Editorial: Three to five inches — Call in the cancellation!


The forecast of a few inches of snow prompts a rush to the ‘storm cancellation’ list from a predictable bunch.

Three to five inches was predicted Friday (roads were bare in much of the region through the morning rush), and the cancellations came pouring in from the usual places — and not just public schools.

For instance:

• Day care providers — ‘Precious Cuties Learning’ and the rest close their doors at the first mention of a flurry (they mostly get paid anyway); Parents and the places they work are left in the lurch.

• Colleges — URI, BCC, UMass Dartmouth … No make-up days needed, tuition is paid up — what’s the point of holding class?

• Certain private schools — See above.

• Naval War College — This one’s worrisome. Aren’t these our stalwart defenders, the mariners training to brave the oceans’ and our enemies’ worst … knocked out of commission by a few flakes? They are hunkered down while employees at nearby McDonald’s, Stop and Shop, even the Prudence Ferry and quahoggers show up for work or else.

• Massachusetts Maritime Academy — See above.

• Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council — This group is deathly afraid of weather of any sort, typically calling off monthly meetings days in advance. Meanwhile applicants’ long waits drag on and on.

• Vocational training schools — In most of the working world, attendance is required in any weather. Maybe the curriculum should reflect that.

• Town and state offices — These mostly didn’t close Friday but often do. Makes one wonder just how ‘essential’ some services truly are.

• Court — Delays, postponements ... just part of the experience.

It sometimes seems that severity of storm counts for less than assurance of paycheck.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.