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Television teaches kids – to watch more TV
Written by Donald Kaul   
Thursday, 12 November 2009 15:50

The war in Afghanistan isn’t going well. The economic recovery isn’t producing many new jobs. The banks that pushed the nation to the brink of a 1930s-style Depression with their reckless ways—having sucked up billions of taxpayer dollars in rescue money—are resuming those reckless ways. There isn’t enough swine flu vaccine to go around.

And now for some bad news:

Nielsen, the company that clocks television viewing in this country, has found that children between the ages of two and five are watching an average of 25 hours of television each week.

That’s three-and-a-half hours a day, Sundays included.

If you don’t find that disturbing, please go back to your Twittering Facebook or whatever it is that you use to keep track of the latest Hollywood marital crisis. Sorry to have bothered you.

From its very inception—and I was there, so I know—television has been hailed as a great educational medium, an unparalleled teacher. And so it is.

 
Are telephone rates and consumer protections at risk?
Written by Janine Migden-Ostrander Ohio Consumers’ Counsel   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 15:36

Legislation being considered by the Ohio General Assembly will likely raise telephone rates and will significantly reduce consumer protections. Ohioans across the state deserve fair, competitive and reasonably priced telephone service. For this reason, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) opposes Senate Bill 162 and House Bill 276, legislation backed by the telephone industry that would deregulate local telephone service and have significant negative consequences for Ohioans across the state.

The proposed legislation harms consumers by allowing rate increases, weakening consumer protections, reducing low-income customer benefits, lowering service quality standards and failing to expand broadband access in rural areas of Ohio. 

The proposed legislation:
• Allows rate increases. Telephone companies will be able to raise their monthly rates for basic telephone service by $1.25 every year. Also, non-Lifeline customers will likely face an additional surcharge to pay for part of the Lifeline discount. In some areas of the state, there is no alternative to landline telephone service, and only one provider offers this service. Some Ohioans could face telephone rate increases of up to 20-40 percent over the next few years, with no alternative

 
Time to untangle red tape of trade with Cuba?
Written by Philip Peters   
Friday, 18 September 2009 08:35

U.S. farm income will drop 38 percent this year due to global economic woes and because "demand for exports has tailed off, with few options available to expand marketing elsewhere," according to a Department of Agriculture report issued last month.
Actually, there's a small but surefire option to boost American farm exports that would not cost taxpayers a single dime: open up U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Congress made an exception to the Cuba embargo in 2000, allowing sales of U.S. agricultural products to the communist island. Since 2002, Cuba has spent an average of $373 million per year on American grain, poultry, cattle, products for Cuban grocery stores, even telephone poles and newsprint.

But our exports are hampered by a tangle of red tape that the U.S. government imposes on this small but promising market.

 
Motorists should take extra care as area schools resume
Written by Mark Wasylyshyn, Wood County Sheriff   
Thursday, 27 August 2009 15:55

As students return to school throughout Wood County, remember to be on the lookout for more young pedestrians and bicyclists and be particularly cautious when traveling through school zones and near bus stops.

Motorists have likely adjusted over the summer to the absence of school buses on the road. Now is the time for increased awareness. Be conscious of school buses carrying precious human cargo. When you see a bus with flashing yellow lights, slow down and prepare to stop. When those lights are flashing red, all other vehicular traffic must stop for the safety of the children loading and unloading from the bus.

School zones as well are active once again. Re-familiarize yourself with your daily driving patterns. If you have transited an inactive school zone during the summer months, you can expect greatly reduced speed limits during certain times of the day when children are present. Watch carefully at crosswalks that may utilize crossing guards. Obey the crossing guards’ orders to stop or proceed; they are monitoring the safe crossing of children in their charge.

 
Help available for paying off student loans
Written by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur   
Thursday, 20 August 2009 14:22

Education is the key to getting a good job.  The Census Bureau estimates that a college graduate will earn 75 percent on average more than someone who has only a high school diploma.  Unfortunately, many college students graduate with a heavy burden of student loan debt.

To help the millions of Americans who are paying off federal student loans, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act in 2007.  Its provisions link repayment of student loans to income and family size.  As a result, many borrowers are now able to cap their monthly loan payments at a reasonable percentage of personal income.

 
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