Our View: Ups and Downs - Emergency personnel; home-brewers

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 07:26 PM

THUMBS UP to the High Point Police Department, the Fire Department and all law enforcement and emergency services personnel for the quick response and professional manner in which they handled last weekend’s terrible tragedy in which three members of a High Point area family drowned in a retention pond near Penny Road and N.C. 68. That also goes to Guilford County Schools personnel who dealt this week with the aftermath of the incident, which took the life of a 12-year-old student at Southwest Guilford Middle School. Law enforcement and emergency personnel rushed to the scene during the pre-dawn darkness Sunday morning and stayed until all bodies were recovered Sunday afternoon. Around 75 members of police, fire and emergency services units were involved in the operation.

THUMBS UP to folks like Todd Isbell, brewmaster at Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery, and groups such as HOPS (High Point Observers of Pint Science ... highpointhops.com), which meets monthly at Liberty to swap information and experiences in the art — and science — of home-brewing beer and the responsible consumption of such. Isbell and Liberty are among a growing number of handcrafted beer breweries in North Carolina, several of which call Guilford County and the Triad home. Growth of the craft beer industry in the Tarheel State is providing a growing number of jobs, too. And interest in home-brewing groups such at HOPS continues to increase, as well, which also translates into economic activity and jobs.

THUMBS DOWN to “Lincoln” screenwriter Tony Kushner for his explanation in response to a complaint by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., about a couple of inaccuracies in the movie regarding votes on the 13th Amendment by members of Congress from Connecticut. In the movie, two members of Congress from that state vote against the amendment, but in reality, all of Connecticut’s congressional delegation supported the amendment.
According to an article in USA Today, Kushner explained to the Wall Street Journal that, “We changed two of the delegation’s votes, and we made up new names for the men casting those votes, so as not to ascribe any actions to actual persons who didn’t perform them.” That was done, he said, in order to reflect “the historical reality that the Thirteenth Amendment passed by a very narrow margin that wasn’t determined until the end of the vote.” He also said, “I hope nobody is shocked to learn that I also made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters.”
Making up dialogue, characters and inserting imagined encounters may be normal practice — and understood by the public — for historical dramas. But changing the positions of people purporting to be representing a state in an actual vote that occurred in Congress just goes too far.

Give THUMBS UP to U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., for sticking to his position and demanding that changes be made to correct the record before “Lincoln” comes out on DVD. We also note that the movie, which was directed and produced by Stephen Spielberg, has received praise from many historians for its portrayal of Lincoln and the effort to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.