OTHER VOICES

Tornadoes’ challenges

Posted May 05, 2011, at 8:52 p.m.

The city of Tuscaloosa has grabbed national headlines and received visits from dignitaries — and the not so dignified — since the storm. The more rural parts of West Alabama that were thrashed by tornadoes also need our help.

We are glad to see they have not been forgotten. Rescue and relief workers, along with volunteers, have been busy ensuring that more lives are not lost and that basic needs are met.

Some of the surrounding counties that were hit by some of the 23 tornadoes that struck statewide are not faring so well. The strongest of the twisters was rated EF5 — the most powerful designation, with 200 mph winds — and killed 26 people on its 132 mile path from Marion County into Tennessee.

Assistance is pouring in from across the nation. Some of that is finding its way across the rural swaths of West Alabama, but we hope that the large agencies and federal officials are looking at the broader picture to make sure resources are distributed where they are needed most.

Likewise, we encourage volunteer groups in Tuscaloosa to reach out to our neighbors .

The scale of destruction in the city of Tuscaloosa and eastward is mind-boggling, and creates challenges of its own. However, for each family that has been affected, the pain is personal.

The opportunity for each of us to help is equally within reach.

The Tuscaloosa Ala. News  (May 4)

Royal Wedding

Despite being claimed as part of the British Empire as recently as the 1840s — long after the rest of the country had torn down its George III statues — the Pacific Northwest felt a little distant from the April 29 royal wedding. This was partly due to Prince William and Kate Middleton holding their event between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. our time

Still, there’s something to be said for any wedding that features the Household Cavalry. In most American weddings these days, you’re lucky to have an open bar.

Not to mention a location for the wedding ceremony that was built in 1245; the future king of England driving the bride down the parade route afterward in his own Aston Martin; a horse-drawn carriage out-fitted with everything except a glass slipper; and a procession of ladies’ hats apparently created by Marie Antoinette leafing through a geometry textbook.

So you can see why, in a world that no longer believes either in princesses or in happily ever after, hundreds of thousands of wedding enthusiasts showed up on the streets of London, and hundreds of mil-lions around the world attended by TV — and that’s just those who will admit it.

There’s a deep appeal to unbounded pageantry, something that goes beyond even a Super Bowl half-time show. And there’s always a certain hopefulness to a wedding, especially one featuring two participants who seem deeply pleased with each other, and a groom who seems just slightly bored by all the rest of it.

The Oregonian, Portland  (May 3)

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