Thumbs Up/Down

Capital Gazette

carries on

THUMBS DOWN: An armed man stormed into the newsroom of the Annapolis Capital Gazette offices on Thursday and opened fire. Five people were killed, and several more wounded in an attempt to — to do what, we don’t know. To gain revenge for some unflattering story, to try to shut down the paper, to try to intimidate the news media? We don’t know.

Whatever the reason, the attack ultimately failed. The Capital Gazette published its Friday paper as usual, its staff undeterred, its headline “5 Shot dead at The Capital” and accompanying stories a testament to the fallen journalists and the courage of the survivors.

Sadly, it is just another example of the trend toward violence in our society by those who feel someone has wronged them. The shooter in this case has had a grudge against the paper, and once tried to sue it for defamation.

The Capital Gazette is a community newspaper in Maryland’s capital city. Its mission, like ours, is to report the news, the good and the bad, about the city it calls home, to serve the people who live there. Our hearts are with our colleagues in Annapolis today.

Enjoy the Fourth

THUMBS UP: With the Fourth of July approaching next Wednesday, there will be plenty of celebrating going on. Long, long weekends will be taken before and after the holiday, and some people may take the whole week off to celebrate.

As always, we wish everyone a happy 4th of July, and hope they will celebrate with plenty of food and ethnic beverages, and by spending time with family and friends. But please, celebrate responsibly, especially where alcohol and fireworks are concerned. Try to get through the holiday with all of your digits, and please don’t drive after imbibing several celebratory beverages.

Enbridge decision

SIDEWAYS THUMB: Minnesota regulators have approved the controversial Enbridge Energy Line 3 replacement project after years of hearings, but the project will not proceed without a lot of protest and anguish.

There are sound reasons for the project. Enbridge’s current oil pipeline across northern Minnesota to the company’s terminal in Superior, Wis., was built in the 1960s and is prone to corrosion and cracking. It is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Opponents claim the new pipeline itself is an environmental disaster waiting to happen in pristine areas, including wild rice habitat used by the Ojibwe people. They also oppose the transportation of tar sand oil. Oil use accelerates climate change, they say.

Of all the options for transporting the oil, a pipeline is the safest and most environmentally sound. Trucks wouldn’t be able to handle the load and the fuel they would burn would truly have an environmental impact. Trains are more susceptible to disasters, as the derailment last week in northwest Iowa shows. A new pipeline is the safest way to go.