Letters to the Editor: Saturday, May 18, 2024

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

I’d like to express my appreciation for the unique and vibrant World A’Fair Dayton festival. This annual event offers a special opportunity for people from around the world who now call the Miami Valley home to celebrate their rich heritage. It also allows all of us to embrace the diverse cultures represented in our community. The chance to share traditional foods, showcase cultural achievements, and celebrate the stories that define different backgrounds is truly special. World A’Fair Dayton encourages a sense of pride in one’s country of origin or family heritage. In a world that sometimes seems to prioritize rapid assimilation over the integration of diverse cultural identities, this festival provides a refreshing and much-needed space for celebration. I encourage everyone to experience the joy and inclusivity of World A’Fair Dayton. It’s a testament to the beautiful tapestry of cultures that make up our region.

- Hailey Clark, Englewood

Teachers were promised a dignified retirement. The issue is what STRS is doing to our teachers attempting to fix things and the unexplained pushback by politicians against Ohio teachers. Faced with massive, unfunded liabilities resulting from gross mismanagement and failed investment strategies, STRS chose to cut teacher benefits, make riskier investments and pay astronomical fees to Wall Street as well as paying 400k salaries and 100k bonuses to staff. Worse yet, performance bonuses are calculated before subtracting expenses, often guaranteeing bonuses regardless of real performance measures. Teachers’ monies have been used to pay bonuses of $1.8 billion of overstated performance. When rumors surfaced that one risky investment cost the fund $500,000, it was kept form the Board for more than two years. When board member Wade Steen pushed for transparency from STRS management, Governor DeWine remove Steen from the board only to be over turned by courts stating that the Governor violated the constitution. Last week, 27,000 active teachers voted overwhelmingly for a reform-minded teacher to the Board giving the reformers a big majority. This week the Governor and AG Yost filed suit to remove two reform-minded Board members, Steen and Fichtenbaum. An independent investigation is needed.

- Jesse Parete, Vandalia

The article ‘Ohio AG, County prosecutors at odds over gun bill’ is misleading. It claims that Democrats have made “several attempts to push various other forms of gun safety legislation this general assembly…” Unfortunately, those were attempts at gun control laws, not gun safety. Gun control reduces safety by giving criminals a massive firepower advantage. Strict gun control laws make it harder for honest people to own guns legally. Meanwhile, criminals can have as many illegal guns as they want, with little chance of being caught or punished. That’s especially true in these days of Defund the Police, zero cash bail, and decarceration.

- Rex Tincher, Kettering

It seems Republican Statehouse members have left a stone unturned when it comes to voter suppression. House Bill 458, driven by Senate and House Republicans and signed by Gov. Dewine on January 6, 2023, limited boards of election to one drop-off box per county for absentee ballots, eliminated early voting the day before Election Day and shortened the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot but apparently that was not enough. According to a story on May 5, 2024, they are at it again. Tucked inside House Bill 472 are even more restrictions targeting voters who choose or need to vote by mail. Do Republican Statehouse reps really think most voters don’t recognize these “election security” shenanigans for what they really are?

- Lansing Ellis, West Chester