December 12, 2012

Charles Oliver: An unreasonable fear of thermometers

Officials locked down Florida’s Seminole High School and called in a hazardous materials crew. Did someone bring explosives? A firearm? No, a student brought a thermometer for a class project, and school leaders decided that the mercury it contained was a hazard to students because, you know, millions of people have died using mercury thermometers.

NASA reports that an employee’s laptop was stolen from that person’s vehicle. The agency reports that the laptop contains the personal information of a “large number” of NASA employees and contractors and has offered employees a free credit and ID monitoring service  in case of identity theft caused by the stolen computer. I’m no rocket scientist, but it seems like a bad idea to me to put the personal information of a “large number” of people on any laptop.

National Public Radio reports that some 200 school districts have racked up billions of dollars in risky financial arrangements. The districts have relied on something called capital appreciation bonds, which allow them to defer payments for several years but at the cost of running up large amounts of interest. All told, the schools borrowed $3 billion through such bonds, but it will cost them $16 billion to pay off those bonds. One school system alone, the Poway Unified School District in California, will spend almost $1 billion to repay a little more than $100 million in bonds.

An Australian court has awarded a prostitute identified only as GK $30,000 after a Queensland motel refused to rent her a room because motel staff found she was bringing customers there. The court found that the hotel illegally discriminated against the woman. Prostitution is legal in Queensland, which also bars discrimination based on legal sexual activities.

When a New York City cop pulled Isaih Rosemond over for riding his unicycle on the sidewalk, Rosemond whipped out his iPhone and tried to show the cop a government website that proved he wasn't breaking the law. Instead, she gave him a ticket. Rosemond took the case to court, where a judge at first offered to dismiss the ticket if he didn’t ride his “bicycle” on the sidewalk again. Rosemond informed the judge that it was a unicycle and it was legal to ride it on the sidewalk. After actually looking up the law, the judge found he was right and dismissed the ticket.

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  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014