Editorials From Around Ohio

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

The (Youngstown) Vindicator, April 6

Welcome developments on state and national fronts recently will fortify the arsenal of weaponry to successfully fight the war on heroin in the United States and in the Mahoning Valley.

In Columbus last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law that will allow friends and family members of addicts permission to administer the drug naloxone, a life-saving antidote to the chilling and too often deadly effects of heroin and other opiates.

In Washington last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a convenient tool to administer naloxone. The device called Evzio rapidly delivers a single dose of naloxone via a hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a nearby medicine cabinet.

Naloxone has rightly earned the “wonder drug” label because it rapidly reverses the effects of opioid abuse and has become the standard treatment for overdose. However, existing naloxone drugs and policies require administration via syringe and only by trained medical personnel….

To be effective, however, friends and family members of known opiate abusers must be proactive. That means they must arm themselves with the easily injectable Evzio, carefully read the instructions for its proper administration and realize that it must be followed up with a prompt call to emergency medical authorities. Responsibly doing so will go far toward lessening the escalating and anguishing death toll from the national scourge of opiate abuse.

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The Lima News, March 31

Military police at Joint System Manufacturing Center said all they were trying to do was protect the facility from terrorism when they confiscated a camera belonging to a Toledo Blade photographer and deleted some of its images.

Their actions leave us wondering who is going to protect U.S. citizens from the military police….

Blade reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser said they were outside the facility near the driveway entrance when they were stopped and detained by military police. They were released more than an hour later, but the camera wasn’t returned for another seven hours, and that only happened after U.S. Sen. Rob Portman intervened. All the photographs that Fraser had taken of the facility were deleted when the camera was returned.

We don’t know if the MPs were simply following procedure when they detained the journalists and pilfered their camera. What we can tell you, however, is their actions defied common sense and were something one might expect to happen in places such as Russia or China, but not the United States.

Linkhorn and Fraser were wearing Blade and news media credentials at the time. The MPs went as far as placing Fraser in handcuffs when she initially refused to provide her driver’s license, noting she was not the person driving the vehicle. Shortly after questioning the two journalists, the military police confirmed their employment with the Blade….

It’s inconceivable to imagine taking a photo of the plant from along Buckeye Road could put America in harm’s way.

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The Ironton Tribune, April 6

When looking at the political climate over at least the past 20 years, it is difficult to say that special interest groups have not had an impact on the outcomes of various races at the national and state level.

This took another step this week when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to change the limits on contributions made to candidates at a federal level, parties and political action committees (PACs).

In the long-term outlook, this decision is troubling and could ultimately promote the agenda of a few more than the whole….

In the short-term, the ruling should not have an immediate impact on Ohio unless the current state laws are changed unexpectedly, but this sets up an interesting proposition for state lawmakers the next time they sit down to look at contribution limits.

The current Ohio contribution limits will be in place until February 2015.

One could view this as a win for those on the right, but make no mistake those on both sides will use this decision to their full advantage.

It is important for everyone to have free speech and the ability to voice their opinions, but no one’s voice, especially those coming in with an outside interest or large wallets, should have a louder voice than other citizens of the United States or a particular state.

Unfortunately, all this does in the end is continue diminishing the overall confidence citizens have in lawmakers, the government and the political process.

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The Columbus Dispatch, April 7, 2014

While Ohio lawmakers fail to take steps to hold charter schools more accountable for how they use millions of dollars in tax money, evidence mounts that this lax approach yields bad results.

Chiefly, the law allows charter-school boards to contract with for-profit management companies to run the schools and includes too few restrictions on those relationships — restrictions that would protect the public and the state treasury from exploitation. Among the most outrageous omissions is that those private management companies, which sometimes are contracted to receive more than 90 percent of a school’s tax revenue, are not required to tell the public much about how they spend the money….

Now, a recent investigation by reporters from the Akron Beacon-Journal and a consortium of northeast Ohio journalism schools has found that most charter schools fail to meet their most basic public-disclosure obligations. Reporters or students called 294 of the 393 charter schools in operation at the time of the investigation, and three-fourths of them failed to provide basic information requested by the callers….

The results weren’t encouraging. More than a third — 114 schools — simply didn’t reply to voicemail messages; eight refused to answer anything and seven said they would call back but didn’t . Seventy-three provided some of the information and 80 provided all that was requested.

Ohioans deserve better from organizations spending public money and entrusted with a critically important public service.

By failing to fix Ohio’s flawed charter-school system, state lawmakers provide fuel to those who seek to eliminate school choice altogether.

Online: http://bit.ly/Or5zW1

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