Obama sees the light with EPA rules

Better late than never. President Barack Obama finally saw the light in regards to proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Obama did a quick about face Friday, removing his support for the proposals that would reduce concentrations of smog’s main ingredient.

If enacted, the regulations would have been another costly blow to the coal industry. In Friday’s edition, The Times Leader’s editorial expounded the stupidity of such a plan and chastised President Obama for supporting a jobs-killing idea.

I was glad to see his change of heart.

President Obama bowed to the pressure that was exerted by House Republicans and, to a lesser degree, business leaders. In the process, he antagonized environmentalists and some of his Democratic support.

President Obama’s backtracking is a boost for job-seeking Americans as well as the US economy. If adopted, the regulations would have cost private business some $1 billion annually.

Jobs should be of the utmost priority. The latest unemployment figures have the national rate remaining at 9.1 percent. Those numbers add fuel to the fire of how senseless the Obama-backed EPA regulations were.

President Obama is all over the map with his policies. He appears to be grasping at any support he can get in attempting to posture himself for re-election.

If he wants the support of the Ohio Valley in the 2012 election, he must realize jobs are the vehicle for an economic turnaround, both locally and nationally, with coal driving that vehicle.


IT HAS become a rite of the local school year: Judge Frank Fregiato holding live court appearances for Belmont County high schools. Judge Fregiato initiated the program at Martins Ferry High School in the spring of 1997 to demonstrate to students the consequences for the actions. The sessions became so popular with students, parents, administrators and faculty that Judge Fregiato expanded the program, taking actual live court to each and every high school in Belmont County every year.

The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Judge Fregiato feels the program has been a huge success in the education of students and demonstrating to them that there are consequences for their actions.

Judge Fregiato has made this program an annual function for each of Belmont County’s high schools and he plans to do the same for the indefinite future.

This year’s schedule has been released. The sessions begin on Oct. 7 at Bellaire and St. John Central. The rest of the docket is as follows: Shadyside, Nov. 4; St. Clairsville, Dec. 2; Bridgeport, Feb. 3; Martins Ferry, March 2; Barnesville, April 13 and Union Local, May 11.


ST. ANTHONY of Padua Church in Bridgeport will again hold a turkey dinner on Sunday, Oct. 9 from noon to 3 p.m. The annual fundraising event is open to all family and friends of the church and will be held at the annual school hall at 630 Main St.

Shuttle parking will be available to and from the church parking lots. The menu includes turkey, dressing, mashed and sweet potatoes, gravy green beans, cole slaw, cranberry sauce, rolls, beverage and dessert. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Tickets for the dinner must be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Take-out orders will be available at St. Anthony Center (under church rectory).

50-50 raffle tickets as well as tickets for various themed-baskets will also be available. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. and winner need not be present. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the general upkeep of the parish. For additional information, call Barbara Aubrey at 740-635-9456.


STATE SEN. Jason Wilson (30th District) will be conducting a Town Hall meeting on Monday, Sept. 19 in the Donald R. Myers Council Chambers on the second floor of the city building, located at 35 S. 5th St. in Martins Ferry. It starts at 6 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.

THERE IS talk amongst some local prep athletic directors of moving the starting time of reserve basketball games to 5:30 p.m. this season. The earlier start makes sense, enabling student-athletes to get home a half-hour earlier on school nights. Volleyball has 5 p.m. starts with no problem.

THE FOREST Hills Community Association is holding a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the fate of the Forest Hills Community Center. The current administration will be resigning Dec. 31. No new rental reservations will be accepted after that date.

I HAD the chance to take in the Buckeye Local-Utica football game last Saturday. It was a nice season-opening win for the Panthers. Also very impressive was the Panther band. The 100-plus member ensemble is tremendous and worth the price of admission by itself.

THE JULY jobless figures for Belmont County are quite promising. The 7.5 percent unemployment rate for the county is heads and shoulders better than neighboring counties. Belmont County officials must be commended for their enterprising efforts.

A WEEK from today the nation will officially observe the 10-year anniversary of the deadly 9-11 attacks on the US. The Times Leader is marking that most somber occasion with a special section that day. We would like to feature as many local angles of 9-11 that day as possible. Anyone with personal connections to the events of Sept. 11, 2001 please let us know this week.

JIM TRESSEL wasted no time in returning to the coaching ranks. The former Ohio State head man will now be working with the Indy Colts as a game-day consultant. Give Senator Tressel a few years as an NFL aide and he will be a nice fit as a head coach in the pro ranks. I believe he has burned his college coaching chances.

MONEY TRIVIA: Do you know there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar?

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com