Naturalization ceremonies are no doubt always a joy to the new Americans for whom the rite is required to legally transform from immigrant or refugee to citizen. But amidst the global coronavirus pandemic and protests over systemic racism, learning that 800-plus new citizens were welcomed last week over three days is a much-needed reminder that being an American is still a treasured right.
Creepy shades of George Orwell color the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s recent demands that Plain Dealer and cleveland.com reporters turn over photos and recordings of “potential criminal activity” from May 30 riots in downtown Cleveland. Turning journalists into agents of law enforcement is a 180-degree departure, and just as bad, as other jurisdictions, including Columbus police, that tried to deny some news media their right to cover protests.
We can’t help but itch just thinking about the prospect of GMO mosquitos being unleashed in Florida and Texas by the EPA to seek to eventually eradicate a disease-bearing variety of the bitey bugs. Environmental groups in Florida are fighting for more information from the company proposing to create and release the genetically modified blood-suckers.
It would be bad enough news that the coronavirus pandemic has hurt fundraising, volunteer ranks and donations at Ohio food banks. It’s worse that the need is much greater due to unemployment and other pandemic-related economic pressures. A new Census Household Pulse Survey finds food insecurity in Ohio —measured by people skipping meals or being uncertain if they can feed their families — has jumped from 14% earlier this year to 23%.
As demand on food pantries grows, so too will fresh produce planted last week by people who know how to nurture it to harvest: volunteer gardeners who work at ScottsMiracle-Gro in Marysville. Many employees have been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic but about 50 showed up to continue a tradition of planting Associate Gardens to supply the Marysville Food Pantry with tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, broccoli, potatoes and more.
Kudos to state regulators for going after GM for a full refund of $60 million in tax subsidies granted in 2009 for promised expansion of the Lordstown auto plant — even if they’ve been mum about the effort. GM closed the plant and sold to a company planning to build electric-powered pickups; GM also is planning to build and run an electric-vehicle battery plant next door. The ProPublica Local Reporting Network with the Business Journal in Youngstown revealed the proposed clawback, which could help build pressure to see it through.
The state might be able to avoid throwing more tax dollars away on a questionable cracker plant that JobsOhio, Ohio’s economic development nonprofit, has been wooing a Thailand and South Korea partnership to build along the Ohio River in Belmont County. The state has already invested $70 million to lure the petrochemical plant whose fruition is in doubt along with the future of plastics manufacturing.
Pulling the plug might be more prudent than seeking another clawback on a yet-to-be-built facility.
— Columbus Dispatch; Online: https://bit.ly/3fRoXcr