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Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

Cheers: to interesting perspectives. Last week, Origins, a website devoted to putting “current events in historical perspective” — hosted by the Ohio State University and Miami University — featured “A Postcard from Newfoundland” by Columbus, Ohio photographer David Bernstein. In the piece, Bernstein says the Resettlement program of the 1950s-’70s and the cod moratorium of 1992 “ended Newfoundlanders economic relationship with fish.” By “fish,” he means cod, and he acknowledges it has “rebounded some.” Agree with Bernstein’s assessment or not, his photographs are undeniably evocative of this place, and are definitely worth a look. You’ll find them here.

Cheers: to strength in numbers. It was heartening to see a crowd of supporters come out on Thursday for a rally in downtown St. John’s. (But Jeers, too: it’s disheartening that an event for the families of murdered women involves so many people. And that the most prominent memorial to women in St. John’s is for victims of domestic violence.)

Jeers: to rigidity. Like or loathe the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council plan to tackle the province’s serious financial situation — it’s proposing $600 million in tax cuts and a $1.1 billion reduction in spending — at least the group is offering suggestions. When asked his reaction to it Thursday, Premier Dwight Ball acknowledged he hadn’t had time to delve into it too deeply at that point, but said, “If we were to implement the Employers’ Council report today, it would mean thousands of cuts in health care services, cuts in education and so on. We’ve laid out our seven-year plan, and so we’ll be sticking with that.” Stick-to-itiveness is all fine and dandy, but the political leadership of this province needs to keep an open mind. Given the financial mess we’re in, the government should set up a virtual suggestion box and encourage innovative thinkers to contribute their ideas.

Cheers: to sleeping like a baby. Have you ever been at the grocery store and absent-mindedly grabbed the wrong cart, and it wasn’t till you noticed the stack of frozen pizzas and the bottles of no-name cola in there that you realized it wasn’t yours? Well, worse things can happen. A shopper in Portland, Maine last week took the wrong cart and didn’t realize until he was halfway across the store, when he noticed it contained a sleeping baby. Rather than alert customer service to what he had done, The Associated Press reports that he just left the sleeping tot and went off to retrieve his own cart. No harm done, right? Well, there was the small matter of the ensuing store lockdown and a police investigation. Police say no charges will be laid, but you can bet the guy will be checking his cart twice the next time. The baby, meanwhile, slept through the whole thing.

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