Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Canton Repository, April 28
Homeownership is synonymous with the American dream. It indicates a person’s commitment to an area and their confidence in its future. It’s a reflection of the strength of the local economy, educational opportunities and the overall quality of life.
That dream was dashed for millions of Americans when the housing bubble burst nearly a decade ago. Homeowners were forced into foreclosure, home values plummeted, home construction and remodeling screeched to a halt, and the upward mobility of others was stifled. There was nowhere else for the housing market to go but up.
The rebound has been slow and steady. Locally, momentum has supplanted sluggishness.
Local and state experts term it a “recovery” and, even more encouragingly, say the housing market is a “solid, long-term investment.” …
Still, it’s a fair bet that this positive trend will continue. That’s why anyone with jitters should rest at ease. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re looking to upsize or upgrade what you’re in now, you shouldn’t hesitate to explore what’s out there.
While we recognize that many challenges remain and believe policymakers can do more to put the economy on firmer footing, we also believe there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the local housing market.
Akron Beacon Journal, April 28
The settlement of the federal lawsuit involving the shooting death of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old, by Cleveland police officers brings closure to one part of the still-unfolding effort to contend thoughtfully with a tragedy like so many that have happened elsewhere across Ohio and the country. The mood around the announcement was appropriately somber. Mayor Frank Jackson reiterated his deep regret, rightly stressing that the shooting “should not have happened.” …
The agreement avoided what surely would have been a lengthy, bitter trial over allegations of carelessness by police officers and dispatchers. While there was no admission of wrongdoing, the dollar amount reflects the deep, systemic problems within the police department …
In the wake of the settlement, Mayor Jackson reminded that the two officers may yet face misdemeanor charges, such as dereliction of duty or negligent homicide. His comment that the shooting should not have happened points to the larger task at hand, turning around an entire department, something in which all of Northeast Ohio has a stake. That means an emphasis on improved training for all officers, every step taken to prevent another incident like the killing of Tamir Rice.
The Courier of Findlay, April 27
It appears to be only a matter of time before body cameras become a routine part of police work. So it only makes sense that uniform rules guide their use.
House Bill 407, now before the Local Government Committee, would require any police agency that adds bodycams to adopt a written policy about how they will be used and to train officers to comply with the policy …
The bill may be a good starting point, but it doesn’t go far enough.
Instead of allowing individual agencies to set their own rules, which could allow wide variances from agency to agency, lawmakers should set minimum standards for camera use based on advice from interested parties, and a study of body camera policies and laws already in place elsewhere …
Such a vetting occurred last year before an advisory panel recommended uniform use of deadly force guidelines for Ohio police agencies. By 2017, every agency will have to show their policies meet or exceed the state guideline …
Every police agency will have to weigh the pros and cons of body cameras, as well as the costs. While their use shouldn’t be mandated, lawmakers or an advisory panel should set the standards soon for those who see the benefit.
The Marietta Times, April 29
“Common Sense,” written by one of the founding fathers, Thomas Paine, was something of a handbook for American colonists thinking of forming a new government in 1776. One wonders whether any publication by that name would sell today.
Yet another example of a culture at risk of allowing bureaucracy to run our lives was provided last week.
It seems members of a middle school choir from North Carolina were visiting the National Sept. 11 memorial in New York City last week. They began to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Stop, a security guard ordered the children. Musical performances are not permitted at the memorial, he explained.
Obviously, the city-linked foundation managing the memorial put that rule in place to keep New York’s many street musicians from interfering with the solemn atmosphere. But kids singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”? That should have been a no-brainer. Let them sing.
Too often, bureaucratic rules and political correctness are permitted to banish common sense of the type that should have been displayed when the youngsters burst into song.
Common sense? Isn’t that a violation of some rule, somewhere?