Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ann Fisher on Fire

I don't often have a lot to say about any of the Dispatch's columnists, but Ann Fisher kicks some major booty this morning. Yesterday, the Ohio State Senate voted on a resolution supporting and welcoming Iraqi refugees. The original version of the resolution called out Ted Strickland by name, and was nothing but cheap partisan politics. Progress Ohio brought this to many people's attention. Then, somehow, it was agreed that the anti-Strickland language would be dropped, and the pro-refugee resolution passed unanimously. I have to admit, that's where I would have left it. Not Ms. Fisher:

For $50, they could register 150 refugees to assess their needs and find their families.

For $80, they could provide a tent for a family of five.

A cool $100 would pay for blankets, a cookstove and other basic necessities for a refugee family.

Anyone can donate online through the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. Go to for more details.

Easy as pie.

Unfortunately, it’s even easier to introduce a pompous Senate Joint Resolution that means nothing and then pontificate about it for 20 minutes.


One of the chief sponsors said Senate Joint Resolution 1 still was needed, however, to repair damage to Ohio’s reputation after Strickland’s remarks.

How about our state senators do something to repair Ohio’s reputation as a rust-belt state, as a dead end for college graduates, as intolerant of gays, as a prime dumping ground for out-of-state construction waste?

As for our reputation with refugees, the numbers tell the story.

Ohio is 10 th among the 50 states in the number of refugees who have been placed in the U.S. Most likely, we’ll welcome many more in years to come.

Take a bow, Ann. That's a home-run ball.


forumupdate said...

We ask for your help in the difficult contract negotiations between SEIU District 1199 and Forum Health in the Youngstown, Ohio area.
Forum wants hospital workers to pay for their bad decisions and mistakes with drastic and unnecessary changes to their Health Care and Pension benefits.
The Hospital reports system-wide operating losses of more than $23 million in 2006 (mostly attributed to the wages, salaries and benefits of employees) and says that such losses are not sustainable. What they don’t say is that the losses include fees to consultants of $26 million. Without those fees, Forum would show a profit of $8 million. Since the $26 million in fees will not be paid in future years, Forum’s long-term prospects are as bleak as Forum suggests.
Dr. Ghezzi, the temporary CEO, and other out-of-town executives hired a New York investment banking firm to put a price on Northside and Trumbull Memorial hospitals, all while painting an unduly negative picture of the future for the system. Forum won’t make a commitment to the people of the Mahoning Valley regarding a plan to provide healthcare services going forward. Plus they provided NO commitments to the Union regarding the level of employment at the various hospital departments. Instead, Forum threatens Union members with negative scenarios rather than stating their intentions.
Forum demands $24 million in cuts from pension, health care and wages. Our members recognize that we have a part to play in financial relief for the system and we propose more than $8 million in relief. We recognize the Hospital’s needs, but we need a partner who is willing to do the same. Forum refuses to share critical Information with the Union or the public. They only say that the Hospital’s creditors demand concessions from employees, though these assertions were never backed up with evidence. The Union formally requested a meeting with Forum’s creditors to verify Forum’s claims. Forum refuses to allow this meeting to take place.
Take action and take a stand to protect hospital workers at Forum Health and quality care in the Mahoning Valley.
Here’s what you can do: Go to and
Sign the on-line petition
E-mail the board members at Forum Health to influence their decision
Send a letter to the editor (suggested comments are available)
Please forward this email widely to friends, family and concerned neighbors. And please be sure to sign the on-line petition.

ohdave said...

hell yeah!!!!!!