In response to the May 23 editorial “Why coal faces hard times, and Hillary Clinton deserves better,” I would like to offer my American friends a preview of what may happen if you shut down your coal-fired power plants.

Ontario was once an industrial powerhouse and the home of thousands upon thousands of well-paid manufacturing jobs. But the province lost at least 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years when companies either went bankrupt or left Ontario.

This happened largely because our electricity prices have increased 318 percent since 2002, now giving us one of the highest rates in North America. The single most important cause for this staggering rise is that, in the name of “stopping climate change,” we shut down all of our inexpensive coal plants, which, in 2002, provided about 25 percent of our electricity.

Things will likely be even worse for America if President Barack Obama’s climate policies are continued by the next administration. State and federal statistics show the U.S. gets 33 percent of its power from coal and Ohio, 58 percent.

Ontarians were too frightened of climate activists to oppose the plan to end coal-fired power generation. As a consequence, we are now dependent on the charity of more wealthy Canadian provinces to survive. Who will bail out the U.S. if you follow our tragic example?

Tom Harris

Executive director

International Climate Science Coalition

Ottawa, Ontario

Big problem, ?big solution

It’s clear from reading Doug Livingston’s May 22 article on congressional candidate responses to growing public concerns about the corrupting influence of money in politics why change is so difficult:

•?Candidates don’t want to criticize too harshly the current system and sources of major campaign contributions.

•?Candidates are not at all unified on how to respond to what many citizens believe is a system of pay-to-play, “legalized bribery” benefiting rich and corporate entity contributors

Candidates genuinely committed to change have, no doubt, found incremental reforms frustrating.

More than a law or regulation is needed. A big problem requires a big solution — a constitutional amendment targeting the root cause of political money defined as free speech, dating back to the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court decision.

If money is speech, then those with the most money drown out the voices of the majority of people. It’s no wonder people feel government has been hijacked.

House Joint Resolution 48, the We the People Amendment, calls for ending money defined as free speech. This would allow for fundamental limits on political contributions and expenditures. The bill also would establish that the rights protected by our Constitution are the rights of natural persons only, not corporate entities.

For congressional candidates perplexed about what to do to reduce the influence of money in politics, they can join U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur and others in Congress and endorse the proposed constitutional amendment.

Greg Coleridge

Director

Northeast Ohio American Friends

Service Committee

Cuyahoga Falls

A better way?for UA

In the May 26 Beacon Journal article, “Startup behind ‘success coach’ program loses school contract,” on the non-renewal of the TrustNavigator program at UA, faculty union chapter president John Zipp hit the nail on the head when he said, “It’s not surprising that [TrustNavigator] didn’t do well. They had no experience. I hope we learned a lesson: It’s better to involve people who know what they’re doing.”

The university spent $840,000 in an attempt to improve student retention rates. This money would have been much better spent supporting some of the 1,000 part-time faculty who teach the majority of undergraduate course sections at UA. These part-time faculty are paid low wages and refused access to university sponsored health benefits. This sum would have been sufficient to create 30 to 40 full-time lectureships for one year.

A teacher’s working conditions are a student’s learning conditions. It stands to reason that improving the working conditions of teachers so that they are not rushing from their morning job of walking dogs to their afternoon teaching gig to their evening job as a waitress or Uber driver could only lead to better educational outcomes.

On the one hand, the university cries poverty when it comes to paying adjuncts a living wage and otherwise adequately support these teachers by providing them with basic support services such as office space and telephones.

On the other hand, UA recognizes it has a student retention problem but then embraces a solution that has been roundly and justly criticized since the moment it was announced.

Such obstinance defies understanding. It’s like buying champagne to water your garden instead of using the hose at your feet. For the sake of our students and university, anyone who had a hand in approving this absurd contract should be run out of town on a rail.

Matt Williams

North Canton