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Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To the Youngstown Planning Commission for its unanimous vote to reject requests from Family Dollar to sell liquor at four Youngstown stores. Two city council members argued against awarding the liquor license, saying there’s already several places near those four Family Dollar stores to purchase alcohol and allowing the company to do so would not benefit the neighborhoods. We agree.

ORCHID: To the Canfield Fair Board for moving forward in planning the 2020 Canfield Fair, especially since we remain three months out. In the meantime, Canfield Fair manager Bev Fisher is serving on the governor’s fair advisory group that is considering all aspects of fairs in Ohio and public health concerns in light of COVID-19. We remain hopeful that, come the week before Labor Day, we again will have something to crow about.

ONION: To Gov. Mike DeWine for overlooking the fact that Ohioans can now get a tattoo but still cannot get a driver’s license or license plates. It seems reasonable if restaurants can start serving again, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles could have been serving the public again.

ORCHID: To the local Pizza Hut franchise, HallRich Inc., for donating 375 pizzas this week to Choffin Career and Technical School in Youngstown, saying they simply wanted to help “feed these students.”

ORCHID: To everyone who has tried to make graduation and the final days of the school year special for the Class of 2020.

Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To the Youngstown Planning Commission for its unanimous vote to reject requests from Family Dollar to sell liquor at four Youngstown stores. Two city council members argued against awarding the liquor license, saying there’s already several places near those four Family Dollar stores to purchase alcohol and allowing the company to do so would not benefit the neighborhoods. We agree.

ORCHID: To the Canfield Fair Board for moving forward in planning the 2020 Canfield Fair, especially since we remain three months out. In the meantime, Canfield Fair manager Bev Fisher is serving on the governor’s fair advisory group that is considering all aspects of fairs in Ohio and public health concerns in light of COVID-19. We remain hopeful that, come the week before Labor Day, we again will have something to crow about.

ONION: To Gov. Mike DeWine for overlooking the fact that Ohioans can now get a tattoo but still cannot get a driver’s license or license plates. It seems reasonable if restaurants can start serving again, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles could have been serving the public again.

ORCHID: To the local Pizza Hut franchise, HallRich Inc., for donating 375 pizzas this week to Choffin Career and Technical School in Youngstown, saying they simply wanted to help “feed these students.”

ORCHID: To everyone who has tried to make graduation and the final days of the school year special for the Class of 2020.

Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To Cindy Lee Campbell of Austintown, a 35-year organ transplant recipient and mother of three daughters. She graduated May 9 from Youngstown State University with her bachelor of science degree in nursing at age 60. This nontraditional student has lots to be proud of, including her hard work, perseverance and an amazing example she set for her daughters about the importance of education.

ORCHID: To Kandace Beatty, 12, of Boardman who wasn’t discouraged by COVID-19 directives, and still completed her 4-H projects — all 17 of them — that showcased her leadership, communication, responsibility and skills.

ONION: To miscreants who now have found ways to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by calling customers and demanding money or face a utility shutoff. One Ohio Edison customer reported he paid the caller, but when he contacted the utility provider, he learned it was a scam. If you get a call, check first before paying. In fact, FirstEnergy has suspended service shutoffs for past-due customers during the pandemic.

ORCHID: To those participating in a “pay-it-forward” program that includes purchasing pizzas for anyone to take for free at Youngstown’s Westside Bowl during its shutdown due to the COVID pandemic. One day recently, 500 pizzas were in line waiting to be given away.

ORCHID: To organizers of the 42nd annual Youngstown State University English Festival who, this week, took the event virtual. This event for students in grades 7 to 12 in our area and western Pennsylvania encourages reading, writing, journalism, poetry, art and music. Our newspaper usually plays a role, and we are glad to see this year’s event continue, albeit online.

editorial@tribtoday.com

Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To reservists at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station who flew C-130 Hercules aircraft over several hospitals and health care sites, including those in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, this week in salute to health care workers, essential employees and other first responders on the front line of the battle against COVID-19. The flyover was arranged by the 910th Airlift Wing and dubbed “Hercs Over America.” What a wonderful salute!

• ORCHID: To geography bee champion Brock Farris, 14, a Boardman Glenwood Junior High School eighth-grader. For the second year in a row, Brock qualified for the March 27 National Geographic GeoBee state championship in Columbus as one of the top 100 students in Ohio. The winner would have advanced to the national Geography Bee this month in Washington. Unfortunately, the national competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 virus. Still Brock should be proud!

• ONION: To drag racers and spectators who, apparently, have been gathering on Ohio Works Drive in Youngstown for years. Officers last week said they saw a “long convoy of vehicles” pulling onto the road around midnight before two vehicles raced on the dead-end roadway. Youngstown police Chief Robin Lees described the situation as “extreme” with cars being towed there as part of a “planned event.” Two men have been charged with drag racing, and 27 others were charged with violating Ohio’s stay-at-home order.

• ORCHID: To laborers at Republic Services who gathered briefly overnight this week in Austintown and Lowellville to express concern over their need for personal protective equipment, but then quickly dispersed in time to head back to work. The workers assembled to convey their concerns respectfully, but didn’t allow the protest to impact customers’ trash collections.

• ORCHID: To Canfield High School senior Callia Barwick, who last week helped to pack Mahoning County police cruisers with more than 150 stuffed animals to be handed out to children involved in domestic police calls. The student, a 4-H member, created the program a few years ago to help ease stress for youngsters in homes where domestic violence leads to arrests or separation of family members. An orchid also to all those who donated the toys for this good cause.

Orchids and Onions

• ORCHID: To Canfield City and its police department for paying tribute to this year’s class of 2020 by placing “Canfield Seniors 2020” decals on their cruisers. “This is just the police and city’s way of saying, ‘Sorry, but we know you’re resilient and you’re going to kick butt,'” said police Chief Chuck Colucci. We couldn’t agree more!

• ORCHID: To Mercy Health Youngstown for implementing an order this week that every patient leaving a Mercy Health facility be tested for COVID-19 before transfer to a nursing home. “We’re testing … so the nursing home knows the status of that patient before that patient arrives. We felt that was the best way to help the nursing home as our partner in this,” Mercy Health Youngstown Clinical Director Dr. James Kravec said. That appears to be a sound practice.

• ONION: To the person who used social media to post a vile, racist remark regarding Youngstown fire Chief Barry Finley. Mayor Jamael Tito Brown correctly condemned the post, saying, “Where hate is delivered as a siren song for dangerous and destructive behavior, this language cannot go unchallenged. Hate and threats of violence delivered under the mantle of free speech must be addressed.” Free speech is one thing, but there is no place in our society for shameful threats and racist remarks.

• ORCHID: To the Lowellville Police Department and especially Capt. Stacy Karis for putting together and handing out free activity kits full of toys to Lowellville kids this week. Karis said she came up with the idea to keep kids active, “especially when they have to stay home and bunker.” Funds came from the Lowellville Police Association, and the kits included things like Frisbees, jump ropes, kites, bubble wands, squirt guns and lots of sidewalk chalk. Great idea!

• ORCHID: To Karen Conklin of Liberty, who retired last month from the American Red Cross, where she served as executive director of the Lake to River chapter. A national territorial realignment by the American Red Cross was announced at the same time, making the local Lake to River Chapter now part of American Red Cross of Greater Akron and the Mahoning Valley. She said she believes realigning blood services and humanitarian services will benefit the Red Cross. Conklin, who has served the Valley well in many nonprofit capacities for an incredible 50 years, has earned her retirement.

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