Dear Editor
SB 310 Is Bad for Business
Much of the debate about

controversial Senate Bill 310 focused on increased energy costs to consumers. But what about Ohio businesses? The Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy and the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy recently released a report that details the increase in energy costs that will be born by Ohio commercial enterprises. The increases range from from nearly $17,000 for commercial customers of Dayton Power & Light to a high of almost $32,000 for businesses served by Ohio Edison. Duke Energy Ohio will pass on increased costs totaling more than $30,000 and businesses in central Ohio can expect an increase of more than $23,000 from AEP Ohio.

These increased costs to business owners are too often ignored by policymakers. Ohio’s small business owners (the source of nearly 2/3 of all new jobs) remember all too well the PUCO rate hike for AEP that unfairly targeted smaller companies two years ago. Ohio’s local, independent businesses are already struggling to compete. Bill LaFayette, owner of Regionomics, analyzed small business indicators in the Community Research Partners’ “Benchmarking Central Ohio 2013.” He found that Ohio’s six largest metro areas lagged far behind in terms of entrepreneurial start-ups. The bottom line for business owners is that energy costs must be passed on to consumers as higher prices for goods and services. Ohioans want our businesses to be able to compete with businesses throughout the region, the nation, and globally. Now is not the time to make it harder for our businesses to compete when Ohio is finally mounting an economic comeback after the Great Recession.

We must ask why some legislators are proposing a freeze on Ohio’s advanced energy standards? After all, this legislation was enacted by a nearly unanimous bi-partisan majority in 2008. Ohio is among 30 states who have enacted similar legislation to begin moving away from our past dependence on CO2 emitting fossil fuel sources and toward a future of renewable energy. Polls vary, but very large majorities (> 75 percent) of our citizens support the transition to clean energy.

So who is lobbying against this legislation? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute are key supporters of “rollback” legislation to stop the transition toward renewable energy.

ALEC is well known for their creation of model legislative templates designed to favor conservative issues and large corporate interests ranging from anti- gun control to privatization of prisons to expansion of drilling rights off shore and on public lands. The Heartland Institute has a long history of climate change denial and lobbyists such as James Taylor have been actively introducing legislation written by ALEC in 17 states controlled by conservative interests. At the end of 2013, these rollback efforts had not been successful in any state, and at least 4 states have actually increased their renewable energy portfolio standards. However, ALEC and the Heartland Institute are supported by many millions of dollars, much of which now goes unreported. It is unfortunate that so much effort has to be expended defending a clean energy law that the vast majority of Ohioans support.

Passage of this backward looking legislation, supported in large part by outside-funded lobbying efforts, has now been signed by Governor John Kasich. Our governor acted independently when elements of his party refused Medicaid expansion in Ohio. Unfortunately, this time he caved in to the outside lobbyists representing the fossil fuel industry. Kasich has tried to spin his support as a compromise between “two extremes” and a mere “pause” in Ohio’s commitment to Energy Efficiency Renewable Standards. In reality, this legislation, signed by a self-proclaimed pro business, pro jobs governor, threatens hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs.

Clean energy was working in Ohio, offering substantial savings to home owners and small businesses. Today, SB 310 casts a very dark shadow on the transition to renewable energy sources in Ohio. There is already evidence of push-back against this legislation that was supported by a very diverse group of interests: business, environmental, consumer advocates, faith groups, local governments, and the general public. For example, the Union of Concerned Scientists is calling for Governor Kasich to “unfreeze” Ohio’s EERS.

Let’s keep Ohio competitive and support our business growth in the renewable energy sector of our economy.

Chuck Lynd, Board Member
Ohio Sustainable Business Council Chair, Support Our Local Economy (SOLE) Coalition
Think Columbus First Campaign



Dear Editor

Consumer advocates involved in the fight against payday lending in Ohio weighed in on the June 11 Ohio Supreme Court decision in Neighborhood Finance v. Scott. The case tested the ability of payday lenders to lend under statutes other than the Short Term Lender Law, the statute passed in 2008 to regulate the industry.

“Today, the good guys lost. The Supreme Court blesses the wild west of lending of Ohio. We are extremely disappointed by the Court’s decision in Neighborhood Finance v. Scott. As a result, Ohio can look forward to more payday lenders exploiting the ambiguity of the Mortgage Loan Act. It’s a sad day for consumer advocates and an even sadder day for hard working Ohioans who get trapped in mounting debt thanks to the abusive payday lending scheme. In 2008 millions of voters went to the ballot affirming the 28 percent rate cap law; they sent an unambiguous message. It is time the legislature end these disastrous loans.” -- Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO)

