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Editorials from around Ohio
Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Monday, November 4, 2013 9:24 AM EST
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
Allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on German leader Angela Merkel, the latest revelation in the ongoing Edward Snowden saga, has grabbed headlines and prompted angry denunciations in the press.
The most troublesome disclosure over the past several months, though, remains the fact that the NSA has been spying on millions of Americans without just cause — a violation of privacy and liberty.
Certainly, reports that the United States has been spying on leaders of closely allied nations raises a number of concerns. In a critical editorial, The New York Times referred to such spying undermining "the trust of allies and their willingness to share the kind of confidential information needed to thwart terrorism and other threats." It also poses a general risk to the reputation of the United States and makes President Barack Obama — who either didn't know about the spying or who signed off on the years-long surveillance, depending on whom one believes — look incompetent, out of the loop, or both.
The larger issue, though, remains the NSA's overreach into the lives of average citizens....
Calls from both sides of the aisle to rein in the NSA have gathered steam. On Tuesday, a bill backed by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. and one of the authors of the original Patriot Act, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., was introduced, proposing to put a stop to the bulk collection of communications data from Americans by the NSA.
Warren Tribune Chronicle, Nov. 4
The overwhelming majority of public school teachers in Ohio are good men and women who are dedicated to educating children. But as with any profession, there are a few bad apples.
Finding them and doing something about them — with emphasis on ensuring misdeeds do not harm children — is the mission of the state education department's Office of Professional Conduct.
During the past few years, the agency's workload has increased dramatically. During 2005, the office handled 4,770 referrals in cases of possible misconduct by public school personnel. But last year, the number was 8,068.
Although the 2012 total was down slightly from 2011, the unmistakable trend has been upward. That should concern Buckeye State residents.
Teacher misconduct can involve a variety of actions, ranging from mishandling money on up to harming children. Most cases referred to the state do not involve harm to students.
State officials say the higher numbers are for a variety of reasons and do not necessarily reflect increased misbehavior by educators. For example, changes in background check rules and in the number of criminal offenses, even those outside school, requiring action against teachers were cited....
In some ways, it appears getting away with misconduct is much more difficult for an educator in Ohio. That is a good thing. Clearly, however, officials at both the local and state levels have some work to do to make the system less susceptible to mistakes.
The Plain Dealer, Nov. 3
A misconceived Republican bill that would make it harder for third parties, such as the Libertarian Party or Green Party, to get on Ohio's ballot has stalled at the Statehouse.
That's the good news.
The bad news: A Senate-House conference committee could retool Senate Bill 193 to ease its passage later this year, when Ohioans are distracted preparing for holidays or bracing for winter.
Federal courts ruled last decade that Ohio made it too hard for third parties to get on the ballot. Legislators never passed a replacement law, so court orders form today's legal framework for third parties. Supposedly, Senate Bill 193 would fill a void. But if the status quo is a problem, someone needs to tell third parties....
That suggests that, at best, Senate Bill 193 is a solution searching for a problem, except that it's hardly that innocent, according to Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Kent Democrat knowledgeable about election law. The bill, Clyde said, could "trample on the ballot-access rights of Ohioans." Some House Republicans evidently agree. Seven — including several conservatives — joined all 39 House Democrats to vote against the bill.
Timing is also a problem. Ohio's 2014 campaigns are under way. Republican Gov. John Kasich is in good shape politically. But not all Republicans are happy he expanded Medicaid. In 2010, Kasich won the governorship by just 77,127 votes....Making it harder for third parties to reach Ohio's ballot could benefit Kasich....
As Senate Bill 193 now stands, it's a partisan Republican subterfuge costumed, amateurishly, as a reform. But the bill itself is what requires reform.
The (Tiffin) Adveritiser-Tribune
For very good reasons, public schools have strict policies on administering medications to students. Most do not allow educators to give children any medicine that has not been provided by parents and authorized by them in writing.
A common-sense exception to the rules should be approved in Ohio. It could save young lives.
In a few states, there have been reports of children suffering allergic reactions while in school - and dying before health care professionals could save them. The deaths could have been avoided had schools been equipped with EpiPens, which are easy-to-use devices to administer epinephrine to people whose bodies go into shock because of allergies.
A bill in the Ohio House of Representatives (HB 296) would authorize trained school personnel to keep epinephrine on hand and administer it to children whose allergies send them into life-threatening shock.
Clearly, the bill should be enacted immediately. Thus far, we have heard of no allergy related deaths in Ohio schools. Getting HB 296 into law could keep it that way.