The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, March 15
Secrecy doesn’t pay. That’s the prime lesson for local officials who for more than a year illegally resisted release of Cleveland’s full (failed) bid for a new Amazon headquarters until forced to do so by the Ohio Court of Claims, which rejected the city’s trade secrets argument.
The secrecy could be one reason Cleveland’s Amazon HQ2 bid didn’t even make the first cut despite its eye-popping incentive package, which we now know was worth more than $3.5 billion, including money from the city (including dollars from its recently enacted income-tax hike), from Cuyahoga County and from the state. The total was considerably more than Amazon was offered by Columbus, Ohio, which, unlike Cleveland, made it to the final round, and more than offered by either of the two winning sites, in Virginia and New York.
In refusing for more than a year to recognize their obligation to release the HQ2 bid, and by fighting so hard to prevent that release, our local officials wasted public money — and unnecessarily forced local media organizations to spend their own money to enforce the public’s right to know.
These are our records, the public’s records. It’s right that the public ultimately prevailed, but it’s discouraging and wrong that such a fight had to be waged.
— Online: https://bit.ly/2ugob2W
The Marietta Times, March 18
Democrats across the country should be worried about 2020, if U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is not considered liberal enough to be a viable candidate for the presidency, by the party’s current powers that be. At one point, Brown had what most would consider well-established credentials as a true-blue Democrat.
… For us, it means he has, indeed, been a liberal on many issues, but also had a reputation for fighting for working men and women. He understood what was traditionally important to Ohioans when he adopted the slogan “dignity of work” for his short campaign.
Average Americans are being overruled by far-left demagogues in the Democratic Party who have more interest in absurd promises like the “Green New Deal” than an actual shot at winning the presidency. Brown understands the “Green New Deal” or “Medicare for all” are simply not realistic, and rejected the ideas. Party leaders are allowing their enjoyment at the sound of their own voices to overshadow any hope of convincing voters who understand they have to live in the real world to give them another chance.
Because of that, it appears Brown will never have the opportunity of taking his more reasonable, though still liberal, case to voters.
— Online: https://bit.ly/2TLFkjS
The Columbus Dispatch, March 14
It is good to see the state of Ohio strive to help injured workers also avoid the added pain of opioid addiction.
That’s the intended outcome of a decision by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to no longer cover prescriptions for OxyContin, the highly addictive painkiller that has been fingered as the villain at the core of the nation’s opioid crisis. It makes sense for BWC to act consistently with the state’s push against the drug over which it sued manufacturer Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Connecticut, along with four other drug manufacturers.
For injured workers covered by BWC, opioid prescriptions fell 66 percent from 2011 to 2018, although more than 1,000 still take a form of OxyContin for their pain and will be gradually transitioned to other alternatives.
The health department said in its report on 2017 drug overdoses that the state is spending $1 billion a year to fight drug abuse and addiction.
That’s all the more reason for BWC to stop covering new OxyContin prescriptions effective June 1, when it will switch to a sustained-release version of oxycodone that is less susceptible to addiction.
— Online: https://bit.ly/2umAk6x
The News-Herald, March 16
What plans have you made to coincide with the arrival of spring?
While we’re on the subject, here’s another item you ought to consider adding to your spring to-do list: Make sure you’re prepared for severe weather events that could strike our region in the coming warm-weather months.
For example, do you have a family communication plan ready to deploy in the event of a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flood? This is crucial so all family members can connect with each other in case they are at different locations outside of the home when severe weather hits.
A good first step is to write down phone numbers of all family members or other people whom you’d want to contact in case of a weather emergency.
Another key part of an emergency communication plan is to appoint someone outside of the area to act as a central contact for a family and help everyone stay connected.
While spring does bring enjoyable things like flowers and baseball, it also ushers in a time of year during which severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash floods are most prevalent. So we encourage everyone to think now about being properly prepared for these kinds of severe weather incidents. Doing so could someday save the lives of you and your loved ones.
— Online: https://bit.ly/2TSRfvO