The (Findlay) Courier

Much has been tried in recent years to control the toxic algal blooms that show up in the western basin of Lake Erie. But progress has been slow, and it has become clearer each summer that more will need to be done before the lake’s health improves.

Ohio should have sent out an SOS sooner, but this week’s decision by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio EPA to get Lake Erie added to the impaired waters list was the right call.

The impairment designation, if allowed as part of a two-year evaluation of all state waterways mandated by the Clean Water Act, will require the state to work with the U.S. EPA to develop a specific plan to remediate the algae problem.

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The voluntary measures could become mandatory under the impaired designation, which came out through a draft of the EPA’s water quality report on Thursday.

Some state legislators and several environmental groups had been pushing for the designation in hopes it would pave the way for increased pollution regulations. It finally came after consultation between the EPA, the Kasich administration and experts from Bowling Green State University, among other organizations.

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Last summer’s bloom showed Ohio is still losing the battle with toxic algae. The lake won’t cure itself. It needs all the help we can give it.

Online: https://bit.ly/2GqFiqd

The (Youngstown) Vindicator

Fifty years ago this spring, American students mostly of college age mobilized opposition to the War in Vietnam in historically massive numbers. Their street marches and class walkouts ignited a larger wave of opposition that ultimately led this nation to end its involvement in a conflict that claimed more than 65,000 young American lives.

Fifty years later, students mostly of high-school age today are mobilizing amazingly large crowds of demonstrators against gun violence that each year claims 30,000 lives in this country. This afternoon, contingents of young people and their supporters of all ages are gathering in Washington, D.C., Youngstown and cities across the nation for what’s billed as "The March for Our Lives."

It is a movement very short in the making but very long overdue.

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We hope the steps taken in today’s marches will lead to a serious national conversation and action on responsible and constitutional reforms. Much like their counterparts 50 years ago who ignited a spark to extinguish the Vietnam War, today’s throngs of ardent youthful marchers may very well light a fire under our nation’s leaders to at last take their pleas seriously to slash the shamefully high human toll of indiscriminate gun violence in our country.

Online: https://bit.ly/2IRws3m

The Toledo Blade

Vladimir Putin has been elected to another six-year term — his fourth — as president of Russia. No wonder. He both removed his main opponent from the ballot and stuffed the ballot boxes.

This is Mr. Putin’s way with elections, and the least of his sins.

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It is hard to say what effect the mandate Mr. Putin received will have on his country’s policies over the next few years, particularly with respect to the United States.

Logically, Mr. Putin should be interested in lessening Russia’s involvement in Syria, especially if there is the possibility for cooperation from Turkey, Iran, and the United States.

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We need not revive the Cold War — and we ought not to revive the Cold War — to tell ourselves the truth about who Vladimir Putin is. He is a cold blooded killer, an old KGB man, and a con artist who is now, in effect, president for life in Russia.

Mr. Putin is Stalin without the troops, but with almost equal cunning, malice, and lack or remorse. We should not return to 1950s paranoia and hostility between the U.S. and Russia. And we ought to stay open to Russia, especially to changes in Russia. We have some common interests. But we must be very, very careful about V. V. Putin.

Online: https://bit.ly/2pJtR2v