Orchids and onions
ORCHID: To Cleveland-area developer, Butterfli Holdings 011 LLC, which acquired Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage, Pa. In recent years, the nearby mall has been underutilized, falling into disrepair. Now Hermitage officials and residents are hopeful for a sorely needed transformation to make the mall a “walkable city center with mixed uses and entertainment.” We share that hope.
ONION: To Turning Point Action, an organization planning rallies by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as part of Republican Senate hopeful J.D. Vance’s campaign, including one in the Mahoning Valley next Friday. After a Youngstown location was announced, it came to light that venue already had made clear to promoters that the location was unavailable that day. After scrambling for a day or two, the Metroplex Expo Center in Liberty was announced as the new location. This isn’t the only scheduling snafu for the group. Turning Point also canceled a DeSantis rally Sunday in New Mexico due to “scheduling conflicts,” and changed venues for a Pittsburgh rally next week, in addition to Youngstown’s rally. The mess only serves to confuse Vance and DeSantis supporters.
ORCHID: To the Austintown Little League 10U softball team, which took home the first state championship title for the township since 1980. Township trustees this week recognized the team, which beat Poland 14-2 in the state championship game July 27. Being in one of the younger age brackets, there is no regional tournament, so this state title marked the end of the season for Austintown. Next year, a significant portion of the team will move up to 12U, where they will have the opportunity to compete in regionals if they qualify.
ONION: To activists who react angrily with unreasonable dangerous and illegal acts, triggered by political issues. In Cincinnati this week, a gunman died in a shootout after trying to get inside the FBI office after it appears he posted social media calls to take up arms in the wake of the search at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home. Other officials have warned of increased threats against federal agents following Mar-a-Lago’s search. Indeed, the First Amendment guarantees a right to gather and protest. But violent and illegal actions are not an acceptable way to communicate displeasure.
ORCHID: To the Mahoning Valley Mobile Market, which stopped this week at the Austintown Senior Center, to provide opportunities to buy local, fresh foods. Mobile Market is a partnership between ACTION and Flying High, local groups focusing on social injustices and helping the needy. The services provided by Mobile Market have a big impact on senior citizens and those who need access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and other healthy foods. This is particularly important considering Youngstown previously was named a food desert with inadequate access to fresh, nutritious foods.
Orchids and onions
ORCHID: To the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., which renovated, upgraded and ultimately saved a beautiful, 19th century historic home on Old Furnace Road next to Mill Creek Park. It’s the first home motorists see as they ascend the hill from nearby Pioneer Pavilion. The two-story Victorian home is now on the market. Without YNDC’s involvement, the historic home likely would have been lost. Now we hope it will be purchased as a residence by someone who will devote the needed love and care to preserve it well into the future.
ORCHID: To communities including Liberty, Austintown, Vienna and New Middletown, which this week celebrated National Night Out, intended to improve and enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement, while creating a sense of community. The “Nights Out” included family events, displays of first responder equipment and allowed residents and children to get to know local officers in a friendly atmosphere.
ONION: For ongoing violence in Youngstown that has reached at least 14 homicides already this year, including a man whose body was left in a trash bin on Youngstown’s East Side recently. Violence and homicide seem to remain a routine part of life for so many people here. The sadness of that fact is amplified further when a human being and his loved ones are so disrespected that his body is left to decompose as trash in a garbage can in the midsummer heat. Where does it ever end?
ORCHID: To St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, one of the three large Mercy Health-affiliated health care centers in the Mahoning Valley, that this week marked its 15th anniversary. St. Elizabeth Boardman President Genie Aubel gave credit for the hospital’s success and care to the teams that work there. “We take great pride in having served our community for more than 100 years, including 15 at our location in Boardman,” the president said. Congratulations, and may the health care system experience many more years of good care and success in our region.
ORCHID: To the operators of felony drug courts in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, which are helping to steer some of those facing criminal prosecution on substance abuse-related charges into treatment. Many of these folks need that treatment — not incarceration — to get clean and become productive members of society. The programs are designed to help break away from addiction. Since inception, Mahoning County’s felony drug court has had 714 graduates and 548 who were terminated from it. Only 9 percent of the graduates returned to court facing drug charges, statistics show. Nationally, the recidivism rate is 30 percent.
ONION: To Joanna McCane of Youngstown, who stands accused as the vandal who caused more than $11,000 in damage to the historic Trumbull County Courthouse in November. After she was charged, she defied police and failed to show for court on an unrelated charge. Eventually, she was arrested and freed on bond, but then this week, once again, she failed to show for her court hearing. This is not a joke, and once local law enforcement captures her again, bond must be revoked, keeping her in jail and guaranteeing her court appearance to face these serious charges.