2015-01-08 / Opinion

Our Corner of Paradise


In what has begun to seem like an unnerving series of senseless crimes across the country, we take some comfort as the new year begins that on our island we typically enjoy peace and safety. That is because we have peacekeepers and safety nets in the form of public servants at the ready.

Sadly, many parts of the nation do not share in our sense of wellbeing.

In New York City earlier this week, a 70-year-old man was shot to death by his son, and in Boston jury selection for the accused Boston marathon bomber got under way. Both are of course much larger metropolitan areas, untamed.

Closer to home in Fall River, meanwhile, police allege that a dispute over a girlfriend prompted a man to fatally shoot a member of our community. As it turned out, the murder suspect was arrested in Newport a day later without incident, with our local police officers lending a hand in apprehending the suspect.

Fall River is also a larger city, replete with violence, which also has the former district attorney as its new leader after the former mayor brandished a gun.

Sadly, Newport’s fire department was called upon recently to come to the aid of a high school student who collapsed in the gym during basketball practice. Just moments away from the school, fire personnel offered their assistance and life-saving expertise before the sophomore was transported to the hospital.

We should all be grateful that our police and fire departments are able to reach us so quickly when they are needed. Combined with the hospital close by, these first responders are able to keep us all safe and protected.

There are many things we can’t control, however, we can control, to some extent at least, having a city that remains peaceful and safe. And so, as you reflect on our corner of paradise, if you see a police officer or fire fighter, shake their hand and say thanks. These city servants do a remarkably fine job all year long.

They deserve our appreciation.

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