The (Findlay) Courier, July 13

Gov. John Kasich likely didn’t make many new friends in the ag community when he signed an executive order this week that could eventually lead to increased regulations on fertilizer.

But in calling for certain northwestern Ohio rivers and creeks, including our own Blanchard River and Eagle Creek, to be labeled “distressed watersheds,” Kasich may have forced the nutrient pollution issue to be dealt with more aggressively — something that has been needed for some time.

Many people, including Kasich, who leaves office at year’s end, have been calling for a tougher approach to fighting toxic algae for several years, but state lawmakers have been slow to act. As a result, the health of Lake Erie continues to suffer.

On the other hand, it may take much more than the governor’s command to move the nutrient pollution needle. The Grand Lake St. Mary’s watershed has been on the distressed list for five years, and nutrient levels there have not significantly dropped.

Kasich was right to light the fire that renews the discussion and forces the hand of lawmakers to take corrective action to reduce nutrient loading in Lake Erie.

Everyone, not just farmers, needs to take ownership of the problem. Being labeled distressed is depressing, but should motivate us to stop the denial and work to find a solution.


The Canton Repository, July 13

Much of the world watched as 12 young soccer players from Thailand and their team’s assistant coach spent 17 harrowing days trapped in a cave. Many people feared the worst when news of the players missing first circulated, and as reports of the complex rescue mission filtered out, it seemed rescuing all 13 people alive would be impossible.

Look no further than the parents of the young boys who were trapped. They handled one of the most stressful situations a parent could be handed with dignity, class and remarkable restraint. They handled it with kindness. Their response represents the way many world leaders would be wise to emulate. In our country its almost expected parents will look out for and worry about their own children first and foremost, so even the best among us can take note of how to handle a difficult situation with grace.

Yes, there is plenty to be learned from the Thai parents. They remained in solidarity throughout their children’s ordeal, amid the angst of waiting to find out if their little boys would make it out of a cave alive.

As rescuers brought out the boys over three days, the parents still remained together. They weren’t informed, and seemingly didn’t care to know, which kids were heading to the surface. They were, in essence, one group of players and one group of parents — none more important than any other and with hearts big enough for forgiveness in their most trying days.