Thumbs down to mosquitos. It’s that time of year when these wonderful creatures begin to fill the air with their almost magical presence. Mosquitos are beautiful insects that just hangout in groups of a hundred or so just to annoy anybody who decides to come outside. You can’t walk anywhere without one of these useless creatures either flying into your mouth, eyes, or ears, or trying to bite you. These things have very little regard for anything that anybody is trying to do outside. Go ahead try and do anything outside this time of year without dousing yourself in bug spray or keeping a smoking torch handy to ward off the unwelcome guests, it’s nearly impossible. Don’t you dare sweat outside either, that seems to be a natural attractant for them too. They can even get themselves stuck inside houses that, even after thorough inspection, seem impenetrable. These things find a way to bite you or just generally annoy you where ever you are. After it seems you have finally escaped the hordes that linger just outside the doorway, you may find a small red bump on one of your arms or, in my opinion the most annoying spot, around your ankles. These are the mosquitos calling cards, bug bites. They manage to itch for days and refuse to go away. So hats off to you mosquitos, nature’s most useless wonder.
Thumbs down to Oxford village residents (myself included) who failed to turn out to the polls this week for Village’s mayoral and trustee ballots. Personally, I feel that no political incumbent office should ever run unopposed. To me, unopposed races speak to lackluster civic engagement and public complacency. Another issue is that nearly all Village residents that I have spoken to even knew that there was a vote taking place this week... so I can't place all of the weight on John Q. Why were we not better informed? Why is there an election in June? Shouldn't election day be held on election day? Knowing when something as substantial and important as when election for Mayor takes places should be well known, and in this day of instant information and social media everyone in the Village of Oxford should have known.
The race for Chenango County District Attorney has been a heated trend on The Evening Sun’s ‘30 Seconds’ page lately. And understandably so. This is, after all, a position that represents the people in criminal prosecution cases; so of course there’s plenty to be said of all candidates. But regardless of who’s name is plastered on the election sign in your front yard, I say thumbs up for choice. We all know that local elections in Chenango County go uncontested all too often, leaving voters to pull the lever for the best and worst candidates rolled into one. We also know the serious risks of uncontested elections, yet still feel entitled to complain about local policies despite our lack of civic engagement. Some of us have experienced it. So when it comes to a position like DA – or any public office – our right to choose is golden. Isn’t that the beauty of democracy?
Thumbs up to families who have been host families to inner-city children through the Fresh Air Fund. I don’t know how I knew nothing of it until this week, but now I am extremely inclined to host a child for a couple weeks this summer. I have a large yard, dogs and cats, am four minutes from hiking, camping, fishing ... you name it. For those who have participated by hosting a child, my hat is off to you. After reading experiences from folks who were “Fresh Air Kids” in the 1970s, who explained that the program saved their lives, I can’t help but want to be a part of that. If there is something I can do to make someone a tiny bit happier, I’m all on board.