Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To the Trumbull County commissioners, who appear to be taking to heart the public’s opposition to a proposed Trumbull County sales tax increase. Commissioners did not impose the tax this week, meaning there will be no county sales tax increase – at least for now. Other options that still remain, though, include commissioners imposing the tax increase in time to take effect Oct. 1; asking the electorate to vote on a proposed increase; or simply leaving it the way it is.

ORCHID: To the Parents of Murdered Children of Trumbull County organization that each year organizes a victims of crime vigil to help families remember and cope with the loss of their loved ones. This year’s solemn event was held Tuesday in Warren, and more than 40 people attended.

ORCHID: To members of the Ohio House of Representatives that this week removed a last-minute provision to the state budget bill that would have blocked Ohio Auditor Dave Yost from enacting his “Sunshine Audit program,” designed to help citizens resolve open records disputes with state government.

ONION: However, to the members of the House who still think the Sunshine Audit is a bad idea. House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, said despite the item’s removal from the bill, many representatives still do not believe the state auditor has this authority. We disagree, and wonder why any elected official would stand in the way of making government more transparent.

ORCHID: To all the folks that realize the importance of protecting our environment and participated in the Tribune Chronicle’s sixth annual Earth Day recycling event. More than 150 people brought recyclables, and Protect-n-Shred Inc. of Cortland shredded 6,770 pounds of documents at no cost to participants. For each pound of paper dropped off, River Valley Paper Co. of Akron also made donations to the Hope Chest Foundation, which serves local residents in need.

Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To Warren native Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, an internationally known rock band, that will perform a free concert in an intimate setting today at Record Connection right here in Weathersfield. The band is making a stop here because Grohl is the 2015 national ambassador for Record Store Day, which is today. We all are grateful that Grohl chose Trumbull County for his stop, especially considering he could have done the event in Cleveland or any other larger nearby city.

Welcome home, Dave!

ONION: To the Western Reserve Port Authority for inviting Interim Executive Director John Moliterno into a closed-door session where the board was discussing the job description for the executive director position the board is attempting to fill. Moliterno has been non-committal about whether he will apply for the permanent job, but still he should not have input on setting qualifications for the public position that he could be seeking.

ORCHID: To Goodwill Industries and the Youngstown Radio Reading Service that help improve the quality of life of the blind and disabled by reading printed materials like the Tribune Chronicle to them.

ORCHID: To Youngstown State University students who came together this week to draw attention to the high number of sexual assaults and violence, including those attacks that go unreported.

ORCHID: To boards of education at local school districts that say they will find ways to maintain art, music and physical education teachers, nurses, librarians and other social workers, despite the Ohio Board of Education’s vote this week to eliminate a minimum requirement of these employees.

ONION: To the person who shot an arrow through a Canada goose in Cortland last week. The live goose was found Monday by a Cortland woman. Heather Merritt of the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Howland came to the rescue. The arrow has been removed and the goose is reportedly doing fine.


Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To the folks who organized the “Bridge the Gap” project, which is named after it’s goal – bridging the gap of trust and understanding between residents and police. The project’s first program, an assembly for 11th-and 12th-grade students at Warren G. Harding High School was a hit. It was organized to give students a better understanding of the law enforcement perspective.

ORCHID: To 25-year-old Nicole Mountain of Niles, who was the only person this year in the United States to become an oceanography officer in the U.S. Navy. In that position, Mountain, a teacher at the STEAM Academy of Warren, will track how the environment impacts battlespaces.

ORCHID: To the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Warren for having one of the lowest wait times in Ohio with only 0.30 percent of patients waiting at least 31 days for care. Nationally, the average of appointments at VA medical centers delayed more than 30 days is 2.8 percent.

ONION: To the people who think the Choctaw and Pershing streets S.W., Risher Road S.W. and Martin Luther King Boulevard S.W. in Warren are their personal dumping grounds. Trash, tires and other debris is so bad that in some instances, it impedes traffic. These dumpers, if caught, should be required to clean up the mess they made.

ORCHIDS: To the robotics teams at Warren G. Harding High, Girard, Hubbard and Austintown Fitch High Schools for winning shots to compete at the national robotics competition in Kansas City, Mo., April 22 to 25.

Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, who took time in recent weeks to visit the Weathersfield RTI plant which Alcoa soon will be taking over. During the visit, Kleinfeld told workers, “Get ready for more business.” The visit likely eased workers’ minds and reassured them that Alcoa plans to continue strong operations here in the future.

ORCHID: To those involved in today’s Paint It Blue art show, planned to raise donations for The Mikeyfied Fund for Adult Autism. Today’s event, being held 5 to 8 p.m. at Trumbull Art Gallery in downtown Warren, features art by autistic children and families affected by autism. It’s a great idea for a good cause.

ONION: To the road salt suppliers who will not quote a price to Ohio communities wishing to place an annual summer salt order. The order, due by Friday, was being coordinated by the Ohio Department of Transportation in hopes that a bulk order could save money. But the suppliers are refusing to disclose a price, giving them the upper hand and, in essence, holding hostage the communities that are attempting to be good stewards of public funds.

ORCHID: To all the leaders from area churches, schools and law enforcement agencies who, along with local high school juniors and seniors, will participate in a special interactive exchange Thursday at Warren G. Harding High School. The event is intended to give students and law enforcement better perspectives on how one another sees things. At a time when violence is so prevalent in society, we applaud this attempt to improve communication and understanding.

ORCHID: To the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus for presenting a wonderful (and free!) concert to a nearly packed house this week at Champion High School as part of a nationwide tour. Kudos, also, to the 16 Champion High School band and choir members who had the opportunity to perform with the ensemble. They are:

Choir members Olivia Kochunas, Victoria Donadio, Taylor Hughes, Brianna Carsone, Devin Danko, Kyle Shaffer, Keith Stepanic and Nathaniel Monette; and band members Jacob Boyd, Dante Campana, Emily Forrester, Haley Foster, Haylee Gardiner, Lucas Huffman, Jake Pauley and James Peace.