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Martha, the last passenger pigeon

One hundred years ago, Americans across the eastern United States could have looked up into the sky and seen it filled with passenger pigeons. Their flocks numbered in the billions and could turn day into night. Now they are extinct, the victim of overhunting and habitat destruction.The loss of this species is one of the greatest examples of what can happen if we are not committed to conserving our wildlife. We must learn from their example, and work to ensure that species such as ...

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Against the wind

Maryland faces the same energy choices as the nation overall.Shortly before Congress left for its long summer vacation, Senator Barbara Mikulski tried to block a 150-megawatt wind farm.The Maryland Democrat’s move would delay Pioneer Green Energy’s construction of the project in her own state until an independent study from MIT concerning the effects of wind turbines on naval radar testing at the Patuxent River Naval Base is completed.

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Letter to the editor policy

The Xenia Daily Gazette encourages readers to write letters to the editor:• Letters should be typed, or printed legibly, signed and include current address and daytime phone number of the author. Full addresses will not be published. Form and anonymous letters will not be accepted.• Letters to the editor must be 350 words or less. Deadline for letters is 9 a.m. The Friday before publication. Letter writers have a limit of two published letters every ...

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Ensuring clean drinking water for communities

Earlier this month, I visited Put-in-Bay to tour The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory. I met with Stone Lab scientists and accompanied them as they collected water samples of Lake Erie to better understand the rise in toxic algal blooms.A high level of phosphorous in the lake is a contributing factor to the algal blooms, and I’ve recently announced funds to help farmers implement conservation practices that reduce phosphorous runoff into the lake. But we must ad...

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Auditioning for the electorate

It’s unlikely that even one of the dozen spending bills Congress must pass will be enacted.Around Washington you can tell football season is upon us because Congress is lining up to punt its work until after the elections. Lawmakers have plenty to do over the next month, but little will — and even less incentive — to do it. Congress is grappling with the still-stumbling economy, an immigration crisis, the brewing conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border, Islamic S...

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That gosh darn minimum wage

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to share his long-repressed feelings about a traumatic event. “It was,” the Kentucky Republican confided, grim-faced, “the worst day of my political life.”Was he talking about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America? No.McConnell was reflecting on the day 12 years ago when the Senate approved the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, imposing some limits on political donations by super-rich corporate int...

2 days 19 hours ago | | | Email

A perfect sunday outing

My wife and I have been very blessed. We both have very good incomes. We don’t party on Bill Gates’ yacht but we usually know where our next meal will come from. We don’t have vacation homes in five states and two other countries but we’re able to enjoy the occasional vacation. I say this because no matter how much we have, the thought of spending $700 for a couple of hours of entertainment still makes my jaw drop. We did that recently and I want to tell you the reason...

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Our language has a slew of beautiful words

Some day when you don’t have anything else to do, grab your dictionary and take a good look at some of the wonderful words s in the English language.Trust me, there are some dandies.Mellifluous is one of them.It means “flowery in a smooth or sweet manner.”Ah yes, mellifluous.I like melancholy, too, which, according to ancient and dog-eared dictionary in my home office stands for “sadness, depression, gloomy, pensiv...

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The leaf blower divide

These machines senselessly endanger your health.When new neighbors moved in next door, I didn’t hold off long before broaching the Big Question.Even though we live in Washington, D.C., this had nothing to do with politics. For me, neighborly harmony hinges on where folks stand on this divide: leaf blower vs. rake.You see, I’m one of those otherwise calm individuals who goes totally bonkers at the sound of a leaf blower. It would be different if thi...

3 days 19 hours ago | | | Email

Why I’m marching for climate action

The vast mines stripping Alberta’s tar sands are wrecking old-growth forests.I’ve long known how wasteful, destructive, and dangerous the process of extracting oil from tar sands is. You have to dig up four tons of dirt and rock to get one barrel of oil. Beautiful old-growth boreal forest becomes a wasteland.And that single barrel of oil? It creates three times as much climate pollution as producing a barrel of conventional crude.That’s why I...

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Yost: Proposed GASB rule wrong for Ohio

Ohio’s state auditor says that an additional reporting requirement for local governments to add future healthcare liabilities to their annual reports “would inaccurately state the position of the government and would be misleading.”Dave Yost traveled to Chicago on Thursday to testify before the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in opposition to a proposal that would require local governments to begin reporting future healthcare liabilities for public em...

4 days 19 hours ago | | | Email

‘Honey Do’ list for our nation continued

The list of illegal, immoral and/or unconstitutional actions of our Federal government that should be corrected continues.The first item in my “honey do” list was to audit the Federal Reserve System, a private corporation that charges our nation six percent interest, every year, for the “money” they create out of thin air (they create it by making a journal entry) and loan to the Federal Government to pay its bills. The book entry is a form of interest beari...

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Pro-athletes: Predisposed to violence?

From the O.J. Simpson trial of the early 1990s to the current Ray Rice scandal, domestic violence seems to continually plague the world of professional sports. As evidenced with the naming of two African American athletes in the opening line of this piece, a great deal of the media attention is focused on black males involved in these incidents. Regardless of how it’s spun, however, race shouldn’t be the primary focus of this issue; abuse is abuse.Domestic violence shou...

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The ‘old men’s’ cancer: Part 2

It seems to me that the most chilling words I have ever had spoken to me waswhen my urologist told me I had prostate cancer. I had already experienced a heart attack and some years later underwent multiple heart bypass surgery - both of which were kinda scary, but the word “cancer” was in an entirely different league. To my generation “cancer” meant a death sentence. My mother, sister, and brother all died lingering deaths as cancer slowly ate away at their very being ...

5 days 19 hours ago | | | Email

Letter to the editor

Kennedy for Ohio Supreme CourtEditor:Like many of us, I tend to be “too busy” to vote in off year elections, but this year I intend to vote. Why? Because I recently had the opportunity to talk with a lady who is running for re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court and was impressed by her common sense.Sharon Kennedy began public service as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She completed law school while serving as a...

5 days 19 hours ago | | | Email

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