- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

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

The Columbus Dispatch, April 4

Depending on which side one stands, the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement is either a way to punish Israel for its treatment of Palestinians through economic and political pressure, or it’s an anti-Semitic campaign to demonize America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East.

But one thing the BDS movement is not: a legitimate vehicle for deciding how a public university should spend tax dollars. Universities should not get involved in political battles over how their dollars should be invested and spent. It’s not their money: A sizeable amount of public-university funding comes from taxpayers, either through direct state support or through federal student loans, tuition grants and research dollars.

Yet, Ohio campuses have become awash in the national debate over BDS. Student governments at Ohio State and Capital universities in March considered resolutions on opposite sides of the issue. The pro-Israel side prevailed in both votes.

The decision on whether university dollars should be used to isolate and punish an international ally does not belong on the Oval at Ohio State University. It belongs in the halls of the Congress or state legislature, where elected officials who represent people who pay the taxes that support higher education can hold hearings, consider expert testimony and weigh the financial, economic, political and social consequences…

Online:

https://bit.ly/1PQy9s6

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The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, April 1

Cyber terrorism- for profit, not twisted ideology -has become a clear and present danger to Americans. If there is a cohesive strategy to defeat it, it is not working.

Last week, hackers crippled computer networks at several hospitals in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The facilities are owned by MedStar Health Inc., which would not comment on whether the attackers demanded money.

Fortunately, backup systems- including paper patient records -were adequate to keep harm from coming to those being treated at the hospitals.

Just a few weeks ago, a similar attack shut down computers at a California hospital until officials there paid the $17,000 demanded by the hackers. Again, no patients suffered harm.

But unless some means of blocking such attacks is found, it will be only a matter of time until cyber assaults against health care providers escalate- and someone dies as a result.

Neither private nor government computer systems are secure against such invasions. Though there are some safeguards to avoid data loss, there appear to be few failsafe methods of blocking temporary shutdowns and theft of information…

Online:

https://bit.ly/1W5Vpdf

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The Akron Beacon Journal, April 3

For the third time in recent years, John Kasich is proposing a needed change in state law to protect Ohioans’ health- lowering the amount of lead allowed in plumbing fixtures. In 2014 and again last year, state lawmakers unwisely resisted the governor’s effort to bring Ohio law into line with federal rules, which define “lead free” in new construction at a maximum of 0.25 percent. State law now defines “lead free” as up to 8 percent.

As part of its mid-biennium review, the Kasich team also is pushing to go beyond federal standards when it comes to alerting homeowners if tests show unacceptable levels of lead in their water. It wants to implement education programs for all water customers in a system which has a lead problem. Instead of 30 days to alert homeowners, water systems would have just two business days.

A public information campaign would be required within 30 days instead of 60 days. Moreover, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency would be permitted to impose penalties.

In addition, the proposed package would set tighter testing requirements, mandatory corrosion control studies in certain situations, such as a change in water source, and financial assistance to schools and local communities for lead prevention efforts…

Online:

https://bit.ly/1ovqkSH

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The Salem News, April 1

President Barack Obama recently warned that Republican senators risk damaging the Supreme Court nomination process “beyond repair” if they continue to reject action on his nominee for the high court.

In an op-ed article published in a Houston newspaper, Obama claims the GOP action “betray(s) the vision of our founding.”

Baloney. All of it- and the president knows that.

In 2006, while in the Senate, Obama himself used a filibuster in a vain attempt to block a Republican president’s Supreme Court nomination. It did not work; Justice Samuel Alito eventually won a place on the court.

And Obama, who once was a professor of constitutional law, also knows- or should -that the nation’s founders were very careful in crafting the process by which high court justices are appointed. They gave the Senate wide latitude in blocking presidents’ nominees, simply to ensure no chief executive could abuse the process.

In terms of betraying the vision of our founding, Obama has done more than any president in recent history. His use of executive orders, sometimes breaking laws his administration demanded Congress enact, has been breathtaking in its audacity and sweep…

Online:

https://bit.ly/200kmXH

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