Rules of the road

A Beaconite walking down Waterfront Drive in front of Pusser’s on a recent Monday afternoon witnessed the police stop a pickup truck carrying passengers in the truck bed. He turned on his iPhone video camera and walked closer so that he could observe the activity. Perhaps he got too close, for a police officer turned around and calmly requested that he step back. The Beaconite was then approached by another officer armed with a handgun and an assault rifle. “You’re too close to the officers. Stand right there. We need some distance,” the officer said politely as he pointed to a nearby area on the sidewalk. After the Beaconite identified himself as a reporter, the officer answered a few questions about the stop, explaining why the truck had been pulled over. “The gentlemen in the back: They’re supposed to be seated flat in the bed of the truck,” he said. “You’re not supposed to sit on top of any object on top of the truck. That’s an offence.” Asked about stopping the truck in the middle of traffic, the officer conceded that the vehicle could have been pulled over off the main road. “That would’ve been an option, but it’s two-way traffic, so we can still use that one,” he said as he pointed to the two adjacent lanes. The Beaconite was glad to see police officers out enforcing the law, particularly after the recent robbery in Road Town. He also agrees that riding in the back of a pickup truck is a dangerous practice — even when sitting down — and that police should crack down on such behaviour. But in the future, he would suggest that officers ask drivers to pull off the main road while they are being warned or ticketed. At first, he also wondered if an assault rifle and four police officers were overkill for carrying out a traffic stop. But then he considered the recent violent crime in the territory and decided that such a show of force was probably a good idea. He also very much appreciated the police officer’s polite and professional responses to his questions. After all, police don’t have an easy job.


Off the chain

A Beaconite is sick as a dog from the inhumane pet practices he witnesses too often in the territory. One example is the all-too-common dog-chained-to-its-house scene. To him, dogs can be so much more than just pets, and they should be. They are thinking, emotional beings, and when they’re chained up they’re limited to just a few leaps and bounds. The reporter understands why owners do it: Dogs, after all, can be extremely difficult to live around. But he implores owners to at least allow their pets to run around the property every now and then — or take them for regular walks. Some residents appear to use dogs for security, but wouldn’t a weatherproof security camera be better (and cheaper)? Speaking of chained animals, there is another sight that he simply cannot get over: a flock of chained sheep near his home. After hours of screaming coming from the flock one evening, any human could see why they seemed to be in such distress. A sheep was tied to a bushel of grass with about two feet of wiggle room, and the shepherd was nowhere to be found. The screaming continued through the night. The Beaconite advises anyone inclined to be a shepherd to monitor their sheep. Otherwise, they might fall victim to outside threats. That is the beauty of a fence over a chain: The animals not only stay together, but they are protected from predators as well.

Live tunes

A Beaconite finds herself invigorated whenever she hears live music playing. The tunes make her feel like she is no longer just running errands in town. They take her out of her own head for a moment, reminding her senses where she is and allowing her to see past the monotony that can sometimes dull down life. With a live soundtrack, her trek is no longer just about navigating crumbling sidewalks or avoiding getting hit by cars or worrying if she will get caught in the rain. She is reminded to enjoy the moment and hum along to the melody. She thanks the many musicians who perform around the territory, and she urges them to keep it up.