With the approaching, joyous holiday also comes the onslaught of pre-holiday parties ... and the consumption of alcohol that often comes with them.
Historically December sees an increased number of drunk drivers being arrested by authorities in the Mid-Ohio Valley, which probably also means there is an increase in the number of drunk drivers who aren't being arrested but nevertheless are endangering us all as they take to the road.
In Parkersburg, 114 drunk drivers were arrested in 2011, and more than 160 had been arrested by Nov. 1 this year, which means either police are being more vigilant in identifying drunk drivers or there are more drunk drivers risking their life and ours on the roads. Hopefully, it's that officers are being more diligent, but sadly it seems logically there is an increase in the number of those who drink and drive, especially this time of year.
It is sad and criminal that motorists cannot avoid consuming alcohol, especially during the approaching Christmas and New Year's holidays, and it is idiotic for motorists who drink to not have a cold-sober designated driver to take them home instead of possibly injuring or killing themselves and/or others.
Let's all be safe and be smart enough not to drink and drive ... and maybe we all will enjoy the holidays without spending time in the hospital, the morgue or in jail.
It seems about once a year I have to write the same information about the differences between a news article, an editorial and a column in a newspaper.
A news story is aimed at being as fair, balanced and impartial as possible, telling the reader the news as is known at that moment in time. Updates and followups to the news story add additional information possibly not available at the time of the original report. The article relates what reporters are told, without the reporter making a value judgment as to the truth or accuracy of what the individual being quoted is saying. A news article aims at telling both sides to a given story and attempts to get more than one point of view if there are opposing sides.
An editorial is published on the opinion page, sometimes called the editorial page, of a newspaper and is just that - the opinion of the newspaper on an issue of general public concern. It is not necessarily the opinion of the editor, the editorial page editor or even the publisher, but rather the viewpoint of the newspaper as an entity unto itself as decided by key personnel in the newspaper. Unlike a news story, by its very nature an editorial is not necessarily unbiased or impartial since it is an informed opinion based on information contained in news articles, observations or information obtained through additional research and/or comment.
A column, which is what you are now reading, usually is published on an opinion page and is the specific opinion of the writer. It is not the opinion of the newspaper and should not be construed as such. A column, like an editorial, states an opinion based on information obtained by the writer and in all likelihood is not unbiased nor impartial since opinions by their nature are not impartial.
A blog is very much like a column, stating the opinion of the writer, except it appears on a website, such as www.newsandsentinel.com.
Sometimes my blog and/or my column agrees with the opinion of the newspaper as written in an editorial and sometimes my view doesn't agree with an editorial, just as readers sometimes agree with me and sometimes agree or disagree with the opinion of the newspaper ... and that's the way it's supposed to be in a lively, interactive newspaper.
Contact Jim Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org