Carol Costa: Happy Halloween! Time to Count our Tricks and Treats

Thursday, October 31, 2013


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Happy Halloween Rhode Island! Here's the scoop on who's giving out the good stuff, and who's giving out junk.

I am a sap for Halloween. I love to watch the little ones get dressed up, I thoroughly enjoy the Halloween parade in my hometown of Scituate, I love to carve jack-o-lanterns, I adore the fun feeling of fall and I take seriously the task of picking out superb treats for the children who knock at my door. Let’s face it: it's fun. It is so simple; you don’t need a smart phone, tablet or login. All Hallows Eve and the lead-up require only imagination and childlike spirit. It is a throwback to unpretentious times. Who does not have fond memories of dumping out that trick or treat sack on the kitchen table and sorting through the candy with the “grown-ups”? By the way, it took me several years to figure out that in the guise of safety there was some hijacking of certain sought after treats going on. Happily, there are no worries for the memories generated were well worth the few Sky Bars, Almond Joys, gargantuan Pixie Sticks and humongous Tootsie Rolls along the way!

So, as I wish everyone a safe and fulfilled Halloween, the time has come to dump out the political trick or treat bag. I knocked on some doors dressed like kicking mule (of course), and took home some interesting stuff…Hmm what do we have here?

What’s in the bag?

Ken Block threw in some old moderate party swag and Nutter Butter cookies. He has recently traded his 3rd party for an elephant. With his donation to the Halloween sack, we now have on tap a potential knock-down drag-out GOP Primary. It is so much fun going through this bag…

Wow, Secretary Sebelius tossed in a ton of unused beta testing. Interestingly, it came with some Maple Leaf candy.

Really? Rand Paul threw in Ted Cruz. But, it was worth it, as Cruz had his copy of Green Eggs and Ham, that I can now use.

The good stuff

It had to be Anna Cano-Morales, chairwoman of the Central Falls School Board of Trustees who pitched in increased graduation rates. Sweet!

No doubt, John Hazen White flung in the draft of a revamped tax system. Kind of like the neighbor who gave out the apples. I hope he gave the same thing to the General Assembly; they should chew on that for a bit.

Oh look! This could be my favorite; a worn, torn, and tattered copy of The Reagan Diaries and a huge jar of jelly beans! Hmm...had to be Travis! Rowley mind candy; turns out to be a really nice combo, in small doses.

But, as I dig to the bottom, I am hoping to find a world championship for the Boston Red Sox (I write this right before Game 6). I, like so many folks from around these parts, have rooted hard for this group of bearded, burly ball players. Their collective support of Boston in the wake of the Marathon bombings was inspirational and uplifting. I so love a bag filled with goodies—come on, admit it, you do too.

All kidding aside, this time of year brings with it a plethora of political announcements, posturing, fundraising, and verbal barbs shot across the fence line. And like a Halloween treat bag, the political arena is diverse; it can be sour and sweet. The task of sorting it out can and should be engaging. You know as well as I, the campaigns will begin in earnest very soon. Before long we will be bombarded with ads, phone calls, polls, surveys, door knocks, and on and on and on. My prescription for Halloween politics is simple; put aside the pundits, the news, and the talk. Drink in the fun, have a sugary time with the kids, be safe, be happy and indulge. Before we know it the sweet taste of candy will quickly become a little more bitter with every drooping poll number and every attack ad as the battles begin. For tonight, break out the candy corn, tell a real ghost story, swipe some candy from the kids and enjoy the spirit of Halloween. The ghoulish politics will proceed all too soon.


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Carol Costa is a public relations and community outreach specialist; she has experience in both the public and private sectors. She is the Chairwoman of the Scituate Democratic Town Committee and has extensive community affairs and public relations experience. She previously served in the Rhode Island Judiciary for nearly 17 years. Carol also enjoyed a successful development stint at the Diocese of Providence as Associate Director for Catholic Education and is currently a public housing manager. Her work has been published in several local outlets including GoLocal, Valley Breeze, The Rhode Island Catholic, and Currents Magazine.


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