Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sept. 15
The epidemic of violence against women and girls is something we can no longer afford to ignore or be silent about.
One in 5 women will be raped in their lifetimes, and 1 in 4 college students will become the victim of sexual assault this year alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Women Helping Women.
WHW saw a 20 percent increase in the number of sexual assault survivors served throughout Greater Cincinnati last year, and has seen a 60 percent increase in the past three years. And those numbers reflect only the incidents that were reported. More than 90 percent of rapes never get reported to authorities.
Rape rates in Hamilton County are higher than the state and national averages, and Butler County ranks fifth out of Ohio’s 88 counties for sexual violence incidences, according to WHW.
Those are attention-grabbing and deeply troubling figures that signal the need for more substantive conversation and action.
Sexual assault is undoubtedly a sensitive and uncomfortable subject to talk about…
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Sept. 14
Public health officials say more than 670 pregnant women in the United States have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. At least 17 babies already have been born with microcephaly linked to the disease.
And the federal government, specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is nearly out of money to battle the virus and the mosquitoes that carry it.
Funding to combat Zika is tied up in political battles over unrelated disputes. Reportedly, congressional leaders worked last weekend to disentangle Zika money from other issues.
They and President Barack Obama should do just that— immediately.
Zika is a serious public health threat, not one of the many fads that so often consume taxpayers’ money…
Akron Beacon Journal, Sept. 17
Almost everyone in public education across Ohio understands the district report cards issued last week are “seriously flawed.” That was the accurate description applied by the Akron Area School Superintendent’s Association. Much of the problem stems from the state navigating a bumpy transition to higher standards and different proficiency tests, and in that, there is promise. Get to the other side, and the state will be in a stronger position, akin to such high academic performers as Massachusetts.
So, pay attention when Paolo DeMaria, the new state superintendent, argues the report cards belong in context.
What’s wrong with the report cards? This is the third consecutive year the state has adopted a new test. Thus, Ellen McWilliams-Woods, the Akron assistant superintendent, rightly told the Beacon Journal: “We’re comparing apples, oranges and bananas.”
True, too, applying tougher standards brings lower scores. State lawmakers thought letter grades for districts would add clarity. If anything, they have been bewildering in recent years, some districts going from A to F and back to A, or F to A and back to F. In this set of report cards, nearly half of the state’s districts experienced such an extreme swing…
Steubenville Herald-Star, Sept. 19
We hear the horror stories over and over again. A brutal crime is committed. After police make an arrest, it is revealed the perpetrator has been in trouble before for an act of violence. Within his community, no one knew.
Had they been aware of the man’s record— and yes, in such cases the offender almost always is a male —those around him might have taken precautions.
When sex crimes are involved, people living around the offenders do know, or at least have the ability to make themselves aware. In most states, online sex offender registries take care of that.
Ohio state Sens. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, and Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, wonder why something similar cannot be established for those convicted of violent crimes. They and other Buckeye State lawmakers are looking into the possibility of setting up such a program…