A dog’s life

Though the issue has been aired often on social media, in international and local news articles, and in public chatter, it still surprises and disgusts a Beaconite to see how badly some people in the Virgin Islands treat their dogs. Even aside from the abhorrent issue of pet poisonings (which have the potential to harm a lot more than just innocent animal life), it is visibly disturbing how many emaciated, ignored dogs sit tied to properties across the territory, baking in the sun and seemingly never taken off their chains. Dogs take work to own and should never be cared for by people unwilling to do it. They’re active, social animals that deserve existences with opportunities to run and play. The Beaconite believes people need to start holding their neighbours accountable if they abuse or neglect their pets. Don’t let a dog near you be underfed and uncared for without saying something about it. The regulatory teeth available to help these animals may be limited at this point, but social standards can always evolve without the need to wait for a glacial legislative system. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”


Good news only?

The Virgin Islands was graced with Rotary royalty last week when the international president of the organisation, Barry Rassin, flew in for a brief visit. On Friday, Rotarians organised a press conference for members of the media to meet the Bahamian. The gesture was very welcome, but one comment from the president at the end of the conference left a bitter taste in a Beaconite’s mouth. “I always like to ask the media: ‘Remember, it’s nice to have the positive news.’ We see too much negative,” he warned journalists, adding that Rotary is a big part of those positive stories. “Put that right on the front page, so the population feels good about what’s going on in this community. Okay?” A few reporters in attendance glanced at each other, a little bewildered at the impromptu lecture. “Okay,” they mumbled back. Don’t get this reporter wrong: She agrees that the Rotary Club does great things in the community. But lecturing local journalists on what kind of stories to write — especially when you’re not a regular reader of the publications they work for — seems pretty heavy handed. At any rate, Mr. Rassin will be happy to know that the Beacon always strives to provide a healthy blend of stories. As an example of its unarguably positive coverage, the president might want to check out the article about his own visit on page ???, the Festival coverage on the front page, or the weekly “In their Words” feature on page ??, which routinely spotlights individuals from around the community and their businesses, passions and personal thoughts. And above all else, maybe journalism isn’t about writing “positive” or “negative” stories. Maybe it’s about writing factual ones that benefit the community. Ms. Rassin can rest assured that the Beacon will continue to do just that.


Done it again

Recently, a Beaconite complained in this section about a police jeep parked in the middle of the Road Town roundabout while an officer gave out tickets nearby. Finding this situation dangerous, he suggested that police find a better place to leave their vehicles when not in use. Apparently, they didn’t read the newspaper that week. This week, the Beaconite came on a police jeep parked in the middle of the roundabout — and then passed another one parked in the middle of Waterfront Drive about 30 feet away. The officers seemed to be responding to an incident — perhaps a minor fender bender — but there appeared to be no emergency. Why, then, were two jeeps left in the middle of the road creating an unnecessary double hazard? The Beaconite is sure that police can do better.