With hundreds of thousands of Ohioans still without power from Friday’s big storms, I’m sure many of you missed some of the must-read stories from this weekend. Assuming you still have some Internets (I’m borrowing mine from a very nice neighbor since WOW cable is still down in my neighborhood), here’s a few of the stories you should have been reading…

Yesterday the Plain Dealer’s editorial board hit Kasich for his failure to properly utilize the Third Frontier program. The program, started under Republican Governor Taft, and renewed under Democrat Strickland, has received wide support from the business community and politicians on both sides of the aisle. And it is viewed as “remarkably popular” with the state as a whole. Yet, under Kasich, “grant-making has slowed to a walk”.

The fiscal year ended yesterday, and only a third of the available money was actually allocated. Kasich promised to move at the Speed of Business, but instead Ohio business leaders are laughing at the slow pace of the Kasich administration, going so far as to joke “a saboteur from Michigan or Pennsylvania” had gummed up the gears of the Third Frontier program.

We also found out that John Kasich’s latest budget billl imposes “burdensome business regulation” on Ohio wineries by changing licensing and inspection responsibility from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control the the Department of Agriculture. According to Keith E. Pritchard, a small business owner from Canal Winchester, the new rules “go far beyond what is required to safely produce wines” and they add new “bureaucracy, regulations and fees” that discriminate against small Ohio wineries putting them at a serious disadvatage when competing with their out-of-state competitors.

And I’ll leave you with my favorite piece of the weekend from Thomas Suddes in the Plain Dealer in which Suddes calls out Mary Taylor and John Kasich for not implementing key provision’s of the Affordable Care Act and using as an excuse their desire to offer “as much free-market competition” to the health care market as possible. As Suddes correctly points out, it’s a bullshit excuse because “Ohio has monkeyed with the health insurance market since at least 1939” when the state offered tax exemptions for big insurers under ultra-conservative Governor John Bricker.

If Kasich and Taylor were serious about competition and free-market principles, says Suddes, they “should bid adieu to Fantasy Island and return to Capitol Square” where they would do well to support the Voters First amendment and put real “competition” back into General Assembly and US House races.

  • westparkguy

    I have a question. Are all these storms are taxing cities who had to make budget cuts to their first responders? Is the Ohio National Guard going to be deployed more often now since the cities don’t have the resources? How much is this costing the taxpayers of Ohio?

  • dmoore2222

    Kasich is an empyty suit. He’s not suited to be governor because he can’t see beyond his own eyelids. If there’s no praise in anything for poor Johnny, he can’t function. He’s lazy and ineffective.

  • duckmonkeyman

    More than that, it is a suit with a rotten core. Never let angry, sociopathic, demagogues run government. You would think voters would know by now.

  • Clecinosu

    Re: Storm and power outages: My power has been out since 5:30 p.m. Friday. Yesterday, I went out to scout the area, and I’ve never seen so many houses so dark over so great an area.

    I did, however, see several out-of-state crews working on restoring power, for which I am very grateful. It’s nice to see crews from other states helping all of us out. But it also points up one other problem — the power grid is still a mess.

    I’ve now been involved in two massive power outages in this state within the last eight years, one during a freezing Christmas holiday, the other this weekend. You may not consider fixing the grid a priority, but week-long blackouts will have you thinking again.

    The conservatives may not like this, but we need to look to Europe for the answer — bury electric lines. European countries saw how we did it, saw all the outages and man-hours lost in repairs and thought ahead.

    I know there are some situations where burying lines might not be possible, but normally, if you see a utility pole stuck in the ground with lines on top of it, those lines can probably be buried. Not only would it dramatically lessen weather-caused outages, it would also allow our power company workers to stop risking their health and even their lives climbing these ever-increasingly high utility poles.

    All right, my venting is over. You are free to go about your business.

    Hope everyone gets their power back soon.

  • I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free.

  • missskeptic

    IMHO, AEP has done cost studies and decided it is cheaper to repair after an occasional storm than spend the money for new infrastructure and R & D. We are still using the technology of 100 years ago. We plan to install a whole-house generator, figuring it will pay for itself after just a couple of these kinds of long-term outages. A friend of mine in NW Ohio was told her grid was so badly damaged that she would be powerless for two weeks at least and she should “make other plans.” Now what the hell kind of advice is that?!

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