Letters to the Editor: Saturday, March 30, 2024

Recent articles on the state amendment to remove politicians the redistricting process and use an independent group. This letter is not to argue against ending gerrymandering but to introduce an way to avoid group bias altogether.

The criterium for acceptable districts seems to be that the parts are equal to the whole; that the ratio of districts that are “red” and “blue” is equal to the ratio of “red” to “blue” voters state wide. Unfortunately, “red” and “blue” voters are not homogeneously spread across the state (if they were, “red” would win every district). “Red” voters are mostly urban around the six main Ohio cities/suburbs. Is it as simple as drawing a circle around those six areas? Or the opposite: Imagine that every “blue” voter lived in the one corner of Ohio. Would it be gerrymandering if seven districts encompassed that corner and eight for the rest of the state? All be non-competitive districts, but would meet the criterium of the number of representatives for each side reflecting the ratio of voters on both sides. Is non-competitive what we want?

The unnecessary restriction is the need for districts to be laid out geographically. Congressional seats (federal) are elected largely on national issues, local issues are secondary. Remove the geographic element by selecting 15 representatives that campaign in every city and county. Every voter gets 15 votes to cast for one representative or 15 representatives or any number in between. Take the human group element out of the process, it will always be suspect of bias and agenda.

- William Delaney, Beavercreek

Public Health Week is April 1-7. Public Health and the professionals who work or teach in it are the vanguards of disease detection and prevention. They play an important but often silent role as protectors of populations and individuals from diseases and plagues that might otherwise seriously erode not only the health but the security of our communities and country.

Did you know that over the past 100 years advances in public health have led to an increase of 25 years to your life span? Vaccines and better methods of water treatment as well as sanitary practices (like simple hand washing) have vastly decreased diseases and infections.

Public health’s dedicated professionals range from biostatisticians, sanitarians and environmental health specialists to nurses and health and wellness educators. One of the fastest emerging specialists are community health workers and patient navigators who help people traverse the red tape and health insurance barriers encountered when seeking health care.

It is said “When public health works nothing bad happens”. Tom Frieden, MD MPH, former CDC head, said “I loved clinical practice, but in public health you can impact more than one person at a time. The whole society is your patient”.

Let’s not forget — Public Health is here for each one of us. Make what they do work for all of us by your compliance with vaccinations and other proactive health measures. That’s how we celebrate Public Health Week all year long!

- Jerry A. O’Ryan MPH RCP RRT, adjunct instructor for the Public Health Program at Sinclair College

We all know that as of right now marijuana use, even though legal, has been shunned by local businesses when it comes to their customers. Not allowing use on patios and smoking sections inciting “For the health and safety of our customers and staff” as the basic explanation. I’d like to know, since we’ve deemed Marijuana legal why has it not been placed in the same category as say cigarettes or alcohol when considering its harm? How can anyone deem it “a dangerous controlled substance” now, but still allow their patrons to be around cigarettes? Last time I checked cigarettes were a pretty huge factor in health. The same can be said about alcohol, But it appears that there are no causes of death or cancer from secondhand marijuana smoke.

I had heard a story about an animal rights activist getting worked up because there were dolphins being caught in the tuna nets. They never batted an eye for the tuna. This seems very close to that hypocrisy. We as a people have voted and deemed marijuana to be legal and usable, just like the other acceptable drugs, such as nicotine, aspirin, and alcohol. We should not be “Pot Shamed.”

- James Maximus, North Akron, OH