Saturday, July 5, 2008

Belated Boobie

Well, the Friday Boobie got delayed as the library was closed for some kind of holiday. Actually, I spent the holiday being politically active, walking in our local parade for Howard Shanker for Congress. Normally, I avoid Fourth of July parades as they tend to involve large numbers of children. But for a good political campaign they are pretty much required. We ended up being in a good position for the campaign, right behind the Obama campaign, and it all went smoothly (much to my surprise). I've come to expect Democrats to be disorganized, and the party parade folk didn't disappoint. Right up to the last five minutes before the parade began, the 'cat herding' party operatives were racing in every direction with no apparent plan. Over my many years of political involvement, I've grown used to this. But I wonder: Is there some rule somewhere that Democrats must be disorganized?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Local Tragedy, National News

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to be looking up at Mt. Eldon, when a puff of smoke turned into a billowing cloud. Talking with friends, we joked that another friend who's the fire lookout on the mountain finally had something to do. Then word came out that it was a helicopter crash.

Death rained from the sky over Flagstaff Sunday afternoon as a midair collision of two medical helicopters killed six and critically injured a seventh.

The aircraft were each carrying patients to Flagstaff Medical Center and went down at 3:49 p.m. on McMillan Mesa about a half-mile east of the hospital. An exploding fuel tank in one of the aircraft slightly injured two ground ambulance workers and touched off a 10-acre wildfire that was extinguished by local firefighters.

First, I was worried about several people I know who work for one of the companies. Today the names of the victims were released, and I had a brief panic as one of the names was the same as that of a good friend. A river running buddy. But also a fairly common name. Luckily for me, it wasn't the same person. Not so lucky for the victim.
Living in Northern Arizona where 100's of miles separate people from hospitals, medical helicopters are our lifeline in an emergency. NTSB is investigating, and I hope they find out what went wrong quickly and take measures to prevent future accidents. A lot of people's lives depend on this service.