On the Right Lane: Jamaican me crazy


“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” 

Doug Larson, columnist and editor

First of all let me admit that this column is going to be, well, for a lack of better words, a crap shoot. But after what President Trump called some nations last week it shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. What I find perplexing is that the stock market continues to soar, which kind of tells me the rich are getting richer under President Trump. I just don’t see the average worker investing millions in the stock market. I often ask myself why I never invented the Pet Rock and become a millionaire myself.

Since it is winter, it drives me crazy to think why people won’t clean the snow and ice off of their vehicles before driving down the road. What makes me even crazier is why politicians cannot make this a crime in the first place. I can only conclude maybe politicians don’t want to remove all the snow and ice off their own vehicles as well. Such a law should include every vehicle, especially trucks of all sizes and even school buses, both of which I have witnessed with snow and ice flying off and endangering other drivers.

Our recent bad weather included a whole lot of fog and wet. I understand that during inclement weather it is a requirement to have headlights turned on, but I am sorry to report I have seen law enforcement vehicles with no lights on during these conditions. Maybe part of the problem is that some vehicles have a so-called automatic switch to turn on headlights, but that works only if it is getting dark? I remember decades ago some car manufacturers made sure headlights were on continuously until the car was shut off. Then people starting asking why idiots were driving during the day with their headlights on.

Many Americans think we’re the ones with the technological advances that no other country could even dream of. When I was stationed overseas years ago, cars there had orange, or amber if you will, directional lights at both ends of the vehicles. At first it seemed strange, but then again the rear lights were only red when the driver applied the brakes. Here, if someone has a brake light out and hits the brakes, it can look like a directional light is on. I owned several vehicles in Germany and if my parking spot was on the street, there was a tiny light that came on outside of the car so that another driver could easily spot the vehicle and avoid crashing into it.

Since it’s winter now and more than obvious that our roads are being treated with some kind of harsh chemical of one kind or another, isn’t it about time that we think of something different? Look at cities like Portland, which just banned pesticides unless they are the “natural” type, whatever that is. What’s weird here is that there will have to be exceptions because some bugs appear to be almost indestructible. I can’t say whether or not that means the bugs will win in the end, but I certainly hope not. So I wonder why we would want to apply thousands of tons of salt and other chemicals like calcium or magnesium chloride, which ultimately could end up in our water supply along with killing plants along the edges of streets and roads.

When I was stationed in Alabama my wife and I were constantly at war with all sorts of insects, but nothing was worse than the dreaded fire ants. Even today I have some scars where those pesky little bugs bit me and caused infections of fire, or at least that’s what it seemed. Other than pouring gasoline or some other combustible liquid and igniting it on your lawn, to combat those ants one had to use chemicals more than likely equivocal to those used during World War I.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham no longer dreams of living in Hawaii.