Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 4, 2014

HAMILTON: Newspapers, weeds and drug rehab centers

Niagara Gazette — A lot of people just don’t read the paper — and it shows.

A friend of mine saw me out recently and told me that she had meant to call me, and then complained about the 3-foot high grass that was in the lot next to hers. I responded, “Why are you telling me about it?”

The woman said, “Because you write for the papers and maybe you can write something about it and then the city will come and cut it.”

I then said to her that the city’s grass-cutting contractor should be out soon to do so. The previous contractor failed to perform on the contract and the city awarded the contract to the next lowest bidder. “It was in the paper,” I said.

She then said, “Oh, I don’t read the paper.”

While she was happy that it was likely that the grass, well, the weeds would be soon cut, I was dismayed that she is not soon to read a paper and participate in her franchise as a free American. People are quick to spout their freedom of speech, but somehow don’t understand that the greater right, and teaching tool, is in the First Amendment’s freedom of the press.

If we citizens read the paper more often, and not just this one or that one, but all of them, then they will have the steady stream of information and understanding that they need to make good decisions — especially in the voting booth.

Let’s face it, most Niagarans know more about their neighbor’s business than they know of their own public’s business, which more greatly impacts their lives.

Another case. The North End of Niagara Falls has been a very busy place lately, with millions upon millions of dollars in construction taking place.

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