CHEERS: to Medina County residents who deal with tragedy by volunteering. On Sept. 12, eight years after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, members of Medina First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) dedicated the weekend to helping others. Some
painted walls at the Medina Salvation Army and built shelves for the food pantry. Others helped out at the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“The president asked us to remember 9/11 with community service to honor those who died,” Medina resident Sue Barker said. “I like this because it’s a proactive, positive action.”
We encourage others to heed the president’s words.
CHIDINGS: to a budget crunch that means some criminals aren’t paying for their illegal activity with a stint behind bars.
Cheers, however, to judges and law enforcement agencies whose cooperation is helping to make the best of a cramped situation. Because of county budget cuts that forced Sheriff Neil Hassinger to lay off 24 employees and close two male units at the Medina County Jail this year, beds are scarce. The shortage may mean warrants aren’t served in a timely matter. In fact, “Police departments are on a restricted basis of bringing people in,” Hassinger said.
“All of the judges are reacting as best we can,” Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier said. “If you think about it, any of the judges, if he or she were not cooperative, could exacerbate the problem and cause difficulty.”
CHEERS: to research in Seattle that will help the city track its trash. People know where they buy their stuff, but what happens to it after it’s tossed out or placed at the curb — the broken TV, the worn-out couch or that Styrofoam cup that once held coffee?
In Medina County, we have the Central Processing Facility in Westfield Township, where much of the recycling is done for us. It’s there that trash and recyclables are sorted, and where yard waste is turned into mulch and compost.
In Seattle, MIT researchers will tag about 3,000 pieces of trash and follow it from the curb to where it ends up — whether it’s recycled or lands in a landfill.
“Seeing where your trash goes allows you to change your behavior,” said Assaf Biderman, associate director of MIT’s SENSEable City lab and a project leader in Seattle. “Will you refill a cup instead of throwing away a disposable one?”
The outcome could improve Seattle’s recycling rate, which already is about 50 percent. The city hopes to recycle about 60 percent of its waste by 2012 — a goal all municipalities should strive toward. Across the nation, the recycling rate is about 32 percent.