Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
Akron Beacon Journal, Sept. 30
Too fat for the death penalty. For many people around the globe, that is the essence of the argument made by Ronald Post, a 480-pound inmate on death row in Ohio set for execution early next year....Get beyond the guffaws about a man supposedly eating his way out of a lethal injection, and you arrive at a question that has vexed the state in recent years: How does Ohio appropriately, justly and humanely conduct the death penalty?...
Recall that in 2007, the state had trouble with the execution of Christopher Newton, 6-feet tall, 265 pounds. A procedure designed to take 20 minutes consumed two hours, as the execution team struggled to find veins for the required injections....
New attorneys for Post have put forward credible assessments from medical authorities about the potential troubles ahead. One expert explained at length the likely difficulties, from the lack of available veins to the inadequacies of the doses involved in lethal injection. The substantial risk is, the procedure won't work, requiring additional injections and other steps, perhaps covering as much as 16 hours, the state even coming close to torture....
The state must confront the real possibility that the execution of Post would become a spectacle.
The (Findlay) Courier, Sept. 28
New law which updates the state's five public pension programs is an example of how Ohio's government can work even during contentious times.
Gov. John Kasich signed bills this week that lawmakers believe will bolster pension systems for teachers, public employees, school employees, the State Highway Patrol, and police and fire.
Changes increase employee contributions, compute new final average salaries, require longer service, and reduce cost-of-living adjustments.
The bills basically incorporated plans proposed within the past three years by the various pension boards.
Some may argue the changes didn't go far enough or took too long to pass. But that any reform at all was achieved is encouraging. The most remarkable aspect was not the content of the complicated bills, but that they passed both the Senate and House nearly unanimously.
Getting Republicans and Democrats to agree on much of anything has been difficult since November, when voters soundly rejected Issue 2 (Senate Bill 5), which would have limited certain collective bargaining rights of public unions in Ohio.
Had that controversial bill not been repealed, Republicans likely would have plowed forward with more drastic pension reform measures. Instead, they worked with Democrats to make reasonable, long-term corrections to the pension plans without increasing the burden to taxpayers.
The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Sept. 30
We have criticized President Barack Obama in the past for what we perceive as his inclination to listen to Chicago area interests rather that the rest of the Great Lake states when it comes to aggressive action to keep the voracious Asian carp from establishing itself in the Great Lakes.
Nowhere are the Great Lakes more vulnerable to the carp making the jump from the Mississippi River, where it is already a destructive force, to Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes than canals linking the two at Chicago. During an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Obama said he has not ruled out hydrological separation of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes. That's a welcome acknowledgement that the welfare of the Great Lakes region could trump those parochial interests that are closest to Obama's heart....
(It's) an example of why presidents and presidential candidates should travel outside their national-press comfort zone and subject themselves to questions from regional newspapers....
After this week's first presidential debate, for which Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are now cramming, they would do well to schedule more meetings with regional papers where hitherto ignored questions are more likely to be asked.
The Ironton Tribune, Sept. 28
With just a little more than one month remaining before the Nov. 6 general election, it is more important than ever that voters pay attention to the information they're getting as well as the source that it comes from.
It is impossible to watch television or browse the Internet without being bombarded by political ads. Most citizens have been getting propaganda in the mail nearly each day. Chain letter e-mails spread like wildfire, often containing only half-truths and one-sided presentations of information that is taken out of context.
Of course the political campaigns themselves are doing their part to always put a positive spin out there for their candidate, and not just at the presidential level....
The point is, citizens must educate themselves and pay close attention to the information they're given, where it comes from and who stands to gain from it.
The truth is hidden somewhere in the political spin and propaganda, but voters will have to be smart in seeking it.