April 8, 2024: This week’s editorials from Ohio newspapers


By The Associated Press

Toledo Blade. April 3, 2024.

Editorial: Why Ohio lags

While Ohio has been celebrating itself as the “silicon heartland” since Intel broke ground for a $20 billion semiconductor chip fabrication plant in Licking County, the state’s economic growth is six time less than the national average since Oct. 1, 2021.

Moreover the manufacturing sector of the economy — where Ohio is 50 percent bigger than the national average — has been in dramatic decline over that time. According to a data brief from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Ohio’s manufacturing output declined by 4.3 percent. Nationally, manufacturing held steady but showed no growth.

Ohio’s overall growth rate of 0.5 percent puts us 45th out of the 50 states and way behind Michigan’s 2.3 percent growth. With Intel’s production schedule in New Albany moving from 2025 to 2028, Ohio will not get much economic boost from semiconductors in the near future.

Meanwhile, the state’s infatuation with high-tech developments may soon cause a huge impediment to manufacturing job creation. PJM Interconnection, the electric grid operator for Ohio and 13 neighboring states warns of demand growth so significant that the grid may not be able to handle the volume.

There are many drivers of that demand but none more important in Ohio than data centers. These warehouses of computer networks holding digital information repositories create very few jobs but they consume 100 times more electricity than a typical industry. In Metro Columbus there are more than 50 of these energy hogs worth tens of billions of dollars.

Ohio’s utilities love data centers and the public corruption scandal that taints the Statehouse shows that what utilities want, utilities get in this state. At some point the illogic of using the utility grid’s limited capacity to facilitate the needs of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon will cause Ohio to miss out on major job generating manufacturing opportunities because of this constraint.

Residential consumers won’t have any option but to pay when state politicians want to solve capacity constraints by improving the electric grid. But manufacturers warned lawmakers they would not willingly subsidize utilities during the House Bill 6 debate.

Lawmakers didn’t listen then and have compounded our economic competitiveness weakness by taking no action on reform to attack corruption.

To companies making a large investment, corruption is a cost that is hard to quantify in business projections but understood to be a high risk to economic success.

Ohio’s utilities contribute just a third of the economic output of the manufacturing sector. The political establishment’s prioritization of the much smaller industry is testimony to the power of big campaign contributions.

There’s really no other explanation for public policy that favors utilities over manufacturers in Ohio when the two industries clash. Ohio is riding the wrong horse to politically driven decline.

As long as the nation’s economic growth is six times greater than Ohio’s share, young people will leave for opportunities in better governed states.


Marietta Times. April 6, 2024.

Editorial: No emergency

Friday morning, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s emergency operations center will be activated Sunday … in preparation for Monday’s eclipse.

On Tuesday, as horrific storms were raging across the Buckeye State, DeWine reminded listeners he had requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency … a week ago, because of the tornado that ravaged the Indian Lake region three weeks ago.

As of this writing he has not made a peep about what is happening to the communities under water along his state’s eastern border.

Across the Ohio River, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice didn’t lose a second declaring states of emergency — first in the counties affected by the storms and then those hit by flooding. Barbour, Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Wetzel and Wood counties joined Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln and Nicholas in the official state of emergency. For the Mountain State, that ensures “the allocation of necessary resources and expediting emergency response efforts. It allows state and local agencies to take swift and decisive actions to mitigate the impact of dangers in an effort to protect the lives and property of West Virginians.”

It cuts through red tape and lets the state support communities even as we are still assessing what we will face. It also sets the West Virginia National Guard into action.

Meanwhile nearly a dozen state agencies will have their time and attention monopolized as part of efforts to prepare for an eclipse that is overshadowing a real need in Appalachian Ohio. That’s an eclipse we’ve known was coming for years, which will affect the state for less than a day. What happened to the Ohio Valley crept up on us over a couple of days, and the effects will remain for months — perhaps even years.

Speaking Tuesday in Indian Lake, DeWine said “there is not a solid plan to help community members. However, he says he’s expecting within a two-week period Ohio could see some statewide assistance for a community that’s already suffering,” according to a report by Spectrum News.

Again, he is talking about a disaster that affected a relatively small section of the state, three weeks ago. (And, to be clear, it is shameful that those people are being made to wait so long for help.)

DeWine, lawmakers, agency heads and anyone else who could be part of opening up resources and assistance to the Ohio Valley must not delay any longer.

Yes, we are river communities. We understand how to recover from this, and we will. It is reprehensible that we don’t have assurance there will be help.


Sandusky Register. April 3, 2024.

