Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To officials at Canfield High School who sought and received a “Connect for Success Grant” from Mobile Beacon to provide internet access and laptops for students who need additional time to complete homework in school or at home. The grant provides 25 laptops and 25 mobile hotspots with free, unlimited 4G LTE internet service for 12 months. The grant will help close the homework gap for students who need internet access or a laptop.

• ONION: To Austintown residents who allow their free-range chickens to roam into neighbors’ yards, often making a mess. Township trustees and the zoning department want help identifying homes of nuisance chickens wandering beyond their yards. As the weather gets colder, the birds have been climbing onto cars and defecating. It’s great to have your own fresh poultry, but it should not come at the expense of your neighbor’s yard.

• ORCHID: To local volunteers working to combat global warming by giving away free small, potted trees starting at 11 a.m. today at Illinois and Elm streets, near Wick Park. The giveaway is available to homeowners and nonprofit groups who have tree-planting experience and agree to follow planting and maintenance directions. What a great way to grow nature.

• ONION: To the Boardman varsity boys soccer coach whose team ran up the score to 25-0 over the Canton McKinley Bulldogs in a Division I sectional semifinal. The coach and his team acknowledged that they felt disrespected because they were seeded low. Coach Eric Simione called it a “flawed and unethical voting system for seeding.” We think humiliating another high school team is not the right way to send that message.

• ORCHID: To Hubbard High School junior Isaac Powell who won a nationwide competition naming him best mascot in the nation, with a $4,000 prize. Isaac is being honored in Columbus next week by the Ohio General Assembly for his first-place finish. In addition to his appearances, he maintains the Eagle’s social media accounts; edits videos of his Eagle performances and shares them online; designs Hubbard Eagle graphics; and buys and designs jerseys for the mascot. What’s just as admirable is that Isaac has invested nearly $1,000 of his winnings into the Eagle.


Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To the cities of Niles, Girard and Hubbard for their regionalized effort that resulted in the award of a state Community Housing Impact and Preservation grant for $900,000. After trying unsuccessfully for more than a decade, these three communities realized collaboration could prove more successful. Combining their grant application triggered extra points for a multijurisdiction application and receipt of $250,000 for Hubbard; $300,000 for Girard; and $350,000 for Niles. The funds will go to home improvements and owner-repair projects for low- or moderate-income residents. As we always say, cooperation pays off!

• ONION: To publishers who are limiting the number of new release e-books available to library systems to just one — down immensely from the estimated 25 copies of new e-books and e-audiobooks that local libraries usually order. The new limits will have the most drastic effect on those most dependent on libraries for their reading materials, and local library officials say it will create an enormous backlog of people waiting to read new e-books or e-audiobooks.

• ORCHID: To organizers, participants and the nearly 300 people who attended this year’s Taste of Hubbard event Sunday. The 12th annual event included 25 vendors, all helping to raise funds for a bell tower project at Harding Park. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon — by promoting local businesses and raising funds for a good cause.

• ONION: To the pilot of a small airplane that caused unnecessary fear and concern when it flew low over Stambaugh Stadium during a YSU Penguin football game last weekend, nearly clipping the stadium and its light towers. We’re glad to see the maneuver is being taken seriously and is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. But we wonder why such a probe should take months, as projected. It seems to us there is enough evidence to put this probe to bed much more rapidly.

• ORCHID: To the Youngstown-Columbiana Association of Realtors and Beaver Creek Area Association of Realtors for their $16,000 donation to The Rich Center for Autism in support of programs, services and renovations. Autism is a major educational challenge for parents and teachers, and the Rich Center for Autism’s goal is to improve the conditions with which children with autism learn to live. The Realtor groups’ donation will contribute greatly to that worthy cause.