By The Associated Press
Youngstown Vindicator. August 4, 2023.
Editorial: Plan to track Parkinson’s patients is commendable
Among the items in Ohio’s newly passed state budget is a requirement the Ohio Department of Health “establish and maintain a Parkinson’s disease registry for the collection and monitoring of the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in Ohio.” They’ve got two years to do it, but judging by concerns about the scant information available on the subject, it sounds as though officials should lose no time getting the ball rolling.
“There’s really no clear cut and dry number that says there’s X number of people in northeast Ohio that suffer from Parkinson’s disease,” Cathe Schwartz, CEO of nonprofit InMotion, which helps people manage Parkinson’s disease, told News 5 Cleveland. “If you can’t count, if you can’t measure the number of people out there with Parkinson’s, it’s really difficult to figure out what our next steps should be in terms of a cure, in terms of looking at causes, and in terms of helping people live with this disease.”
While there is a guess that nearly 30,000 Buckeye State residents are living with Parkinson’s disease, data about where those patients live is hard to come by.
“It’s not uniform across the country or regions,” Fred Discenzo, vice president of the Ohio Parkinson’s Foundation Northeast Region, told News 5 Cleveland. “There are pockets of increasing incidents and we don’t know why. It’s rapidly increasing across the country and worldwide and now Ohio is one of the leaders taking a look at what might be causing this and what are some regions or environmental factors causing this increase.”
Such information could prove vital as the search for ways to prevent and even cure Parkinson’s continues. Lawmakers are to be commended for including the requirement. Now it’s time for ODH to get to work.
Toledo Blade. July 31, 2023.
Editorial: Ranked-choice feared
State Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R., Bowling Green) has better things to do than try to pre-empt efforts by Ohio municipalities to conduct modest experiments in better ways to conduct local voting.
Ms. Gavarone seeks to block any local government from using “ranked-choice voting,” a process designed to promote candidates who have broad general support, rather than the most extreme candidates.
Ms. Gavarone plans to crush this legitimate venture into alternative election formats not only by banning it outright, which should be sufficient, but by cutting off the flow of dollars from the Ohio Local Government Fund to any municipality or county that uses “ranked-choice voting” instead of the current system.
Cutting off access to the Local Government Fund is a popular tactic of the Republican controlled General Assembly.
Toledo’s efforts to use red-light and speeding cameras to enforce compliance with traffic signals and speeding laws was stopped by a GOP law that cuts off Local Government Funds to communities that use those devices. It’s a misuse of the fund as leverage in an unrelated area of local government.
In ranked-choice voting, which is not used anywhere in Ohio but is being contemplated in the Cleveland suburb of University Heights, voters rank the candidates in order of preference.
If someone gets more than 50% as first choice in the first round, that candidate wins the election. If not, the ballots are counted in rounds with the last-place candidate eliminated and their votes redistributed to those voters’ second choices.
The process continues until a candidate reaches a 50% plus one majority.