In the week since the "Incident" in Bayne Park, the social media drama queens and kings have been hard at work expounding on the probability of Bellevue's imminent demise as a town where anyone at all would want to live, shop or worship.

It's time to get a little perspective.

First of all, the incident itself.


It occurred to me recently that the role fathers play in their children's lives has changed dramatically since I was a child.

Most children today will grow up with fathers who are active participants in their up-bringing. Dads today are often equal partners with moms in providing hands-on care, overseeing education and development, health and safety. They carry diaper bags and push strollers and are responsible for making dinner.

Such was not always the case.


This year The Citizen will publish its 11th annual Pet Photo Contest, benefitting a local animal-related project. It is usually our biggest selling issue of the year, because if there is one thing most of us can agree on, it's that we love our pets.


I am completely aware that spring has just arrived, but that does not negate the fact that the long-awaited winter is, in fact, coming this very weekend.

I speak, of course, of the Season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones, the HBO series set in the fantasy world of Westeros and its neighboring lands. In Westeros, seasons can last for many years, so many that the younger people of the land have never actually lived through a winter. And the winter that is creeping in from beyond the Wall promises to be one for the songbooks.


Okay, folks, get comfortable. This is going to take a while. Not nearly as long a while as Tuesday's three-hour Bellevue Council meeting, but there's a whole lot of muddy ground to be covered once your brain thaws out from that experience.


In debating who should pay the cost of having a school resource officer at Northgate High School, the first question that must be asked is, should anyone pay?

Should Northgate High School have a police officer stationed there full-time during the school year? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?


The Northgate School Board is facing quite the decision, but may have already stacked the deck against themselves and their ability to make meaningful change in the district by presenting what failed miserably at being the dog and pony show that was needed.

The first thing anyone attempting to govern needs to learn is that seeking opinions from the public on an idea that is, at best, half formed, is suicide. People will have questions about anything new, and inevitably will opt for the status quo when those questions cannot be answered. The drama that will ensue is hardly productive.


Anyone who was around and paid attention during previous discussions of Bellevue and Avalon being served by one police department learned at the outset that words we often use interchangably actually have very different meanings in this field.

When experts talk about a merger, they mean that one police department ceases to exist and is taken over by the other. A consolidation, on the other hand, means that both individual departments cease to exist and a new department is formed of the two.


For many of our readers, the political climate of today with regard to race relations is something they have never seen before. They have not seen protests and riots, nor have they heard allegations of blatant institutional racism and police brutality.

The older readers, myself included, have seen it all before. But I swear, I never thought I would see it again. I thought we had moved past the insanity of the 1960s and 1970s in America.

But apparently we just put a lid on a powder keg and hoped for the best.