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Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To the Warren Italian-American Heritage Festival Board of Trustees for giving the green light to the 2021 edition of the kingpin of downtown Warren festivals. Festival organizers acted responsibly in working with city officials in deciding to proceed with the popular event the weekend of Aug. 12-15 in Warren’s Courthouse Square. With the number of COVID-19 cases in the state leveling off and beginning to decline, with vaccination rates rising by the day and with more than three months to go before the festival, we, too, are hopeful the festival with all of its food, music and fun can return this year as a highlight of the summer.

ORCHID: To the Trumbull County Historical Society for winning the Ohio Museum Association’s award for best Education and Outreach program in the state for 2020. The winner, the Voices Oral History Project, is an initiative started by the society to preserve the memories of elders in Warren’s black community. It includes 18 interviews with residents at least 70 years old who shared what it was like to live and work in Trumbull County over the decades. The project has received rave reviews locally, and we’re pleased the state now has recognized its quality and value. Check it out online at www.voicesoftc.org.

ONION: To Caleb Hall, 25, of Niles and all others who misuse social media as a weapon. Hall pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Youngstown to one federal count of interstate communication of threats. In part of the state’s case, he said he’d like to “spray down” an entire family with an assault rifle. We’re glad Hall was brought to justice, and we hope authorities continue to remain vigilant in hunting down those using social media for antisocial, threatening and disturbing rants.

ORCHID: To Carbon Zero Advanced Research-Power (CZAR-Power) for deciding to relocate from Tennessee to the BRITE Energy Innovators clean-energy startup in downtown Warren as a portfolio company. CZAR-Power is a fitting and promising addition to BRITE. Its major product is an innovative and compact device that combines solar and home battery inverters, an electric-vehicle fast charger and other safety and communication systems into one 2-by-1-by-6-inch unit with multiple ports for residential and commercial applications. Its investment in our region strengthens our fast-growing reputation as “Voltage Valley.”

ONION: To those responsible for recent vandalism and destruction at the basketball courts at Willow Park in Cortland. Mayor Deidre Petrosky said she was forced to close the courts this week due to fighting, littering, destruction and theft at the nearby restrooms. Once again, the antics of a few bad apples forces the community at large to suffer. Here’s hoping the hooligans can be apprehended and the courts reopened soon.

ONION: To residents who use insecticides or other means to destroy bees and swarms of bees in our communities this spring. According to local beekeepers, swarm season has arrived earlier than usual this year, but those swarms do not pose any great risk because the bees are in their “docile” phase. Beekeepers and others warn of impending danger if ongoing decline in the world’s bee population continues. Not only would the honey industry be threatened, so, too, would their vital role in pollination. For those who seek safe and responsible swarm removal in Trumbull County, call 330-883-9312 or 330-984-8395. Those in Mahoning County, the Columbiana Mahoning Beekeepers Association offers information and contacts at www.cmcba.net.

ORCHID: To organizers of the Youngstown State University Relay For Life for successfully launching the 2021 season of Relays in the Mahoning Valley. The Relays, which serve as the largest fundraiser for the good works of the American Cancer Society, had to be downsized, held virtually or scrubbed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, we’re pleased to see plans moving ahead for other traditional relays in Niles and Warren later this spring and summer.

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