Kroger is the victim, not the villain. Adding cashiers and axing self-checkout is not the answer.

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Opinion and Community Engagement Editor Amelia Robinson recently had the opportunity to research and write a story regarding the new security measures implemented at six Kroger stores in Columbus.

She chose to make Kroger, the victim, appear as a villain for placing stringent property loss measures in place.

Kroger’s bottom line and their customers are negatively impacted by the rising crime rate and property loss at these six stores.

They are the heroes in this scenario, so let’s focus on the bad actors and ask some hard questions. Unlike other shopping malls and grocery chains in Columbus, Kroger is not moving out but fighting back by continuing to serve their communities.

Robinson cited a 2023 survey by the Council on Criminal Justice of 24 large cities, finding shoplifting cases were 16% higher compared to the first half of 2019. However, when New York City was taken out, shoplifting was down 7%. The obvious question is: Why does New York have a greater shopping problem than the other 23 cities? 

The same ‘why’ should also be asked about the six Kroger stores. 

What makes the other 10 Kroger stores in Columbus immune from excessive loss? Who are the perpetrators? Juveniles, adults, career criminals, gangs? Adding more cashiers and eliminating self-checkout does not fix the root problem.

Let’s ask the hard questions, acknowledge there is a crime problem and apply the appropriate interventions.

The mayor, city Council, police chief, judges, community leaders and appropriate stakeholders should all be on board to make grocery shopping a safe activity in all parts of Columbus. 

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Peter J. Molnar, Columbus

Graffiti adds insult to injury, political or not

I live in Merion Village and have recently noticed the graffiti sprayed on the side of the abandoned Long John Silver’s building. (This building is ugly enough, but that’s another story.)

“Genocide Joe” screams in letters several feet tall.

If you have a political comment to make, do you seriously think this is the best way to do it? I don’t care if it was a political message; it’s just wrong. Destruction of property is wrong, even this property.

But I would also ask, why is it still up there? Doesn’t the owner have some responsibility to remove this? I’m guessing the city does not. 

Sharon Brady, Columbus

Oct 6, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, US; US Senator JD Vance speaks during a gathering on the Ohio Statehouse lawn before the Second Annual Ohio March for Life on High Street. Visitors were marching to advocate for pro-life protections as Issue 1, an abortion amendment to the Ohio Constitution, will be on the ballot in November.

The legislature is causing chaos

It seems to me that if the Ohio Legislature continues to ignore the will of the people (constitutional passed issues such as fixing school fundingwomen’s reproductive rightsmarijuana reform, et. al), those people will eventually ignore the legislature.

And therein lies chaos. Same with the Supreme Court. It’s all based on the consent of the governed. 

Stephen Torsell, Grove City

The Persecuted by Dave Whamond, Canada, PoliticalCartoons.com