The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Thumbs up, thumbs down
Thumbs up to a plan to limit universities from encouraging sports betting. The onset of legalized sports gambling has had some upsides, but there is no question there are serious risks, too. The state should do what it can to see that people aren’t getting too deep into gambling at a young age, which is why a proposal to bar public colleges in the state from partnering with sponsors to solicit students to gamble makes sense. Sports betting is a growing business, and college sports are the biggest game in Connecticut. There will still be corporate sponsorships, but targeting students for betting should be off-limits.
Thumbs down, meanwhile, to reports that Stamford-based WWE is in negotiations with regulators in different states to allow betting on the outcome of matches. Yes, you read that right, they want you to be able to put money down on the outcome of scripted fights. All that would be left after that would be to open the door to predicting the outcome of smackdowns in the Marvel universe. Of course, those scripts are surely more guarded than anything written by WWE scribes.
Thumbs down to a drunken-driving arrest at the General Assembly. State Rep. Robin Comey, D-Branford, was removed Friday from her legislative committee and leadership positions following her arrest on DUI charges resulting from a Thursday night car crash in Hartford. Driving under the influence is always problematic, but it’s something legislators should be especially sensitive to following the death of one of their own at the outset of this year’s legislative session, when state Rep. Quentin Williams of Middletown was killed by a driver going the wrong way on Route 9. The Assembly is debating a bill to reduce the legal blood alcohol limit for driving, which is something that deserves serious consideration.
Thumbs up to the first day of spring. It wasn’t much of a winter, though the month of March has tried hard to make up for lost time. Still, few will be sad to say goodbye to snow shovels and slippery sidewalks. Winter is especially hard on people who rely on their cars to get places, which is a huge percentage of the Connecticut population. Driving on icy streets is a special kind of stress, one that was luckily pretty rare in the just-ending winter. Maybe our luck will continue and we’ll get some temperatures for a while longer before the heat arrives.
Thumbs down to talk of rethinking vaccine requirements for public school attendance. House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora asked the legislature’s Public Health Committee to change the process by which the commissioner of public health could add a vaccine to the schedule of childhood immunizations required to attend school, apparently prompted by talk that some federal officials are urging the COVID vaccine to be added to those requirements. This is a bad idea. Connecticut is not moving to require COVID vaccines for school, and the issue of those vaccines currently required should not be changed. Vaccines save lives. They quite literally made modern childhood possible.