The Valerie Kinney Staying-On-Message Award
Sandy the Not-Quite Hurricane
Although I missed the event itself, being in California at the time, I have spent almost all my life in the hardest hit part of Sandy's windprint—NY, NJ, and CT. Friends, homes, businesses, and activities have all been centered in areas that suffered flood damage, wind damage, and, of course, power outages. The weather postcasters decided that Sandy wasn't exactly a hurricane, enabling those with insurance to pay lower deductibles. Nonetheless, the damage done by this "post-tropical cyclone" exceeded that caused by any local weather phenomenon in my living memory. If you follow this blog, not that there has been all that much to follow in the past few months, let me mention that for me and mine, things could have been a whole lot worse. For others, not quite mine, they were. My sympathies to all.
The Paramus, New Jersey Blue Laws
An oddity of United States jurisprudence is the notion of the "blue law." Although ours is a "secular" country (substitute "godless" if you prefer its connotation), there are various enclaves within these United States in which it is illegal to open some places of purveyance on Sunday, a sabbath. One such enclave is Bergen County, New Jersey, and in particular, the town of Paramus*, which is normally a mall-ridden paradise for shoppers. The blue law ordinance has been hotly debated for decades; as of now the blue laws stand. But due to not-quite-hurricane Sandy, Gov. Christie temporarily suspended the law by executive order at the request of the county executive who said "it was essential to let people buy what they needed in a crisis." [Emphasis supplied] In reporting this story, quoted above and below, the Wall Street Journal reporters found Valerie Kinney to interview:
Auntie Anne's Inc., which has a location in the mall, said the extra day helped franchise owners make up for revenue lost when the store was closed because of Sandy. "We respect the intent of [blue laws]," said Valerie Kinney, an Auntie Anne's spokeswoman. But "being open on Sundays allows our franchise partners to serve guests who want to enjoy a fresh, hand-rolled pretzel on a Sunday afternoon."
Winston The Puppy
Meet Winston. He's about a size 16.
* Locally Pronounced pə-RAM-əs, not like the extinct beast the PAR-a-moose, which died out long before Bullwinkle was born.