The Ohio Legislature has, in effect, given up democracy for Lent.

For the first time in Ohio history there will be no primary election day this fateful year, an action that will guarantee already dismal voter participation rates to sink much deeper into the abyss of political silence.

Only a small fraction of those registered voted early, and no where near the numbers of voters who traditionally show up on election day will vote by mail. So, there is no way that this year's primary election results will express the real will of the people, an undemocratic outcome which favors entrenched power and political business as usual, just the opposite of what is really needed in this time of unprecedented crisis.

An election postponed until the coronavirus pandemic passes would have been vastly superior to an illegitimate one.

Werner Lange, Newton Falls

UAW should reject tentative contract (11/20/2019)

General Motors Lordstown, in a coma induced by corporate greed since March, has now been declared dead by a tentative contract reached after a monthlong national strike by the UAW.

The key word in this gross injustice is "tentative." The deal sacrificing GM Lordstown and two other plants on a barbaric altar of outright avarice cannot and must not stand. Not only does the tentative agreement close GM plants leaving workers' families and surrounding communities devastated, it continues the unfair two-tier workforce system leaving grossly underpaid temporary part-time workers vulnerable to massive layoffs before gaining full-time status. Moreover, the modest projected wage increases barely keep pace with inflation and do next to nothing to overcome the 16 percent decline in real wages suffered by autoworkers since the $50 billion bailout of GM by taxpayers.

This is no way to end the proud legacy of workplace excellence at GM Lordstown, the economic engine of our hard-pressed community and a gold mine of enormous profits stemming from the hard work and great sacrifices of UAW members. The moral imperative of reciprocity demands that those profits be returned to labor instead of concentrated in the bulging portfolios of vulture capital. Justice demands a rejection of this sellout contract and its immediate replacement with one that resurrects GM Lordstown and restores equity to the workforce.


Newton Falls

Electric vehicle could save local GM plant (12/2/2018)

The GM Cruze (2010-2019) was never allowed to reach puberty, but its successor in name, GM Cruise, promises to live and thrive for decades to come.

The future clearly is with zero emissions autonomous vehicle, GM Cruise, and by 2023 GM intends to have at least 20 all-electric models on the market globally. There is absolutely no good reason why the Home of the Cruze in Lordstown cannot be completely remodeled to make way at least for one of these new models, and why idled UAW members cannot be immediately retrained to produce the cars of the future in Lordstown.

In the meantime, someone needs to inform the Trump administration that his stupid threats to remove subsidies for all-electric vehicles is killing our only viable option for a resurrection of GM Lordstown.


Newton Falls

Stop Mother Earth frackers (7/22/18)

The recent toxic gas leak by ProFrac and resultant community evacuation in Girard should be a wake-up call for us all.

Everything about fracking is inherently toxic, including the propaganda supporting this imminent and growing danger to our environment and public health. Agreeing with this critical assessment are some 7,000 voters caught in the belly of this beast in Ohio's 6th Congressional District who voted for my anti-fracking candidacy this year.

More citizens need to join the enlightenment and stop these invasive frackers in their polluted tracks. What is happening throughout Appalachian Ohio, including our community, with the wholesale invasion of out-of-state profit-hungry fracking industries could not be worse if an avaricious alien force had taken over and systematically depleted our natural resources; poisoned our water wells and aquifers; prostituted our elected officials; ruined our roads; contaminated our lakes; destroyed our public forests; and harmed our health, leaving a path of destruction and despair when finished raping mother earth for their pleasure and profit.


Newton Falls

The 50th anniversary of the MLK's murder (3/15/2018)


As the 50th anniversary of the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King came and passed, the grave social problems of racism, poverty and war tragically remain. But there is renewed hope these vicious social sins also will pass.

In late March, thousands of America's youth gathered in Washington to demonstrate their determination to overcome gun violence. In early April, thousands of America's clergy and laity gathered at the same place on the National Mall to demand an end to racism, America's original sin.

I joined Ohio's delegation at this impressive Unite Against Racism rally called by the National Council of Churches in Christ, and heard MLK's prophetic messages echoed passionately by a new generation of religious leaders, black and white, filled with righteous anger at the pernicious persistence of institutionalized racism in our nation which today still holds more blacks in prison than there were blacks in slavery in a thankfully bygone era.

A persistent refrain of this interfaith gathering in the capital of our nation under God was the prophetic call to finally "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-lasting stream."

To that, all American patriots say, "Amen." So be it.


Newton Falls