Monday, June 11, 2012

Teenagers plus cars plus speed equals tragedy

What happened in Chardon last winter – when a gunslinging student ended the lives of three of his classmates and wounded another – was a terrible tragedy that seemed to make no sense.

And last weekend near Brunswick, four young people ultimately lost their lives in a one-car accident that could have been prevented if only the young driver had slowed down.

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on this. I could devote an entire column to the subject, having written too many times about young people in our community who have lost their lives in preventable automobile accidents.

Speed kills, Mom and Dad. And if you don’t get that message across to the teenage drivers in your home, you, too, could receive the dreaded late-night telephone call from a first-responder:

“Your son/daughter (blank) died in an accident.”

Speed kills. Write it on their foreheads.


Write negatively about one aspect of fracking – in my case when I wrote last week about the list of chemicals in fracking water – and you get labeled “anti-fracking.”

I am not anti-fracking. I’m anti-secret lists. And I think the list of chemicals in fracking water ought to be made available to the public.

I’m also a firm believer in developing our own supply of fossil fuel because, for the most part, that’s all we have right now.

I have nothing against wind or solar power, but they don’t seem to be the immediate answer. I mean seriously how many windmills would have to rotate 24/7 to provide power to the city of Dover? Thousands? Millions?

And, people, what do we do on a calm, windless day?

My carbon footprint is reasonable. I don’t live in a big house; I drive a fuel-efficient automobile (by my standards); and I have employed some of those ugly, but efficient light bulbs that are supposed to last five years (but don’t) and use gobs less energy.

I was skipping through the channels the other day and came across “The View,” which is the Barbara Walters-produced show that pits liberal women against a conservative, Fox News-type blonde (OK, that’s not the network description of the show) and which makes for some good TV viewing when they all get into it.

On this particular day, the blonde, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, was commenting on the case of the helicopter mother who took on her daughter’s bully up close and personal and now faces assault charges.

Elisabeth thought the schools needed to become more involved to prevent this kind of stuff.

Liberal Whoopi Goldberg called out Elisabeth.

Schools have enough going on, Whoopi said. You can’t expect schools to police everything.

Right on, Whoopi.

More and more I hear the schools ought to teach that, or fix that, or feed them that, or counsel them this way or that way (and make sure the bus stops in front of my house) all while folks are saying no to new taxes that would help schools deal with the socio-economic-parental stress their students bring to school every day.

Ever see the pictures on the Internet of the characters shopping at Wal-Mart? They have children, folks.

The public tends to criticize even well-managed districts for any number of things because we all know that any member of the public could run a school district because they’ve told us so on many occasions and certainly just before they cast a “no” vote on the levy ballot.


A few months ago, I might have written this:

“I think this country is on the wrong track by allowing the private sector to take over the process of delivering space-travel vehicles. At this point, we have to rely on the Russians to get us to the International Space Station, or some half-baked private sector rocket ship that may or may not get there. Oh, boy.”

I would have been wrong. Really wrong.

Of Space X’s Dragon spaceship which returned safely to Earth last week, the Los Angeles Times said: “After the two spacecraft connected in space May 25, astronauts aboard the space station unloaded half a ton of cargo, water and clothes.

“The Dragon spent six days attached to the station and was refilled with 1,455 pounds of cargo for the trip back to Earth. The cargo will be delivered to NASA.”

I stand corrected.

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