Talk about irony! No sooner had the city's budget season concluded, with retrenchments in police, fire, and sanitation services built in, than a tragedy occurs downtown involving the death of a police officer whose career facts evince nothing but dedication and service. On one night, Officer Timothy Warren, assigned to the downtown beat and concerned about the unusually intense heat, is passing out bottled water to homeless people, pedestrians, and fellow officers.
On the next night, he is standing his normal vigil when shots are heard in the nearby DoubleTree Hotel, and he rushes to the scene, becoming the second casualty of a gunman involved in a domestic dispute turned violent.
This is reality, not fiction, but no dramatist could have concocted a more telling commentary on the perils that are always, figuratively and literally, just around the corner from our first responders, nor on the extent to which they serve as a buffer between the rest of us and serious harm. We are not citing this tragic incident in order to revisit the recent arguments, pro and con, for the aforesaid retrenchments.
Officer Warren, like so many of his compatriots, was an everyday hero, not just somebody who rose to an occasion on this one fatal evening, and he merited an honored place in the minds and hearts of his fellow citizens even before the circumstances which took his life called him to our attention.
Let us not think of him as a martyr or as a symbol but as the true public servant that he was and mourn his absence from our ranks and from the circle of his immediate family, to whom we extend sincerest condolences.
Book It, Danno!
Those of us who were raised on books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed materials have reason to lament some of the characteristics of our transitional age, in which digital communication is clearly on its way to becoming dominant in our daily lives. Not to misunderstand: We, too, have embraced some or all of the new commonplaces — Facebook, Twitter, emails, e-Storage, online publishing, iPhones et al., and the Internet in general. And we eagerly anticipate all the new high-tech developments, which come these days with astonishing real-time speed.
But we still hanker for words on paper. We, after all, are in the business. And we think that books and the other forms of print will endure. Note that this current installment of the Flyer is our latest in a long-established series of literary issues. We look forward to doing these issues as much as our readers crave getting their hands on them. And, much as we enjoy being able to call up everything from ball scores to game videos to, er, bestselling books on our smartphones, we still can't think of anything that smacks more of community than a good, well-visited bookstore.
Speaking of which, we rejoiced at the recent report from Leonard Gill, our literary editor, that the tradition will continue at the Laurelwood Shopping Center, where, thanks both to popular demand and to the initiative of a conscientious owner, the former Davis-Kidd facility will live on as the Booksellers at Laurelwood.