From the Editors: April 24, 2019
The beating heart of Erie, and more ways to heal
Monday, May 6 is National Nurses Day in the U.S., kicking off Nurses Appreciation Week. That final day, May 12 is the internationally observed day around the world, chosen because the 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing.
Jonathan Burdick begins this issue's cover story with Nightingale's contributions and fast-forwards to the present day, moving across the pond from 19th century England to 21st century Erie. For nurses in our community, it's a modern world filled with sleepless nights and hard work. It is rewarding work though, and immensely important. Responsible for saving countless lives, nurses have long been overshadowed by physicians and surgeons, especially when it comes to wages.
The medical field, like most workplaces, requires a team effort though, and we'd like to think that any doctor worth mentioning knows that a nurse's value goes far beyond dollars and cents. In our local economy too, they're the cornerstone of many of Erie's largest employers — a quick look at the list of our 50 largest employers reveals that no less than 15 of those entries employ a considerable number of nurses, from hospitals to nursing homes, and care facilities. They are the beating heart of Erie, and they're an authority on the matter.
Another occasion that recently passed was Earth Day, on Monday, April 22. While we truly wish to celebrate Earth Day every day, we decided to keep the celebration going. Mary Birdsong takes a look at some of the misconceptions and clears up a few things about how we recycle locally. As the new rules have been in place for four months now, Birdsong sorts out what kind of items are taken and where. Katie Chriest adds to her ongoing coverage about the Erie Coke Corporation and the mounting evidence against their environmental practices. As a movement gains momentum, members of the community continue to rally together. There are new practices for gathering data, and Chriest looks at the processes involved that got us to this point. Moving southward, Liz Allen talks to Lisa Dvorak, Garrett Gleason, and other contributors to the Edinboro Market. This storefront, opened in December 2017 with the goal of providing "access to locally grown healthy foods, as well as educate how these foods promote better nutrition & health."
There are different ways to heal. Maybe it's modern medicine. Maybe it's a drive to reduce, reuse, and recycle — and don't forget the new "refuse." Maybe it's challenging a local polluter. Maybe it's giving people the healthy food they need at a place that's easy to get it. Heck, maybe it's even laughter — check out Nick Warren's Q & A with comedian Billy Gardell, also in this issue. Maybe it's all of those things and more. We all need some healing, from you and me to Erie and out to this entire world.