Vacation Alert

This is just an alert to let readers know that I am currently on vacation up in sunny New Hampshire, camping out with family.

Things I have been reading while away, which may be posting fodder once I get back:

The casino issue in Springfield – always keeping tabs on that. With each passing week it appears more and more likely the Powers That Be may well get their wish of a casino in downtown Spfld. A recent story in the Boston Globe talks about the Republican newspaper’s own financial interest in the casino debate and how the paper has announced it won’t editorialize on the issue as a result. That’s somewhat disingenuous in light of the fact that Masslive producers and anonymous commenters (who may well work for the newspaper) continue to promote the downtown casino plans.

Holyoke’s needle exchange controversy. I don’t believe needle exchange is anywhere near as effective as its proponents claim it to be. (Northampton, in fact, has ceased the requirement of turning in dirty needles altogether, and simply gives out clean ones to drug users.) A quick glance at HIV occurrences in affected cities doesn’t show any appreciable decrease in reported cases (the city of Cambridge being notable in this).

More power outages in the city. By coincidence, another city in Massachusetts was also affected by a power outage this same week. The concept of burying lines should not die away simply because the power companies protest it as being too expensive. It would be expensive – especially initially. But as the infrastructure is changed over, the process would decrease in expense and the delivery system would become more reliable to consumers. As another news service has previously noted: there is an obvious reason why we never hear about routine power outages in western Europe. (They bury their lines.)

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