Recent anti-abortion letters, “Real front for war on women” and “Abortion rules protect women,” published July 30, really made me think.
Suppose Honda had a bad model, and it was recalled. Should we make a law forcing Honda to close? Or how about a law that would close every automaker in the state?
If there is a business, any business, that violates a law, you do what the law requires — give them a chance to get up to code, and, if not, shut them down.
Right now, getting an abortion is not only a right protected by the U.S. Supreme Court, but also safer than a penicillin injection. Where’s the danger? There is virtually none, only outrage at something legal that one group doesn’t like.
Because only one party is seeking to pass laws against women’s health, it is indeed a Republican war on women. Forcing clinics to close that have no violations except ones invented by changing the law is, well, a war on women. If you make restrictions that drive a business out just because you do not like the business, that is a war.
If you do not like abortion, do not have one. If you do not like alcohol, do not drink. If you do not like tobacco, don’t smoke.
I neither smoke nor drink, but am not at war with anyone who chooses to do so. I don’t think they are wise decisions, but they are legal, and those who choose them should be able to do so unfettered by my or anyone else’s dislike.
The GOP war on women is frighteningly and very real. And one wonders, what other groups will the GOP declare war on next?
Old, poor and minority voters, maybe, under the myth of voter integrity? Looks like several states have already started that one, too.
For a party that claims not to want Big Brother, it sure seeks to be Big Brother by inserting itself into medicine and between a woman and her physician. That’s a real war.
Republicans shouldn’t deny others the right to an abortion, and then say they are not at war with them.
Richard J. Kunkel
at the university
Amen to Bob Dyer’s Aug. 11 column, “Graduation stats at UA horrendous.” For far too long, the University of Akron has gotten away with unsavory practices under the cover of “economic investment”: bloated administrative salaries and double-dipping, financial aid policies that allow underprepared and vulnerable students to acquire thousands of dollars in debt without degrees to show for it, and a reliance on poorly paid and even more poorly treated adjunct faculty to teach two-thirds of general education classes.
The university is one of the worst offenders in Ohio, but the trend at almost all institutions of higher education is toward a coarsening of what should be a life-changing experience and the pursuit of mindless economic growth that benefits college administrators at the expense of students and their parents, faculty and staff.
When U.S. incomes have remained largely stagnant over the last 20 years but tuition has increased by more than 130 percent, it is past time for the public to demand to know exactly what they are getting for their education dollars.
Editor’s note: Bruce is a member of the Ohio Part-time Faculty Association and a former adjunct faculty member at the University of Akron.
Deer in search of food
I am writing in response to an Aug. 8 letter “Don’t blame the deer,” about the National Park Service’s plan to reduce the density of deer with sharpshooters in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The National Park Service gives damage to native flora as its reason, but other criteria apply. When a wild deer has to resort to approaching an occupied structure with dogs (my house) to look for food (my gardens), then its food supply is in question.
The lack of food due to large numbers endangers the entire herd. Nature’s law is the strongest survive. When the food supply is short, the weak perish, and the strong weaken. This leads to disease and more loss.
Just because the writer doesn’t see deer doesn’t mean they are not there. Deer migrate to where there is food. Maybe he doesn’t see deer where he normally did because they have moved. Drive past Brandywine golf course at 2 a.m. if you want to see deer.
I have had three deer accidents in the valley, and none involved speed. If a deer jumps over a guardrail and hits my motorcycle while I am driving 35 mph, then I do blame the deer.
I have lived in Peninsula for 55 years (16 years before the park was established) and have not supported all that the National Park Service has done here, but I do support its use of sharpshooters to manage the deer herd for the sake of the herd itself.
I also applaud the National Park Service for realizing its mistake and, along with the Countryside Conservancy, bringing back the “sheep herders” and attempting to re-establish farming in the valley. It is a large part of the history of the area.
Too little interest in distribution
I read with interest Betty Lin-Fisher’s article on the 10th anniversary of the “event” in which power failed in much of the eastern United States due to FirstEnergy’s poor transmission system maintenance policies (“Utility updates helping reduce risk of outages,” Aug. 11).
Only thanks to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was FirstEnergy forced to give its transmission systems the maintenance they require to function properly.
The distribution system is another matter entirely. Transmission systems are higher voltage and feed the substations that distribute power.
The distribution systems are what feed the power to most industrial, commercial and residential customers. These systems have long been neglected by FirstEnergy and are the cause of most of the electrical outages we suffer.
FirstEnergy has extremely poor tree management policies for its distribution system. Most of the trimming work is done by subcontractors, and it is evidently left to them to decide how a tree will be trimmed.
Most trees are trimmed back from the wires several feet, but many are left towering 20 feet to 30 feet or more above the wires. One ice storm or big wind storm, and the tree, or tree branches, fall across the wires and knock out the power to the street.
FirstEnergy also has little, or no, communication with customers to advise them about what to plant near electricity wires and how far away to plant. When I worked for a large local company, one FirstEnergy representative met with us and gave us a list of acceptable trees and shrubs to plant near incoming electricity service.
Because this was high voltage coming from a transmission system, it did fall under the FERC rules and FirstEnergy was mandated to do this. Customers fed from the distribution system get no such information as a routine matter.
All in all, FirstEnergy seems to have little interest in protecting its distribution systems, and the customers served by it, and must feel it’s more cost-effective to just respond when the power is out. I guess that’s OK when it happens to someone else, but if it happens to you, you might wonder why FirstEnergy was not more proactive.
Norton must move forward
Now that time has passed since Norton voters last week defeated Issue 1, there remains, at least for now, a problem with the sewers and septic systems. This calls for a solution that can only be achieved by coupling dollars with unity and reason. What I took from the issue was that people were looking for some way to pay for sewers, not stop them.
The folks who voted against Issue 1 sent a message that they do not want to carry the financial burden, while the “yes” voters made it clear that they do not want to, either.
I believe all of us understand the effect that this sewer issue is having on our community as a whole. The only feasible way to help the entire community is to bring federal and state dollars back home to reduce the burden on everyone.
This task should be taken up by our city officials, with our help where possible, but not the other way around. I have proposed to the City Council several times that it form a committee involving the residents, so we can work together to come up with ideas to fund the project.
Unfortunately, the council has not acted on my suggestion, one that would manage conflict, not fuel it.
I hope that the city of Norton takes this opportunity to analyze the project in front of them to understand its impact.
Make no mistake; I believe it is beyond time for Norton to move forward, in our business growth and development, in taking care of our schools, our roads and each other.
Nothing saddens me more than to hear residents talking about leaving our community, a community they helped build, a community where I was born and a community where I plan to raise my daughter and grow old with my wife. We need to move forward for the better, and we need to do it the right way. We need to build Norton together.