Orchids & onions

ORCHID: To the Raymond John Wean Foundation for receiving the Secretary’s Award for Public Philanthropic Partnerships from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

ONION: To Warren councilwoman Cheryl Saffold, who said she walked through The Gibson Building this week unescorted. The basement and third floor are unoccupied private property, so Saffold either trespassed or fibbed.

ONION: To Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, who on Wednesday said he hopes to finalize a contract to purchase a downtown building by the end of the week but on Thursday talked about purchasing the building by the end of October.

ORCHID: To Youngstown State University President Randy J. Dunn and his administration for culling an aggressive spending reduction plan to help the institution tackle a $6 million deficit.

ORCHID: To organizers of the Trumbull Town Hall Lecture Series for such an interesting lineup Wednesday when they brought in Stephen Bogart – son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall – and Cass Warner Sperling – granddaughter of Warner Bros. cofounder Harry Warner and the daughter of Hollywood screenwriter/producer Milton Sperling. The lecture series is held at Packard Music Hall in Warren.

ORCHID: To the Howland Field Foundation for creating a plan for a new sports complex without tapping into taxpayer dollars. In fact, the proposed turf football field could save the school district money in upkeep.

ORCHID: To Trumbull County officials for continuing to make progress on the Kinsman sewer project.

ORCHID: To John F. Kennedy High School for helping its students understand the plight of others. The students walked eight times around the sports track carrying 20-liter containers of water to simulate what some students witnessed in Kenya, where no running water forces people to make such a exercise daily.


Orchids & Onions

ONION: To ValleyCare Health System for recently informing local police departments that it will not longer inform them when criminal suspects are released. ValleyCare cited the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which went into effect 17 years ago, for ending the practice this summer.

ORCHID: To Crossroads Hospice for honoring local veterans at the Austintown Senior Center.

ONION: To Youngstown mayoral candidate DeMaine Kitchen for so many failures to pay his state, county and city taxes and for what he said was being unaware that he was in delinquency. Kitchen said he was made aware when a Tribune Chronicle reporter questioned him about the Mahoning County property tax delinquency.

ORCHID: To Niles City Council for voting unanimously to rescind its ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other oil and natural gas operations; and especially to Councilman Steve Papalas for so magnanimously apologizing for hastily passing the inappropriate legislation.

ORCHID: To state Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-Brookfield, for trying to incentivize the conversion of vehicles from gasoline to natural gas. O’Brien has introduced legislation offering tax credits for such conversions.

ORCHID: To law enforcement officers who talked a distraught man down from the Mosier Street bridge over Interstate-80 in Girard.

ORCHID: To Howland Fire Department Capt. David Williams for 38 years of service before recently retiring.

ORCHID: To organizers and supporters of the Hartford Apple Festival, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

ORCHID: To Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, which is in the running for a $10,000 Tom’s of Maine ”50 States for Good” community giving program. TNP is the only Ohio program to make the finalists list.


Orchids & onions

ORCHID: To Liberty Township and its police department for operating a senior watch program that is so effective the City of Struthers recently started one using Liberty as the model.

ONION: To City of Warren Environmental Services Department Director Leann O’Brien for turning the government agency into a competitor against private companies. Government should provide services that support the private sector.

ORCHID: To Burghill native Scott Difford, a 2007 John F. Kennedy High School graduate, who has taken the stage on Broadway in the musical ”Matilda.”

ONION: To Warren Auditor David Griffing and Warren City Council for failing to advertise for bids on purchasing $127,000 worth of garbage bins. By purchasing the 2,352 ”toters” a little at a time, the city is skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of Ohio law.

ORCHID: To Trumbull County commissioners for rejecting a $5 per hour pay raise request from employees in the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

ORCHID: To Trish Nuskievicz for being named interim director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission.

ORCHID: To Niles City Council for reconsidering its ban on hydraulic fracturing and related oil and natural gas industry activities in the city.

ONION: To Niles City Council for passing the fracking ban as an emergency. If given the proper three readings, thus allowing public comment, council members could have avoided making such a humiliating mistake.


Orchids & onions

ONION: To Warren City Council for approving a sign ordinance that has angered many in the business community and could drive some businesses out of town.

ORCHID: To Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for extending the deadline by which communities must spend their Moving Ohio Forward housing demolition funds.

ORCHID: To Bristol High School graduate Trishna Helmick, who will sing the national anthem Monday night prior to the Washington Redskins v. Philadelphia Eagles NFL game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

ONION: To Global Geophysical Services for leaving explosives on a woman’s property after conducting tests for natural gas deposits.

ORCHID: To U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub for rejecting the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.’s attempt to avoid relinquishing important documents to the Delphi Salaried Retirees.

ORCHID: To Youngstown State University, which broke ground on a $1.5 million veterans center that will help those who served the country take the next step toward completing their education and/or launching a career.

ORCHID: To SCOPE Executive Director Ralph Smith and the agency’s board for moving forward on its sale to Ravenna-based Family and Community Services. This should help preserve the many opportunities SCOPE provides Trumbull County’s senior citizens.