EDITORIAL — Embrace summer, safe daylight fun
A spate of recent shootings and robberies in recent days from Port Arthur to Beaumont — those who’ve been arrested or are sought are mostly young people, some as young as in their teens — remind us that local folks must be vigilant in protecting themselves this summer.
Sometimes, protecting oneself means taking caution about where you wander and what time you settle in for the night. Mom’s timeworn yet timely caution that nothing good happens after 10 p.m. applies in some cases, though not all.
Of late, we’ve seen a shooting death in Nederland and a vicious robbery in Beaumont, the former during the dinner hour at a usually calm apartment complex and the latter in the early afternoon in a shopping area. Those who would do others harm are becoming bolder, which increases the need to be aware of your surroundings, always and everywhere in public. No one is completely safe.
Nonetheless, despite the increase in danger, the public is stepping up to help police in some cases. In Nederland, one neighbor who lived near the murder victim took down the license plate of a fleeing suspect. In Beaumont, police said, a helpful citizen followed the apparent robbery team from one parking lot to another to help police locate the young, armed suspects. Good citizens.
Jefferson County can be a dangerous place. Summertime, with rising heat and too many idle hands, can create the conditions for violent crime. Port Arthur experienced a huge increase in homicides from 2017 to 2018; Beaumont, too, ranks among the most dangerous urban areas in the state. Forewarned is forearmed.
We advise everyone to settle in for a peaceful, well-spent summer. Healthy and beneficial options abound for people of goodwill. Consider these alternatives to late nights and riskier business:
- The Port Arthur Public Library has reopened in recent weeks and is well-stocked with new materials for summer reading and children’s activities. Drop in and see the new digs.
- Enjoy the outdoors. Southeast Texas has an abundance of natural settings — parks, nature trails, the beach. Visit.
- Enjoy outdoors, part 2. Try birding. People come from around the world for birding in Port Arthur and its nearby environs.
- Enjoy the indoors. Planet Fitness in Groves has beckoned teens to use this summer to get fit. Check out their generous offer.
- Consider travel … at least a little. We’ve resumed our summer series on vacationing, this time offering information about destinations within a tank of gas. We will run features every Thursday.
- Consider not traveling. Southeast Texas has plenty of museums and tourism sites that ought not be missed: Museum of the Gulf Coast, Texas Energy Museum, Spindletop, art museums in Beaumont and Orange.
Avoid trouble. Celebrate the daylight.
School’s out. Embrace the summer and all its opportunities.