Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To Lucia Martuccio of Girard and Beth Ann Vanek of Southington, along with so many other strong, brave women who are breast cancer survivors. Martuccio and Vanek are helping to spread the word about the need for proactive awareness in beating this deadly disease. Martuccio spoke bravely about what she’s learned since her diagnosis in an effort to educate. And Vanek continues her ongoing fundraising efforts by helping to run “This Means War Against Breast Cancer” nonprofit organization that helps those battling the disease to pay medical bills and related expenses. During breast cancer awareness month, all women — and men — need to be aware and informed on the symptoms.

• ORCHID: To all involved in continued efforts to make Warren’s David Grohl Alley a destination location. This week, 25,600 LED lights were lit to “BRITEn” the alley. It was described by Rick Stockburger, CEO of BRITE, as the “next step” to make the community attractive to talented young people. The project was designed and installed by YSU students John Galvin and Andrew Boyer. Galvin said he was inspired by a similar installation at Pittsburgh’s Garrison Canal. Mayor Doug Franklin said this: To “see this cool public expansion and investment in public space, it’s really enlightening and encouraging.” We agree!

• ONION: To former longtime Champion police officer Robert Koehler, 62, who pleaded guilty to 16 felony counts of unauthorized use of a state computer network specifically designated for criminal investigations. Koehler lost his job after acknowledging use of the system on background checks on job applicants for his private security side-job, and once to get the address of a woman. Police officers are fully aware of limits on use of the system. It’s a shame someone with so many years of public service would stupidly violate that trust.

• ORCHID: To the new and quickly growing Lordstown Motors Corp., which was in the national spotlight this week when CEO Steve Burns brought the company’s new all-electric pickup truck, the Endurance, to the South Lawn of the White House. The truck won high praise from President Donald Trump, who called it an “incredible piece of science, technology.” The company already has 40,000 preorders for the truck that represent, barring cancellations or delays, $2 billion in revenue, even though it won’t start production until early 2021.

• ORCHID: To Warren’s middle and secondary students and teachers at the local Summit Academy School for Alternative Learners, showcasing fruits of their labors at Warren’s Farmers Market. Painted flower pots, chocolate-dipped pretzel rods and burnished wooden cooking utensils and, of course, vegetables grown in an interactive outdoor classroom garden, all reveal students’ abilities and creativity. Funds generated go back to the project. What wonderful lessons to learn!


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