Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To the 717 Credit Union for its decision to open a new branch on Courthouse Square in Warren, contributing to the renaissance of the downtown area. The move particularly is heartening considering it bucks the strong trend of closings of brick-and-mortar banks as consumers increasingly bank online.

• ORCHID: To the Greater Apostolic Faith Church in Warren for leading the way with a monthly series of programs to bring representatives of a host of religious denominations together for combined worship and fellowship. At a time when divisions in society run high, the new program is a welcome tonic for all church- and temple-goers to recognize they have far more similarities than differences.

• ONION: To irresponsible adults who risk children’s health and safety by becoming intoxicated or severely impaired while attempting to care for them. This week a 58-year-old man was found passed out in the parking lot of a Warren hotel. On his lap was a helpless 15-month-old toddler. Fortunately, police arrived in time to rescue the child and administer the opiate-reversal drug. Not surprisingly, suspected drugs were confiscated.

• ORCHID: To the Warren and Youngstown chapters of Inspiring Minds for marking 15 years of success in a mission of engaging, inspiring and empowering young people to achieve their full potential via education and exposure to life-changing experiences. The organization, led by founder and chief executive officer Deryck Toles, marked the milestone this week with a gala at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre.

• ORCHID: To the Trumbull County Fair Board for successfully holding the 175th edition of the fair to the delight of thousands. Fair board members and their slew of volunteers wasted no time in planning and producing pleasing fare from agricultural exhibitions to midway thrills to educational programs. Your last chance to go is today and Sunday. Don’t miss it!

• ONION: To state leaders suggesting a second round of prizes and awards to entice hesitant people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. These plans focus on offering a greater number of smaller awards than those in the state’s five-week failure of $1 million vaccine lotteries, in which federal COVID-19 relief funds were used as prizes. A study from Boston University’s School of Medicine this month concluded that Vax-a-Million Lottery did nothing to improve Ohio’s COVID-19 low vaccination rates. “The resources devoted to vaccine lotteries may be more successfully invested in programs that target underlying reasons for vaccine hesitancy and low vaccine uptake,” study author Dr. Allan Walkey said. His advice should be heeded in Ohio and elsewhere.

• ORCHID: To Lori Factor, coordinator of the Youngstown State University 23rd Annual Festival of the Arts this weekend. Factor, the longtime tireless leader and organizer of the Valley’s premiere arts festival, conquered a double whammy of challenges this year. First, the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 restrictions prevented the usual preplanning a year in advance. Second, the move to an entirely new venue — the expansive riverfront Wean Park in downtown Youngstown. Plans indicate the free festival today and Sunday should be sure to please.


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