What a week
Is it the understatement of the year to say it’s been an exhausting week? As we wrote this Friday afternoon for the print edition, the news seemed to have reached a sustained crescendo, with tension not wanting to let go as a manhunt for Monday’s marathon bombing overwhelmed greater Boston. Now we update this editorial for the Web, knowing that the second suspect is in police custody.
We hope this is the final wave for now, and that now that it has broken, the waters will smooth out for the weekend.
Wishful thinking? Maybe, but can anyone be blamed for that?
The week began, ended and was dominated by Monday’s bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was a horrific act of terrorism that pierced Americans more keenly than any act of violence since Sept. 11, 2001. Many other mass murders had higher death tolls, but the public nature of this one stood out.
Authorities now say the bombing was done by a pair of brothers, the older of whom was shot and killed by police. No motive has been given. We don’t know if they acted alone. The public has been caught between speculation and paralyzation.
Paralyzation described Boston Friday, a metro area locked down for the sake of one man. People were told to stay home and businesses not to open. It was crazy.
People there are emotionally wiped out. Five days’ worth of fear, anger, bewilderment and fatigue took their toll.
That feeling has extended, to a lesser degree, nationwide. We saw and heard it among people here as they couldn’t help but talk in amazed voices about the latest developments from Boston.
Some local runners channeled that tension into a symbolic act of solidarity – the Boston Strong LP tribute run planned for 6 p.m. Monday. This is happy news amid the strain. The run will start near the village beach and follow Mirror Lake Drive and Main Street around Mirror Lake, ending in front of the Conference Center at Lake Placid. Local businesses are contributing, including to provide a reception afterward, and donations will be accepted for The One Fund Boston Inc., a charity set up by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to assist bombing victims.
Meanwhile, there’s local tension that might not seem excessive if people weren’t also concerned for Boston all week.
Elementary and middle school students took state tests in English language arts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; next week they’ll tackle three days of math exams for a total of nine hours of testing per kid. From what we’ve heard, it’s gone smoothly so far, except for a test boycott among many parents in the Saranac Lake Central School District that resulted in more than 50 children sitting the tests out. For some schools, that’s enough absences for the state Education Department to consider consequences down the road – silly ones, like developing a plan to improve attendance in general. Between that and kids talking about the boycott that wasn’t their idea, there’s a lot to think and worry about in the Saranac Lake school community.
In Lake Placid, the village board is more tense than we’ve seen it in a long time, due in part to a sewer under-billing error that is prompting the village to ask for payback from some homeowners outside the village. (Editor’s note: The previous sentence has been corrected.) It’s also the beginning of construction season, and Old Military Road was closed. Detours aren’t relaxing.
In Tupper Lake, school officials say they will have to raise taxes – probably over the state-imposed cap – and dip into reserves just to stay solvent. Meanwhile, there is great anxiety about the state’s future plans for Tupper Lake’s largest employer, Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office. The CSEA union, which represents Sunmount workers, rallied hundreds of local members on this cause Friday.
Yeesh. That’s a lot. We probably left out a lot, too – but on the flip side, we also left out all the wonderful, ordinary, good and happy things that go on every day here. So please excuse us if we came across as gloomy; we were just trying to explain that people have a lot going on right now. We actually are optimistic that some of the dilemmas will resolve themselves, storms will blow over and fears will dissipate.
On that note, we hope you have a relaxing and happy weekend. Appreciate the good things.
Next week will be better – right?