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Mon, July 22

Friday Catchall: ‘Sunshine’ attitudes, luck o’ the Irish

Wendy Price and Clint Manchester paint the shamrock in honor of St. Patricks Day in front of Murphy's Restaurant at the intersection of Cortez and Willis Streets in Prescott early Friday, March 13 morning.
Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Wendy Price and Clint Manchester paint the shamrock in honor of St. Patricks Day in front of Murphy's Restaurant at the intersection of Cortez and Willis Streets in Prescott early Friday, March 13 morning.

The Friday Catchall:

• SUNSHINE— As you have seen in the pages of the Courier this week, it is Sunshine Week. This is an effort to show the importance of public records and transparency in government.

Our reporters fanned out in the past week to demonstrate this; watch for our story on it and how it worked. One example that went well was the story about county administrator pay; Yavapai County was really good about responding (quickly) to our requests.

I have been struck, though, by how the topic is viewed overall.

On one side are those of us – newsmen and newswomen (and some of the public, even a few officials) who see value in transparency and open government; on the other side are people and some officials who view this exercise as pointless, even an annoyance or none of the media’s or public’s business.

In the middle are people of all slices of life and professions who do not care, until it affects them. It’s like the water situation; people exist who care only when water does NOT come out of their faucet – then they care. Until then, they will not conserve water, for instance.

No one knows when tragedy will strike – a fire, crash, fatality, etc.; likewise, we must stay the course with transparency in government, to keep the spirit of the First Amendment – and much more, such as our “watchdog” function – alive.

Without it we end up with socialism and, worse, dictators.

Think about it.

• O’ THE IRISH — When my family first moved to Prescott it was exciting to see how people here express their heritage. The oddest one was the painting of the green shamrock on the street at the intersection of Willis and Cortez streets. It’s BIG – and right in the middle of the intersection!

That annual tradition – dating back to 1985 – took place this year in the early hours of Thursday, March 14. It definitely alerts you that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.

“It’s something unique and different we do here at Murphy’s since St. Patrick’s Day has been a huge celebration for us every year,” said Wendy Price, director of Restaurant Concepts for Fork in the Road company (the restaurant’s owner). “I’ve been watching them paint the street now for about 30 years! It truly is a fun way to announce St. Patrick’s Day is here.”

It also announces that the annual Pub Crawl is ahead; visit dCourier.com for our story about it.

O, such a lucky day!

• BE SAFE — With all of the green shamrocks, don’t count on luck to get you home.

Almost 30 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes every day — that’s one person every 48 minutes. In 2017, there were 10,874 deaths from alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Get or be a designated driver, and celebrate safely this year.

Remember, there is no safe level of alcohol you can consume before getting behind the wheel of a car. Anyone with a 0.08 blood alcohol level can show impairment – such as proper braking, steering, lane changing, making judgments, and maintaining attention.

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): Haunted Prescott, with Parker Anderson and Darlene Wilson, at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Phippen Museum, 4701 N. Highway 89, Prescott. 928-778-1385 or phippenartmuseum.org.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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