- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

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

The (Canton) Repository, Jan. 16

On Jan. 16, we celebrate the life of a man, a preacher, an activist and the greatest civil rights leader of our time.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is both a time of service and a time to pay tribute. It also offers an opportunity to examine ourselves, individually and collectively as a nation.

What do we see when we look in the mirror?

Staring back at us might be the face of a country mired in tremendous political, social, cultural and economic upheaval. We might see a country where the playing field is not yet equal for all. We might see a country that, despite being founded on religious liberty, has seen a major uptick in hate crimes against religious groups over the past year. We also might see a country in which fear, mistrust and anger still divide law enforcement and minority communities.

After one of the most bitter presidential elections in this nation’s history, it is imperative we find common ground. As outgoing President Barack Obama said during his farewell speech last week, “… laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change.”

Indeed, we can work to end discrimination and inequality, but we are also obliged to see the world through one another’s eyes, to echo the president. We must embrace diversity and inclusiveness…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2jBznR4

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The Blade, Jan. 15

Things are coming together for Toledo right now. The downtown, thanks to ProMedica and the 22nd Century Committee, is taking off. The news that Fiat Chrysler is expanding its presence here and will be investing millions in new capacity is like manna from heaven.

America needs manufacturing. Americans need to make things. It’s in our DNA.

But we also need a balanced economy. And that means we must invest in the new economy of cities as well as the manufacturing sector. That, in turn, means “eds and meds”- higher education and specialized research hospitals.

The middle class in America depends on manufacturing. And we must have it in our country- Ford, GM, Apple, Carrier, Toyota, Whirlpool.

But cities also need economic diversity. The so called “legacy cities” that spearheaded the nation’s industrial boom must lead the next century in higher education and medicine.

On the op-?ed page today, Brian O’Neill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette makes the case that Pittsburgh has soared because it has two great universities- the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. Pitt, of course, also has an internationally recognized medical school and hospital. Jonas Salk taught at Pitt when he developed the polio vaccine, and Pitt has only gotten bigger and better in medicine since…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2jBGnNG

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The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Jan. 13

Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation as president in much the same way he embraced America eight years ago when he took the oath of office- with eloquence, grace and an unyielding faith in the greatness of this country and its people.

Indeed, his reaffirmation of the principles of democracy that set us apart from the rest of the world was timely and necessary, given the deep political divisions that exist today stemming from the highly contentious presidential election that saw political newcomer Republican Donald Trump defeat veteran politician Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Even the president’s harshest critics would have to concede- if they’re honest -that when it comes to stirring the soul of this nation, there are few better than Barack Obama.

His address last Tuesday night in the cavernous McCormick Place arena in Chicago before a standing-room-only crowd of 20,000 formally capped his historic eight-year tenure as the first African-American leader of the free world.

That speech, much like his first inaugural address in the subzero temperatures on the National Mall eight years ago, fused stirring imagery, apt metaphors and passionate pleas. It rightly included a mixed bag of reminiscences of positive changes his administration delivered to the nation and a strong and selfless appeal to hope and action among all citizens to achieve ongoing progress in the years ahead…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2jrl2Jk

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The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Jan. 13

Surely, Ohio legislators can do the same thing for the state’s congressional districts that they did for themselves in 2015- find a more nonpartisan method of redistricting in reaction to population changes.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly reportedly have little interest in the idea, however. State Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, has expressed concern about weakening lawmakers’ power over the process.

But the way legislators do things now clearly allows the political party in power to gerrymander congressional districts in order to keep sending members of its party to Washington. That may sound like a good idea for Republicans who control the General Assembly now, but what about the future when, inevitably, Democrats at some point will win legislative majorities?

Legislative district lines will be drawn in the future through a system adopted in 2015. It has drawn praise for being a bipartisan process, more aligned with serving people and communities than with helping politicians.

Buckeye State congressional districts will have to be redrawn again after the 2020 Census is conducted. That may seem like plenty of time for state officials to hash out a new method of redistricting, but given the partisan maneuvering that no doubt will accompany the process, four years or so may be no more than adequate…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2iDK72J

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