Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, June 25
Drunken driving isn’t just a danger on Ohio highways. Its waterways see too much drinking and driving – of boats.
That’s why the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is taking part in a National Dry Water campaign. It’s an effort to reduce the use of alcohol and drugs while operating watercraft. The campaign runs through Sunday and includes increasing patrols, checkpoints and breath-alcohol tests on waterways across the state,
There are additional “stressers” when out on a boat, officials say. Things like sun, wind, water and motion can impact the effects of alcohol on a person.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show alcohol use was the primary contributing factor in 260 recreational-boating accidents, 91 deaths and 228 injuries across the country last year. It was a contributing factor in 20 recreational-boating deaths in Ohio the past five years, including four deaths in 2015.
Boaters whose blood-alcohol level exceeds Ohio’s limit of .08 percent can face jail and fines, among other penalties.
So have fun on the water, but play it safe – and smart. Don’t drink and drive.
The Columbus Dispatch, June 26
A new federal report provides insight as to why this nation has a worsening overdose epidemic.
Nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries in 2015 received at least one prescription for commonly abused opioids, such as OxyContin and fentanyl, according to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That totals nearly 12 million people on the government insurance plan, costing $4.1 billion.
“This raises concerns about abuse,” said Miriam Anderson, who led the study. “This is a serious problem facing our country.”
Medicaid should take a page from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which created a pharmacy management program for the state’s injured workers and cut opioid dosages by 41 percent since 2011.
No one wants to see people live in pain, but this nation is sinking deeper into an opioid crisis; overdoses killed nearly 19,000 people in 2014. The Medicare report is alarming.
The Dayton Daily News, June 25
In the latest Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll, Gov. John R. Kasich drew a 58 percent job-approval rating among the Ohio voters polled.
But Quinnipiac found that governors in the other two swing states it assayed, Pennsylvania Democrat Tom Wolf and Florida Republican Rick Scott, are, politically speaking, “both under . water.”
Here’s a reason Kasich, a Republican, is politically successful in closely divided Ohio: He appears to think for himself, despite partisan pressures.
A few days before the Quinnipiac announcement, Kasich vetoed a bill every Republican in the Ohio General Assembly who was present had voted for; in contrast, every Democrat present voted against it. That is, Kasich – albeit, on very narrow grounds – sided, in effect, with Democrats…
Substitute Senate Bill 296 could have made it financially dangerous for someone to ask a judge to keep Election Day polling places open beyond the statewide 7:30 p.m. closing time…
But just maybe Kasich was upholding the (paramount) interests of Ohioans in the right to vote. And that’s a matter of fairness – and John Kasich’s perceived fairness, arguably, ornery independence, may be why a majority of the Ohioans Quinnipiac asked thinks its governor does a good job.
The Youngstown Vindicator, June 27
Little good can come from the geopolitical divorce of the century that played out last week in the United Kingdom when voters chose to sever their 43-year union with the bulk of the European continent.
The nasty separation bodes ill for Great Britain, the West and the world on economic, security, political and other fronts. For Americans, its adverse impact already has socked the U.S. financial markets and has potential to throw a dangerous curve ball into this year’s already topsy-turvy presidential election.
The decision by a narrow 52 percent to 48 percent majority of Britons last Thursday to break free of the 28-member-state European Union was fueled in large part by anger and frustration at the politics of the powerful international coalition representing 508 million people.
It wasn’t always that way. In 1973, Great Britain joined the European Economic Community, the forerunner of the EU that was created in 1957 as a means to muster up greater economic and political unity as a weapon to battle extreme nationalism that ravaged the continent during two 20th-century world wars. In recent years, however, nationalistic, isolationist and xenophobic currents increasingly have raised their ugly heads, fueling last week’s rupture…