Thorns to the controversy and ugliness surrounding the Columbiana County Recorder's office. Craig Brown was recently accused by a former office employee of deliberately mispronouncing her first name so that it rhymed with a part of a female anatomy. She said it happened thrice more after she told Brown she was offended. He described it as a playful nickname he came up with it. No it's not Craig. It is offensive, tasteless and degrading. It never should have been spoken once - he does claim that the first time was the only time he used the "nickname." What an embarrassment for a county office. Elected officials are held up to a high standard. Last year Brown was accused of making improper comments. While serving as director for the Johnny Appleseed Festival queen pageant, he was accused by a mother of a queen contestant of making off-color remarks. We're certainly not being judge and jury here. We don't have that right. But by connecting-the-dots you have to be concerned. That may not matter at all to the county voters who in the March primary will determine Brown's future. As well they should. That how democracy works. Brown has his supporters and he has his detractors. The county Democratic Party met and said that the latest allegations against Brown left it no choice but to endorse his opponent, Brenda Dickey Myers, in the upcoming primary election. That is the party's right. Not endorsing a two-time elected incumbent is rare. Brown's reaction to his party's decision was outrage. We will see how this all plays out and real quick too with the primary coming on March 6. Brown has mastered getting face time. He has never stood in front of a camera he didn't like. However, this kind of exposure is the kind nobody would want.
Thorns to members of Salem High's boys basketball team becoming crime victims in Alliance the other day. While the Quakers were getting beat on the floor by the Aviators, they were getting robbed. According to an Alliance police report, nearly $300 in cash as well as other assorted items including headphones were stolen from the team's locker room during the game. Nice security over there, huh?
Thorns to explosions being heard across Salem Township that are baffling everyone including the cops. Someone is up to something. The detonations must be illegal. If not there would be an explanation for them. Let's hope nobody gets hurt from any of this.
Roses to the students and staff at West Branch's Damascus Elementary. The school was recently recognized as a WasteWise Gold Achievement Award winner for paper reduction in 2010 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Students recycled nearly 130,000 pounds of paper in 2010. For some perspective, that is 65 tons or about the weight of 33 or so cars. Pretty impressive. For the past six years, the school has been a partner in WasteWise, a free program that provides guidance and recognition to over 2,700 participating organizations across the country working to find practical methods to reduce solid waste. It has won the Gold Achievement Award four out of five eligible years in various categories. Fourth-grade teacher Sue Dattilio, recycling coordinator, said that what began with trash bins purchased with a Hills department store grant in 1992 now involves the entire student body, faculty and staff. "We're always trying to do more. Everybody works together," she said. And that's good, solid advice that all of us should heed. We all need to get involved with recycling and stay involved. For information about EPA's WasteWise program call Green Team Education Specialist Kim Lewis at 330-740-2060 or visit the WasteWise website at www.epa.gov/wastewise.