“The Ohio Poverty Law Center is certainly disappointed in the Court’s decision, and can only reiterate Justice Pfiefer’s question: ‘How can the General Assembly set out to regulate a controversial industry and achieve absolutely nothing?’ The Court is telling the legislature that it did not do the job it set out to do, and that the overwhelming majority of the voters endorsed. Ohio consumers will remain vulnerable to these predatory loans that trap cash-strapped consumers in a cycle of debt until the Ohio legislature steps up to the plate, or Congress takes action on the national level.” – Linda Cook, senior staff attorney, Ohio Poverty Law Center

“Today, the Ohio Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to Ohioans. The Court’s ruling will cost Ohioans $209 million annually in fees drained by predatory payday loans. Both the Ohio legislature and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have the power to affirm the will of millions of Ohio voters to end the debt trap caused by 300 percent APR payday loans. Today’s ruling heightens the urgency for such action.” – Diane Standaert, senior legislative counsel, Center for Responsible Lending

“The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to allow payday lenders to use an antiquated mortgage lending law to charge usurious rates is all the more reason that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should issue firm rules to end the debt trap. There is absolutely no floor for lenders who continue to spend millions of dollars lobbying and circumventing state laws. It has become clear that leaders in Ohio have abandoned

the bipartisan legislation that called for 28 percent APR on payday loans in Ohio less than 5 years ago.” -- David Rothstein, director of public affairs for NHS of Greater Cleveland and research fellow for the New America Foundation

Suzanne Gravette Acker DirectorCommunications/ Development


Dear Editor

On Saturday, July 12, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) will open its new Driving Park Branch to the public with a brief dedication ceremony followed by a grand opening celebration. The event is free and open to all.

New Driving Park Branch Dedication and Grand Opening Celebration

1422 E. Livingston Ave. (at Livingston and Kelton avenues)

Columbus Metropolitan Library Saturday, July 12, 2014
Noon – Short dedication ceremony 12:30-3 p.m. – Grand opening

Following brief remarks from

community and city officials – including Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman – the afternoon will be filled with refreshments, music and entertainment. Plus, all are welcome to explore the new branch (see photo and floor plan below). Visitors can also sign up for a commemorative library card and register for a chance to win an eReader.

The day will be highly visual, and include a city street sign unveiling by children from the Driving Park neighborhood, as well as a ceremonial ribbon cutting by CML CEO Patrick Losinski and other library, community and city leaders.

Entertainment will include:

  • Performances by the Columbus Saints Drum & Bugle Corps

  • Chalk art by Edwin John Yang

  • Historical reenactment by Anthony Gibbs from the Ohio History Connection

  • Music and an open mic dub poetry jam by Doctah X

  • Stilt-walkers from the Amazing Giants

  • Costumed characters from CATCO is Kids

  • Magic show by Stephen Knight

    The new Driving Park Branch, which is CML’s first new building in a decade, represents the first of 10 library locations (including Main Library) to be renovated or rebuilt within the next few years. Ground broke for the new building on July 30, 2013. CML also held a groundbreaking for its new Whitehall



Branch on Sept. 10, 2013, scheduled to open next spring.

CML understands that great libraries create stronger communities, and each branch is an essential hub that reflects the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Some of CML’s 21 locations are 40 to 50 years old and inadequate to meet the demands of a growing 21st century community. Demands and expectations will continue to grow, along with the population of Franklin County.

CML’s aspirational building program is the result of a community- wide process that will continue to serve the needs of Franklin County well into the future. The plan is a multi-phased comprehensive blueprint that reinvents and revitalizes the entire 600,000 square feet maintained by the library.

In addition to being a vital community asset, CML aims to minimize its environmental footprint. CML’s goal with each new building is to achieve LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Phase one of CML’s aspirational building program will transform and significantly upgrade seven urban branches (Driving Park, Whitehall, Parsons, Martin Luther King, Northside, Northern Lights, Shepard) and two suburban branches (Hilliard and Dublin). In addition, changes to Main Library will represent a major investment in downtown Columbus and the Discovery District.

Visit for more information and to track progress of CML’s ambitious building program.

Gregg Dodd, Marketing Director Columbus Metropolitan Library



Dear Editor

As a long time reader of the Free Press, I appreciate and respect the articles and work of Marilyn Howard, Ph.D. Her writing on civil rights and race relations have been important contributions to the Free Press.

However, I want to comment on her book review of Larry Sabato’s terrible book “The Kennedy Half Century.” Howard says that “Sabato has obviously done his homework with regard to the assassination.” At one point, she praises his book because there are “more than one hundred fifty pages of source notes,” implying that this makes his conclusions accurate. She correctly concludes that Sabato straddles the fence, concluding that “no one can say for certain that it (the assassination) was not (a conspiracy). Then she remarks that Sabato has correctly concluded that “there is no reasonable doubt” that Lee Harvey Oswald was “at least one of JFK’s assassins. Strange.

