- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

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

The (Toledo) Blade, July 27

Services such as Uber and Lyft, smart-phone applications that match riders with local drivers, often at prices far below those of taxis, help millions of Americans to save money and enjoy a wider selection of products and services.

These innovations offer real benefits to consumers and workers, yet policy makers haven’t figured out how best to regulate them to meet these goals. Business leaders are quick to suggest they don’t need regulation at all. But all industries need fair rules to protect their employees and customers …

Labor regulations dictate that workers should be considered employees if, among other factors, a company relies on their labor for most of its economic gain. That’s certainly the case with Uber, which gains all of its revenue from rider fares and related services …

Policy makers need to ensure that business have an environment in which to thrive, but protecting consumers and workers is just as important. That means requiring drivers to register with a central regulator, mandating independent background checks, and taking other safety precautions.

… Appropriate regulation doesn’t just protect customers and employees from potential harm. It also makes the economy work for everyone - not just those at the top.

Online:

https://bit.ly/1D5DHQf

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The Canton Repository, July 26

… One of the most alarming trends of Ohio’s heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic and high infant mortality rate is the increasing number of babies born addicted to drugs. Cases of babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, or drug withdrawal, shot up an alarming 750 percent in Ohio over the last decade …

… The added burden of a drug addiction can turn this special time into a nightmare for both mother and child. The stakes are too high for expectant mothers to battle drug addiction alone.

No mother wants to see their newborn baby suffering from the frantic crying and nausea or the lack of eating and sleeping that neonatal abstinence syndrome brings. Yet, too many worry about the consequences of seeking help or believe they’ll be prevented from accessing the treatment they need. The longer they wait, though, the worse off they and their baby will be. And kicking a heroin or opiate addiction cold turkey can be fatal to an unborn baby.

Late last year, the state invested $10 million into recovery houses for drug addicts, a response to the heroin epidemic. Steering even more money to programs like those offered at Deliverance House could help to slow this unfortunate trend …

Online:

https://bit.ly/1D1YFzC

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The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, July 26

Donald Trump is the politically unhinged train wreck equivalent of the Kardashians.

National news media executives understand the clickbait appeal of big booties and big mouths swinging around in public.

They also enjoy the fact that Trump has chosen to identify as a Republican …

Trump is correct when he excoriates the national media for bowing to his every taunt, every slur and every unintelligible word salad dressed with the occasional structured sentence …

He is a creature trained to deliver memorable soundbites with less depth and more sting than any other reality show performer. He writes the headlines and the punchlines, relieving reporters of heady research into actual policy fragments articulated by otherwise serious candidates …

Trump is wealthier than any of the other wealthy candidates and he likes to spread the loot around when he can profit promotionally.

He’s getting a lot of free press right now while media executives prepare to send their reps to his staff with advertising contracts in hand.

If he stays in the race, there will come a time when Trump’s team will have to start writing checks for the kind of attention he’s getting now and the media execs know it …

Online:

https://bit.ly/1IncLaH

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The (Youngstown) Vindicator, July 27

The heroin trade today clearly ranks among the most lucrative growth industries in our region, state and nation. The fundamental microeconomics law of supply and demand demonstrates that the industry, if left unchecked, will not slow its meteoric rise anytime soon.

On the demand side, the Ohio Department of Health estimates the number of heroin addicts in the Buckeye State at more than 200,000 and growing. That roughly equals the total number of men, women and children in Mahoning or Trumbull county.

On the supply side, despite a series of recent highly publicized busts in the Mahoning Valley, drug dealers are like roaches. Even amid aggressive efforts to crush them, they rise again and multiply to plague public health and safety.

… In the long term, the glorified culture of acquiring prestige and riches associated with pushing smack must be quashed. That culture, according to Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees, is akin to attainment of advanced educational degrees. With their first arrest, pushers earn their high school diploma, he said. With arrest No. 2, they receive their bachelor’s degree, and every subsequent arrest is another rung on the ladder of “higher education,” Lees said.

Replacing those riches and bling with retribution and the brig have begun to crack at the edges of the anguishing heroin epidemic gripping our community and country …

Online:

https://bit.ly/1U29ZQr

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