Editorial: Charging up in Ohio

Ohio is on target to get about $140 million in federal funding to build electric vehicle charging stations across the state. It’s another example of the state getting the most it can from federal programs designed to bring federal tax dollars back home.

The main purpose of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program is to create a consistent and reliable nationwide network of fast charging to eliminate anxiety or the fear of running out of battery power without a place to charge.

“Fast chargers will be installed at least every 50 miles on interstates and major U.S. and state routes, giving EV drivers increased confidence in their ability to travel longer distances,” said Breanna Badanes, managing director of communications and policy for DriveOhio, an initiative to accelerate the growth of “smart vehicle” transportation in the state.

DriveOhio, through the $140 million in federal funding, plans to implement 23 EV charging stations in Ohio this year, with another 25 stations to follow. These stations are located at private businesses, Badanes said. Ohio’s Department of Transportation will release requests for proposals that businesses can respond to.

“This means, instead of purchasing land and/or equipment separately, we’re looking for a private site like a gas station or retail business to partner with a charging equipment provider to propose a station,” she said. “If a location is selected, 80% of the cost is covered by NEVI funds, and the remaining 20% match is contributed by the private proposer.”

State officials, including Gov. Mike DeWine and state transportation department director Jack Marchbanks, said they are actively working to install EV charging stations throughout Ohio.

“As more Ohioans adopt electric vehicles and the mix of automobiles on the road changes, we must ensure that our infrastructure is ready,” Marchbanks said.

In late 2023, as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, the governor’s office announced Ohio became the first state to break ground on building multiple EV charging stations.

“Fast chargers will be installed at least every 50 miles on interstates and major U.S. and state routes, giving EV drivers increased confidence in their ability to travel longer distances,” Badanes said.

One of the newest sets of charging stations to debut was at a Perkins Township car dealership.

Rob Mathews, general sales manager for Mathews Ford, 610 Perkins Ave., began its project to install EV chargers at the dealership in August 2022 and worked with local contractors to install the stations. The dealership debuted its charging stations on Feb. 12.

“We installed two level 3 180 kWh DC Fast Chargers with two ports each and two level 2 chargers with two ports each,” Mathews said. Level 3 chargers recharge vehicles quicker than level 2 chargers.

Badanes said that, like gas stations, EV stations require a cost to charge a vehicle, which is based on a price set by the operator and electricity used per kilowatt hour.

Mathews said that the dealership’s charging stations are open to the public and can be used by all makes and models of electric vehicles.


Youngstown Vindicator. April 3, 2024.

Editorial: Healthy eating should become trend in Ohio

When returning home from school, kids often sprint to the pantry for an after-school snack. It’s often the most prominent bag of chips, or those sweet and savory cookies. Actually, there are probably several boxes of Girl Scout cookies sitting in cabinets around the Valley at this very moment. Unless they have already been eaten.

However, Boardman Local School District food services director Natalie Winkle is out to change that trend, and she must be commended for her effort.

Winkle’s Tot Chef program, which teaches students good nutrition, kitchen safety and other basics, started about 10 years ago. It was paused for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was restarted recently after Winkle received a $2,500 grant she was awarded last May.

The classes are limited to 30 students per session, and Winkle conducts six-week programs for about an hour each week. Earlier this school year, 90 students from three elementary schools signed up for Winkle’s program. Talk about a popular attraction. We must commend both Winkle and the students for diving into a program that can establish building blocks for a healthy future. These types of healthy eating habits are sometimes forgotten among students in elementary school. Kids are always after the sweetest snacks, and this effort is an excellent way to combat that thought process.

In the program, students learn how to cut vegetables and prepare other types of snacks that benefit their growth and their health. Due to the enrollment for the program, it’s obviously popular throughout the district as well.

The exciting part about this program, however, is that it might just be the beginning.

When our reporter observed Winkle’s program late last week, six representatives from the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce and the United States Department of Agriculture did as well. They wanted to see the program in action.

They were so impressed that Rebecca Nadd, ODE’s farm-to-school specialist, said that she would like to see other schools across the state implement similar programs. This newspaper would as well!

Nadd went as far to say that the ODE is committed to supporting schools statewide that are interested in promoting educational programs in food preparation and agriculture.

We think that what Winkle has developed in the Boardman Local School District is something that can be replicated at several school districts throughout the Valley, and we encourage other schools to do so.

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of students. Eating healthy, learning how to cook safely and creating a sense of independence and ability to take care of oneself can go a long way in a child’s development. This program is one that checks so many boxes, and it shouldn’t be passed on.

We implore food service directors around the Valley to study what has been developed at Boardman and implement a similar program at your school. It can end up being a major benefit for your students.

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