Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
Sandusky Register, June 19
Some people object to the mere suggestion a community change its local ordinances to allow marijuana grow facilities. Other people have a fierce opposition.
It just makes sense to us, however, that communities would consider changing local laws to allow medicinal medical marijuana centers. Ohio lawmakers changed state laws, last year, to not only allow it, but license and regulate it.
For local leaders, the question is not a moral one the way some people have framed it. That's an antiquated point of view that likely never was quite right, but it's understandable it exists.
"The burning weed with its roots in hell," is one voice-over description for it in the 1936 anti-marijuana film "Reefer Madness," among others. The use of marijuana would lead to "debauchery, violence, murder, suicide and the ultimate end for a marijuana addict: hopeless insanity."
Make no mistake, there are dangers that exist for the recreational abuse of marijuana. But obviously its reputation has come a long way since then, from demon weed to medicinal miracle.
Leaders in Sandusky, Huron, Oak Harbor and other communities aren't making a moral judgment about marijuana, and they aren't voting for pot dispensaries.
What they are doing is considering changes to local law to allow for grow centers are the jobs this new industry could bring. We're glad the common sense that represents appears to be winning out over an artificial argument about morality.
Akron Beacon Journal, June 18
Wall Street went too far, and the country paid a heavy price. Many areas still have not recovered entirely from the deep recession that the financial industry helped to fuel and aggravated. In the aftermath, Congress and the Obama White House responded effectively. Whatever its flaws, the Dodd-Frank Act represents a marked improvement in oversight and regulation of banking and related sectors.
Which makes the Financial CHOICE Act, recently approved by the U.S. House, such a misguided piece of legislation. It would reverse many of the Dodd-Frank advances, leaving the country more exposed to the risk and excesses that proved so harmful.
To a degree, the opposition to the stronger regulation has been hard to follow. The tea party got its start cudgeling the bank bailouts. Dodd-Frank makes such bailouts far less likely. Yet Republicans don't call for making precise and necessary repairs. They condemn the act for its overreach.
Consider what House Republicans would do. They want to weaken significantly the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a tool for seeing the big picture and assessing systemic risk, a missing element as the financial crisis approached. They would repeal the Volcker Rule, inviting banks and affiliates to speculate again with government-insured deposits.
A key challenge has been designing a mechanism to prevent huge bailouts. Dodd-Frank launched the Orderly Liquidation Authority, permitting regulators to wind down failing banks. House Republicans would abandon the concept. They would send financial institutions to bankruptcy court, an impractical step, to say the least, when swift, coordinated action is required. ...
... No question, Dodd-Frank needs some fixes, especially in the regulation of community banks. These banks do not pose a systemic risk. Thus, there is room for easing stress tests and other requirements.
Unfortunately, the Financial CHOICE Act signals lessons unlearned. As a Brookings Institution analysis recently noted, bank credit growth has been solid, outside the still aching residential mortgage sector. Dodd-Frank has worked in the main. An impulse to deregulate risks a return to trouble, when the country lacked the guardrails to protect against Wall Street inflicting such harm.
The Lima News, June 17
A shooter who opened fire on Republican lawmakers and staff during an early morning baseball practice Wednesday shows how volatile the political climate has become across America. ...
Had it not been for the quick reaction and heroism of Capitol police officers, who were able to gun down the shooter after being wounded themselves, we could be writing about a massacre today.
As is, five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, 51, the third-ranking Republican in the House. He was shot in the hip. A former and current congressional staff aide were also shot along with the two U.S. Capitol police officers.
Some Republicans told the Associated Press none of this should be surprising. ...
... Democrats, meanwhile, blame the continuous bully tone coming from the White House as the reasons for the deep divisions and emotion. Only a day before the shooting, they say Trump labeled congressional Democrats as "obstructionists." They also cite his demeaning comments about women. ...
... What no one can argue about is the leadership Trump displayed as he found himself playing "healer in chief" on what was supposed to be a quiet 71st birthday. Shortly after learning of the shooting, Trump wisely huddled with Vice President Mike Pence in the West Wing to make sure the administration issued the proper response.
What followed was a somber four-minute address in which the president called for national unity.
"We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country," Trump said. ...
The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, June 18
As we watch the Spire Institute saga play out, with negotiations stalled and likely a game of foreclosure chicken on the horizon, the only word that comes to mind is disappointing.
It is disappointing something started with good intentions from someone who has done and invested much in the community — Ron Clutter poured millions of his own money into the project to get it off the ground — has devolved into a bitter point of contention.
It's disappointing that, while we're sure it was never the intention to harm local businesses, many contractors took deep, and in some cases debilitating, hits when various vendors and contractors were not paid what and when they should have been during construction — leaving wounds in the community that have definitely not fully healed.
It's disappointing that the intended halo effect of Spire, with millions of dollars' worth of hotels, housing, restaurants and amenities popping up in Harpersfield Township and the surrounding areas, has not yet come to pass.
It's disappointing that what should be a slam dunk victory for Geneva Area City Schools when it comes to accessing state-of-the-art athletic facilities has not worked as intended.
Mostly, however, it's disappointing that what should be a shared, community vision for a nationally recognized attraction has been lost in the fog of the facility's past and future tax burden. ...
... Spire officials and the school board must come back to the table, and not under the gun with foreclosure proceedings hanging in the air. And certainly, having Spire circumvent the will of the community by going around the school board via the Legislature would make a tense situation even more untenable.
Forming the managing authority in a way that enables long-term sustainability is the most important thing going forward. These are not easy questions, but to preserve a great community asset and what should be a shared vision, they must be answered.