The Ohio Right to Life Society member who wrote the March 21 letter “Lack of support, no endorsement,” has offered us insights on what contributes to polarization in America.

Citizens are free to pursue the isolation politics of one-issue voting. However, it does very little to contribute to the common good, when one considers the myriad of issues facing voters.

The writer enumerates some of the accomplishments of state Sen. Frank LaRose and his strong positions on online voter registration, redistricting reform, workplace equality and oil and gas regulation, just to name a few.

But according to the writer, his positions pale in comparison to her single-issue agenda.

I am not a LaRose supporter, but I can see that some of his agenda has included advocacy for good government. On those particular points, his stances are so moderate and broadly applicable to all Ohioans that I appreciate them despite our differences.

The writer states that Ohio Right to Life bases its decisions “on a candidate’s actions and stated commitment in defense of innocent human life.” Period. End of interest.

It seems Ohio Right to Life is not too keen on the impact of workplace equality and other issues vital to all Ohioans.

The polarization tactics of single-issue voters and their bullying endorsements should be marginalized in a democracy.

I can only hope that our legislators have the strength of their convictions not to bend to them but to strive to meet the challenges of multiple issues facing all Ohioans.

Whether single-issue voters gain traction depends on the discernment of voters who seek a healthy government.

Pat Simons


Tell all

It’s time for a Kent State University whistle-blower to step forth to reveal to a deserving public what the secrets are all about.

Sam Salem


Small investment ?big return

On May 6, citizens of Portage County have the opportunity to achieve something great together: saving our Portage Park District.

Our park system has been able to grow due to the generosity of individuals, families and organizations donating land, services, talents and time.

But we are now at a critical crossroads. We either invest in these properties, or we will start losing what we have achieved. In recent months, our already minimal budget has been picked to pieces.

The park system currently includes 1,300 acres of conserved park land, 14 miles of free hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters and grills, natural areas protecting water and wildlife, and varied types of recreation.

All these contribute to a healthy community in which to live as well as inviting neighbors to visit and contribute to our local economies.

How many full-time employees does our park system have? One. What is the yearly budget? About $99,500. What do we have to pay to use our parks? They are free.

The cost of passing the parks levy, to a homeowner of a property valued at $100,000, equals the price of a pizza, or about $17.50.

For this minimal price, citizens would get so much. Please make saving the park system a priority. Only by voting for the levy, Issue 10 on the May 6 ballot, will our park system be around for our children.

Elizabeth Siman


Toll of ?medical error

It is time for a national patient’s bill of rights and for hospitals to prove they can keep patients safe. The corporate takeover of health care has made hospitals very dangerous places. Medical error statistics in the U.S. are enormous and alarming.

More than half of the U.S. population has received unnecessary medical treatment. That is 50,000 people a day.

Forty-two percent of Americans have been directly affected by a medical mistake, procedure or drug, and 84 percent of the population personally know someone who has been a victim of medical error.

The American Medical Association is opposed to the mandatory reporting of medical errors, but relying on doctors to self-report has been a disaster of epic proportions for patients.

Despite the fact medical harm is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.— particularly for the elderly and the frail — and is responsible for at least 425,000 deaths annually, fewer than 5 percent of doctors are willing to acknowledge that medical errors are a principal health concern.

The U.S. is far and away the world leader in medical spending, but numerous studies have shown that despite paying more for almost every interaction with the medical system, we do not get better care.

At a time when one in three Americans lives in or near poverty, how do nonprofit hospital administrators justify their high six- and seven-figure salaries, particularly in a city such as Akron, which has the eighth-worst concentration of poverty in the U.S.

Consider all the attention focused on the missing Malaysian airliner, a single plane. The number of deaths caused by medical harm in the U.S. is far higher.

Shouldn’t reporters in every U.S. city be asking the medical establishment what is being done to address this horrific situation?

James Collver


Presidential ?waste of time

A front-page article on March 22 informed us that President Obama predicted the Zips would upset the Boilermakers in a basketball tournament (“President Obama predicts Zips to upset Boilermakers”).

It is comforting to know that the leader of the free world is so in command of world and domestic events that he has free time to study the sports scene.

I wonder how much time Preident Vladimir Putin devotes to Russian sports, or is he actually working at advancing Russia’s national interests?

Our president spends an inordinate amount of time making speeches, shooting hoops, golfing and anything else that will keep him out of the office doing boring, serious work.

We missed a rare opportunity to elect a serious man of demonstrated skill and energy who would roll up his sleeves and tackle the enormous responsibilities of the president of the United States. Can you imagine Mitt Romney being played for a fool by Putin?

Robert Umbarger

Munroe Falls