- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

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

The Columbus Dispatch, March 8

First ladies are not elected, but they often are nearly as influential as the president they are married to. Certainly this was the case with Nancy Reagan, who passed away at age 94 on Sunday.

In her 52-year marriage to Ronald Reagan, she was his best friend, strongest supporter and closest adviser. Initially, she was criticized for taking the traditional role of homemaker - redecorating the White House and buying expensive china - at a time when American women still were struggling to break out of traditional roles. But behind the scenes, she wielded significant influence not only within the White House but also in the wider world.

She was the one who pushed Reagan to acknowledge the AIDS crisis and to thaw relations with the Soviet Union.

Her “Just Say No” anti-drug slogan has become a part of the American vocabulary. After her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she became an advocate for families struggling with the affliction and for new treatments to treat the disease.

This also led her to become a champion of fetal stem-cell research, which she believed held the key to finding cures for Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases…

Hers was a remarkable story and a remarkable life. History will rank her among the most influential of presidential spouses.




The Sandusky Register, March 11

It’s always good to see, and it’s worth noting, when elected officials find a better approach.

Such is the case with the state’s capital improvements fund. That’s the money state lawmakers appropriate across 88 counties every two years for special projects.

When there is capital improvement money available, lawmakers put together wish lists in hopes of bringing state investments back to their local districts.

This year, state Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, and state Rep. Steve Ardnt, R-Port Clinton, teamed up to build a wish list that includes projects from both Erie and Ottawa counties, coordinating their efforts with agreement going into the negotiations.

“When you tell both the Senate and the House leadership there’s no difference between the two members and they know there’s collaboration, we think it increases our chances to be successful,” Gardner said.

Both Gardner’s and Arndt’s districts include Erie and Ottawa counties.

The projects they submitted are worthy indeed: Renovations to the historic Sandusky State Theatre; renovations to Milan Township Hall; and matching funds for the village of Marblehead for biking and hiking trails.

The capital improvement fund is funding that belongs to all Ohioans. We’re glad Ardnt and Gardner are fighting for our team.




The (Toledo) Blade, March 13

Relax, high school juniors: The College Board has rolled out the revised SAT, one of the key standardized tests in college admission, to make it less tricky, more straightforward - and altogether easier.

The goal of the redesign is “to make it much more like the work that kids are already doing in high school,” the CEO of the College Board said. The logic may be sound, but not everyone sees cause for celebration.

Critics lament what they call another softening of the American mind. The revision “dumbs down” the SAT, said a former education official in the George W. Bush administration.

Others see common business sense at work. The ACT test, also accepted by colleges, is gaining in popularity for being perceived as less confounding, and the College Board wants to regain market share…

The need for a more user-friendly SAT does seem to reflect a lower level of achievement across secondary education. Ask any college instructor of first-year students: The general level of preparation isn’t what it used to be.

The revised SAT seeks to measure students where they are. In any case, the results of a standardized test should be just one indicator among many of a college applicant’s worthiness.




The Marietta Times, March 9

With the field of contenders for the Republican nomination down to four (as of March 8), two of them have adopted a strategy that helped propel one, Donald Trump, to the lead. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have begun making the same sort of harsh, personal, sometimes vulgar attacks against Trump that he used to force several other candidates out of the race.

But one of the four has not stooped to that. He is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is gaining a reputation as being the adult in the race.

That is because he has refrained from the type of personal aggressiveness that in the past was seen more often in high school hallways than among candidates for the highest office in the land…

So Cruz and Rubio cannot be blamed, in a way. They are merely trying to fight fire with fire. Nor should Trump be censured, for that matter. Politics always has been a rough-and-tumble affair. Trump has merely found what may be this year’s winning formula.

But while the other three candidates trade verbal punches, Kasich in scores of personal appearances has stuck to the issues, laying out a thoughtful, detailed plan to move the nation forward and to defend us from our enemies…




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