generic Darts and Laurels

It’s a short week and the sun is warm and shining down on Plaza of the Americas. The sweet sounds of guitars are playing in the air and friends are chatting on the lawn over their Krishna lunch. It is Spring semester, and the days are lazy and relaxed. The days seem to be moving just a little bit slower. You look over to your friends who are talking about their long weekend; and you begin to drown out the background noises. Your eyelids start to feel heavy as you soak in the warmth of the day.

You rest your head down on the grass and cross your arms over your chest. You look up to the blue sky full of clouds slowly passing by your line of sight. You begin to make out shapes: a bunny, a horse and something strange. A plane is whizzing through the sky making loops and turns, writing something. Your eyes widen as you realize the mystery skywriter’s message:

Darts & Laurels

Things are looking exactly the same this week as the longest government shutdown in history continues to, well, make history. The two plans that were proposed by lawmakers that could have ended the government shutdown were both knocked down. The shutdown is nearing its sixth week, showcasing the deep rift between the two parties in office. A dart has to go to the lawmakers in Washington for keeping the government closed and, as a result, causing hundreds of thousands of government workers to go without pay. Hopefully, next week we can hand out a laurel, but for now, we have to wait for the government to reopen.

Washington continued to make history this week when the Supreme Court voted to approve a policy to reverse a decision made during the Obama administration that allowed transgender people to enlist in the military. The decision, made Tuesday, will allow for the military to bar most transgender people from military service. A dart goes to the Supreme Court and the Trump administration for reversing a policy that allowed an estimated 14,700 transgender troops to serve in the U.S. military. It’s a discriminatory law with no basis on the performance of transgender troops in the military so far.

In Gainesville, a laurel goes to the Gainesville Orchestra for performing “Power! A Celebration of Powerful Women in Fact and Fable,” a concert to honor women in the Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. today. The idea behind the concert is to encourage women to tell their story. It is a sweet reminder that happens to coincide with the anniversary of the Women’s March that began in 2017. It will feature original pieces and be a celebration of women who have made and will make history.

A laurel goes out to the Boy Scouts and Gainesville residents who participated in the fifth annual Great Invader Raider Rally on Saturday. The rally combatted the spread of Ardisia crenata, a non-native flowering plant that has popped up in Alachua County. The cleanup took place all across Alachua County in 26 different nature and wildlife spots. The day ended in a festival, where volunteers could get together and grab some food from local food trucks. It’s heartwarming to see the community banding together to make a better Gainesville. The rally is a small act but it serves as a reminder for all of us to continue to do our part in improving our community.