Monday, May 4, 2015

Not sweating the sweep

The Yankees swept the Red Sox at Fenway this weekend and I awoke to my favorite Yankee fan’s predictable taunt, “bet that hurt.” My response: nope, not really. With three championships in recent memory, there’s not much to whine about even if we get trounced by the evil empire and have a starting rotation that’s pitching only slightly better than a JV high school team.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish the team was starting the season better, but I am conserving my whining for more important things. As an obsessive observer of Rhode Island politics, sometimes I wish others would do the same and quit trying to make the Johnston landfill into Mount Washington.

I witnessed the latest mountain-making last week I was surfing through radio stations and paused briefly to hear about the supposed “scandal” where Speaker Mattiello leases office space to the Cranston fire fighters union. The talk show host was breathless about the “obvious conflict” because the Speaker has a financial arrangement with the firefighters union. Huh?  Speaker Mattiello doesn’t negotiate their contract or benefit in any way from the union’s objectives or mission. It didn’t take long to find out that not only have the firefighters been a tenant for far longer than Mattiello has been in the Assembly, but that they have not been terribly pleased with his voting record either — and let him know that his support of pension reform as House Majority Leader was not particularly appreciated. Of course, I am sure that the talk show host will not go back and cover this again — it’s much easier to flap your lips and cry foul than to analyze something thoughtfully.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to complain about here in the biggest little. We should complain that our investment in our education system does not adequately educate the children we entrust to it. We should be concerned that we educate some of the brightest minds in the country and then can’t offer them opportunities to stay. We should fret that despite being first in the country with a statewide recycling program, our landfill is almost full. We’ve got limited time, resources and brainpower being spent on dealing with the important issues we face, let’s not waste any effort on the small stuff — whether it’s a rental agreement or an early-season sweep.

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