Thumbs up and down

Feb. 16, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: The on-call

It goes without saying, but because we don’t talk about it nearly enough we’ll say it again here: while much of Lee County has enjoyed a snow day or two (or four), Lee Countians who work in law enforcement, public works, utilities repair and restoration and emergency management and services pulled double shifts and more to keep the circuits humming the last few days. To those of you, we say thank you.

There are probably more we should add to that list, but when weather strikes and cripples transportation and other elements of public infrastructure, the vast majority of us walk to the side, relieved of our normal duties either by circumstance or the powers that be or just by virtue of the function of (or lack of) our workaday world. But because we have the Sanford and Broadway police departments, the Lee County Sheriff’s office, road and utility crews and others who braved the elements and the risks (leaving their families at home in the process) to make a path for the rest of us, life has returned to normal.

So again, thanks. And if we were a little impatient along the way — well, forgive us. You’ve got our backs, and we appreciate it.

THUMBS DOWN: Obama’sdouble standard

We’re used to doublespeak from our president and his administration, but the irony of Barack Obama’s response to drug store chain CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products was particularly telling. The president praised CVS’s decision about its campaign to discourage smoking and removing tobacco-related products at its 7,600 stores, saying it was a decision that would have a “profoundly positive impact on the health of our country.”

That’s all well and good, but if Obama was celebrating CVS for its decision to take a stand on principle, then perhaps he should show a little more flexibility to business owners who would prefer not to have to pay for abortion and contraceptives through Obamacare.

Or are Obama’s related lawsuits just another case of him blowing smoke?

THUMBS DOWN:Duke, Carolina and the ACC rules 

It’s easy to say this in hindsight, but anyone with any sense should have had the foresight last Wednesday to have postponed the highly-anticipated Duke-UNC basketball game in Chapel Hill well before 5:41 p.m., the official time the contest (scheduled for 9 p.m.) was called off.

We know now that people with sense weren’t making those decisions, but they were trying to follow guidelines that, in this case, didn’t make sense.

The ACC — which governs athletic competition between the two schools — has a “show must go on” mentality, meaning games are about the schools and the teams, not the fans. Three and even four hours prior to the postponement, law enforcement officials were sounding the alarm about road conditions, but the ACC said if the teams and game staff could arrive, the game would go on — fans and everyone else be darned.

Maybe the ACC will learn a little flexibility through experience this winter. Regardless, though, we know some Tar Heel fans who’d love to have seen Coach K and his crew end up being compelled to show up at the Dean Smith Center on Wednesday night. Those eight miles between Durham and Chapel Hill would have constituted the Devils’ longest road trip of the season.