Roses for Alawn & Landscape Service owners Robin and Brian Falk. The Falks wanted to help out with Salem's recent cleanup day. Then they arrived and trimmed all the shrubs and donated mulch for Liberty Park. Not only did they deliver and load all the mulch into wheelbarrows, they stayed and helped spread it around all the evergreens. This is an example of a young couple trying to expand business, and, instead of seeing an opportunity to make money, saw an opportunity to give back to the community. Well done.
Roses to Ventra Plastics of Salem. A rule was implemented right before the start of the season in the Columbiana/Mahoning County Girls Fast Pitch Softball League of which the Salem Girls Softball League is a member. The rule stated that any pitcher or infielder would now be required to wear a face guard when playing defense. Salem's league did not have the funds to purchase this equipment, ($900-$1,000) so it was determined that the parents would be required to buy the masks. This would pose an economic hardship for some parents. Ventra Plastics heard about the situation and stepped to the plate and hit a home run - donating the entire amount of money for the masks.
Roses to Nancy Milliken. For years she has diligently served Columbiana County citizens as auditor. Recently she did it in an unusual way, using some "detective" work in tracking down the office computer central to controversy regarding former treasurer Nick Barborak. The bookkeeping problems with a $5 million investment account in the treasurer's office and overstating of interest is a hot issue. For the sheer sake of obtaining clarity and full transparency, pay someone who knows what they are doing - it should not be an overwhelming expense - and retrieve any pertinent information on the hard drive. Then make it available to the public. Let's get past this.
Thorns to the crumbling building on East State Street. Again since it is emerging as a big conversation piece in and out of city hall. Time flies and the Super Cruise will be here lickety-split. That means hundreds of people and vehicles in our downtown. The building poses a huge risk and liability as it now stands. The Super Cruise is a people magnet. With so many making like sardines in a tin can, odds will only increase that someone will get hurt. Think of a stream of people wiggling around the barricade while hot rods are going up and down the street. We have tragically seen what can happen to pedestrians in roadways. A big shame it will be if the city of Salem has to endure a single cent of expense in mollifying the situation. Where's the accountability? This problem absolutely should never have gotten this far.
Thorns to the times we live in when it comes to a little boy getting punished at a local school. His crime? He made a fist, then extended an index finger and raised his thumb upwards and pointed it while playing during recess. Accent on playing. Think about it. Especially any of you who have ever played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, army guys and so on. You get it. We are told the youngster was removed from recess, given a timeout and had a note sent home to his parents saying something about a "zero tolerance" when it come to kids and what someone perceives as pretend guns. A full disclaimer: we get the part about heightened concerns due to school shootings and general terrorism threats. We're not that stupid. But c'mon now! A 4-year-old pretending he is shooting a Buzz Lightyear laser complete with sound effects on a playground? That is a bit much. As in a huge overreaction. What's next? Toaster pastry treats outlawed in schools because some kid might fashion one into something vaguely resembling a gun? Whoops sorry, forgot. Already happened. This would be amusing if it hadn't been so distressing to the child and mother involved. Nothing like giving a little kid a paranoia complex when it comes to wanting to use his imagination. How is he expected to understand what he did was considered wrong? At least by some. Accent on some. As Buzz himself might declare, this strains the bounds of incredulity to infinity and beyond.