- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

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

The (Canton) Repository, May 29

Ensuring children’s safety requires stricter rules.

In Ohio, police officers cannot enforce the most basic safety precaution - wearing a seat belt - unless a driver has committed another infraction first. That must change.

Consider this: In 34 states failing to wear a seat belt is a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over by police for that reason alone. Ohio is not one of them. Nor is Ohio among the handful of states to draw a distinction between adults and children when it comes to enforcing safety belt laws, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association…

Drivers and their passengers should buckle up - regardless of what the law says. Some situations, though, aren’t as clear cut. Providing police proper enforcement powers, as Senate Bill 44 would do, could go a long way toward ensuring the safety of our children. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, would make it a primary offense for children younger than 15 to be unrestrained. A similar bill in the Ohio House would do the same, but only up until age 8. The senate bill is clearly the better of the two, but it could be strengthened by including anyone younger than 18…

Online:

https://bit.ly/1dGFUGr

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The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 30

Ohio students and teachers will get a taste of relief next year from hours and hours of tests. There’s still more work to be done, however, to thoughtfully relieve their overtesting burden.

The governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, a coalition of which Ohio is a member, voted to cut tests by a whole 90 minutes and shrink testing windows during the year from two to one.

That’s a good start - a good set of changes. But they hardly go far enough. Between state and local tests, some students will still face more than 20 hours of testing, including tests not required to evaluate application of the PARCC Common Core standards.

Still, the incremental approach is far superior to the burn-it-down approach approved recently by House lawmakers. They voted overwhelmingly to ditch the PARCC tests, without specifying what would replace them…

There’s no question the PARCC test rollout was a rocky one. But the Common Core standards remain essential to ensure Ohio students graduate prepared to compete with their peers elsewhere in the United States and internationally. It’s critical the state get a clear idea of how well its new standards are being taught.

Online:

https://cin.ci/1GRuGtR

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The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, May 28

The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking, mile-deep, 277-mile-long chasm in the Arizona landscape, 18 miles at its widest part. It took six million years to create, exposing more than two billion years of rock strata…

Heretofore, hiking, rafting the river or a helicopter ride have been the only ways in - and out. That has kept the numbers down and the canyon’s spectacular vistas largely pristine.

But recently, a Scottsdale, Ariz., developer has been working with some leaders of the Navajo Nation to change that. The Navajos own the land to the east of the national park boundary, at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers, and the proposal is to build a $1 billion tourist mecca that would dramatically alter the nature of the canyon and its rivers…

It takes little imagination to envision the irreparable damage that such an influx of people and resulting water demands, trash and pollution would do to a place that has been federally protected since President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument in 1908.

One can be simultaneously sympathetic to the desire of the Navajos to generate revenue and jobs, and appalled at the idea of marring an irreplaceable global treasure…

Online:

https://bit.ly/1SQsojE

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The Columbus Dispatch, May 29

When the Rolling Stones take the stage before 60,000 fans in Ohio Stadium on Saturday night, they’ll kick off more than a show drenched in rock-and-roll history.

Their 193-by-75-foot stage will be a launching pad for Ohio State University vice president and athletic director Gene Smith’s latest mission: making better use of the university’s most iconic asset.

It’s an idea both sensible and exciting: Sensible, because the stadium represents an enormous investment, enhanced by the major renovation in 2001, plus recent tweaks to boost seating capacity and upgrade the video-display board. Using it only for seven or eight football games in the fall, plus spring commencement and a handful of other events - don’t forget the occasional national-championship bash! - makes little sense …

Opening the ‘Shoe to concerts and other events will create more reasons and opportunities for people to go there.

For acts appearing in the stadium, the venue adds value and prestige to the event.

Smith’s plans to liven up the stadium’s schedule is part of his new role as vice president, in which he’s in charge of all of the university’s sports and entertainment venues as well as the Athletics Department …

Online:

https://bit.ly/1LWYEfv

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