Jim Tressel is doing such a good job at the University of Akron that he has been promoted twice within two years. And this concerns the Beacon Journal editorial board because it is worried he could be named university president? (“Choice for president,” Dec. 20.)

Tressel has not received these promotions because of his “engaging presence” or “good impressions,” but because he has done a tremendous job.

He has earned the right to be considered for president on the merits of his performance. Why would you feel the need to diminish his accomplishments? We are extremely fortunate to have him at UA and in the city of Akron. Can you not see that?

He violated an NCAA rule, but you make it sound as if he committed a felony. If you look at his entire career, you see a pattern of integrity, dignity and, yes, success. He was put in a lose-lose situation. There was no good choice. The NCAA had to act as it did because that rule is important, and it has to be strictly enforced, no matter the unusual circumstances that existed with Tressel.

Yes, the university might (not can) be able to do better. That’s why it is doing a national search to see who is available. But remember there are many universities searching for new presidents, so the competition for the available talent will be fierce, and expensive.

But the university could also do much worse. (Does anyone remember Peggy Elliott?) And the university also has a very good track record with giving people second chances; Keith Dambrot has worked out very well, hasn’t he?

If after the search the university determines that it would grow and prosper best led by Jim Tressel, then it would be irresponsible and wrong not to name him president.

Don Ake

North Canton

Pick on ?something else

Regarding Bob Dyer’s Dec. 15 column, “Lies return as teacher hits circuit”: I have lived in the Akron area for almost 70 years now and have seen and lived through a number of changes. There have been good and bad; growth and lack of growth, so I am not surprised to see the Beacon Journal allow one of its writers to show the hatefulness this writer has shown this day and in the past. It looks like he has something going on with this family.

I am sure Dyer and his family knew when his kids were in the Copley-Fairlawn schools that there were and have been a number of children there who did not live within the system. Dyer should please find something other than this family to pick on. He has shown enough hate toward this family.

Loren M. Roberts

Akron

Compromising ?the right to vote

Some members of the Republican Party have stated that “compromise” is not a concept they would ever consider or enact. In a 60 Minutes interview last year, John Boehner could not even speak the word. That resolve hasn’t stopped our Ohio Republican Party from compromising our right to vote.

Allow me to elaborate. The GOP takeover in 2010 enabled Republican lawmakers to gerrymander districts in a manner that ensures the party majority until at least 2020. They exploited this opportunity to an extent never seen before.

With excessive redistricting, our votes have been made impotent. Our legislators are now more beholden to their party than they are to the electorate. So much for the “power of the vote.”

In 2012, there were countless efforts at voter suppression attempted by our Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted. U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley called one of Husted’s proposals “a flagrant violation of a state elections law” that could disenfranchise voters. Clearly, that was Husted’s intent.

Now our Ohio GOP wants to make it tougher for third-party candidates to appear on statewide ballots. The law, signed by Gov. John Kasich last month, will be in place just in time for next year’s race. Some are calling it the “Kasich Re-Election Act.”

So there you have it. Gerrymandering, voter suppression and limiting choice. While we are sidetracked quarreling about who should marry or whether we can carry our guns on playgrounds, we are losing a much more essential freedom. Our vote should not be compromised so one party can maintain power. That’s not an honorable transaction. It shouldn’t be condoned or written off as “politics as usual.” It’s not.

Terry Drake

North Olmsted

Responsibilities ?of gun owners

As a retired captain of the Akron Police Department with nearly 50 years of experience as a firearms instructor, I feel that I am qualified to comment on firearms ownership and responsibility.

Gun owners everywhere should be sickened when they hear of children losing their lives as the result of handling a firearm they found unsecured in the home. They should be angered to hear that a firearm was taken from an unlocked motor vehicle or stolen from a residence.

How can a youngster obtain a firearm, often from his own residence, go to his school and take the life of fellow students and teachers? How can someone forget the handgun in his or her carry-on bag and attempt to board an airplane?

The answer lies, at least partially, in the failure of the gun owner to recognize and accept responsibility for ownership. As a gun owner, you must make certain that your firearm cannot fall into the hands of those who cannot safely handle it or arm a criminal.

The failure to properly secure a firearm at home or in a vehicle, or forgetting where you left your handgun, is inexcusable.

A firearm is a blessing when used for self-defense and a menace to all in the hands of those who are untrained in its use, or when it falls into the hands of a mentally disturbed individual or criminal.

It may be prudent for a resident to have a readily accessible firearm in the home, but its access must be denied to all others, including family members who are untrained in its use or have no legitimate reason to be able to retrieve it.

Hiding a firearm anywhere such as in an underwear drawer or in a night stand is asking for trouble. There are only two places where a firearm can be safe in the home. That is on the person in a quality-made holster, or in a locked container for which only the owner has a key or the combination. Likewise, a firearm should never be left in an unattended vehicle unless stored in such a manner as to make it safe from theft.

There are numerous safes and cases, reasonably priced, where a handgun can be safely secured, and which provide quick access.

Shotguns and rifles on display in the home, if not in a safe, must be made inoperable by dismantling or better yet using a locking device.

If you can afford a firearm, you can afford a means to secure it safely and accept the responsibility that comes with it.

James Yocum

Uniontown

Reasons to ?reject fracking

The Dec. 22 letter “Developing in the region” written by the director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau touts the development of jobs and support industries as a result of the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of the shale in Ohio.

This is short-term growth and expansion, however. Regardless of how much oil and/or gas may be retrieved from the shale, it is still a finite amount and will finally be gone forever.

How much better and more reasonable to invest the money in the development and application of renewable and non-polluting energy sources such as solar.

The director either does not know or does not care that the naturally occurring radioactive elements in the earth that is being drilled are raised to the surface and into the air, soil and product of the drilling.

Depleted uranium is being used to cap the explosives used to fracture the rock/shale to release the oil or gas, thus increasing the danger from radioactivity and expanding the types of radioactivity released into the air, soil and product.

Still more reason to reject fracking in Ohio is the destruction of the fresh water used in the process. By being left in the ground or so filled with toxic (and/or radioactive) chemicals, it is unusable.

The short-term result of fracking is money in the pockets of a few whose land is being used as a base for drilling and still more in the pockets of the oil and gas industry.

The long-term result of fracking is undrinkable water, poisoned soil and radioactive waste.

Janet Daily

Doylestown