and garlic were being sautéed, and he paused beside a halted assembly line. The fresh produce used in the pasta sauce is mostly sourced locally, the President was told, as he was given a detailed description of the work from employees Richard Coradini and Edward Ruscitti.
The President joked that he wanted some samples of the sauce for his trip to Camp David, which began last Friday evening when his bus tour has concluded.
“I gotta test it out,” the President said.
“This guy looks like a cook,” the President said as he clapped the white-coated Coradini on the shoulder.
Summer Garden boasts a state-of-the-art 50,000 square-foot “Green LEED Certified” facility, situated on a 6-acre campus ‘complete with an on-site research and development center, quality assurance laboratories and a Culinary Arts Center.’ There were no labels on the jars the President observed, but the lids were marked with a Phil Stafani Tuscany brand logo, it was reported by the pool press in attendance.
As the President concluded his conversation with Coradini and Zidian, he turned to the journalists trailing him.
“All right, any cooks among the corps, among the press corps?” the President asked.
Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason shook his head “no.”
“Mason?” the President asked.
“Not here,” Mason replied.
“Can’t even do spaghetti?” the President asked in a mock incredulous tone.
“I can do spaghetti, that’s about it,” Mason responded.
The President then posed for photos before heading for a second room in the plant, where he discussed football – Dan Marino came up – and tomatoes, but the conversation was almost entirely inaudible ...because a conveyor belt was rolling....
While employees were distracted posing for pictures with the President, cardboard boxes on the production line got out of alignment, and started crumpling until the machine shut down automatically and a red “fault” light illuminated.
That was it for the excitement at Summer Garden.
After less than 40 minutes, the President was rolling aboard his bus, heading for his next stop, a speech at Dobbins School in Poland. He’d started his day with a breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and grits at Ann’s Place, a diner in nearby Akron. The owner of that facility, 71-year-old Josephine ‘Ann’ Harris, died just hours after the President left the restaurant.
In Poland, the public learned from a report first filed by The Vindicator, that the President was introduced by a man identified as Daniel Potkanowicz, who along with a partner, Michael Angelilli, in a Youngstown business, were ordered to pay $515,218 to a former employer after a judge ruled in 2009 that they had violated trade secrets.
Potkanowicz, of Poland, described himself as a once unemployed mill worker who now works for Summer Garden Food Manufacturing.
Potkanowicz along with Angelilli, a former partner, and their company, Michael Daniel Corp., have not paid any money to Clearview Window & Door of Youngstown despite the Feb. 3, 2009, decision by visiting Judge Thomas P. Curran of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Angelilli’s bankruptcy filing in June. 2010 halted any payment by him, Potkanowicz and their company, which went out of business shortly after the court ruling.
Less than four months away from Election Day, the Obama campaign has opened an office in Boardman. Dave Green, President UAW 1714, led the ceremonies that opened the office at 4300 Market St. on Wed., June 13.
While in Poland, the President defined the politics of his trip to the Mahoning Valley.
“There are two different visions [Obama’s and Romney’s] about how America moves forward,” President Obama said in Poland. His remarks largely centered on economic issues.
Mr. Obama said little about the War on Terrorism, particularly the war in Afghanistan.
According to CNN.com, although President Obama has only served 39 months in office, 69 percent of the U.S. military fatalities in the more than 10-year-old war in Afghanistan have occurred on his watch.
Through Apr. 30, the Defense Department had reported that 1,844 U.S. military personnel have been killed in and around Afghanistan while deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched in October 2001 after al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.
According to CNSNews.com’s comprehensive database on Afghan war casualties, at least 1,275 of the 1,844 U.S. troops killed in the Afghanistan conflict have been killed since Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president.
In the more than 10 years the U.S. military has been fighting in Afghanistan, each of the three deadliest years have been during Obama’s presidency. The deadliest year was 2010, when 497 U.S. service personnel gave their lives in Afghanistan. The second deadliest year was 2011, when 399 U.S. service personnel gave their lives in Afghanistan. And the third deadliest year was 2009, when 303 U.S. service personnel gave their lives in Afghanistan.
On the day President Obama came to the Mahoning Valley, War on Terror News reported the followed occurred in Afghanistan on July 6, 2012:
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (July 06, 2012) – Afghan and coalition forces killed four insurgents, detained one, located two weapons caches and cleared nine improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared four IEDs, two in Ghazni District, one in Khwaia Omari District and one in Gelan District.
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces detained one insurgent during an engagement in Andar District. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Ab Band District. The cache contained items used to create improvised explosive devices.
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed one insurgent during an engagement in Darah Ye Pech District.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Pul-E Alam District.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared four IEDs, two in La’L Pur District, one in Chapahar District and one in Achin District.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed one insurgent during an engagement in Orgun District.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Maidan Shahr District. The cache contained grenades and mortar rounds being used for improvised explosive devices.
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed two insurgents during an engagement in Sayyidabad District. The insurgents were found with IED making materials, small arms and ammunition.
Just two days later, on Sun., July 8, six U.S. troops were killed by an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan, a U.S. official said.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan last Sunday, officials reported at least 26 people killed around the country in roadside bombings.
Five police were killed when their vehicle hit a bomb as they responded to a Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in Musa Qala, Helmand province. Three police were injured in the battle at the checkpoint. Bodies of 20 insurgents were said to have been recovered.
On Sun., July 8, Afghanistan was reported to be the world’s 6th leading exporter of raisins. Nevertheless the current output, 24,000 tons, is little more than a tenth what it was before the civil war began.
And on Sun., July 8, before a cheering crowd, the Taliban executed a woman accused of adultery in Parwan province. “When the unnamed woman, most of her body tightly wrapped in a shawl, fell sideways after being shot several times in the head, the spectators chanted “Long live the Afghan mujahideen,” War on Terror News reported. The incident occurred about one hour’s drive from Kabul.
The Associated Press reported on Sun., July 8 the Obama administration will ask Congress to sustain U.S. assistance for Afghanistan near the average amount it has been over the last decade through 2017 as part of the international effort to stabilize the country even as most international forces pull out over the next two years.
The AP said annual U.S. civilian assistance since 2001 has ranged from $1 billion to this year’s high of $2.3 billion.
At Dobbins Elementary School, a press release issued by Mr. Obama’s Ohio re-election campaign staff before his visit said “The President will talk about his efforts over the last three years to get our economy back on track, doubling down on American workers by saving the auto industry, investing in manufacturing and bringing jobs back to America. The President is rebuilding an economy meant to last – one that restores middle class security by investing in education, energy, innovation and infrastructure and reforms the tax code – steps which will create American jobs, responsibly pay down our debt and ensure everyone – from Wall Street to Main Street – plays by the same rules and pays their fair share.”
But the same day, The Christian Science Monitor reported “On balance, it’s a bad day for President Obama. The June unemployment report came in Friday below expectations, with only a net 80,000 jobs created and unemployment stuck at the high rate of 8.2 percent...That makes 41 straight months above 8 percent unemployment.”
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who some suggest could be a vice-presidential candidate this fall on the Republican ticket, said “the unemployment figures concluded the worst three-month period of growth in nearly two years... Families in Ohio and across the nation are suffering through the worst recovery since the Great Depression...These disappointing numbers do little to ease their concerns and are further evidence of the sad reality that the President overpromised and under delivered. It is clear that bigger government, over-regulation, massive federal spending and higher taxes are not the answer.”
Compiled by John A. Darnell jr