Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Thu, Aug. 22

Editorial: Heat wave not worth a fever pitch

If you watch TV, you've seen it, especially on the 24-hour news channels. The buildup for weather stories seem to reach a fever pitch, and then when the bad weather arrives it's just not that big of a deal.

This most often happens in the winter, and in places where snow is not a stranger. But the idea of dealing with six or eight or even 14 inches of snow seems to put whole metropolitan areas on the verge of hysteria, or at least the newsrooms of those 24-hour news channels.

We wanted to avoid that kind of presentation in recent days, when temperatures were forecast to settle well above 100 degrees. We live in the desert where hot weather isn't unusual, and surely any newcomers would be cautious when encountering extreme heat.

As it turns out, they were. Around here people went about their business or stayed indoors and cool otherwise. But apparent veterans of the desert (no word on how long they've lived in the heat) elsewhere in Arizona didn't follow the good advice. Five of them died, some while doing fairly rigorous stuff, like continuing a mountain hike after running out of water. It's time to turn around when you reach the halfway mark on the water supply.

And speaking of water, was anybody surprised the way the community stepped up when the call for bottled water and ice went out? You know there are enough animal lovers out there to keep the shelters in ice, and the same response resulted in Cornerstone Mission tipping over after all the bottled water was placed up against one wall.

(That's a joke based on a real moment in Washington, where a congressman expressed fear that Guam would tip over if an influx of people arrived on the island. You can look it up by searching "congressman guam capsize" or other similar word combinations; the video is on YouTube.)

One more hat tip to Erin Cochran for her efforts in rounding up donations - and thank you, donors - for next week's Fourth of July fireworks display.

•••

The headline mentioned warning bells, but certainly they are almost worn out by now.

The topic is the certain demise of Social Security and Medicare, but the "warning bells" have been ignored for decades. Politicians have been kicking this can down the road, and I can think of a few (in the House and Senate) who will look you in the eye and tell you both entitlements are in solid financial shape.

Not true. Social Security will run out of cash in 2034, Medicare in 2028. It sounds like a long time, but for some of us a long time in the opposite direction - the turn of the century, for example - doesn't seem like it happened all that long ago.

In other words, 2028 will be here before you know it.

•••

We don't get serious structure fires often, but when we do, count on the Kingman Fire Department to knock them down quickly and efficiently.

The latest example is the Copper Ridge Apartment fire Thursday afternoon. The potential for a real disaster in terms of property damage was quickly erased.

Excellent work, Kingman firefighters.

Thank you.

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