"Orchid: To Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin and Trumbull County Recorder Diana Marchese for supporting a counter-rally across from a fracking protect in downtown Warren."
"Onion: To Liberty Trustee Jodi Stoyak and any other elected leader who joined the anti-fracking protest."
This is more than a cheap smear tactic on the part of the Tribune editorial writer.
To try to reduce a person's stellar career of public service to the attendance of a single political rally conjures a time in U.S. history when Americans' political and personal reputations were attacked and destroyed because of their political beliefs or the associations they held - regardless of how many degrees of separation existed between them.
Ms. Stoyak was in the audience that day and wasn't an active participant in the rally. I know because I attended the rally. She never spoke from the stage. She was interviewed by media who approached her, and spoke first and foremost as a concerned citizen of the Mahoning Valley.
I've known her for about two years, and know her to be a dedicated public servant. She has fought tirelessly for the health and safety of the citizens she is sworn to protect. She has organized educational seminars and talks by state officials and private experts in an attempt to educate the public about the impacts of the shale industry on communities like Liberty, Warren and Youngstown. She is an advocate for sustainable jobs, and has worked tirelessly to clean and beautify her community.
Will the Tribune give her an "Orchid" for her recent ribbon cutting for a new business in Liberty or the many community projects she has organized over the years?
We need more public officials like Ms. Stoyak in the Valley, people whose foremost concern is to protect their communities, and who aren't unduly influenced by powerful financial interests like the oil and gas corporations.
The paper needs to apologize to Ms. Stoyak and her supporters for this pathetic smear.
Tribune Editorial Board, have you no sense of decency?