Community Opinion

10 readings on social justice recommended

This list of 10 readings on social justice is a suggested guide for those interested in bringing a focus on equality, tolerance, community, empathy and other values consistent with a humane approach to building a more just and fair society. 1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Author: Isabel Wilkerson. Chronicles one of the untold stories of America. The decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities. 2. Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. Author: Amy Ellis Nutt. Inspiring story of transgender actor-activist Nicole Maines. One of two identical twins, Nicole persists in her struggles within an unwelcoming society. 3. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. Author: Arthur Miller. The witchcraft trials of 1682 resulted in socially sanctioned violence. Miller turned the story into a powerful parable about McCarthyism.    4. A People’s History of the United States. Author: Howard Zinn. The history of America from the viewpoint of factory workers, Native Americans, civil rights advocates, the working poor and the migrant worker et al. The battles of angry men and women against corporate and government tyranny. 5. Letter from Birmingham Jail. Author: Martin Luther King Jr.  The letter written from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama defends the strategy of non-violence resistance to moderate white pastors condemning a protest march. 6. Sermon on the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5-7. These chapters from the New Testament describe the most important teachings of Jesus Christ including the Beatitudes. The call to humility, peacemaking, and righteousness with a condemnation of greed and hypocrisy. 7. In Dubious Battle. Author: John Steinbeck. A fast-paced novel of social unrest. Set in California apple country where a strike by migrant workers against rich landowners spins out of control. 8. All Quiet on the Western Front. Author: Erich Maria Remarque. A young German soldier during WWI observes the horror of war. As the war plods on the character of Paul Baumer vows to fight against the principles of hate that war depends on. 9. Cider House Rules. Author: John Irving. Set in rural Maine in the first half of the 20th century, this novel finds Dr. Walter Larch as the founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St.Cloud’s. The story defines the controversy surrounding abortion. 10. The Second Amendment: A Biography. Author: Michael Waldman. The life story of the Second Amendment contained in the Bill of Rights. Waldman argues that the views on the Amendment are driven by political advocacy. The list of Ten Essential Readings on Social Justice was created by the group Advocates for Social Justice (ASJ) based in Northwest Ohio. The readings were chosen for their ability to  generate critical thinking and discussion on important social and political topics. We encourage you to send comments on any of the works and to…

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Jennifer Karches: Issue 1 will save money & improve public safety

Please vote YES on Issue 1. I understand it’s not perfect, but there is NO hope that our legislature will enact any meaningful prison/sentencing reform anytime soon. Too many lives are ruined with Ohio’s punitive drug laws, which rely on prisons as the answer. Did you know one year of prison costs Ohioans $30,000? Ohio has approximately 50,000 inmates, which means WE spend approximately $1.5 billion per year locking people away, rather than actively working to rehabilitate and treat their addictions. There is a better way! According to Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign, here are some excellent reasons to vote YES on Issue 1 to reduce the number of people in state prison for low-level, nonviolent crimes and put the money to better use by directing savings to drug treatment and crime victims. ✓ YES on Issue 1 saves taxpayer dollars: Ohio spends more than $1.8 billion per year on a broken prison system where too many people who pose little public safety risk are incarcerated while treatment and prevention programs suffer. Issue 1 will save tens of millions of dollars annually in prison spending and direct the savings to addiction treatment and victims of crime. ✓ YES on Issue 1 puts our public safety dollars to better use: Wasting law enforcement resources and prison on people struggling with addiction makes no sense. Issue 1 requires misdemeanors instead of felonies for low-level drug possession offenses and requires community service, treatment or local jail, instead of state prison, for people convicted of these crimes or who break probation rules (such as missing a meeting). Treatment and supervision work better to improve public safety than a revolving prison door. ✓ YES on Issue 1 reduces recidivism: Issue 1 expands earned-credit programs so that qualified people can be considered for release if they participate in rehabilitation programs. Experts agree that requiring people to earn their way out of prison through rehabilitation reduces the likelihood they’ll commit more crimes. ✓ YES on Issue 1 protects public safety: This was carefully written to ensure that people that are a danger to public safety remain incarcerated. No one convicted of murder, rape or child molestation will benefit from any aspect of this measure. Issue 1 has bipartisan support from law enforcement, mental health and addiction treatment providers, nurses, faith leaders, and victims of crime. SAVE MONEY. IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY. Jennifer Karches Bowling Green


Mayor Edwards asks community to support ADAMHS replacement levy

From a total community perspective, there is perhaps no more important issue on the November 6th ballot than the replacement levy to help support Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services in Wood County.   One only has to assess the daily news to realize the magnitude of need for these life-saving services. Every day the demand for help for crisis situations seems to grow and no family, no household is immune from the need for intervention specialists.   In both my university and public service life, I have seen time and time again the need for support services grow whether for family support, mental health, substance abuse, crisis situations or general informational needs to help others.   As one who has devoted so much volunteer time over the years to help in some small ways to assist others with special needs, I urge you to help in a big way by supporting the ADAMHS replacement levy.   Richard A. Edwards Mayor City of Bowling Green


