Among many head scratchers in the news lately …
• One needs a chart to keep track of the groups that have had a finger in the health of the Westport River. Partial list (acronyms to save space): BOH, WFA, WWRMC, WRWA, EC, PC, AC, BBC (not the radio network), SMAST, CPC, WSC, MDEP, ConComm … And still the river suffers from nitrogen overload.
• The following tidbit explains both why towns are terrified of leaving contract details to ‘neutral arbitrators’ and also why Rhode Island is in such a mess …
WPRI TV reports that every time a weather state of emergency is declared, state prison guards immediately receive pay at the rate of double time and a half. Why? The guards’ union leader declined comment. Does not life go on about as usual inside the joint when it is snowing outside?
• The Transportation Security Administration recently announced that it will once again allow people to carry small knives on board planes. Doing so will speed security checks, they reason.
Flight attendants, pilots and federal air marshals protested — passengers should too. There is no compelling reason for anyone to carry a knife on a plane, no matter how small the knife. And anyone so oblivious as to get to an airport security checkpoint with a knife deserves to lose that knife. Just because there hasn’t been a terrorist plane attack for a while does not mean that this is the time to back off. It is probably because of these rules that terrorists have been thwarted.
• A pending bill that would ban all use of hand-held phones while driving is a good idea that won’t fly — yet. But another bill that would suspend for three months the license of anyone caught texting while driving deserves immediate passage.
• We’re happy for the Edgewood Yacht Club whose plans to rebuild their burned (2011) clubhouse have been approved. For the Tiverton Yacht Club, the wait for similar approval is now nearly a decade.