Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 2
To watch the cruiser dash-cam video of Chicago police killing a 17-year-old is to know something wrong happened that evening. Yet officials fought the video’s release for 13 months before losing a court battle over it. They then condemned and indicted the officer on a first-degree murder charge the same day the video was released to the public…
Cincinnati and Ohio as a whole must ensure our law enforcement officials — police and prosecutors — are above such suspicion. Police video, captured by either cruiser or body cameras, is a public record and must be promptly released to the public. Prosecutors and police should not get to decide if and when the public will see the truth…
Open access to police video strengthens trust between the public and police departments, its ready availability a sign of accountability and good faith. When police or prosecutors decide to withhold certain video footage, as happened in Chicago, they endanger the public’s trust. Uncertainty breeds mistrust. Mistrust snaps crucial ties among police, prosecutors and the communities they serve….
Police are public servants. The public has the right to know what its police force is doing, so the public must have prompt and ready access to video that reveals in close detail the actions of law enforcement. Such access will strengthen its faith in those who ensure its law and order. Blocking or delaying access to police video erodes public trust.
The Lima News, Dec. 5
Government workers everywhere should be observing closely a federal case involving Wapakoneta.
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District rejected a legal filing by Fire Chief Kendall Krites and Safety Services Director William Rains in Wapakoneta, seeking to throw out a First Amendment retaliation claim by Tom Stinebaugh, a former Wapakoneta fire captain.
Stinebaugh sued the city, claiming he was unfairly terminated for voicing his opposition to three council members about Krites’ plans to purchase a replacement firetruck. In court documents, Krites blames the demotion and eventual firing after the January 2012 incident on his disobeying department rules.
The case will continue, the judges ruled …
We always urge government bodies to be vigilant in following the rules. We beg them to err on the side of sunshine, so the taxpayers can see what they’re doing and understand why.
Cases like this remind you of the dangers of anything that could even be perceived as persecuting someone who disagreed with you.
The appellate court’s decision is a victory for people in favor of free speech.
We need people voicing their opinion, especially when they disagree with the people in charge. Working for a governmental organization shouldn’t silence you from saying what you think is right or wrong. It’s up to the people elected to make the decision whether to heed your advice or not, not up to a supervisor to try to silence you…
Sandusky Register, Dec. 5
The world’s greatest inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, gets some recognition he is due with the statue of the son of Milan unveiled in Columbus last week.
The bronzed, life-size sculpture depicts Edison standing, holding his great light bulb above himself and looking forward, peering into the future.
There would be no iPhone without him, and Edison will survive all human history to be known as a man who changes the world. The statue wasn’t necessary, but Edison is a hero worthy of such an honor.
The next stop for the Edison is Washington, D.C., where it will be installed in National Statuary Hall collection at the U.S. Capitol Building, one of two statues of sons of Ohio.
It’s been a peoples’ effort from the start to honor Edison, with enormous support from residents in Milan. The support from our region and across the state earned his selection from among a fierce competitive slate of Ohioans that included Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
That same community spirit is still needed to get the Edison statue to the final destination and pay for the trip to Washington. As of Saturday about $2,000 had been raised toward remaining $35,000 needed.
The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Dec. 5
For more than 100 world leaders, the effects of global temperatures rising have reached a point where urgent action is needed…
President Barack Obama … admitted that the United States shared some of the blame for the environmental changes that have occurred due to human activity …
That mea culpa of sorts from the president was certain to raise the hackles of Republicans in Congress and Republican presidential candidates who have dismissed the White House’s position on climate change as fear-mongering…
There are several pieces of legislation making their way through the GOP-controlled Congress that are designed to block the Obama administration from proceeding with its initiatives…
With the climate-change battle lines long drawn between the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill, the latest clash comes as no surprise. Obama obviously knows that nothing he says or does will persuade the deniers of climate change that urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…
… with Republicans in Congress conveying a clear message that the agreement won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, the question of enactment looms large…
… the president’s best bet may lie with the private-public sector effort launched by billionaire Bill Gates and others and governments around the world to pursue alternate sources of energy. Billions of dollars in grants will be available.