, Salem, MA

August 5, 2013

Our view: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Salem News

---- — CHEERS to North Shore Medical Center nurse Dixie Patterson, who has once again shown she is a lifesaver inside and out of the Salem Hospital.

Patterson was sunbathing on Plum Island last Wednesday when she heard calls for help. Two adults had pulled an unconscious 14-year-old girl from the waters off the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The girl was not breathing, and her lips, nose and mouth were blue.

“She clearly had no color,” Patterson said. Fortunately, the girl had a pulse, meaning she wasn’t in cardiac arrest.

Patterson performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the girl began breathing on her own and ambulances arrived. The girl is expected to make a full recovery.

Patterson, a cardiac surgery physician’s assistant, said she was merely in the right place at the right time. And it’s not the first time — the cardiac surgery physician’s assistant was working in the Boston Marathon medical tent in April when two bombs detonated within a minute of each other, killing three people and wounding hundreds more.

JEERS to the Patrick administration, which continues to hold on to road repair money earmarked for local cities and towns.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved $300 million for the program, but Patrick, in the middle of a debate over a much larger transportation spending plan, decided to hold back $150 million. On Tuesday, he deigned to release another $50 million but said he was “skeptical” he would release the final $100 million called for by the Legislature.

“Sooner or later even ... local officials are going to have to connect up what it is they want with what it costs to provide it,” Patrick told reporters.

While the state cries poor mouth, it’s taking in plenty of tax money — banking a $540 million surplus this year alone. Some of that money can certainly go toward local road repair.

CHEERS to local high school, college and now NBA basketball star Michael Carter-Williams, who hasn’t forgotten his hometown.

Carter-Williams, the Syracuse University star selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in this year’s NBA draft, spent a morning last week on the court behind Winthrop Elementary School in Hamilton, helping put on a clinic for Hamilton-Wenham 12-year-olds.

Carter-Williams spent more than an hour schooling the youths on fundamentals and left plenty of time afterward for photos and autographs.

“I think it’s good for the kids, especially in Hamilton, which is where I’m from, to come down here and see me work out and see what I’ve done for most of my life,” said Carter-Williams. “It’s good for the kids to come out and do some of these drills and really work on their game.”

JEERS to an unfortunate situation that will see a living piece of American history — one with a distinct tie to the North Shore — end up at the bottom of the ocean.

Despite the best efforts of a nonprofit group, it appears the ship once known as the USS Zuni, the last ship remaining from the Battle of Iwo Jima, will be allowed to sink sometime later this year.

Tim Robinson, executive director of the Zuni Maritime Foundation in Richmond, Va., said his organization spent years restoring the ship, with a goal of turning it into a maritime museum. In recent years, however, the foundation has not been able to raise enough money to keep up with repairs on the increasingly leaky vessel.

“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Robinson told the Portsmouth Herald. “It broke our hearts ... it hurt us desperately and all the people who worked so hard on it.”

The USS Zuni was decommissioned by the Navy in 1946 and was later recommissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Tamaroa. It was under that designation that its crew rescued three people from a sinking sailboat, as well as the crew of a National Guard helicopter, during the October 1991 storm depicted in the book and movie “The Perfect Storm.”