The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer

News this week that the Cleveland Browns have launched long-term planning that could end with a new Browns Stadium is at once encouraging and distressing.

We’re encouraged that the Browns have the foresight to begin planning more than a decade out for a project that likely would cost close to $1 billion and draw on precious public resources. That’s far better than creating a crisis at the last moment, as happened with the proposal to renovate Quicken Loans Arena last year.

But we are distressed that the Browns are thinking about the stadium in a vacuum.

Over the next three decades, we will be talking about the need for far more than a new football stadium. We’ll likely need a new arena and baseball stadium. We might want to talk about building a modern airport, maybe at the Ravenna Arsenal. We should be talking about a far better public transit system, with expanded light rail.

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The conversation that the Browns have launched with an early vision of a football stadium development should be about so much more than a place to watch the Browns. It should trigger a public, region wide exercise about where we want Northeast Ohio to go over the next 20 years, how we get there and who will lead the charge.

Online: https://bit.ly/2wkX1LZ

 

The Marietta Times

Many victims of sexual assault or harassment do not come forward because they are afraid of retaliation. One might suppose that if any employer could protect them, it would be the U.S. military.

But the number of armed service members reporting they were retaliated against for filing sexual abuse or harassment complaints may be growing. In 2016, 84 victims said they faced retaliation.

By last year, the number was up to 146, according to the Pentagon.

And, the number of sexual assaults in the military may be on the upswing. The same Pentagon report noted that during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2015, 6,172 sexual assaults were reported in the military.

During the ensuing fiscal year, there were 6,769 assaults reported.

This is unacceptable. Period. Men and women serving our country in uniform make many sacrifices and often take many risks. Being sexually assaulted, then retaliated against for daring to report the crime, should not be something about which they need to worry. Defense Department officials need to crack down on this — now.

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

 

The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon

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The decision of whether to support a levy is a deeply personal one. Each voter knows their own finances and must make the best decision for themselves and their families, and some truly will not be able to bear a greater tax burden. We also don’t expect every voter to find every tax measure equal or worthy. But as voters prepare to go to the polls, we hope they will think deeply about what that burden really is.

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For those who crunch the numbers and truly cannot afford new local taxes, we understand. But for those who might argue that they shouldn’t have to give up their hard-earned money because taxes are like "government theft," it is worth remembering the idea behind a tax is to fund services we all agree society needs — like police and fire, education, roads or cemetery maintenance.

So voting against a tax sends a distinct message that those are not services a community values or wants to invest in. If that is the message any voter wants to send, no one will begrudge them that, it is their right. But voting against a levy to send another message is only going to cause cuts to community services a voter might otherwise value. And if we as a society value money over all services, it will have a distinct effect on the community many will not appreciate.

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

 

The Toledo Blade

In spite of the presence of 14,000 troops on the ground, hundreds of billions of dollars put into the enterprise and nearly 17 years of pounding at the problem, the situation in Afghanistan is still catastrophic.

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In addition to the Taliban, the enemy also includes forces affiliated with the Islamic State. Just as in Iraq, the IS has taken advantage of a combat situation involving Americans to introduce itself into the local power equation and to begin killing people as an effective tactic.

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There are no negotiations underway among Afghan parties, including the Taliban, not to mention the IS, who will have to be dealt into an end to the war and a restoration of a functioning Afghan state. The idea of parliamentary elections, in principle scheduled for September, at this point is only a will-o‘-the-wisp.

Who would like to try resolving this problem? The only reason for the U.S. to undertake that task would be as a prelude to withdrawing America from a now very long nightmare. The U.S. military can watch for signs of a new 9/?11 attack based from Afghanistan with overhead surveillance, so why stay?

Online: https://bit.ly/2HU07fg