“I believe Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge” – Mel Browning

​A few years ago, after 23 years, I retired as an attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeals. During my time there I had an opportunity to observe some really superior appeals judges. The court is one of the most respected in the state. ​The common characteristics of a good appeals court judge include not only a firm understanding of the law, but a sense of fairness, impartially and a dedication to protect the rights of all who come before the court.  The good judge must also temper the application of the law with a sense of compassion and an understanding that those who come before the court should be dealt with respectfully. ​I have known Joel Kuhlman and his family for decades now. I believe that he has the traits necessary to be a good judge. He has a firm understanding of the law, having practiced for ten years in Wood and the surrounding counties. He is fair, impartial and compassionate. ​He also brings with him an appreciation for the perspective of the non-urban parts of the district which, although comprising approximately half of the population of the Sixth District, have been traditionally under-represented on the court. ​I believe that Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge and that his election to the court would bring a perspective and vigor that the court needs. For these reasons I would urge your support for Joel Kuhlman for Sixth District Court of Appeals sthis November. Mel Browning Rossford


BG Chamber supports ADAMHS levy

It is the decision of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to support The Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Replacement Levy in the upcoming November election. We considered the services offered by ADAMHS and how vital they are to our business community.  We also gave consideration to your use of public funds and conceded that use is reliable and respectable. It is our belief that this replacement  levy will allow ADAMHS to continue to help fight real-life problems faced by our entire community and the affects drug addiction and mental health issues have on the employment pool of our business affiliates.   Mary F. Hinkelman, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce  


Sheriff urges yes vote for Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services levy

I encourage all voters to vote yes for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services replacement levy on the ballot November 6, 2018. There are a large number of residents in our county who suffer from mental illness and addiction. With the services provided by the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, along with continued collaboration with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the ARC program with the Prosecutor’s Office; we can continue to help treat these individuals in a timely manner.  The Crisis Intervention Team continues to help train law enforcement with a better understanding of mental illness and how to interact effectively with citizens who may be suffering. Wood County benefits greatly from the services provided to our citizens from these programs. I urge all voters to vote yes for the replacement levy for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board on November 6th. Mark Wasylyshyn Wood County Sheriff


Local judges urge citizens to vote NO on Issue 1

It is a rare circumstance when a judge writes a letter to the editor concerning a statewide issue. It is even rarer when five judges do this. Five Wood County judges – Common Pleas Judges Reeve Kelsey, Alan Mayberry and Matthew Reger along with Bowling Green and Perrysburg Municipal Court Judges Mark Reddin and Molly Mack – want to ensure every citizen in Wood County makes an informed decision when voting this fall. All five of us urge citizens to vote NO on ISSUE 1, a state constitutional amendment that will destroy years of progress on the opioid epidemic and make Ohio a magnet for drug dealers. Our arguments against this issue are numerous but here are the top five reasons to vote no: 1. This is a Constitutional amendment that cannot be changed. In the last 25 years the drug epidemic has changed significantly taking many different forms. We have no idea what the emergent drug will be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.  Policy changes, given the specificity of Issue 1,would take years and substantial resources to adjust and could not be completed in time to address the nuance of the changing dangerous drug situation. 2. The opioid epidemic and dangerous drugs addiction are both a health care and criminal justice issue. Issue 1 tries to pigeonhole drug addiction as exclusively a health care matter. But in doing so the proponents ignore the necessity of compelling treatment for those unwilling or unmotivated to engage. Issue 1 eliminates a court’s ability to incarcerate people who are using drugs that could kill them. Many people who find themselves in a system that is seeking to help them would find themselves with neither help nor assistance. 3. Issue 1 would effectively eliminate drug courts, intervention in lieu of conviction, and other programs meant to assist drug addicted individuals. Ohio has spent significant resources in time and money creating specialized courts, dockets, and programs to address the drug epidemic. These programs are making inroads in helping courts be more nuanced in dealing with the specific needs of each defendant who is drug dependent. Issue 1 will eliminate all of this progress. 4. The proposed savings that Issue 1 would bring are illusory at best. The Office of Budget in Management recently released a report concluding that “the proposed amendment would not produce significant savings to the state and could (depending on interpretation) actually increase costs to the state by tens of millions of dollars. For local governments, the proposed amendment would add costs that likely would not be covered by potentially available appropriations”. 5. There are real dangers to our community inpassing Issue 1. Issue 1 would allow for the 25% reduction of sentences of a large number of felony offenses – other than drug charges – without any kind of local…