JOHN KASICH is a smart man. I have never thought otherwise. He is a crafty politician.
With that said, I don't see eye-to-eye with the first-term Ohio governor. At the forefront of our differing view is Senate Bill 5.
Kasich had tunnel vision in regards to the controversial legislation. It was one of his campaign rallying cries. Once elected, he couldn't wait to push the bill into law.
It was and continues to be met with passionate resistance, especially from labor unions, which are the direct targets of SB 5. The bill's opposition, led by the We Are Ohio faction, yielded a spirited effort to get an issue on the November ballot. We Are Ohio had little trouble collecting the more than 600,000 signatures needed to get a SB 5 referendum on the ballot.
Polls have indicated a lopsided majority of Ohio voters oppose SB 5.
As we mentioned, Kasich is a shrewd politician. Seeing a major political loss on the election horizon, the high-profile Republican is looking to broker a deal with unions to cushion the blow. Compromise would be less politically damaging for Kasich than a decisive loss at the polls on the SB 5 issue.
Kasich's attempts to sit down with some of the state's union leaders went belly up Friday when they opted to not show for a meeting with the governor and fellow Republicans.
That is not surprising. Kasich has cultivated much bitterness through SB5 and unions are feeling their oats with the support for their referendum push.
But failing to sit down and dialogue is senseless. Nothing comes from refusing to communicate.
Now blood is on both sides' hands: Kasich for a bad bill and unions for being unwilling to sit down and go face to face with the opposition.
And while unions appear to be in the catbird's seat, they should be amenable to meeting with enemy.
THE BELLAIRE Chamber of Commerce welcomed Jeanette Wojcik of Faith in Action Caregivers as guest speaker at Thursday's monthly meeting. Wojcik informed chamber members about the free services that the organization provides such as transportation to and from doctor appointments, shopping and errands as well as minor home repairs and friendly in-home visits. To put in a request or to volunteer your time, call 304-243-5420.
The chamber also discussed the Nov. 26 Christmas Parade. It will start at 6:30 p.m. with a 5:30 lineup. There will be cash prizes and trophies for best EMT/Firetruck, best marching unit, best decorated vehicle and best presentation of the parade's theme Christmastime Past. Parade sponsorships cost $50 and a prize will be awarded to the best decorated store.
The chamber also began mapping plans for Boo In The Park on Oct. 25.
A WEEK ago in this space, I beat up the Buckeye Local Board of Education for its decision to let George Laase go as head baseball coach. Since then, I have received calls from two Buckeye Local Board of Education members who voted against Laase. One board member, while not happy with my opinion, was very professional in our dialogue.
The board member outlined the situation in-depth, explaining the negative vote. The board member had no issues with George as a baseball man.
The board member noted the termination was not tied to wins and losses but rather with other off-the-field concerns. Board members were complementary of his coaching prowess, but had problems in several other areas.
The board member noted the athletic committee's support for Laase came without total knowledge of the program's goings on.
The concensus remains that?George is a top-flight baseball coach.
THE YEARLONG wait is about over. Prep football officially kicks off Thursday. It is by far the most exciting time of the year, and one which literally flies by, so enjoy each week. The best matchup of the week: Wheeling Central at Bellaire. I expect the Jose Davis coaching magic to continue this season.
OIL AND gas leasing can prove a financial windfall to local counties. Case in point, Harrison County inking a leasing accord Wednesday for $3,700 an acre. More than 25 acres were in involved, netting the county a nice lump $94,979 over a five-year period. You would have to think surrounding counties will have the same resources.
KUDOS TO the Belmont County Veterans Office which is purchasing school supplies for low-income children of veterans. The veterans office is buying book bags and anything on the school lists for each class including things that high school or pre schoolers may need. Along with all school supplies, shoes, coats, tissues, paper towels, wipes the office is helping a child of a veteran who may otherwise not be able to afford school fees or educational school trips.
A PROPOSAL is being discussed in Columbus to install a bar in the Ohio Statehouse. That is simply ludicrous. Why would legislators want to put themselves in a position of being associated with alcohol-related episodes?
OUR BEST of luck wishes go out to Mike Schuler. After 10 years at The Times Leader, "Shoe" is moving on to a new career opportunity. He will continue contributing to the paper in a limited role. Shoe personifies professionalism and character.
THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce at its monthly board meeting Tuesday announced that its sausage sandwich sale proved a profitable venture at the recent Betty Zane Days Festival.
TERRELLE PRYOR is a pampered prima donna. He helped to train wreck Ohio State's football program and subsequently threw the Buckeyes under the bus in order to become eligible for the NFL's Supplemental Draft. Now after the NFL relented and allowed Pryor to become draft eligible, he is challenging the league five-game suspension against him. Pryor's talents are not worth the baggage he brings with him.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org