Feb. 11, 2019 3:58 PM EST

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


The Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 10

Black History Month came about because traditional teaching of American history purposefully left out black people and their roles. African American scholar Carter G. Woodson came up with the idea of Negro History Week in 1926 because he feared the effect that void of knowledge could have on black youngsters: “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”

The same is true for any of us; ignorance of history robs us, not just of facts and understanding but of ideas and inspiration.

Of course, it would be preferable if there were no need for extra effort on African American history — if there hadn’t been centuries of its deliberate suppression. But there were centuries of deliberate suppression, and in the resulting ignorance, some Americans don’t see a problem.

As with so much of the public hostility in American life today, a healthy dose of humility could be a great help. If we all recognized how much we don’t know about each other and the world beyond our own experience, we might not be so quick to judge, disapprove and condemn.

Online: https://bit.ly/2GqGhr9


The Findlay Courier, Feb. 7

Last week’s order by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for better air monitoring at the Sunny Farms Landfill south of Fostoria was a welcome development for those who live in Seneca, Wyandot or Hancock counties.

Sunny Farms, a disposal for out-of-state trash, construction materials, demolition debris and specialty wastes that arrive by train, has been raising the ire of area residents for months, primarily because of smells emitting from the landfill.

The odor has been blamed on hydrogen sulfide, which can cause headaches, poor memory, tiredness and balance issues even with low exposure.

Depending on which way the wind blows, the rotten-egg like stink can extend from the landfill to Fostoria, Carey, Tiffin, Arcadia, Van Buren and beyond.

We would hope Sunny Farms management takes the high road and complies with the EPA orders long before any deadlines arrive. Doing so would show residents the company intends to be a better neighbor and that growing health concerns are being taken seriously.

Residents should not be alone in the watchdog effort. The EPA, area health departments and lawmakers all have a continuing duty to hold Sunny Farms accountable.

Online: https://bit.ly/2SJC9YK


The Vindicator, Feb. 9

The president called on Congress and the nation to unite behind a bold new initiative of his Department of Health and Human Services. That action plan challenges this country to completely wipe out all HIV and AIDS infections by the year 2030.

Knee-jerk reactors may cynically ask whether this is little more than pie-in-the-sky grandstanding from a president known to thrive on hyperbole. But no, Virginia, this initiative was not a product of a chief executive in search of a pleasantly populist sound bite in the nationally-televised address.

Its goal is to reduce new HIV infection rates by 75 percent within five years and by 90 percent within 10 years toward complete eradication of the disease that has claimed more than 700,000 American lives.

We also hope the president matches the magnitude of the HIV-elimination proposal with generous funding to support it in the 2020 fiscal year budget he will propose to Congress next month. Already, some skeptics point to a trend of decreasing financial support for AIDS initiatives from the federal government over the past two years as cause for concern over the viability of this new “Plan for America” mission.

Above all else, annihilation of the HIV virus in this country should be a mission that unites all of us, regardless of our political stripes.

Online: https://bit.ly/2E5DD7O


The Plain Dealer, Feb. 10

In one of his last acts as attorney general, now-Gov. Mike DeWine last month asked federal judges to block a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s outrageously gerrymandered congressional districts.

Republican DeWine, inaugurated Jan. 14 as governor, was mistaken to do so — and his motion appears moot for now, after the three federal judges hearing the case unanimously ruled Friday that the trial should go forward as planned on March 4. In part, they cited timeliness considerations because of approaching deadlines to plan for the 2020 presidential vote.

Ohio’s rigged districts need to be on the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda well before Ohioans vote in the November 2020 presidential election.

The 2011 map, signed by then-Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, chopped and channeled Ohio to concentrate, or pack, Democrats into as few districts as possible. Among the brazen examples: adding swathes of Greater Cleveland to a congressional district stripped along Lake Erie that includes Toledo.

But Ohioans have noses; they don’t need yardsticks to tell if something smells.

Maybe GOP bids to kill the lawsuit aim to keep this panel (two judges appointed by Democrats) from winding up with jurisdiction over the districts Ohio will draw in 2021. But such an effort to influence jurisdiction over Ohio’s post-2020 redistricting process is inappropriate.

Online: https://bit.ly/2GBBv9f