For the record, I believe the evidence

is perfectly clear that the assassination of President Kennedy was orchestrated at the highest levels of power. The shots that killed John Kennedy originated at the Pentagon.

As Mike Swanson points out in his excellent review of Sabato’s book, many people have made fortunes off the assassination by “creating books that line up with the talking points required of them to get praised by the TV media.” Sabato joins the ranks of Gerald Posner and Vince Bugliosi in using his work (written by a team of people at the UVA Center for Politics, run by Sabato) in profiting from his safe conclusion that, despite 150 pages of source notes, he still does not know what happened. But you the reader should be reassured that it is proper to remain dazed and confused.. Sabato gets paid $10,000 to offer his mysterious lack of insight through mainstream media outlets.

To quote from Mike Swanson’s review “Sabato argues that the “establishment view, even today, in the halls of government and many media organizations” is “that it is irresponsible to question the ‘carefully considered’ conclusions of the Warren Commission report.” Sabato warns that there are some who consider it close to being a threat to national security. “Further, say the lone gunman theory’s advocates, the widespread accusations that senior political, governmental, and military figures participated in the planning, execution, or cover-up of the assassination of President Kennedy have damaged the image of the United States around the globe, fueling anti-American sentiments by undermining the very basis of our democratic system,” he explains. In such a siege atmosphere it is no surprise that TV news producers have stuck managed to keep themselves within the bounds of the proper “responsible” talking points. And so has Sabato.” Well said, Mike Swanson.

Sabato declares to his reader that “given the lack of hard evidence, to accuse any arm or agency of the federal government of orchestrating Kennedy’s assassination is both irresponsible and disingenuous.”

It is not possible in this small space to list the overwhelming evidence that Kennedy was killed because he refused to fight the Vietnam War in the face of vehement opposition from his military. Kennedy then went further to suggest in his American University Speech that it was time to end the Cold War. After facing down his military and CIA (General Curtis LeMay and Allen Dulles among many others) in order to successfully avoid full blown nuclear war at the Cuban Missile Crisis, the cold warriors of the time decided that Kennedy was soft on communism, and killed him with the support of Lyndon Johnson and

J. Edgar Hoover (among others). The facts of Kennedy’s conflict with his military are well supported in James Douglas’s book “JFK and the Unspeakable.”

It is not possible here to note the problems with the evidence which include every single aspect of the case, again well explained in Barry Krusch’s book “Impossible: The Case Against Lee Harvey Oswald.” If you prefer a video presentation, see “50 reasons for 50 years,” Black Op Radio.

As Swanson notes: “Sabato dismisses just about all possible conspiracy theories in his book. He claims it simply is ‘irresponsible’ to think that elements of the United States government could be involved. He won’t do that so he comes up with one possible politically correct conspiracy theory of his own buried in a footnote – “in theory, the cabal could also have been the opposite: Communist inspired.” In April, 1961 FBI J. Edgar Hoover sent Attorney General Robert Kennedy a memo admitting that the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA’s parent organization) had been infiltrated by a “Communist element” that “created problems and situations which even to this day affect US intelligence operations.” Note that while dismissing mountains of evidence that Kennedy was killed by National Security State in order to continue the violence perpetrated upon the world to this day by the American Empire, Sabato instead creates his own new conspiracy theory (Communists inside our intelligence agencies). This is how a disingenuous scholarly book stays within the boundaries of accepted dialogue while failing to come to a conclusion beyond the concept we must all remain confused.

To further emphasize the point, Sabato concludes “there is no reasonable doubt” that Lee Harvey Oswald was “at least one of JFK’s assassins.” Must I remind Sabato that another assassin means conspiracy, something that the overwhelming number of Americans’ have believed since Jack Ruby killed the alleged assassin in a police station, and reaffirmed when the Warren Commission study was refuted so effectively by the early researchers. The majority of the American people have rejected the conclusions of it’s government consistently, despite the supporting propaganda of the corporately controlled media over 50 years. As Senator Russell Long famously said “that dog don’t hunt.”

Ms. Howard states that Sabato did is homework. Since she is an expert on the Civil Rights era of American History, could she possibly believe that James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King, or that Kennedy’s brother Robert was killed by yet another lone assassin? The dark forces that moved against a peaceful world killed President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy for their opposition to the violence perpetrated then (and now)

by the American Empire.
President Kennedy said in his

American University speech “What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”

But this was not the vision of General Curtis LeMay, General Lymen Lemnitzer, Allen Dulles, Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Ed Lansdale, David Atlee Phillips, William Harvey, Richard Helms, Des Fitzgerald, James Jesus Angleton, E Howard Hunt and David Morales. These men envisioned a darker,more violent future of unprovoked wars, torture, and mass surveillance. This is why understanding the Kennedy assassination is so relevant today, and why Sabato’s book is so terrible.

Pete Johnson Columbus

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