Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for June 21st…………

There certainly was a flurry of activity at the Rhode Island State House toward the end of last week. Let’s take a look at some of what they did.

Well I’m looking over dozens of press releases concerning dozens of bills and most of what I’m seeing, not counting the budget, is special interest legislation. I suppose we will never be free of taking care of ‘squeaky wheels’ in our legislature. And when a constituent comes to you with a problem you want to help. And if you can find a justification for it and get the support from others in your body to pass it, you do.

Here is only one example. We all cringe when we hear of another mandate on insurance companies. At least I do, because I know if it is mandated for insurance companies to cover it, then it only affects a small group of people otherwise the insurance companies would have voluntarily covered it. And it also means my insurance premiums are going up again next year in financial retaliation for the insurance company being forced to cover things they don’t want to cover.

You know, I have a heart. I really do care about others who are not fortunate. But there’s got to be a better way, I think. Here’s another example. We all cared when we heard the heart-rending stories of people who were suffering with terminal illnesses and all they wanted to do is get high on pot without going to jail before they died. It moved us all. Now, if you can get a doctor to diagnose you with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome you can get a medical marijuana card and toke away.

It’s “deal creep”, friends. The old “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile” trick. And it seems to work every time. Is there any wonder why I and others like me don’t want to go along with the initial proposals in the first place? We know from experience that it won’t stop there. And where it will end will be a situation that nobody would have originally voted for.

I have a word for that in my life. It’s short, just three letters, and I find myself using it more and more these days because, although it is guttural and probably not even an official word, it speaks volumes. The word is…..UGH!

--It’s public service time. I don’t know if you have seen, but the Woonsocket Parks and Recreation Department is once again in the movie business. They’re showing movies in River Island Park each Friday evening through the summer. This started last Friday with the blockbuster hit National Treasure and continues this Friday with the 3-D computer animated feature film Rio 2, made by the same folks who brought you the popular Ice Age movies. Great fun for the whole family!

The music and activities start at 7pm and the movie rolls as soon as dusk darkens the screen well enough. The River Island concessions stand will be open for ice cream and snacks, too. So bring a blanket or some chairs and make some great memories with the kids on Friday nights all summer. If you find it a drag to bring chairs, no worries. Director Liz Kerrigan and her staff will rent you a chair for just a buck, while they last.

This has been a public service announcement. But it also serves as the basis for a comment I wish to make regarding life and raising families in the 21st century. I have worked in radio and TV all my life. The business has been good to me and I hope I have made the contribution I think I have to the industry in return. But it has been my observation that there is nothing on this earth which is good which doesn’t also have a negative aspect to it. Automobiles, politics, and radio and television all have made positive contributions to mankind as a species. But they have also been misused.

Television, in particular, was never meant to make people into couch potatoes. Really. Nobody in the business that I ever met wants you to sit there for hours in front of the tube and not be an active part of the lives of others. So please be choosy about what you watch and how much time you spend with the TV turned on. Talk to family members and, even more importantly, get out and do stuff with them. Maybe walk to the corner together for an ice cream treat. Or walk down to one of our superb city parks and back home again. Heck, even if you take the car it will be worth it.

I remember my mother bemoaning a rainy day because she couldn’t get me and my 5 siblings out of the house and tired enough to go to bed at night. Make it a family thing. Go see a free movie in the park! Even if you’ve seen it before, you’ll still make some great memories of seeing it in the park, together. And your kids and grandkids, if you have them, will remember the times you went to the park to see a movie far more than if you watched it on your home television set.

There is a time and a place to sit in your living room watching TV. Most of those times are during the cold and snowy months of the year. Now is the time to get out while the weather is nice!

--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.


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