08-24-2017 Letters and Commentary

MAYBE THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT… We’ve seen it before. A youth dies from a drug overdose, or alcohol abuse, or texting and driving, or another tragic accident. The public is outraged and bands together to seek change. The public packs city hall, the media covers the event and then is a short while the outcry dies away and new issues come to the forefront.

Meanwhile the family is left to grieve alone. The public is distracted until another tragedy captures the headlines.

Occasionally something is done. The tragic death of a Watervliet youth from an overdose, because his friends were afraid of reprisal for calling for help, resulted in some change. Now the Good Samaritan law protects minors from reprisal when calling for help for a friend overdosing on drugs or alcohol.

This Monday, Hartford citizens packed city hall following the heroin overdose of a local youngster just a couple weeks ago.

Interestingly they were not pointing fingers at a lack of law enforcement, or rehab programs or education; they were there to offer assistance to the community to “do something” to stop the epidemic of drug use in their community.

Perhaps, like in the case of the Samaritan law, citizens offering to help and then helping will bring about some changes.

Call it what you will, heroin, or opioid or drug overdose, there is an overdosing epidemic in our country, from the big city to the small town. While it won’t go away anytime soon, small steps like in Hartford, is a beginning to save our children and our community.

PRESIDENTIAL PRESIDENT…. I watched President Trump’s address to the nation Monday night regarding our Afghanistan policy. I agreed with him.

Our country needs to demand the participation and support of countries that we are supporting with troops and money. Most times the USA bears the burden of supporting countries beleaguered by insurgents seeking to overthrow the lawful government.

We’ve been in Afghanistan for 17 years attempting to protect a government that at many times seems unwilling and unable to take advantage of the support.

I like the President serving notice to all nations that the USA will no longer be handing out cash without getting something in return. I also liked the President serving notice to terrorists the world over that the USA will seek their defeat and destruction.

I was impressed by President Trump’s message and demeanor. It was presidential.

CELESTIAL CURIOSITY… where were you during the great eclipse of 2017. Working? Napping?  Shopping? Weeding the garden? Tracking the moon’s shadow creeping up to shroud the sun?

Despite the hype and hoopla by the science whizzers on T.V., I’m guessing more of us were doing something else besides waiting for the sky to go dark this past Monday afternoon. Around here the sky darkens more for a midday thunderstorm than an eclipse that misses the area by 300 miles or so. To be fair, had the shadow passed directly overhead there might have been more interested. In those areas, marketers sold out football stadiums to those who never witnessed the sky going dark.

Those that did, saw the sky darken much the same way it does when a storm rolls through or the sun sets (nightly).

Even so, it was a bit exciting thinking that just a couple hundred years ago humans clanged pots and pans to drive away the demon shadowing the sun. Perhaps even a medicine man claimed to darken the sun and then banished the shade a few minutes later.

I’m wondering how many special eclipse viewing glasses were sold and is there a place to sell them back. I didn’t get caught in the stampede to save my eyesight ruined by staring at the sun, but I did manufacture a cereal box (Cheerios) viewer just in case the skies cleared and the sun darkened on cue. When it did, I found I was watching others watching the eclipse.

The folks across the street at B&B Outlet were outside with their cereal box viewers. They all watched a “sliver” of the sun go dark for a few moments. And the sky darkened and the air cooled a bit. Even the streetlights came on. They were entranced by the show in the heavens as the traffic continued on Main Street, and eve