Some quick, passing thoughts on recent events
1. Changing colors
As Caleb Whitmer reported Wednesday, peak fall colors are rapidly approaching in West Michigan, and we couldn’t be more excited! While green is still dominating the landscape, autumn lovers will be happy to know local trees are expected to fully turn over in the next week or two. We’re already seeing a lot of yellows in downtown Holland as nature begins to paint the most beautiful portrait of the year. The warm and wet weather of the past few months, combined with the expectation of generally mild weather in the next week, should mean a vibrant climax to autumn color. Local arborist Josh Watkin suggested monitoring neighborhood oak and maple trees. “When they look to be at their top form, that’s when it is time to take a hike out into the woods.” Noted.
2. Lightening the burden
A teenager being charged for spray painting the Holland State Park’s north pier during a vigil service sparked a community-wide conversation about what kind of penalty the boy should face. The 15-year-old was part of a group grieving the loss of two teenagers who drowned in the Lake Michigan waters near the pier on Aug. 31. Deputies patrolling the area identified the Chicagoan responsible for much of the spray painting, and he now faces misdemeanor charges for malicious destruction of property. Dr. Mike Jansen, a pediatric psychologist with Holland Hospital said, “Perhaps something more long-term, something more lasting, would mean something more to them and the community as a whole. One that the community is much more eager to accept than graffiti on a lighthouse.” And we agree. Instead of spray painting the pier, family and friends of the two lost teenagers should come together with park officials on how they could better honor their lost loved ones. Grief is always difficult, but it doesn’t excuse one from breaking the law and acting irrationally.
3. Hold on a little longer
Weekly reminder: There are less than three weeks until what comedian John Oliver describes as “A horrifying glimpse at Satan’s Pinterest board 2016,” culminates. This past week was particularly, interesting. After lewd comments surfaced from 2015 made by the Republican nominee, many GOP leaders have renounced any support for their candidate. Even here in West Michigan where U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said, “It’s just very frustrating that he would put himself in this position. It doesn’t make it any more right that it was 11 years ago.” Huizenga, while publicly expressing doubt about Donald Trump’s candidacy throughout this campaign, said he will continue to support and vote for whoever the nominee is. For Huizenga it boils down to the next president’s ability to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. Huizenga’s House of Representatives colleague, Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, was a little more blunt in his assessment of Trump’s comments. “These degrading and dangerous comments are utterly indefensible. As a husband and father, I feel angry and sickened.” Upton has refused to endorse Trump at any point in this campaign. Hang tight, America. Just a little more to go.
The Sentinel (Holland)