A challenge encouraging students to vandalize school property has gone viral on the TikTok social media platform, and some kids in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties are participating. The trend involves students vandalizing or destroying school property, most often in bathrooms, and then posting their exploits to social media using the hashtag #deviouslicks. Schools in Central Greene, Charleroi and Frazier districts are among those involved, and the not-so-funny shenanigans are costing money, and in some cases, posing health and safety concerns. “It’s just perplexing why a student would do this,” said Charleroi’s superintendent, Dr. Edward Zelich. “It’s inexcusable. It’s nonsense.” We wholeheartedly agree.
If you just go by the fire-breathers who populate social media sites or disrupt school board meetings, you would swear hordes of Americans are vehemently opposed to any sort of mask or vaccine mandates, and that imposing such mandates is a surefire political loser. However, a poll by Fox News released earlier this week found a full 67% of Americans – that’s 2 out of 3 – are fully on board with students and teachers having to wear masks in school buildings. At the same time, 66% support mask requirements for businesses, 61% give a thumbs-up to vaccine mandates for teachers, and 58% support mandates for federal workers. It couldn’t be more clear: If you are opposed to vaccine and mask requirements, you are in the minority right now in America.
Why did Brenda Davis ever decide she wanted to be Washington County’s clerk of courts? Davis, a former mayor of Washington, has informed the court that she is waiving certain duties that have traditionally been the purview of the clerk of courts. Apparently this is the latest maneuver in Davis’ feud with the county’s commissioners and President Judge John DiSalle. As the Observer-Reporter reported, Davis met with DiSalle and other officials to try to sort the mess out, but some of the routine tasks of the clerk of courts’ office are being held up amid the imbroglio. It should be noted, of course, that Davis is still drawing a paycheck despite not carrying out many of the functions of the office that voters entrusted her with in 2019.
The U.S. housing market right now is boiling hot. Some potential home buyers have been edged out of purchasing properties in bidding wars, and others have simply been excluded as a result of rising prices. It’s sometimes easy for Americans to take a parochial view of events, but a too-hot housing market is actually a worldwide problem. An article in Bloomberg pointed out this week that low interest rates, too few houses being put on the market and too few new homes being built is squeezing out wannabe homebuyers in Britain, Australia, Germany, France, South Korea and other parts of the world. There is growing concern that workers younger than 40 will never gain a foothold in the housing market and grab ahold of the economic benefits that come with home ownership. The Biden administration has proposed offering tax credits that would theoretically help spur the construction of new housing or the rehabilitation of housing that has become rundown. In any event, this could turn out to be a problem that is too big for the market to solve on its own.
Kudos to Melanie Ostrander, Washington County’s elections director, for patiently explaining to residents at a recent county commissioners meeting that there is no evidence that fraud took place in the 2020 election in the county. She debunked outlandish and baseless conspiracy theories that voting machines contained modems that would allow results to be manipulated, and how her office handles such issues as duplicate voter registrations. It may not change the minds of some who absolutely refuse to believe that more Americans preferred that Joe Biden be president than Donald Trump in the last election, but maybe she opened some eyes.