Here we are, our Merry Band, in the grip of Summer and a cresting news cycle.
Saturday was a day of new records following a week of new records here at NEWS24/680 with record reader visitation (we thought everyone was out of town), a record number of News Flashes going out to record numbers of New Subscribers (nice to have you all with us!) and The Battling Breville (our coffeemaker) churning out a record number of lattes to keep everyone going.
Through it all, whilst posting the latest updates to breaking news stories and trying to manage a huge influx of incoming calls, texts, email, from the readership, we think we managed to answer just about everyone with a personal contact – our stated mission here. We like talking with our readers.
First of all, you guys are whip smart and we like that as it keeps us on our toes. Second, you’re really funny at times and we need that, too. Third, we rely on you to tip us as to what’s happening in our little corner of the planet because, well, there aren’t many of us and it helps having so many extra pairs of eyes and ears out there. Thanks for reaching out.
Some housekeeping: If you do write us, and we hope you do, please don’t prevent us from responding by having your spam filters up. We get the need for this kind of self protection but it’s really sort of infuriating to get a newsy, well-crafted contact from a reader asking for our prompt attention and a response only to have our reply “bounce back” to us. Grrr. Kind of a pet peeve around here so please keep it in mind when reaching out. We want to be able to respond.
Another thing, and we’re going to aim this directly at you Trump Supporters out there – you are free to extoll the virtues and accomplishments of your man on any pertinent story or Letter to the Editor relating to him. There’s no need to bury your support behind fake, profane screen names and domains, behind thinly veiled threats and accusations of “fake news.” (So tired of that one, really). And like those spam filters we mentioned, please don’t make it impossible for us to run your comments or posts by doing any of the no-no’s we have just mentioned and then claiming bias when we cannot run them.
You might try something like: “I (state your name) like what Donald Trump is doing and this is why…” Just a suggestion.
Beyond all that, we see some of the predictions we made in earlier screeds coming true in often heart-breaking ways across our county – with the opioid epidemic taking more lives; our police forced to become street therapists to console the mounting number of neighbors hitting their psychological breaking point; and our homeless population increasing their cry for attention in a variety of new and sometimes unpleasant ways.
Better not to ask about a practice referred to by some as “spattering” or “HazMat-ing,” which has surfaced – or at least gained some attention in recent weeks – as some members of our indigent population seek attention by deploying a bodily function in a public place. This is unsightly at least but a potential public health issue at worst and it appears to be on its way to becoming a thing. We hope not.
And, of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention something we have addressed often on these pages, if sotto voce in an effort not to temp fate: the prospect of a fatal crash involving a car speeding away from police. We have said we cross our fingers whenever someone lights it up on one of our freeways in what we have come to call a high-speed “Thunder Run” and it is true. We have been in police cars giving chase and we have seen the damage a high-speed crash can inflict all too often. Yesterday, Saturday, someone paid a very high price for doing just what we had feared seeing all along.
The fact that no innocent parties were involved was a blessing, of course, but still. And the potential for reoccurrence remains strong.
Which, we suppose, is all that we can do during a time of national uncertainty and local angst. Remain Strong.
See you next Sunday.