Water, Water (and Bottles) Everywhere
Aug 10, 2010 | 7509 views | 0 0 comments | 137 137 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recent efforts by state and local governments to ban the sale of bottled water are not going to slow down: since bottled water became popular, plastic bottles have piled up. Interestingly, New York City has been slower than other cities to move on slowing the sale of bottled water. For instance, Concord, Massachusetts, has banned the sale of individualized bottled water.

This is the kind of issue that Mayor Michael Bloomberg would normally be anxious to pounce on, especially if it’s being practiced in California. Only a handful of cities have either voted on or passed legislation to curb sales, but this is inevitable in most large cities.

Hotels, such as Hyatt, are now encouraging guests to purchase a glass that the hotel offers to refill for guests at no cost and at no limit. Cities and counties would make a mistake in banning the sale of water-cooler sales, however. Water-coolers, when used in offices, are a useful way to encourage people to drink more water, as opposed to full sugar beverages.

Banning the sale of individual bottled water is well within rational public policy, but banning all water sales – and forcing people to go to the taps – is not necessarily good policy. Remember that there are cities and towns that do not have completely safe water.

There is no proof that the higher rates of breast cancer in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the past were due to the tap water, but if a family feels uncomfortable with Long Island tap water, they need the option of retail water from a cooler. For that reason alone, counties cannot ban all types of retail water.

None of this is to suggest that all bottled water is healthier than all tap water. New York City tap water has always ranked high as very safe water. The fact that you cannot get a decent slice of pizza outside the tri-state area is proof of the quality of New York’s water. Should something go wrong with the water supply, or if people live in areas without good histories of healthy tap, the option needs to be there.

Anyway, it’s cool to use those giant water cooler jugs to fill with loose change.

A Primary for no reason at all

Sarah Palin has been good for the Republican Party, regardless of what many critics may say or write - most of her detractors are not friends of her party anyway. But her new role as endorser-in-chief should come with a five-day waiting period.

One would think that after injecting herself into the race in upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional District in 2009, she might wish to step with a little more caution. Now, in Maryland, where former Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich has closed the gap with Democratic incumbent Martin O’Malley in what is going to be a hot race in November, Palin has endorsed Erlich’s primary challenger Brian Murphy. This could kill Erlich’s campaign in what is already the Bluest state in the country.

Palin has made a contribution to the “small government” movement, which has legitimacy. Palin, like Jesse Jackson for the Democrats, is better off not being crossed by her party’s candidates. What Jackson and Palin have not always been cognizant of, however, is that they sometimes get in the way of the progress that they might wish to further. Engineering campaigns via remote control from other regions does not always yield the best results.

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