Editorials from around Ohio
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 27
The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission is supposed to look out for all Ohioans by making sure Ohio’s precious natural resources aren’t squandered. Those resources include, prominently, Lake Erie, a state jewel.
Instead, by hastily shelving Gov. John Kasich’s recent executive order aimed at reducing the farm runoff feeding the lake’s destructive toxic algal blooms, the commission has shown itself beholden to farm interests at the expense of its own mandate and the state’s future.
The commission, which is not scheduled to meet again until Nov. 1, must reverse its short-sighted July 19 stall, supposedly done to study Kasich’s July 11 executive order, and it must do so soon, if necessary, via an emergency meeting.
Kasich’s order also gives the Agriculture Department the power to implement any crackdown, assuring a careful review by an agency tasked generally with keeping Ohio’s multibillion-dollar agricultural sector thriving and happy.
The commission should move forward, too. It needs to convene soon to confirm Kasich’s distressed watersheds designation.
The Canton Repository, July 28
Here’s the news no one is supposed to know because, well, apparently, it’s a big secret: There’s a special election on the Aug. 7 ballot!
Some who are against the upcoming school safety and mental health levy, Issue 1, are basing their opposition on the mistaken belief the Stark County Educational Service Center and member districts seeking its passage deliberately are hiding information from voters.
In Stark County, eight school-age kids died by suicide in the first three months of this year. In no other Ohio county did that number exceed two. In 71 of the 88 counties, the number was zero.
At Akron Children’s Hospital alone, it is estimated more than 5,400 “patient encounters” — mental health actions to assess and treat kids age 13 to 17 from a Stark County ESC school — will occur in 2018, based on the number already recorded in the first five months of the calendar year. If the total matches projections, it would represent a nearly 276 percent increase from 2017.
Passage of Issue 1 would help to address students’ mental health issues proactively, by putting in place the clinically trained professionals missing from many districts altogether and from every district in the numbers needed to make a wide-scale difference.
The Vindicator, July 29
During the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald J. Trump embraced a simple and straightforward political strategy: Tell the people what they want to hear.
Thus, Trump told autoworkers in the Mahoning Valley he would boost domestic production of cars, SUVs and trucks; promised coal miners in West Virginia he would revive the failing mining industry; told former steelworkers in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties he would resurrect the huge steel mills that once dotted the banks of the Mahoning River; assured white Americans that their economic pain was caused by immigrants sneaking into this country and stealing their jobs; and, he told all Americans that unfair trade practices were the reason this country’s imports were far outstripping exports.
Coal is no longer king. More than 250 coal-fired plants have been retired since 2010, and dozens of others will be closed next year.
The U.S. now generates more electricity from natural gas than coal.
The Trump administration is turning a blind eye to this reality and instead is arguing that coal production is needed for national security reasons.
President Trump, who received significant support from this predominantly Democratic region, needs to hear that message.
The Blade, July 29
The International Monetary Fund warned this week that inflation in Venezuela may hit 1 million percent by the end of the year. If its estimates are correct, it would mean that the country’s economy has shrunk by half since 2013.
Think about that: Half its annual income will have disappeared in half a decade. This from the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world.
Bad fortune befalls many nations. But in the case of Venezuela, the cause is clear — namely, two decades of chronic mismanagement and creeping authoritarianism from a government that was first led by Hugo Chavez and now continues under his successor, Nicolas Maduro.
Despite this, Mr. Maduro — who was re-elected during May in a poll deemed illegitimate by multiple groups, including the Lima Group of Latin American nations, Canada, the U.S., and the EU — continues to persist with his deluded agenda and his attempts to blame the U.S. for Venezuela’s problems.
Economic crises precede human crises, which in turn precede security crises. If the horrific suffering in Venezuela is not alone reason enough to act, then the threat of what might follow should be.