Ink Out Loud: Need to state the obvious
October 31, 2014
My father always told me there is "no need to state the obvious." I am going to disregard that advice just for today, because recent news items have surfaced that simply require more attention to common sense and less attention to vanity and greed.
Knock it off, Nocket
Casey Nocket proudly displayed her artwork on Instagram, as many artists do. So what's the problem? She was painting on rocks in national parks and defending her actions by claiming it was art, not graffiti. Nocket, 21, is suspected of committing vandalism at eight sites across five states. I am a fan of Banksy. He makes ugly places more beautiful. Nocket is making beautiful places ugly. Nocket is not an artist. She is a disrespectful menace.
Taking selfies with bears? Who are these people and how long do they expect to live? Bears are huge wild animals and may attack if threatened. If that happens the bear will be killed. A good source of bear information can be found in my friend Maryanne Galvin's documentary, "Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear." It is the story of a black bear that altered the course of Massachusetts wildlife history. The film chronicles the bear's travels and digs into the dilemma of human coexistence with a wildlife population across North America. It includes a range of perspectives including a wildlife biologist, zoo curator, veterinarian, cub rescuer, park rangers, hunter, nature writer and an entrepreneur. The film examines conservation with a focus on the conditions that lead people to participate in environmentally sustainable behaviors to assure the continuity and health of wildlife and shared environments.
Rocking the boat
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Cruise ship crime prompted Sen. Jay Rockefeller of (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to address deaths, sexual crimes and lack of licensing or background checks on cruise ships. The International Cruise Victims Association was formed in response to shocking acts occurring on vacation cruise ships ranging from deaths to rapes to sexual assaults. About one-third of the sexual assaults have child victims, according to Kendall Carver, the founder of The International Cruise Victims Association.
Rockefeller is trying to get others on board with the Cruise Passenger Protection Act to address urgent health and safety issues.
The Act would increase federal oversight of the industry by expanding consumer rights, giving federal transportation officials the authority to investigate complaints and requiring ships to enact tougher on-board security standards.
Rockefeller told USA Today this summer that "he was 'fed up' with what he called 'stonewalling' by the industry to improve safety and security. And while acknowledging many passengers have enjoyable experiences, he said the industry at times treats its customers with shocking callousness and disregard."
This land is your land? This land is my land?
A toll for walkers and bicyclists on the Golden Gate Bridge is being considered. As my friend Elvie said, "that bridge should be paid for by now." He said it reminded him of the line in "Blazing Saddles," "What will that (*expletive) think of next," spoken by Slim Pickens as he looked at a tollbooth in the middle of the desert.
The board that oversees the Golden Gate Bridge is voting to consider charging to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot or bicycle.
When the bridge opened in 1937 the bridge district charged a 10-cent fee to people walking across the bridge until 1970, when the pedestrian toll was eliminated. Let's not bring a fee or a toll back. Everyone should have access, regardless of income, to walk or bike across the bridge.