Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To the Warren Rotary Club for sponsoring one of its most successful Slice of the Valley fundraisers last weekend at Eastwood Event Centre in Niles. Twelve pizza businesses and six beer establishments from throughout the Mahoning Valley took part in the tasty competition. Not only did the pizza party please the palates of some 1,600 event-goers, it also raised approximately $40,000 cheese for worthy local charities. We’re confident those charities also will relish the fruits of the exemplary labors of Warren Rotary members and supporters.

ORCHID: To the LaBrae Local Schools’ eighth-grade Power of The Pen team for winning the recent district tournament among 15 northern Ohio eighth-grade teams. The students excelled in the creative writing competition. Team members’ literary talents propelled them to last weekend’s regional competition hosted by Lake Local Schools; results of which will be publicized soon. We’re confident the team performed exceptionally well and will make their school and community proud.

ONION: To Warren Councilman Ken MacPherson for his crude reaction to a statement made by Council President John Brown. The vulgar, derogatory comment not only was disrespectful toward Brown, but it also was childish. How can we expect the public to treat others — including their elected officials — with proper decorum and respect when our leaders and public officials can’t do so among themselves? Let’s hope this shameful incident reminds our elected officials to treat one another with respect — particularly during official public proceedings.

ORCHID: To nearly 100 volunteers for the Youngstown Radio Reading Service on the 30th anniversary of the service at its studios at Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries on Belmont Avenue in Liberty. The service provides a wealth of news and information from volunteer readers broadcasting to the target audience of blind and visually impaired individuals throughout the Mahoning Valley. We’re particularly pleased and flattered that YRRS provides about two hours of reading each evening from that day’s edition of the Tribune Chronicle.

ONION: To speeders in residential neighborhoods who threaten the health and safety of people and pets living there. In Hubbard, for example, Safety Director William Bancroft told City Council this week that speeding in neighborhoods has gotten out of control, particularly in the areas of Drummond Avenue and Jacobs Road. In one case, a pet was killed by a speeding vehicle. Bancroft also warned motorists that police will be cracking down on speeders. We call for stiff punishments for offenders.

ORCHID: To Girard Mayor Jim Melfi and other city officials for planning to repair and modernize the 80-year-old community gymnasium inside City Hall. Over the decades, the gym, one of few nationwide located inside a municipal building, has gotten more than its fair share of use for basketball, volleyball and community events and fundraisers. We’re pleased to see the facility will get a face-lift to preserve and strengthen its legacy as a quintessential Girard asset.

ONION: To the pernicious individual or individuals who hacked into a Zoom meeting of Warren City Council last week. City residents logging into the meeting expecting to hear serious discussion of the possible benefits of a charter form of government instead endured a volley of foul, sexist and racist remarks by those who crashed the online event. The hacker also insulted and intimidated a council member and the featured speaker at the forum. Let this embarrassing fiasco be a wakeup call for city officials to work to ensure strict controls are in place to avoid similar hack jobs in the future.

ORCHID: To Belinda Weiss, new director of the National McKinley Memorial Birthplace Museum for her thoughtful plans to broaden the reach of the historic landmark in Niles. Weiss, who gained a wealth of experience over the past 11 years at the Arms Family Museum of Mahoning Valley history in Youngstown, aims to present more special events to attract visitors and expand community outreach by promoting the museum to outside groups. We eagerly await Weiss’s exciting plans to come to fruition.



Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: “Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Revelation 19:6-7 NLT


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