There’s a lot to be said on behalf of farmers markets in the area.

They benefit the local economy by helping people spend their food dollars close to home.

They give residents access to fresh-picked produce that’s usually higher in nutrients and definitely much better tasting than what’s generally available.

And farmers markets have a social aspect. They draw crowds and breathe a little life into communities that can use the activity.

We see that with the farmers market in downtown New Castle. The same holds true with its counterpart in Ellwood City, which will now serve as a cornerstone of that community’s downtown revitalization effort.

With the help of state and federal dollars, Ellwood is launching a revitalization project that will create a plaza for concerts and other events, and include an open-air building to house its popular farmers market.

The goal is to attract more people and businesses into the downtown. We hope it helps.

The Lawrence County commissioners are talking about traveling to Delaware next month.

Their purpose would be to attend a bankruptcy hearing related to the proposed Valley View Downs harness racing track and casino. The current owner of the Valley View Downs property in Mahoning Township, Centaur Gaming, is trying to sell it as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

The court proceeding in question would review a list of prospective bidders in a planned auction of the property.

Our advice to the commissioners: Stay home and save taxpayers’ money.

Yes, the track is an important issue for Lawrence County, but the presence of local officials at a federal bankruptcy hearing will carry absolutely no weight nor hold any significance. Lawrence County’s interests won’t impact the results in any way.

We note that the commissioners recently asked all county offices to prepare budgets for next year that cut spending across the board by 10 percent. It’s incumbent on the commissioners to exercise fiscal judgment and avoid spending money that serves no useful purpose.

The commissioners will be able to learn about possible bidders without incurring the travel expenses.

It’s probably fair to describe Lawrence County’s West Park as underutilized.

In fact, many county residents probably are unaware of the facility’s existence in Union Township, near the New Castle Airport.

But the park has been there for years with little to offer the public. The county never came up with the funding to develop the site as once envisioned.

Tomorrow, however, a new two-mile mountain bike path — constructed under the sponsorship of the county’s conservation district — will open officially. That’s not particularly long as recreational trails go, but it will give the public a new opportunity to explore West Park’s natural beauty.

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