Friday, May 1, 2009

A May First Ramble

We had some showers pass through our area last night. The showers were probably pretty steady for a while, but my rain gauge only recorded .01 inch of water. The weather forecast says we could get a few showers this morning and perhaps some more late this afternoon; the weekend, however, is looking fairly good.

I couldn’t think of much I wanted to write about this morning. The Maine Senate passed a same sex marriage bill yesterday. It goes to the House and then the governor for more action. I heard on the news this morning that there’s also a possibility of a “people’s veto” attempt to get the measure defeated. If that happens, it could be several more months before the issue is finally decided.

The flu news continues to dominate the news both in Maine and the nation. The number of confirmed cases has now passed the 100 mark. Five confirmed cases are now in Maine with some suspected cases still pending. York, Kennebec, and Penobscot counties are the affected areas.

Vice President Biden drew the ire of the travel industry yesterday when he said he wouldn’t travel anywhere in a confined space, such as a plane, train, bus, etc. He said everyone should consider such travel carefully. The travel industry said the Vice President was spreading unnecessary panic. A White House spokesman told a group of reporters “What the Vice President meant to say…” (my emphasis) and that comment along with the explanation drew laughter from those there.

Before this day is over we’ll know what Governor Baldacci is proposing to cover Maine’s 570-million-dollar revenue shortfall for the next biennium. I would think he will either have to make cuts in the current spending plan or increase taxes and fees. Government imposed fees are just other names for taxes except usually in concentrated areas that don’t necessarily affect everyone. The governor says he will not approve any broad based tax increase.

Have you ever noticed how state government releases important information that will affect all Mainers on a Friday, usually late on a Friday? I’m not saying this one will be late, but the timing always seems to be so that the news media can’t/won’t/doesn’t report on whatever that information may be over a weekend when the government can’t put its spin together.

I guess I’d hope he would cut entire programs rather than just decimate all of them. I would agree we need to continue to help the neediest among us, but we don’t need to support more than half the residents of the state on taxpayer money.

Turning briefly to sports thoughts: There’s a poll this morning on Fox Sports asking if the current Chicago Bulls-Boston Celtics series is among the greatest playoff series ever. I don’t watch NBA basketball but I have read the stories. My reaction is simple: Of course it isn’t. It may be among the best ever played between one team with stars hurting or not playing and a mediocre team at best, but from what I’ve read, if Kevin Garnett were playing this series would be over. It will be, thankfully, after tomorrow night as the teams meet for game 7 in Boston.

How about that new logo for the Maine Red Claws which was revealed yesterday? It’s kind of cute but not Sea Dogs cute. I know not how accurate this is, but at my monthly lunch meeting Wednesday one of the group said he had voted on line for the team name. The “Red Claws” was the winner from among a half dozen listed. Also on the list was just the name “Claws.” Both, of course, refer to famous cooked Maine lobster claws.

According to my friend, an explanation of all the proposed names said the “red” in the winning name is a direct reference to Red Auerbach, the legendary Celtics coach/administrator/leader of the Celtics Glory Days. Once the NBA season is over, it is highly speculated that the new NBA development team, the Red Claws, will be affiliated with the Celtics.

I don’t often criticize umpires. I was one once. But that call on Dustin Pedroia last night at first base was horribly inexcusable. Pedroia was called out a good step or more after he had crossed the base. I would think that umpire might be a little embarrassed when he sees the replay today. It had absolutely nothing to do to the outcome of the Rays’ blowout of the Sox; it was just one awful call.

And finally, congratulations go out to the Portland High School baseball team. It posted its one thousandth victory in team history yesterday. It is believed it is the first high school baseball team in Maine to reach that milestone.

Now, let’s look forward to a nice, easy, weekend. I hope yours is a good one.


No comments: