- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

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

The Dayton Daily News, March 27

It may not be something most people think about as they drive around day to day, but Dayton’s urban fabric has been indelibly changed by the two highways that criss-cross downtown: Interstate 75 and U.S. 35.

I-75 sliced off Roberts Drive from downtown and led to the bulldozing of a wide boulevard of elegant mansions.

U.S. 35 cut a two-mile-long swath through the densest part of Dayton, dividing neighborhoods in half as it collected and disgorged cross-town commuters.

As I-75 nears the completion of millions of dollars of upgrades, we should think twice about the Ohio Department of Transportation’s current proposal, still awaiting funding, to streamline U.S. 35.

Let’s think instead about how to remove it…

There are many hurdles to removing or altering U.S. 35 - cost, political inertia, the coordination between city, county, and state that would be needed, re-routing trucking and other constituents of the freeway. But fundamentally, the benefits would outweigh the costs. There is no better-situated land in Dayton on which to consider new development. There is no other opportunity to build a new street from scratch, a modern street with a sense of place, designed from the start to support walking, biking, and safe vehicular traffic.

After 60 years, it’s time to rethink U.S. 35.

Online:

https://bit.ly/1pURDYb

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The Marietta Times, March 23

People who have reason to hope their native land will become less repressive do not risk their lives in small boats on the Atlantic Ocean, in the hope of better lives in the United States. One wonders if that occurred to President Barack Obama as he was planning his trip to Cuba this week.

On Friday, a cruise ship about 130 miles off the Florida coast rescued 18 severely dehydrated people from a 30-foot boat. They were Cubans who had fled their country in an attempt to come here. Nine people died on the trip.

Earlier last week, the Coast Guard picked up 42 Cubans in two small boats in the Florida Straits. They were returned to Cuba.

Obama has said one of the primary reasons he is trying to “normalize” U.S. relations with Cuba is so that country’s regime will ease repression against its own people. But it appears that since Obama announced that move last year, there has been little if any decrease in attempts by Cubans to escape their island prison.

Does Obama have a “Plan B” if Cubans are not granted more freedom? Probably not, as is the case with so many of his schemes.

Online:

https://bit.ly/1VQ6YoV

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The Newark Advocate, March 27

It’s back before Newark City Council and remains just as challenging and controversial.

We’re speaking about a new effort to revoke the city of Newark’s breed specific legislation, a law that automatically declares all pit bulls are vicious animals unless they have formal training and pass a good citizenship test…

A year ago, council narrowly rejected an effort by 3rd Ward Republican Councilman Jeff Rath to stop automatically classifying pit bulls as vicious, a move that would place Newark more in line with state law which focuses on a dog’s behavior, not breed…

Following the November election, it now appears a council vote could flip in Rath’s favor.

You may recall pit bull owners flocked to council last year in support of Rath’s proposal, arguing pit bulls were no more likely to attack people than any other breed. On Monday, a few opponents showed up, claiming pit bulls are vicious dogs based on their experiences. Council also received several letters opposing the change.

We can see both sides of this argument, and we certainly don’t want to do anything that makes the public less safe.

But we’re far from convinced that the current breed specific legislation accomplishes anything other than producing a false sense of security. Nor are we convinced there are enough attacks by pit bulls to justify this law.

Online:

https://ohne.ws/21PjLHC

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The (Toledo) Blade, March 28

The proceedings of a United Nations war crimes court that judged former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic were imperfect, but justice is never perfect. The verdict was right.

Karadzic, 70, was the top leader during the Bosnian civil war in 1992-1995, which claimed an estimated 100,000 dead - the worst war crimes since World War II. It unleashed the massacre of thousands of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica; the slaughter by shelling of the civilians of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the use of a new and barbarous term: “ethnic cleansing.” The term means the deliberate, permanent exclusion or elimination of an ethnic or religious group by military force.

Orthodox Christian Serbs, Roman Catholic Croats, and Muslims lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the most culturally diverse part of the former Yugoslavia. They coexisted under dictator Josip Broz Tito, but with the rise of nationalism after his death and Yugoslavia’s break-up, Bosnia-Herzegovina exploded.

The Serbs caused the most damage in the war, and Mr. Karadjic led them in their atrocities. He was demagogic, ruthless, and utterly without conscience. It is a tribute to international justice that he was tried and convicted of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in The Hague. His sentence of 40 years could not possibly be enough. But it is a consolation.

Online:

https://bit.ly/1Shgxrh

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