UP: The National Football League has faced criticism over the past year for not doing more to discourage players from kneeling during the national anthem. But two events over the weekend in Findlay and Fostoria showed the positive side of professional athletes. On Sunday in Findlay, former Trojan and now Pittsburgh Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger held his foundation’s first charity softball game at the Findlay High diamond. About 2,500 people, most of them Steeler fans, attended, and money raised will go to FHS athletics and to Ben’s foundation, which makes grants for police and fire service dogs across the nation. On Saturday in Fostoria, another pro football player, Micah Hyde, a Fostoria High School grad and now a member of the Buffalo Bills, held his second football camp for youth. About 500 youth from Ohio and other states registered for the camp. The camp was free to participants but also raised money for Hyde’s foundation, IMagINe for Youth, which provides sports equipment for schools. Both Roethlisberger and Hyde did themselves and the NFL a favor by giving back to the communities where they were raised. In the process, they made a lot of their fans very happy.
UP: Like Don Kinn (see Monday’s letter), we like the new look of downtown Findlay this spring and were glad to see the city’s first dedicated bike lane on the recently repaved section of Cory Street between Lima and West Main Cross. The city has been trying to wean bikes off sidewalks, especially downtown, and having the alternative path for bikes nearby will help. The planned addition of dedicated or shared lanes on Blanchard and Lincoln and other streets will only encourage more people to take to their bikes and leave their cars in the driveway, and use the bike paths to connect with the Blanchard River Greenway Trail and the county parks. The pieces are finally coming together. Get out and explore — on your bike!
DOWN: Ohio’s medical marijuana law, passed two years ago, is expected to go into effect later this year. That’s good news for those who have one of 21 ailments or health conditions that qualify them for certain forms of cannabis if they obtain a prescription from a doctor. The bad news is medical marijuana won’t be readily available in Hancock County, at least initially. Last week the state announced the 56 locations where dispensaries will operate statewide and while 12 are in the northwestern part of the state, the closest one to Findlay is Bowling Green. Two months after the law was passed in 2016, Findlay City Council passed legislation banning dispensing, cultivating or processing medical marijuana for two years. That means Hancock County residents who are prescribed medical pot will have to travel to Wood County, the closest licensed dispensary, to get it. While licensing delays could put off the official Sept. 8 startup, adequate rules are in place to govern it. As such, City Council should act sooner rather than later to lift the ban, to ensure those who are eligible to receive medical marijuana are not denied it once it becomes available and not to continue to obstruct a dispensary from someday opening in Hancock County.