- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Jan. 31

The Ohio legislature - ears glued to the lips of the gun lobby - has again demonstrated that it’s lost sight of the reality in Ohio, where the proliferation of weapons has turned schools and cities into shooting ranges….

The latest assault on common sense and public safety is a public relations stunt to promote House Bill 234, a misconceived piece of legislation that would “allow a person to use a noise suppressor attached to a gun while hunting game birds or wild quadrupeds.”

It sounds like “Goodfellas” meets “Duck Dynasty” in yet another example of how our elected officials help the gun industry expand the marketplace for mayhem.

To demonstrate the need for H.B 234, members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee will gather … and as state Rep. John Becker describes it, “blow off some rounds” with and without noise suppressors.

Do you think it’s a good use of their time for Ohio lawmakers to make silencers on hunting weapons legal in Ohio?

“It has to do with hearing protection,” explained Becker, the Union Township Republican who co-sponsored the legislation. He maintains that the noise that accompanies the firing of a rifle, shotgun or pistol can lead to deafness over time….

Meanwhile, back in Cuyahoga County,…. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath offers a suggestion.

“It would seem more reasonable if you were really concerned about a hunter’s hearing to spend a dollar for some earplugs.”

Where’s the profit in that?

Online: https://bit.ly/1ajbYwY


Steubenville Herald-Star, Feb. 1

It’s Black History Month - a time for recognition of achievements and struggles and a time for hope when our country is no longer split by racial lines.

There are roots that go back to the 1920s, when Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves, earned his doctorate from Harvard. He knew then that history books in that day virtually ignored black Americans. But Woodson forged ahead working to change the situation. He founded the Journal of Negro History in 1926 and launched Negro History Week during the second week of February. He chose that week to honor the birthdays of two men who deeply affected racial relations in America - President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Black History Month also honors the great civil rights movement leaders of the mid-20th century. There’s Rosa Parks, who chose to make a stand by not giving up her seat on a bus. And when it comes to the civil rights movement, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. articulated the dream of a nation where everyone has equal opportunities.

African-American athletes and celebrities are most easily honored and remembered, but please remember this month is about so many more people and events. It’s about businessmen and women, inventors, attorneys, moms, dads, aunts and uncles and the countless others who are important and respected members in every community.

And Black History Month is about accepting the past as past, but noting that despite obstacles, the black population of the nation achieved, overcame and persevered.

Online: https://bit.ly/1k3oh3O


The (Toledo) Blade, Feb. 3

Ohio’s inspector general - the chief watchdog of state government - claims to be conducting an “ongoing” investigation of the Coingate scandal, nine years after that inquiry began. Incredibly, the office appears still not to have interviewed the figure at the center of the affair: former Lucas County Republican Party chairman Tom Noe, who is doing time in a state prison for his crimes.

That lapse raises several questions: What kind of investigation is this? Is it really meant to get to the bottom of the scandal, or rather to cover up and delay and protect certain people?

The Blade is suing Inspector General Randall Meyer, an appointee of Gov. John Kasich, to compel release of his office’s final report on Coingate. Mr. Meyer has refused to do so, six years after the last prosecution in the case….

A total of 19 criminal convictions arose from “Coingate,” including a no-contest plea by then-Gov. Bob Taft in 2005 to misdemeanor ethics violations. In 2012, after years of silence by the inspector general’s office about the status of the investigation, Mr. Meyer pledged to produce a final report. State law requires the inspector general to “prepare a detailed report of each investigation” and to treat its completed reports as public records….

Litigation should not be needed to goad the inspector general into action, for this is a matter of obvious public interest. Evidently, though, only a court order will compel the inspector general’s office to fulfill its duties under the law.

Online: https://bit.ly/1eMFRBJ


The (Newark) Advocate, Feb. 1

There is bone-chilling cold, and then there were the two mornings this past week when the air temperatures flirted with -20 degrees before factoring in the wind chill.

Clearly, both were good days for schools to cancel classes and keep students from waiting for buses or walking on icy sidewalks. It’s always best to err on the side of safety when young children are involved.

But the temporary insanity of many, including some media outlets, during winter weather continues to amaze us.

Newark saw fewer than 10 inches of snow this past weekend, but many acted as if they never had seen so much white stuff in their lives. The National Weather Service didn’t even issue a winter storm warning, let alone a blizzard warning. Yet, many events were canceled before the first flakes fell….

Suddenly, Gov. John Kasich wants to give our schools more snow days and fewer days to help students prepare for state tests, which shape school report cards, just to save a few bucks he shouldn’t have cut in the first place….

Do we all need to be cautious during severe cold and snowstorms? Absolutely. Pay attention to forecasts; make sure you have plenty of gas in the car; drive carefully; and be prepared for possible problems.

But a few inches of snow and cold weather should not stop our lives for days on end.

Online: https://ohne.ws/1aVZ48I



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