Thursday, November 8, 2007

Toy Story

Anyone remember when toys used to mean fun? Didn’t think so.

Now every time you hear the word "toy" you wait for inevitable word that follows it: Recall.

Now it’s happening again, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
But this one almost defies belief. And, of course, it involves a popular toy that is manufactured in China.

Seven weeks before Christmas, authorities yesterday announced they were pulling millions of something called "Aqua Dots," toy beads that can be arranged into designs or fused together when wet.

They are manufactured at a plant in Shenzen in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

Here’s the kicker. As you might expect, young kids have a propensity for putting things in their mouths. That includes Aqua Dots. That would be bad enough. What happens then is kind of hard to believe.

Authorities believe the Chinese manufacturers used a chemical coating on the beads. When the beads are ingested, the chemical converts into gamma hydroxy butyrate. If that sounds familiar, it should. And not for a good reason. That is GHB, otherwise known as the date-rape drug. It can cause serious illness when ingested, especially in young kids.

Already two kids have been sickened after putting the beads in their mouths.

It is just the latest in what seems like a procession of problems with toys, food and drugs that are manufactured in China.

And it might just provide the best reason ever to look for that "Made in America" tag when you’re out doing your Christmas shopping.

*

Michael Nutter is the mayor-elect in Philadelphia. He received an overwhelming 83 percent of the vote. That’s about the same margin who believe the city is no longer safe.

It seems emblematic of the city’s overriding problem that his election was overshadowed by the funeral services for a slain Philadelphia police officer.

It should be Job 1 for Nutter. If people no longer feel safe when visiting the city, that’s a problem for the entire region.

When Officer Chuck Cassidy was gunned down when he walked into a robbery at a West Oak Lane Dunkin Donuts, he became the third officer shot in a matter of days. It also came hours after another young tough, one with Delaware County roots, was sentenced to life without parole for the fatal shooting of another city officer.

There have been 345 homicides in the city so far this year.

Yesterday an oil company worker was murdered while making a service call in North Philadelphia. A man was critically wounded in an Olney grocery store.

Today Nutter is expected to make his first major policy announcement. We hope it’s about crime, about making the city safe, about easing fears of anyone thinking about paying a visit to our neighbor to the east.

Upon being elected Nutter said something that at one time would have gone without thinking. He said people have a right not to get shot.

You would think so. But people are starting to have their doubts.
That needs to be the first thing he tackles as the city’s new boss.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, still waiting: "MANADTE!!!"

November 8, 2007 at 6:34 PM 

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