Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call





Dave Richards for May 24th…………

--I want to start this week by thanking the dozens of you who responded to my search for a cobbler in last week’s column. The Fabulous Denise told me to “never do that again”, as the station phone rang off the hook last Tuesday. It’s really nice to see so many caring people out there.

The responses were mostly that there is a cobbler in Manville, and I’ll be going to see them. I also learned that there is a cobbler in Woonsocket on Elm Street but you need to phone them before going there.

Again, thanks a bunch to everyone who responded.

--I felt sure that the prospect of a huge wind turbine being proposed near Dowling Village in North Smithfield would bring out the NIMBYs like ringing the church bell in the town square. Boy, I was right. But it didn’t take much thinking to know that. We are now in a social cycle where the rights of the few, or even the one, outweigh the needs of the many. It’s protest time and with their new electronic gadget, social media, the earthworms of society are working overtime to create unrest in the community. Any community, so long as they can feed their need for power and influence by fanning the flames of hate and discontent, they are in their own kind of heaven right here on earth.

There, that rather antiseptic statement ought to be enough to start the hate mail and threats to the radio station. Because I know these malcontents won’t read any further than this paragraph.

If they had continued to read, they’d learn that from the very moment I heard of this proposal years ago I was hoping it wouldn’t go through, for reasons of my own, not because I wanted to play David to yet another Goliath. No. My concerns are with over the air television and radio reception.

You see, based upon my understanding of the subject, I believe that something that big, moving as it will, may reflect and redirect radio and television waves in the atmosphere in such a way that the waves may be disturbed in their route to the receiving antennae in the general area. I live in that general area. I watch over-the-air television and listen to radio all the time in my life, and I’m not keen on having a wind turbine situated between me and the predominant broadcasting towers for the Providence area. Anyway, that’s why I won’t be glad if they build it. But I do have a deeply held belief that someone should be allowed to do with their property what they wish to do, so long as it is legal. You can see the conflict in my mind. I’ll be content to sit and watch the whole matter unfold, because I cannot do anything, really, about it, nor do I wish to have the power to affect it. No doubt the world is unfolding as it should and I’m not so smart that I have all the answers.

--It’s time now for this week’s rant. I’ve done a fair amount of air travel for business over the last few years. In fact, by the time we get together in these pages next week, I’ll be on the road again. I just read a story on our news wire on which I must comment.

Everyone has horror stories of travels which are adversely affected by the TSA security screening at airports. At one time or another, screening locations seem to redouble their efforts to be speedy and courteous, but there’s just so much you can do when too many people arrive for flights than the lines and staff can accommodate.

The last time I flew out, before dawn at T.F.Green airport, the line for security screening snaked out the door of the terminal and down the sidewalk outside where you exit your cars to go inside. Ugh. I cautiously arrived more than an hour before my flight, but by the time I got through the line, they’d called my name twice on the speakers and I ran to the gate literally holding up my trousers because I didn’t take time to put my belt back on and arrived at the gate literally two minutes before they’d have closed the doors of the aircraft. An associate of mine, who was booked on the same flight with me was left behind. He arrived at Green only 45 minutes before departure time and was still being screened when we lifted off.

This nearly never happens at Green Airport. Usually you walk in and are through security in 15 minutes, tops. But this one time, I’d never seen it so bad. There were charter flights going out at 6am, I am told, and….. well.

Getting back to the news story I mentioned earlier, as you may expect, all the airports in and around New York City are always crammed with people trying to get through security and to their assigned aircraft. And people are complaining that TSA simply isn’t making changes to accommodate the travelling public.

TSA is now on the counter attack. From New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport TSA crew comes news that it’s not their fault. Instead they say it is all the fault of the air traveler for taking too much time to undress and redress in the regular screening lines. They specifically say that it’s the fault of the public for not paying the additional $85 to get “TSA Pre-Check” status, so they can go through the shorter lines and take some of the load off the regular screening.

Now I’ve heard it all. There are gas pumps owned by stores where you can join their club to get special prices. I don’t do that, because I resent the ‘snob appeal’ aspect of it all. I mean, if they can afford sell me a gallon of gas for $2.00, then they should just do it and not over-charge everyone not in their club for the same gallon of gas. I don’t trade there. At all.

It seems to me if I’m going to blow up a jetliner, I’ll do it whether I’m “TSA Pre-Check” or not, don’t you think? But they want our $85 and they will make us pay in another way until we pay in cash, I suppose.

By the way, I have been designated “Pre-Check” on a number of occasions, for reasons I never knew. And sometimes they don’t. It’s nice. But I don’t expect the accommodation. And I just don’t travel enough to make the $85 worth it.

--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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