Gitz stoking division
Shame on Bradley Gitz for stoking the political fires in this pandemic. No, the left is not cheering for the shutdown to continue. They are voicing the same concerns that the nation's health professionals and scientists are airing--we are opening up the country before the pandemic is on a downward trend in an effort to goose the economy and improve the president's election chances. Our federal government is making choices based on politics, and Republican governors are following suit.
Shame on your opinion editors for letting him blame the Democrats and the left-leaning media. I don't watch Fox News because I don't want to be subjected to right-wing propaganda. I read the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to keep up with state and local news, and as an ex-newspaper and magazine editor I'm happy to keep supporting your digital transformation. But if I read many more columns like that one, I'll rethink my support.
Walkin' in sunshine
There is a public safety crisis afoot (#notcovid). And I mean literally afoot. Now that we have coronavirus ravishing the land and people are restricting their activities, they are coming out to walk on the streets of Fayetteville in this lovely spring weather. However, they walk on the wrong (right) side of the road. I've actually given short safety lessons to a number of people, but I can't do it alone. I've considered writing a parody song called "Irresponsible" to the tune of the Beyonce song "Irreplaceable," but I'm not sure how I would get this parody across. I can't sing. I have written the first line. Here goes ... ahem: "To the left, to the left, every time you walk you should walk to the left."
Folks, please walk on the left side of the road so that you will not be plowed down from behind by a distracted driver that you can't see and thus have no way to avoid.
That unmasked man
Vice President Mike Pence shows up at Mayo Clinic to visit patients and doesn't wear a face mask. And evidently, the renowned Mayo Clinic had no one with enough chutzpah to tell him he had to wear one. It was another "Emperor's New Clothes" moment.
And for additional laughs, later they paraded Mrs. Pence out to say he didn't know he should be wearing a mask. Give me a break. Now she looks as stupid as her husband. He didn't notice everyone around him at the Mayo Clinic wearing masks? And I guess he must be daydreaming at the virus task force meetings he leads, and press conferences where masks are nearly a daily topic.
North Little Rock
Increase solar power
A law that removes burdensome obstacles for the solar industry passed with bipartisan support in Little Rock last year. Implementation of the law is now before the Public Service Commission (PSC), which could make or break the solar industry throughout Arkansas. Solar is a triple-bottom-line industry: It's good for business, it's good for customers, and it's good for the environment.
Conway Corp. announced on April 3 that it's investing in 132 megawatts of solar energy, which is enough energy to power 21,400 homes. The project will also create 250 jobs during its installation. Solar installer is among the fastest growing jobs in the country, and a good-paying job that does not require a college degree. We need these green-collar jobs in Arkansas.
Customers benefit when solar is added to their house or business, that is, if greedy electric utilities don't get their way at the PSC. Owning or renting affordable solar panels provides a hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel costs because it provides a constant price for energy over 20 years. Solar saves customers money.
Increasing solar in Arkansas will decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. Cleaner air means healthier people and fewer respiratory problems like asthma. We know that folks with underlying medical problems, like asthma or COPD, are at higher risk of serious complications due to covid-19. Cleaner air and a cleaner environment means healthier Arkansans. The PSC should do right by the bipartisan lawmakers who want to grow the solar industry throughout Arkansas.
ANNA GAYLE GRIFFITHS
Ignored the warnings
They told me, if I voted for Hillary Clinton, that the economy would drop precipitously, that both Wall Street and Main Street would suffer. They said our health-care system would nearly collapse from federal mismanagement. They said our allies would begin to hate us and our enemies would be emboldened. They said that Congress would pass bills to increase our national debt in amounts never heard of before, and the president would sign them with glee. They said unemployment would soar and small businesses would fail left and right.
They were right. What was I thinking?
Editorial on 05/06/2020