Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Akron Beacon Journal, March 4
Deaths caused by heroin overdoses have risen to alarming proportions across Ohio, with local agencies and police departments straining to cope with the devastation. That has fueled an understandable sense of urgency to confront the problem and find solutions. Unfortunately, the state legislature is on the wrong track with its consideration of a bill that would increase criminal penalties for heroin possession…
What’s needed is a comprehensive approach that puts far more emphasis on prevention and treatment rather than harsh sentences. In that way, a better balance is achieved, counties currently lacking, if anything, adequate access to detox and treatment programs. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be a legislative priority. As pointed out by Kari Bloom of the state public defender’s office, legislative support for addiction services is insufficient.
Taking some dealers off the streets without resolving the underlying problem of addiction just leads to more frustration. Steering addicts into treatment instead of prison is not a sure thing. Increased education and awareness are key, too. At the same time, medical treatment and counseling are more promising than the path to expanded incarceration.
While it is tempting to believe that locking up more suppliers might prompt addicts to turn toward treatment and recovery, the spike in heroin deaths indicates otherwise…
The (Canton) Repository, March 4
In breathtaking fashion Thursday, the Republican Party’s most recent presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, stood before a throng of news cameras and reporters and lambasted the party’s current presidential front-runner Donald Trump, calling the bombastic reality television star and billionaire businessman a “phony” and a “fraud” who’s taken the American people for suckers…
Trump has enlivened an angry electorate with substance-free policies and a marketing catchphrase. But his rhetoric has been bigoted, misogynistic and nationalistic and his proposals so vague that many Republicans are now denouncing his candidacy. Romney, in an ultimate stroke of political panic, made a last-ditch effort to right the party ship.
At a rally in Portland, Maine, Trump countered with a brash and un-presidential response. “I don’t know what happened to him,” he said of Romney “You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement (in 2012). I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees.”
It was a sign that the Republican establishment has little hope of stopping Trump during the primaries and that they see him emerging with the most delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. The tactic now will likely be to ride out the storm by keeping Trump’s three remaining challengers in the race…
The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, March 5
The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case launched an outcry for changes to Pennsylvania’s law to remove the statute of limitations for victims to come forward.
The state’s laws remain unchanged…
We urge lawmakers not just in Pennsylvania but in Ohio and across the nation to seize the moment and eliminate any statute of limitations on sexual assault and abuse — particularly when it involves a minor. In Ohio, that statute of limitations is just 25 years for all sexual assault cases, whether the victim is a minor or adult…
In fact, many states have statutes of limitations on sexual assault cases — it is what has allowed Bill Cosby to avoid facing more charges despite the many, many women who say they were victims. Ohio last summer extended the statute of limitations from 20 to 25 years after a statewide backlog of rape test kits sparked outrage.
While the victims must live with the effects of the abuse for the rest of their lives, their attackers can avoid legal responsibility after a period of time.
How tragic and blatantly unfair…
Let’s finally do something more to protect our children from predators.
The (Lisbon) Morning Journal, March 3
Dozens of military intelligence analysts complained last year they were pressured to alter reports to make it look as if U.S. action against terrorist organizations was more successful than actually was the case. An investigation of that is proceeding.
But last week, members of Congress were told some U.S. Central Command personnel have been deleting emails and other computer files that might have been useful in the probe.
Obviously, that is very serious business. If a cover-up is in progress, it needs to be stopped and those involved should be punished.
But put yourself in the shoes of someone at CENTCOM, worried about computer files getting him or her in trouble. That person could very well reason their position in some ways resembles that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who clearly has lied and attempted to conceal electronic evidence in the probe of her handling of secret material.
If you are that CENTCOM staffer, you may note that Clinton’s crimes have not hurt her – she’s a leading candidate for president, after all. No one has even charged her with a crime. So if you are the CENTCOM staffer, it is perfectly understandable to conclude that – at least in the Obama administration – corruption involving national security is acceptable.