Sunday’s news items [food serving inspections; OPINION: thoughts in the sand and waves & more] – 8/2/2020

Area restaurant inspection | Columbia Family Restaurant

Obituaries of local note | Dennis L. Watterson, Jr. •  Patrick “Pat” Wolpert

Library events | This week (click on the above photo to enlarge each.)

“Coronavirus-related school safety grant | provides boost for struggling districts, but school officials question its effectiveness. – “Columbia will use its nearly $178,000 for “Cleaning and sanitizing products; PPE, thermometers, infrared cameras; modification of existing areas to effectuate appropriate social distancing.”

OPINION: grains of sand and endless waves | Spending time on a beach can be cathartic and maybe even revelatory. And that’s what we did last week.

Seemingly limitless. That’s our conclusion about the number of grains of sand and the relentlessness of the waves rolling ashore as we logged over a dozen miles of wave walking last week.

What if each grain of sand, so alike in form, yet do different in background and experience, represented people. Also so alike in form and different in background and experience.

We thought about the way people emote their differences. They sometimes speak out, act out or write out without having any knowledge, experience, education or acumen about an topic.

People with no experience (or so often, the same experience over and over again without examination or reflection) regularly speak out in public forums —  with no considered introspection, thought or knowledge on the topic about which they speak. And they take virtually no effort to research the subject.


We find people with spotty and inconsistent voting records clamoring about the injustice of mail-in voting. That mail-in voting is safe and acceptable for most somehow bothers them.

We find people claiming to be expert because they’ve worked in elections for so many years. Problem is, few of them regularly read the guides. They learned the practices once a long time ago and have read nothing since.

Everyone is an expert, yet few have volunteered to work in the system. Take a look at the poll workers; they’re mostly folks you’ve seen working there for years. They’ve likely become highly entrenched in conducting balloting in the ways they’ve “always done it.” What if the system were changed so no poll worker could work in the same place for consecutive years?


Social media sites always have the commenters who chime in on any topic. Prudent reading can always discern that so many are tethered by their political alignment. Often they’re not objective nor versed in the topic. We find people who rent slamming “renters” or “those people.” They often cast giant aspersions categorizing and condemning others. Seldom have they bothered to gather substantive information, but they consistently contribute their ideas as factual.


There’s the followers and haters group of people. They tend to follow the popular rants of FOX personalities. They always support police actions — rightly or wrongly. They are law and order fascists until it might affect them. They favored federal government intervention in Portland, yet they deplored federal government with the Cliven Bundy-ists of a few years ago. They support citizen dissent in Hong Kong, but condemn it in the US.

Closer to home, so many local followers have no understanding of the term “defund the police” but are quick to praise police actions. All police actions. Hard to comprehend are those who applaud the police, specifically local police for the “Superb work from our local law enforcement,” when the suspect turned himself in.

By the way, Cliven Bundy’s son, “Ammon Bundy Comes Out in Support of BLM, Calls to Defund the Police.”

Why do so many of these same folks support the lack of transparency in policing and government? Or at least some government? The comments from many haters blast the Wolf administration for lack of transparency yet support the Columbia Police Department in its redaction of its continuum of force policy. It is a conundrum.

The hate and racist commenters abound, too. Contrast the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, peaceful protests and business, municipal, school district and faith-based organizational support messages with the ugly, racist comments uttered during and after the events in Columbia.

sand castle

Hope at the beach? We always see children, and adults, gathering up these diverse grains of sand and molding them into forms and structures. There’s evidence, if only temporarily, that something positive can be molded from the diversity of many grains of sand. Maybe there’s hope at the beach. We’ll see.  

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