- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

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

The (Canton) Repository, Sept. 21

In the 13 days since the world first saw the video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious, the number of calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline has nearly doubled.

Domestic violence is finally out of the shadows.

The culture of looking the other way extends far beyond the NFL and its 32 member teams. But right now, that’s where the spotlight is falling.

In his press conference Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the league’s lax disciplinary polices and said, “I believe in accountability.”

Then he gave so few specifics about how the NFL will address players’ behavior that his audience had to take it on faith - or not - that he meant what he said. Goodell kicked the can into next year, announcing formation of a committee that won’t report to him with recommendations until after the current season ends.

Meanwhile, it is also becoming clearer how the culture of looking the other way is reflected in the justice system….

Thankfully, there’s no reversing the massive shift in public awareness about domestic violence that is taking place. But the culture of looking the other way won’t be uprooted if we limit the spotlight only to a few high-profile cases. The NFL, the justice system and society as a whole have failed to bring this kind of violence out of the shadows.

Online: https://bit.ly/ZBOzTr ___

The (Findlay) Courier, Sept. 17

Nothing in Ohio is set in stone when it comes to this year’s general election, except Election Day itself. In case you’re wondering, that’s still Nov. 4….

Setting the early voting calendar has become a tedious exercise in Ohio, subject to the political whims of the majority party. Republicans typically want a shorter early-voting window than Democrats do, and there’s no agreement where to draw the line.

That means it’s a judge who decides.

Earlier this year, the GOP-controlled Legislature eliminated “Golden Week,” a period when a voter can register and vote at the same time, and reduced the number of weeknight and weekend hours boards of elections offices would be open.

In effect, the law cut in-person voting from 35 days to 28 days.

Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked the law, restored Golden Week, ordered Secretary of State Jon Husted to start early voting on Sept. 30 instead of Oct. 7, and set the hours boards of elections would be required to be open.

Husted did that on Friday, adding 72 hours of early voting between Sept. 30 and Nov. 3….

Most voters, if not already confused, are at least miffed.

While no one’s opportunity to vote has been lost, and there will be ample opportunity to vote either early in-person, by mail, or on Nov. 4, continuing the back-and-forth could cause even more people to skip voting altogether.

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

___

The (Toledo) Blade, Sept.22

Gov. John Kasich is refusing to debate his Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald - a move that disrespects both the candidate and Ohio voters. Although Governor Kasich is comfortably ahead in the polls, he should still feel compelled to make a full case for his re-election.

Negotiations between the campaigns fell apart this week. A spokesman for Mr. Kasich’s campaign suggested that Mr. FitzGerald no longer had a campaign to run, because his party had removed financial support - a claim the Democratic nominee disputed.

Regardless of the disheveled state of Mr. FitzGerald’s campaign, though, Governor Kasich has a responsibility to voters to share a stage with his challenger while he defends his record. The last time Ohio voters were denied a gubernatorial debate was in 1978. State politics has increasingly been failing voters; the absence of a gubernatorial debate is further proof of a broken process…

Mr. FitzGerald argues correctly that voters deserve the opportunity to hear him challenge the governor directly about their policy differences. He acknowledges he won’t have much money to air campaign commercials.

Governor Kasich should reconsider his reluctance to debate. If he is as comfortable with his record as he claims to be, he should be willing to talk about it.

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

___

The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, Sept. 19

Just before this year’s anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, David Rothkopf, editor of Foreign Policy, wrote a thoughtful op-ed column about first responders. We should expand our definition of these heroes who run toward trouble as the rest of us run away from it, he wrote….

His expanded list of first responders includes health workers who are battling the Ebola virus in West Africa and journalists who are covering the Islamic State’s rampage through Syria.

We believe another group of people also belongs on that list….

During a safety drill Tuesday at Middlebury Academy in Summit County, a school bus began rolling backward down a hill, and a child tried to jump from the bus to the pavement. Police say that bus driver Laura Zborowski, who had been escorting about 40 children off and on the bus during the drill, pushed the 10-year-old girl out of the path of the bus.

Zborowski then tried to get on the empty bus to stop it, but she was dragged under it for about 40 feet.

The child was not hurt. Zborowski’s injuries were fatal….

Sometimes things can go very wrong. When this happened Tuesday, Laura Zborowski gave no thought to herself, only to the safety of another mother’s child.

If your child rides a school bus, this would be a good time to thank the driver. If not, say a prayer that school bus drivers everywhere will be kept safe as they look out for their young charges’ safety.

Online: https://bit.ly/1qmy5DY


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