Face the questions

A Beaconite has noticed that some election candidates are not making themselves particularly accessible during this campaign season. Some have dodged debates, for example, and others have failed to return journalists’ phone calls. This behaviour seems very strange to the Beaconite. Shouldn’t any candidate be excited by every opportunity to explain and defend their ideas for the future? It is one thing to stand up in front of a supportive crowd and throw out wild promises: It is another thing entirely to answer hard questions about those promises. If candidates are not willing to face such questions even before the elections, the Beaconite doubts they would change after winning, which is a scary prospect indeed. He hopes that any candidates who have been in hiding will change their ways immediately.


Style change

Readers, mark your calendars: From this day on, the Beacon will officially spell the word ‘e-mail’ as ‘email’ in all future articles. This publication adheres to an idiosyncratic style guide, like many newspapers around the world. For example, the Beacon uses the British spelling of most words (favourite instead of favorite) and abbreviates months of the year if they come before a specific date (Jan. 31 instead of January 31). But recently, Beaconites had differing opinions about how the word email should be spelled moving forward — so they turned to the experts. In 2011, the editors of the Associated Press stylebook decided to nix the hyphen, arguing that writing “email” reflected the majority of usage. “Language evolves. Today we change AP style from e-mail to email, no hyphen,” AP tweeted. That year, The New York Times maintained that it was sticking with e-mail, but it has since dropped the hyphen. Thus, the Beacon is following suit. If any readers have strong feelings about this change, or care to discuss pedantic elements of journalistic style further, feel free to shoot this reporter an email at aulrich@bvibeacon.com.


Pundit in the making

If a Beaconite had been asked a few years ago to rank the topics she was interested in covering as a journalist, politics would have ranked somewhere below tractor pulls and zoning meetings. It’s not as if she eschews politics in general — she has opinions on current events, like most people — but covering the political horse race from a journalistic perspective always seemed exhausting and demoralising, an endless cycle of gaffes and “gotchas.” Then she ended up at the understaffed Beacon and had no choice. It helps that politics in the VI has a sense of excitement and fun that she didn’t often see in her home country, where everything seems deadly serious all the time. Here, most every candidate has their own custom-written theme song and is likely to be seen driving up and down the roads blasting it at full volume. What’s not to enjoy? Plus, this particular election, with all of its fractured parties and backroom dealing, seems especially spicy and dramatic, and is certainly shaping up to be a historic moment in the political history of the territory. When a new Beaconite soon takes over the political beat, this one won’t be sad to leave it behind for other things. But that doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying the ride.


Everywhere a sign

Not surprisingly, several political billboards have been erected in recent days, and more will doubtlessly come soon. This is all well and good, but a Beaconite has noticed that some of them are positioned so that they block drivers’ view of the road. He hopes that candidates and planners — without whose permission such signs aren’t permitted — will work together to ensure that the billboards are positioned more carefully. And if they don’t, voters should call the pictured candidate and complain.