Time to do away with political parties

WE HAVE been down this bumpy road before. That being the path filled with partisan gridlock as the two political parties have placed us on the threshold of a government shutdown.

Such a scenario gets old. Real old.

It also is a reason why so many Americans get fed up with politics. Each side playing hardball with the other, with little or no regard for their constituents, serves no useful purpose.

Republicans and Democrats in Washington dismiss an idea all too quickly just because it emanated from the opposing party, rather than how much merit it contains.

We deserve better.

The shutdown is set to take effect Monday at midnight. It would have far-reaching impact.

At the crux of the gridlock is President Barack Obama’s health care law being delayed a year in defiance of White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate.

A Senate bill passed Friday that would keep the government operating another 45 days and make no changes to the health law was nixed. Subsequently, House Republicans prepared to pass their version Saturday and return the issue back to the Senate, which is not scheduled to convene again until Monday afternoon, 10 hours before the shutdown deadline.

The president has vowed to veto any bill that does change Obamacare.

It all adds up to political gridlock and national frustration.

Maybe doing away with political parties is the answer.



ANY HOME-SCHOOLED student living in Belmont County in grades four through eight is invited to participate in the Belmont County Spelling Bee program.

Participants must not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before Feb. 1, 2014, or have reached their 15th birthday on or before Aug. 31, 2013.

If interested, home-schooled students will be entered into the Christian Consortium Spelling Bee Process with a chance to advance.

For additional information on the program, contact Lisa Stupak (ext. 8403) or Lynne Mamone (ext. 8404) at the East Central Ohio Educational Center at 695-9773.

All participants must be registered online with Scripps National Spelling Bee by Monday, Oct. 5, 2013. No exceptions.


THERE IS no truth to the rumor that Ohio State, fresh off its 76-0 drubbing of outmanned Florida A&M, is negotiating a two-year grid deal with Muskingum University.

A WALKING club is being developed at the Martins Ferry Recreation Center. It began Saturday. Cost will be “free” the first month and $5 a month thereafter. It is for those 18 years of age and older, beginners or veteran walkers. All are welcome. Working people may join from 5-6 p.m. For more information, call the center at 740-633-0602 or Jeff Haught at 740-359-3991.

KUDOS GO out to Norm Whitlach and Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland for their quick-thinking and heroic efforts in saving a Shadyside resident from a possible fiery death. The pair downplayed their actions, but they did head off potential tragedy. Such a deed has to be good for a few more votes for Coffland in his next re-election campaign.

BOO IN The Park will be held in Historic Bellaire Park on Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. for children 12 years old and under who reside or attend school in Bellaire. You must have a ticket to participate. Tickets are available at the municipal building or by calling Lou Ann Bennett at 740-676-4817.

UNION LOCAL lost a good man and great coach in Mark Cisar. The OVAC Hall of Famer has left Jetland for a new academic post at John Marshall. Cisar served the Jets in a host of capacities, be it head football coach, head baseball coach or athletic director. I have always said he is one of the premier coaches in the OVAC, be it on the gridiron or diamond. One of his best qualities is his willingness to help kids. Mark is one of the good guys in education. Hopefully, the Monarchs give him some coaching duties.

THE PUBLIC Utilities Commission of Ohio is expected to make its much-anticipated ruling on Ormet’s request for an electric-rate reduction. It’s a decision that will reverberate throughout Ohio Valley. Hopefully, PUCO realizes the livelihood of some 1,000 workers are on the line, not to mention all the local businesses that would feel the impact of Ormet’s closing.

JOHN MAGISTRO has his Westerville Central gridders sitting at 4-1 at the season’s halfway mark. The former Bellaire High coaching great guided his Warhawks to a resounding 57-14 triumph over Canal Winchester Friday night. The Warhawks visit Hilliard Bradley this week.

I COMMEND State Sen. Lou Gentile for championing the cause of keeping the Cadiz mine training center open. The facility plays huge into the Harrison County economy. The ODNR wants to shut it down due to code violations. The state agency says it is too costly to repair. ODNR wants to set up a temporary facility in Cambridge and look for another venue to construct a new training center. Why not just build that training center in Cadiz?

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com