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.

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