The Youngstown Vindicator, July 24
It’s premature to declare victory as Congress works to protect the Great Lakes from President Donald Trump’s proposed elimination of $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but action taken last week by the House Appropriations Committee is encouraging.
By a 30-21 vote, the committee restored $300 million for the GLRI to the budget. Many of the “no” votes such as that of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, weren’t opposed to the $300 million restoration, but to other cuts made to Environmental Protection Agency funding.
But seven years of aggressive efforts to undo decades of abuse suffered by the lakes is only a start. Continued funding is needed to protect the lakes against invasive species, to restore wildlife habitats, to clean up watersheds polluted by Rust Belt industries in the past and agricultural runoff today.
The Great Lakes are an underappreciated asset, both for the region and the neighborhood. The day will come when people – perhaps even President Trump – realize that if the goal is to manufacture things in the United States, the place to do it is in the Great Lakes Region. Water is our most important natural resource.
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, July 22
Chris Spielman, the storied linebacker who played for the famed football factories of Massillon High School, Ohio State University and (briefly) the Cleveland Browns, has fired the latest salvo aimed at disintegrating the one-way relationship between the bureaucrats who rule bigtime college football and the players who make their jobs possible.
Furthermore, it can (and should) be argued that student athletes already benefit from scholarships, from the chance to get a valuable college degree and, for those who might be heading toward a professional career, from the pre-professional sports development support and training they get, particularly in elite college programs, such as OSU’s.
But the OSU banner controversy highlights today’s reality that elite student athletes also help make money — big money — for their collegiate institutions, and for the NCAA itself. There are ways to conceive of compensation, both from college athletic and tournament earnings, and from outside sources — for instance, from endorsements or for off-season play, as suggested in a 1994 Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal article — that could help level the playing field.
The Lima News, July 21
The discussion about “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics has nothing to do about the controversy surrounding the planned death of a fetus. It has everything to do with your First Amendment rights.
That’s something a federal court judge in Louisville and council members in Toledo ought to really think about before proceeding.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is pretty clear about not making laws “abridging the freedom of speech.” It also is pretty clear about the “right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
As long as the “sidewalk counselors,” as the Citizens for Community Values likes to call the protesters, are standing on public property and not physically injuring people using the services of these facilities, the government should frankly stay out of it.
Even if you don’t agree with their protests, you should protect their right to protest. Once you take away their right to be there, you’re giving the government permission to take away your right to protest whatever injustices you see in the world.
The Canton Repository, July 23
Stark State’s decision to explore offering select four-year degrees is clear-eyed and purposeful. Simply put, it’s about meeting the needs of the community and its workforce.
Stark County already has three private and one public university that offer four-year degrees — and that’s not counting the access area students have to bachelor’s degree programs at the University of Akron to the north. It would make little sense for Stark State to explore the option “in a broad way,” as President Para Jones stated last week.
The focus is on filling a need, rather than being duplicative. The college’s board of trustees approved a resolution Wednesday that allows for the first steps to be taken toward developing applied bachelor’s degree programs. As The Canton Repository’s Kelli Weir reported, the state budget bill enabled Stark State and Ohio’s 22 other community colleges to implement applied bachelor’s degree programs, which are an extension of the associate degree programs offered at the two-year universities.
While any program must meet the highest educational standards, we’d urge the state to look at ways to fast-track approval of programs identified as in-demand. We’re asking for efficiency, not corner-cutting.