Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers to Sen. Olympia Snowe, for declaring “cash for clunkers” mismanaged, shortsighted and too expensive. She’s right.

• Jeers to Sen. Olympia Snowe for voting to give another $2 billion to the program, anyway. She’s wrong.

• And another quick jeer for clunkers, before moving on to other topics. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the list of the 10 most “clunked” cars and the 10 most purchased cars with clunker incentives. All 10 of the top clunkers were from American carmakers: Jeep, Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet. Six of the top 10 purchased cars were foreign: made by Honda, Toyota and Hyundai.

So, American taxpayer dollars are supporting carmakers competing with companies subsidized by American taxpayer dollars. 

Tell us again how this helps.


• Cheers to protecting seniors. Phil Crowell, the chief of police in Auburn, is mulling the creation of a “Silver Alert” system which would help authorities find elderly people if they go missing. A version of this program operates in many states, including Florida and Texas.

It sounds like a great idea, given recent events. When 77-year-old William Young, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, left his Auburn house in April and disappeared, nobody could do anything to find him. He was later found in the woods near Greenville, where he had succumbed to exposure.

There was a finite period between his departure and his passing, where an aid to his location could have led authorities to him faster. The program considered by Crowell would possibly even feature GPS tracking, to pinpoint people instantly if they go missing.

Of course, attaching tracking devices to people could raise issues of their privacy, but for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, there could be greater goods to consider: those of themselves, their families and the public.

What Crowell is proposing will spark a delicate conversation, but one that must be had.

• Jeers to vandals. Three guys in Carthage — ages 19 and 20 — were charged this week with putting homemade bombs in mailboxes.
This is allegedly fun, but mostly against the law. Now the trio of
miscreants is accused of criminal mischief. We’ll be brief. This
behavior would be considered intolerable for 10-year-olds, but even
worse when the offenders are twice that age.


Grow up, boys.

• And finally, jeers to the decision in Portland to deny an entertainment permit for a group of thespians who rehearse Shakespeare in an Old Port bar. The Bard, apparently, is an unsuspecting victim of an ordinance meant to avoid trouble in the streets after dark. 

It’s much ado about nothing. There’s no love’s labor lost for this comedy of errors. It would be a midsummer night’s dream to see this decision overturned. Hopefully, after no more than the twelfth night from today, this whole tempest will be over.

All’s well that ends well, after all.

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