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Community Columns

Attention writers: Do you have something you would like to share about the community that matters most to you? Do you have unique skills to share? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about?

Mahoning Matters is looking for community columns to share with our readers. We want your takes on everything from getting the kids to school on time to topics like the racial divide in our community. 

Submit 500-word essays for consideration to Mark Sweetwood at mark@mahoningmatters.com. Submissions must include a brief bio and mug shot of the writer. Publication is at the discretion of the editor.

The Earnheardts | Seize the day

The Earnheardts | Seize the day

An article for Psychology Today notes the lack of recreational activity is linked to obesity and criminality. Turns out the opposite of work is essential for a good, healthy life. I’m glad I learned this before I turned to crime.
KEEPING THE FAITH | The blessings of adoption

KEEPING THE FAITH | The blessings of adoption

Despite this pandemic, the need for Forever Homes continues to exist in our community. I hope you will not ignore the message: Our children need us!
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Have mandatory minimum sentences made us safer?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Have mandatory minimum sentences made us safer?

As early as 1991, the United States Sentencing Commission issued a report to Congress that denounced mandatory minimums. In the 19 years since, the calls for doing away with them has grown louder and more diverse. Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton have denounced them.
The Earnheardts | What 'Hamilton' taught me about the pandemic

The Earnheardts | What 'Hamilton' taught me about the pandemic

I'd been so preoccupied with the downside of being caught in a global pandemic, that I never expected to have an epiphany while watching, of all things, a musical. Even though I’d heard it a million times before that day, when the words “I am not throwing away my shot” rang through the Earnheardt house, they hit a new chord with me. 
KEEPING THE FAITH | Even in success, put your trust in the ultimate handyman

KEEPING THE FAITH | Even in success, put your trust in the ultimate handyman

Faced with no ordinary blockage, I left the store with a product called “Blue Monster.” The voice of my wife lamenting, in my mind, saying "Really, Lewis, BLUE MONSTER?!" 
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | How safe is voting-by-mail in the Valley and the U.S.?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | How safe is voting-by-mail in the Valley and the U.S.?

Over the past 20 years — of the 250 million votes that have been cast by mail in the U.S. — there have only been 143 verified cases of voter fraud. That is just one case per state every six or seven years. That’s an incident rate of  0.00006 percent. 
The Earnheardts | How Grandma prepared me for a pandemic

The Earnheardts | How Grandma prepared me for a pandemic

"Like my grandma’s generation was defined by the Great Depression, I can't help but think that as the pandemic carries on, my family is being defined by the stresses of COVID-19," Mary Beth Earnheardt writes.
KEEPING THE FAITH | Wisdom of the ages is found in the dash

KEEPING THE FAITH | Wisdom of the ages is found in the dash

"The sum total of one’s contribution should not be reduced to a sentence or two," the Rev. Lewis Macklin writes.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | The civil justice system helps prevent corporate harm

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | The civil justice system helps prevent corporate harm

Time and time again, large corporations knowingly sell products, use substances or engage in practices that they know are dangerous, even lethal, our legal columnist writes.
The Earnheardts | Lessons from teaching

The Earnheardts | Lessons from teaching

Whether or not you’re a teacher by trade, we're all working toward the same shared goal of regaining normalcy. We're going to learn lessons and be changed, but we can also be alright if we approach it constructively.