November 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
54°F

Cheers & chidings

CHEERS: to competition in the electric industry that is allowing Medina County to save thousands on utility bills.
“Since May, the market for electricity has dropped and competition has entered the Ohio Edison area,” County Administrator Chris Jakab said.

“So we’re taking advantage of discount pricing that’s being offered by
various companies.”

The end result is Florida-based Gexa Energy Solutions will supply electric service to county-owned buildings and save the county 17 percent — $150,000 over 19 months. FirstEnergy Solutions will cover the county’s wastewater and solid waste treatment facilities. The savings will be 7 percent, or $295,000 over 32 years.

In light of budget cuts the county has made this year, every means to save money helps the bottom line.

CHIDINGS: to those who continue to ignore smoking bans in light of studies that back the benefits of smoke-free workplaces, bars and restaurants. The most recent research shows after smoking restrictions were in place, heart attack rates dropped — in one study by an average of 26 percent in a year. Another study covered three years and the rates dropped by an average of 36 percent.

“A well-designed smoking restriction law can significantly reduce heart attacks in the community and has a beneficial impact on public health,” said James Lightwood of the University of California-San Francisco, whose team of researchers compiled data from 13 studies of smoking bans the United States, Canada and Europe.

Exposure to second-hand smoke over time can raise heart disease rates in adult nonsmokers by 25 to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the debate rages in Congress over health care, it seems the smoking bans already are keeping Americans healthier and, in turn, could lower health care costs. That benefits everyone whether they are covered by private insurance or a government plan.

CHEERS: to Beriswill Farms, which has carved out a fun and enchanting way to celebrate Liverpool Township’s upcoming 200th anniversary.

“In 1810 Seba Bronson Jr. trudged up the Rocky River valley from Columbia Township and entered Liverpool. Somewhere in what is now known as the Hardscrabble area, intersection of Grafton and Columbia (SR 252) Roads, he built a small shelter, cleared some rich bottom land, and planted a corn crop,” according to www.valleycity.org/hist/bicent.htm.

And corn leads us back to Beriswill Farms. Carol Beriswill, who operates the farm with her brother, Jim, on Station Road, had a maze cut into their corn crop this summer in the shape of the township’s bicentennial logo. The five-acre maze includes two miles of paths, some dead ends and 11 checkpoints.

“I thought it would attract people to the township,” Carol Beriswill said. “It might be more interesting than just a barn and cow (maze) for some people.”

For those interested in testing their sense of direction, the maze is open weekends through Oct. 31.

CHEERS: to Litchfield Township resident Russ Sage, who is making a grand effort on behalf of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The 45-year-old Sage, whose spouse is a breast cancer survivor, will trek down and up the Grand Canyon (seven miles each way) with his stepson Matt Pickering to raise money for the Komen Foundation to aid in the fight against breast cancer.

Sage hopes to raise $3,000. To help him meet his goal, go to www.ashi.biz or race.Komenneohio.org/goto/ChallengingtheCanyonforCancer. The Komen Foundation will accept donations until Oct. 15.