The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, September 01, 2006

In The News

While I probably shouldn't blog again today, there are a few noteworthy items I wanted to share with you before I became overwhelmed with activities of the holiday weekend.

You may have caught the news, earlier this week, about a plane crash in our area. The crash didn't happen here in River City, but certainly close enough to feel the rippling effects of it.

As more and more information comes out about the crash, it appears that changes to runways, a mere week before the accident, may have been the cause. The pilots got confused about which runway they were to use, and the lone air traffic controller on duty (a case of the FAA ignoring their own rules) didn't notice they were on the wrong runway. A runway much too short for them to clear the fence necessary for a successful take-off.

Forty nine of the fifty people aboard died Sunday. The sole survivor was the co-pilot who was actually flying the plane during lift off. He's still in pretty bad shape, but has been improving and his chances keep getting better.

I understand that because they weren't terribly far off the ground when it happened, the fall didn't kill the passengers. As the plane's fuel tanks had been filled, the fully-conscious passengers, who likely knew something bad was happening when they felt the impact with the fence, burned to death in a superheated ball of flames. It's simply ghastly.

This morning I noticed that the local news' online site has a passenger list up. Much as I didn't want to find a name I knew, I felt compelled to check. There was not a name I recognized, but I was touched to see that there were several photos and little snippets about the lives of those who died last weekend.

Stories making them all more real and all more tragic. The couple heading to St. Lucia to get married. The couple who had married the day before and were heading to their honeymoon. The 16 year old girl coming to Kentucky, with her horse-riding instructor, to buy a horse. (Her mother had been bumped from the flight at the last minute.) A nurse on her way to visit her grandchildren. The 2004 Habitat for Humanities National Volunteer of the Year.

Not that every person who died is less a tragedy, just that some of the stories hit home a little harder than others. Sometime commenter and frequent lurker, Jeorg, lives in the town where the accident occurs and has posted about the feel of the town in the aftermath of those events. My heart goes out to them, as it does to all the families who lost someone they loved last weekend.

*****

I noticed in the paper this morning (or it's online equivalent), that Kentucky native, former White House correspondent (and sometime moviestar) Helen Thomas was in town last night, speaking at a gathering of the local ACLU. She was, apparently, fiery about the apathy of the American people (and the media) in the wake of the shenanigans of the current administration.

It appears it's not the first time that she's expressed just how feels about this administration, either! In her eighties, she's still able to stir things up. I definitely admire that!

Of course, Mr. Bush has made it fairly clear that he doesn't think much of her either. Though, I'd much prefer being in the group he dislikes, as to the other. I have a pretty serious fear of vipers, and other slithering things.

*****

Just in case I forgot that Kentucky is just south of the Mason-Dixon line, I found a little reminder of how life in the south...in 2006...really is. An interracial family woke Wednesday morning (though not in River City) to find that someone had vandalized their home by spray-painting "KKK" all over it. This after finding a threatening note tucked under the windshield wiper of their car last week.

Bad enough to be embarrassed to be an American as often as I am, must I also have to endure the stigma that goes with "Yep. I live in Kentucky, all right." Before you start, let me state for the record...

No, we don't eat fried chicken all the time.

No, we don't send our children to school barefoot.

And, no, we don't inbreed...not anymore.

We do, apparently, strongly dislike people of different ethnicities marrying and raising a family.

Remember, boys and girls, Superfiancee' was born and (partially) raised in New York state. It's times like these that I cling tightly to that all important fact.

*****

Though I'm seriously shifting gears, in other (less publicized and much happier) news, my girls will be back home tomorrow! Plans to cookout on Monday (for the Labor Day holiday) and a trip downtown for an international culture fair sometime on Saturday. I plan to get some housework and laundry done this afternoon, so that will only leave grocery shopping for the weekend. My recent Tubin' addiction has netted LOTS of stuff I want to share with the kids when they get home. (Yes, they have already been warned.) The weather should be lovely all weekend, which is sure to present other opportunities for fun, as well. Enjoy your weekend, Gang, I know I will!!

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