Dave Richards for July 24th…………….
--Does anybody know what it means to type in all capital letters in an email or a ‘Tweet’ message on social media? Sure you do. In the 21st century it commonly means the writer is shouting the words, presumably for emphasis. This is just what President Trump did this past weekend, and to me, it’s just another “Ewing Can’t Read” episode where the person making the statement defeats themselves with their own words.
I refer to a time I went to the Civic Center in Providence with my friend Vin Ciavatta to watch the P.C. Friars play basketball against the Georgetown team. Playing for Georgetown at that time was the now-famed Patrick Ewing. Patrick was a very big boy, a great basketball player, but not a very good conversationalist. The word got around that he was in college strictly on a scholarship for basketball and his academics were not his focus. Well, at the game, I saw a spectator on the sidelines hold up a sign in front of Patrick’s face which read, “Ewing Can’t Read”. The sign said more about the one holding it than it did about Patrick Ewing. If, only if, the young man really couldn’t read…….then he couldn’t read the sign and the message was lost.
President Trump “Tweeted” out, in ALL CAPS, that the leader of Iran had better stop threatening the United States or…….and here’s the embarrassing part…….Mr. Trump proceeded to make specific threats to Iran’s well-being.
It seems to me that if you wanted to stop another country’s leader from threatening your country, the wrong way to go about it is to threaten his country. Ugh.
--Today Woonsocket voters will go to their respective polling places and cast their vote to either pass or reject a referendum question which, if passed, will change the Home Rule Charter of the City of Woonsocket to return to a School Committee which is elected by the voters instead of appointed by the Mayor and Ratified by the City Council.
I’ll avoid going over the details at this point, since I suspect that if you are reading these words you are either interested or involved enough in your community to know the facts relating to this question and probably also your own position on it. What I will say here is simply my opinion and observations on this election.
First, as I think back on the election which brought about today election, the one where the voters changed the charter from an elected to an appointed School Committee, I remember it was in reaction to an unresponsiveness of the last elected School Committee to the wishes of the electorate. The main issue was repeated financial deficits within the school department.
I remember thinking I didn’t know why voters would give up their right to choose who sat on the school committee and I remember shaking my head in wonder when the voters did just that. I comforted myself with the knowledge that the voters could always change it back the way it was once Woonsocket’s financial problems were brought under control.
So you can easily understand why I was not only not surprised, but rather pleased to hear talk of the switch-back becoming serious. I thought it was the kind of question which could, because it was the only question on the ballot in this special election, receive a proper vetting with a public debate as to the pros and cons of both methods of seating a school committee. I have been disappointed such a debate did not take place.
As circumstances have unfolded, the question we will decide today has not been debated on its essential merits, but instead by who supports the approval or rejection of the question. This is a shame. But we come by this problem honestly, as a matter of circumstance, and I think that you and I are smart enough to recognize this fact and rise above the personalities involved and vote with our intellect, not our emotions. I’m equally sure that you already have an opinion on the matter and know your own mind.
Today is the day your opinion matters. No one will know how you vote, so vote the way which is right for you. Vote for what YOU think is best for our city. But above all, please vote today. All 12 polling places are open, so unless you’ve changed addresses you will vote at the same polling place you voted in last time. And consider also that with all polling places open and a light turnout (sadly) predicted, you’ll be in and out in no time at all.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.