News, notes & opinions: April 2016

Flip through any lifestyle magazine, this one included, and you’re bound to see pictures and articles about trendy restaurants, scrumptious new food dishes and mouthwatering recipes to try at home.

Let’s cure hunger

Flip through any lifestyle magazine, this one included, and you’re bound to see pictures and articles about trendy restaurants, scrumptious new food dishes and mouthwatering recipes to try at home.

Who wouldn’t want to wrap their hands around a gourmet hamburger or try out the latest hot spot for dinner?

For so many hardworking people in our community, however, the closest they will come to such places and treats are those pictures and words. They live every day wondering from where their next satisfying meal will come.

We’ve reached roughly the midpoint of the 25th annual Harvest for Hunger campaign, a multifaceted drive that began in late February aimed at relieving hunger in the eight-county service area of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. By now, you’ve probably seen an insert in your newspaper or the tickets seeking $1, $5 or $10 donations at the checkout counters of the campaign’s numerous grocery store partners. Maybe your business or your child’s school has coordinated a food drive.
Future events in the campaign include “Stuff the Bus” on April 6 and “Stamp Out Hunger” on May 14.

Even if you already have given money or food, I urge you to consider donating again.

Ever give a dollar (or much more) to a charity and wonder if your contribution truly made a difference? That’s not the case with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
Every donated dollar goes to buy food. And somehow the food bank can turn $1 into four meals. I wish I could have worked that magic as I watched three teenagers rummage through the refrigerator and pantry at our house.

Hunger is not seasonal. It’s a year-round issue in our community, and it affects an estimated 1 in 7 area residents overall and 1 in 4 youngsters.

But as Dan Flowers, president and CEO of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, said at this year’s kickoff breakfast: “Hunger has a cure.”

That cure is sharing what almost everyone holding this magazine can afford: a few dollars or a few nonperishable items for a food drive.

Macaroni and cheese or a can of tomato soup—comfort foods to us—can make a huge difference to someone less fortunate.

Let’s cure hunger.

For more information about the Harvest for Hunger campaign, visit AkronCantonFoodbank.org.
Rich Desrosiers

Flawed candidates

Early in my career, when I was a writer full-time, sports and politics were my favorite subjects. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, yada, yada …

My two boys long ago developed an affinity for sports, too. They’re often next to me on the couch yelling at the Browns or the Buckeyes. They used to play youth baseball, and now soccer is the sport of choice. We go to a lot of soccer games in our household.

The other night, though, my 12-year-old stunned me with what he wanted to watch on TV. “Can we watch the election coverage, Dad?”

That’s sure not LeBron James and the Cavs. And I surely wasn’t enthused (knowing well what my son was getting himself into) but told him to go ahead.
And what did my son see? Nothing that should make him—or any of us—proud to be an American. Within 10 minutes, he saw bigotry, bullying and flat-out lies. It was embarrassing.

“Dad, one of these guys is going to be president?” was the question.

“One of them is going to be in the final two, for sure,” was my answer. “Which one should your mom and dad vote for?”

“They’re all awful. I have a headache. I’m going to bed.”
Listen, my son NEVER wants to go to bed early. But I wanted to join him by jumping in bed and pulling the covers way over my head. Unfortunately, that’s not going to make these candidates go away.

It seems inevitable at this writing that our country is going to take a huge step back in November, no matter which of the current viable candidates—regardless of party, sex or race—is able to win. Even my 12-year-old, new to this world, has figured that out.

We should be ashamed as a country.
Scott Brown

Swimsuit issue serves no purpose

Every year at about this time, the playful argument starts. And if you know my wife, it doesn’t end after the first day.

bikiniListen, I have no control over Sports Illustrated’s decision every winter to publish a “Swimsuit Edition.” So let’s just get that out there right now.

And furthermore, I don’t even read the issue.

Honest.

No, seriously. Stop it, fellas, I’m making a point here.

My wife groans every year when it arrives in the mail. In fact, I think it may have found its way into the trash one year before I even laid eyes on it; not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The same argument happened this year.

And now I’m toast.

Because, as it turns out, you can opt out of the swimsuit issue.

And I will.

But don’t blame me when we’re paying for something we don’t receive.

Honestly, the issue serves no purpose to me or my household. I’m not certain how anyone could argue the issue serves to objectify women more than anything else.

It was a point my wife drove home when she grabbed a picture of my 15-year-old daughter and held her head over the bodies of the swimsuit models.

“So, are you OK with it now?”

Sometimes we have to be hit over the head with a proverbial hammer to see the obvious point. The issue will no longer be an issue.
Todd Porter

Yesterday is gone

During a meeting before the Canton City Planning Commission regarding the city’s comprehensive plan proposal, commission member James Bowe said something that was poignant, and I believe, echoes the sentiments of many. Bowe challenged Charles Buki, who was hired by the city to put the plan together. He didn’t seem to be in favor of the plan early on.

But Bowe kept reading the plan. He kept challenging Buki. He kept asking questions.

Then he came to the conclusion many others need to come to.

“I can’t keep wishing we had yesterday,” Bowe said. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow’s not here yet, and today is the present.”
Todd Porter

The next cellphone game changer

What if your phone could automatically charge itself when you walked into a room?

Wireless charging. The term is going to be at the forefront of the next-generation cellphone wars.

Our phones have a vast capacity to contain just about every bit of knowledge in the world—on a device that fits in our pockets, no less.

And cameras on phones have become so advanced that the gap between a professional and a guy taking a picture of his dinner is a slim one. The technology is getting better every year.

Where can phones go from here? Batteries and charging.

The quest by cellphone companies is to create a battery with a greater capacity—and at a smaller size. And, it needs to charge faster.

Most new phones will give you about a day’s worth of power in exchange for an hour’s worth of charging.

We are in the early stages of wireless charging. Phones, such as Samsung, allow a version of wireless charging by placing your device on a flat charging surface—no plugs needed. However, while charging, your phone is just as immobile as one plugged into the wall.

But, what if you could charge your phone just by standing in a room—and without removing it from your pocket?

The technology is coming.

Energous, a startup aimed at “smart home” technology, has developed WattUp, a charging system of the cellphone user’s dreams. Tech in the phone would be able to connect to a charger plugged in a room from upwards of 15 feet away.

How great would it be to go into a restaurant and you and everyone else in the building could walk out with a fully charged phone?

The best part: A partnership between Apple and Energous is said to be in the works, which could put this tech in our pockets in the very near future.
Dave Manley

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass