Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To 17-year-old Ethan Sloan of Kinsman, who is having success in the strawberry business. The young entrepreneur, who will be a senior at Badger High School when the new school year starts, was looking to make some money, and what better way than to start his own small business. It’s the second year for Mansikka Farms — mansikka is a Finnish word for strawberry — with the teen planting 2,000 Earliglow strawberry plants at his home. Last year, he planted 1,000, so already it’s obvious demand is high for the delightful berries that Sloan tends to carefully, spending up to eight hours per day in the patch. This is great experience for the young businessman whose intent is to study engineering and business in college and one day run his own business. He’s off to a terrific start.

• ONION: To Lordstown Board of Public Affairs members Michael Sullivan and Christopher Peterson for refusing again to make a decision on whether Warren will provide water to a proposed power-generating facility in the village. The two Tuesday voted to table a vote on water service and supply agreements for two weeks, time they say they want for a second outside legal review. What else could they possibly want to know? Do they really think two weeks is enough time to advertise for and select the right attorney? And do they really think two weeks is enough time for that attorney to review years worth of documents and come to a conclusion? Here’s what they do know: Further delay may very well be the end of the $1.1 billion — that’s right, billion — project that would result in $600,000 per year to the BPA and $85 million the village would realize in taxes and fees all for doing exactly nothing. That’s because Warren has guaranteed the water, pressure and volume, plus maintenance and repairs of the line.

• ORCHID: To the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber and the 52-member delegation of business, government and nonprofit leaders who spent two days in the capital last week for the fifth annual Washington, D.C., Fly-In, an event put on by the chamber to bring awareness to local projects and place them in a better position to receive funding. Previous fly-ins have resulted in tens of millions of dollars for the Mahoning Valley, including funding for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station — Trumbull County’s largest employer and among the top employers in the region — a $20 million grant for downtown Youngstown development and other money to revitalize the Mahoning River. Although it won’t be known for some time whether this most recent trip will bear similar funding fruit, just coming together to speak as one Valley voice is a big step away from parochialism that has hurt this community in the past.

• ORCHID: To Youngstown State University for pivoting quickly to meet the growing demand for nurses by bringing back an associate degree in nursing program for the fall semester. Health care needs, especially in the Mahoning Valley with its aging population, are growing, especially in nursing care, and YSU’s action is a move to help fill some of the highly in-demand roles. Take this for example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 194,500 average annual openings for registered nurses between 2020 and 2030, with employment projected to grow 9 percent. We believe the program is much needed and will be well received by people interested in entering the challenging but rewarding field of health care.

• ONION: To the vandals who are damaging parks in Howland. Seriously, people? Parks — not just in Howland but everywhere — allow people a much-needed escape the rigors of daily life, let off some steam and enjoy the outdoors, and here we have some yahoos who are painting graffiti at the township parks and even worse in the restrooms. Township officials have reported feces has been rubbed all over the walls and items have been shoved down the toilets. That’s not only disrespectful, but absolutely disgusting, unsanitary and a waste of time and money needed to clean the mess or make repairs. Let’s hope these people either are caught or wise up and realize this type of mischief isn’t cute or funny, but just plain dumb.


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