Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To the father-son team of Gilbert Rieger of Vienna and Andy Rieger of Houston for planning to participate in the Swim Across America event at Lake Houston, a nationwide fundraising event next month for cancer research and assistance. The two will swim in honor of Jordana Rae Rieger, Andy’s wife who died of cancer. We hope the event grows elsewhere, ultimately also reaching northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley. After all, there never can be too many organized initiatives to battle the nation’s No. 2 killer, taking over 600,000 American lives annually.

ONION: To those responsible for placing a dumpster along West Market Street on Courthouse Square in Warren, effectively blocking a handicapped parking spot and a sidewalk access ramp. An observant reader who brought this incredibly irresponsible act to our attention said the large garbage receptacle had been in place there for weeks. Certainly, that does little to build momentum for downtown Warren’s resurgence.

ORCHID: To the Medici Museum of Art for completing an expansion of its Howland gallery. The $1.6 million project doubles the number of galleries at the East Market Street museum and increases its storage and classrooms. It also helps the museum better nurture its larger outreach mission of offering art classes to children and adults, public lectures, musical performances and health and wellness events. Medici is quickly making a name for itself as a jewel among the Valley’s strongest cultural assets.

ONION: To Ohio Redistricting Commission for failing to schedule sufficient public hearings throughout the state to gather meaningful representational input on its proposed redrawn state House and Senate district maps approved Thursday. Unlike earlier public hearings that took place at 10 sites, only three hearings are scheduled for the final and arguably more important plan. Of course, this seems common for the Republican-dominant commission, as only a few members bothered to even show up at earlier hearings on drafting the maps.

ORCHID: To Rick Rowlands of Hubbard for transforming his personal passion for classic trains into a museum of rail cars and steel memorabilia from the Mahoning Valley. The Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation on Hubbard Road has as its star attraction a 1914 stationary steam engine used by the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. Rowlands zeal in sharing his collections with the public helps to preserve a vital cog in the Mahoning Valley’s rich industrial history.

ONION: To hackers attempting to access FirstEnergy customers’ online accounts. The suspicious activity became so widespread the electric company that operates as Ohio Edison in the Mahoning Valley disabled customer accounts and is requiring all to reset passwords. The maliciousness is causing inconveniences for many customers. Still, we commend FirstEnergy for acting proactively and appropriately to avoid letting the activities multiply out of control.



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