Editorial writer Steve Hoffman recently wrote a column headlined “That guy’s from where?” (March 7) that asked whether small-town, conservative Ohioans should have a powerful impact on how the state is run.
We are proud of the communities we represent. But the legislative agenda at the Statehouse is not driven by our hometowns; it is driven by the aggregate of people who live in our hometowns and every other town across the state.
We recognize that the voices of those in small-town Ohio have just as much impact as the voices of those in the largest of cities or most rural of landscapes.
Each legislator in Ohio represents roughly the same number of individuals as his or her colleagues, with small variances. Whether someone lives in a large city like Akron or in a small town such as Ostrander, every Ohioan’s opinion is represented equally. Hoffman failed to recognize that all Ohioans have an equal voice in the Statehouse.
Hoffman tried to back up his views by writing that more voters chose Democratic Ohio House candidates than Republicans, but he neglected to mention the nearly 10 races won by Democrats who had no Republican opponent — so no Republican votes from those districts could be included in the final tally.
Regardless of the fact that the current districts were drawn in a fair and legal way, it is the belief of many Ohioans that reforms need to be made to the process, and we agree.
But to ensure that we do not put a process in place that causes more problems down the road, Ohioans want this issue to receive the proper time and deliberation that it deserves. We hope Hoffman understands this.
State Rep. Gary Scherer
State Rep. Peter Beck
State Sen. Kris Jordan
State Sen. Tim Schaffer
Strengthen teen driving laws
According to a report released Feb. 26 by the Governors Highway Safety Association, fatal car crashes involving 16- and 17-year-olds in Ohio were higher during the first six months of 2012 than during the first six months of 2011.
This is disconcerting. Crashes already are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. These new findings underscore the need to better protect our youngest, most vulnerable drivers.
Ohio lawmakers recently took an important step toward making our roads safer with the passage of a texting ban. Strengthening our state’s teen driving laws should be their next priority.
Currently, teen drivers can carry one passenger and are permitted to drive unsupervised until midnight. Both laws must change.
Teen passengers, including siblings, can increase teen drivers’ crash risk by as much as 307 percent, and driving at night is particularly dangerous for teens. Ohio needs to become one of the 17 states that experienced a decline in fatal teen crashes. Stronger laws will help us achieve that goal.
I lead the Ohio Teen Safe Driving Coalition, an initiative of the Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council. I encourage teens, parents, traffic-safety professionals and others passionate about this issue to join us and help educate the public about the importance of strong teen driving laws.
By working together, we can reduce these fatalities and help to ensure our roads are safer for all.
Leader, Ohio Teen Safe Driving Coalition
Flawed theory of evolution
In the March 13 letter “Science teachers teach science,” the writer suggests that the teaching of intelligent design is the teaching of religion masquerading as science.
On the contrary, intelligent design is a conclusion arrived at from the scientific evidence, as opposed to the theory of evolution, based upon presupposition and speculation, unsupported by even one proven transition form and refuted by the fossil record.
If a paleontologist happened upon Mount Rushmore, he could conclude that what appear to be identifiable faces is the result of erosion caused by wind and rain, or he could conclude that what he sees is the result of intelligent design.
There are countless irreducibly complex structures and processes in the biological world, such as the eye, the bacterial flagellum, the blood clotting cascade and DNA coding for protein, that scream design infinitely more than Mount Rushmore and which are so astronomically improbable as to be impossible to have resulted from chance.
If Darwinian evolution is such a sound and defensible scientific theory, it should be able to stand up to the counter evidence. Why are the Darwinists so afraid to allow school children to hear the arguments for intelligent design? Do they have something to hide?
Intelligent design does not suggest what or who is responsible for the design, only that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests design.
However, we all know that the ultimate issue is the origin of life. Going from inanimate matter to Albert Einstein by mindless random processes is no less of a religious belief than a belief in intelligent design.
Alan G. Segedy
Dangers of texting behind the wheel
I really thought the guy plowing snow that wasn’t there was an idiot (“Snowless plowing is all the rage,” Feb. 26). Now we have more idiots who make laws about texting while driving (“City OKs ban on texting while driving,” March 12). Should it matter how old the driver is?
The bottom line is, if you are texting, you are not looking at the road. Such people are dangerous. I saw a guy driving down Market Street using his knee to steer and texting on two cell phones.
I am sick of going up a freeway entrance ramp at 20 mph because the jerk in front of me is texting.
They are as dangerous as drunks. How many people need to die or get injured before we ban it altogether?
I am starting to understand road rage. People were driving long before the cell phone was invented. Are we devolving?