EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 28, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to five students from Lawrence, who have been selected to represent Northern Essex Community College in a community outreach program. The students, Emmanuel Hernandez, Dayanna Martes, Yicauris Matos, Deborah Merced, and Jasmin Savinon, will be members of the college’s Student Outreach Squad, serving as ambassadors for NECC in the community.

Created in 2007, members of the SOS volunteer throughout Greater Lawrence, partnering with community organizations when help is needed. They work under the direction of Silvia Banos, NECC’s director of community relations.

“These students are learning they can contribute to the goals of local organizations and enhance the quality of life in their own community,” said Banos. “They all have an interest in serving others, which makes me very proud.”

In the past, the Student Outreach Squad has volunteered with the Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force, the Senior Center, Groundwork Lawrence, Lawrence Community Works, the YWCA and other organizations.

Congratulations to these exemplary students for being chosen to represent their school in the community.

Preemptive JEERS to anyone who would oppose a bill in the Massachusetts Legislature by state Rep. Paul McMurtry, a Dedham Democrat, that would allow the granting of liquor licenses to retirement homes. The idea is to allow the facilities to serve residents drinks with their meals.

After it was reported out of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, the House gave initial approval earlier this week to the bill (H 3779) that would allow municipalities to grant liquor licenses to a continuing care community or retirement community.

“Some of the long-term care facilities almost have a restaurant, so it makes some sense,” said Rep. George Peterson, a Grafton Republican. “We didn’t have a serious concern on that one. Listen, I might be in one of those places someday.”

It isn’t just self-interest but rather good sense that should lead legislators and the governor to support the bill. We’re talking here about serving alcohol to responsible adults who, given their maturity, are less likely than any other age group to go cavorting down the streets in a drunken, rabble-rousing frenzy. If these retirees would like the option of having a drink with their meals, it is the height of overweening state nannyism to say they cannot.

CHEERS to the arrival of the holiday season. Hanukkah already is here and Christmas is coming. It is a festive time for sharing with friends and family. It is, to quote the song, the most wonderful time of the year.

Today has become known as “Black Friday”, which seems a terrible name for a happy time of year. The traditional kick-off to the Christmas shopping season is losing some of its luster as holiday sales begin ever earlier, encroaching even into Thanksgiving Day itself. Still, there’s no question that if you find yourself in a store today, you will not be alone. The late arrival this year of Thanksgiving means fewer shopping days before Christmas, adding a little extra urgency to the shopping frenzy.

Gift-giving is as much a joy for the giver as the receiver. But we shouldn’t let it take over the meaning of the season. Remember to take time for thoughtfulness and worship, for renewing friendships and familial connections. Remember also the less fortunate, whom we can help through vehicles such as The Eagle-Tribune Santa Fund.

We wish all our readers a safe, healthy and joyous holiday season.