Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Toledo) Blade, April 24
No offense to cab drivers, but airline pilots should earn more than they do. Right now, many don’t.
Uber drivers in New York City make $90,000 a year, while first-year pilots for regional carriers earn an average of $22,400. A pilot with a family could be on food stamps or working two jobs. A once-glamorous profession, commercial aviation has been battered by terrorism, poor management, and cost cutting.
After losing billions of dollars in the decade after 9/?11, the fortunes of U.S. airlines are improving. They collected $7.3 billion in profit last year, thanks to lower fuel costs. Instead of giving passengers more snacks, they should invest in their safety with better pay for pilots.
Pilot compensation has declined 10 percent since 2000, even as the training required of pilots has increased, along with its cost. The Federal Aviation Administration now requires pilots on commercial airliners to have 1,500 hours of flying experience, up from 250. The cost of obtaining those hours, plus a four-year aviation degree, exceeds $100,000.
While seasoned captains at major airlines earn more than that, more than half of the flights in the United States are through regional carriers. With their comparably dismal pay, a lot of men and women in the cockpit worry not just about wing icing, but also how to pay their heating bills…
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, April 24
Should the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 - and who fired the bullet that eventually killed Reagan’s press secretary, Jim Brady - be released? A federal court hearing began April 22 in Washington, D.C., to decide the fate of John W. Hinckley Jr., now 59. The court has already granted Hinckley 17 days a month with his mother in her gated community overlooking a golf course in Virginia…
The Washington Post reports that among 35 conditions sought by prosecutors in case Hinckley is released are creation of a Plan B should family members not be able to care for Hinckley; more structure and accountability in Hinckley’s treatment plan; and that he wear a monitoring ankle bracelet…
Yet, as prosecutors note, Hinckley is not just any citizen. He is the attempted assassin of a president. He shot four people, wounding one critically. Regardless of what his doctors think or the conditions the prosecutor seeks, is he one mental snap away from a return of dangerous psychosis and aggression? Or, is his notoriety unfairly impeding his ability to return to a semi-normal life as allowed under his not guilty by reason of insanity verdict, now that experts attest the psychosis that drove his actions in 1981 has receded?…
The (Findlay) Courier, April 22
There is much still to sort out before the Legislature approves the two-year budget and sends it to Gov. John Kasich…
Ohio voters have grown accustomed to receiving absentee ballot applications at their homes, and an increasing number now vote absentee instead of at a polling place. About 6.6 million absentee ballot applications were mailed to eligible residents in advance of last year’s general election, and in the last presidential election, in 2012, 6.9 million were mailed.
Clearly, absentee voting is here to stay. It helps reduce lines at the polls and provides an important voting option. Eyes will be on Ohio, a swing state, during next year’s presidential election, and it’s important the election goes smoothly. Providing absentee ballots to those who want them will help.
The mailing of applications should be a regularly-funded part of elections in Ohio. The secretary of state should not have to beg for money every time there is an election…
The Newark Advocate, April 25
The ongoing assault by Ohio Republican lawmakers on public records laws and those who fight for citizen access to records shows no signs of slowing down…
Earlier this year, (Ohio Auditor Dave) Yost began offering “Sunshine Audits” to complement a relatively new mediation program operated by the Ohio Attorney General’s office to help citizens resolve differences with local governments over records.
If that process is unsuccessful or the complaint involves a state agency, residents or organizations can request a review by Yost’s Open Government Unit. After reviewing the matter, Yost’s team would issue a non-binding ruling and could cite any agency failing to meet the law.
While it’s way too early to see if Yost’s efforts will truly help, Ohio remains one of a few states without a meaningful way to resolve records disputes without litigation, according to the Ohio Newspaper Association, which strongly opposed the GOP proposal…
Perhaps there’s a better way to resolve disputes outside the courts. There are plenty of examples of such programs in other states worthy of deeper study. But we applaud Yost and Attorney General Mike DeWine for trying to help citizens acquire public records as required by law…
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