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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers March 18

Butterfly daffodils have split cups giving their flowers a ruffly appearance.
Butterfly daffodils in all their glory. — Contributed photo

Cheers: to spring. So, on the calendar at least, the first day of spring is but two days away. Ah, spring: crocuses, the birds singing, the greening of grass and trees — except here’s a reminder. Don’t go getting your hopes up. Official spring may be March 20, but it’s more like late April here. And even then, snow storms can arrive. Sorry. Oh — and one more happy thought? Potholes!

Jeers: to reading between the lines. Sometimes, you look at the sky and see the storm coming. The City of St. John’s put out details Thursday about a needed review of the GoBus paratransit service. Consider these two parts of the review in concert with one another: the city is concerned about the rising cost of the service, and where those costs are going. And it’s going to review the eligibility of every GoBus passenger to see if they should qualify for the service. Let’s parse that even more carefully: “Costs are rising — let’s review who’s eligible.” Anyone want to make any bets that, a few months down the road, there will be stories about people who suddenly find they’re not disabled enough for the service and are cut off?

Jeers: to hoaxes that shouldn’t work anymore. Mrs. Marianne Jeanne emailed to say she’s in a hard way, and she’s leaving us money here at The Telegram: “I decided to will/donate the sum of (8.5 million euros) to you for the good work of God Almighty, and also to help the motherless and less privilege(d) and also for the assistance of the widows. At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now due to the fact that my relatives (that have squandered the funds gave them for this purpose before) are around me and my health status also. I have adjusted my will and my lawyer is aware.” All she really needs is our banking information … OK then.

Cheers: to a new story in “True Crime — Newfoundland and Labrador Edition.” This, from court case in the high-tech fraud used at a rural N.L. bar. “When the gambler wins, the VLT prints a slip of paper. The gambler then brings the slip to the bartender, who scans the slip using a computer. The bartender redeems the slip of paper by paying cash to the winning gambler. The slip of paper is then placed in a box. That box is kept behind the bar, and may hold slips for up to a month, before being placed in the storage room. If a gambler wins before 8:00 o’clock p.m., there is no bartender on duty to validate and redeem the slip of paper generated by the VLT. The practice … was to have gamblers bring their slips out to the kitchen, where the kitchen staff would redeem the slips without scanning them using the computer.” Gee, what could go wrong?

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