Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 6, 2014

What others are saying


The Andover Townsman

---- — Following are excerpts from editorials from newspapers across New England:

Potatoes get a bum rap. Like any food that’s fried in oil, french fries and potato chips should be eaten in moderation, but that does not mean that eating potatoes is unhealthy. They are a source of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C, among other benefits. They are also an inexpensive vegetable that’s easy to cook and should be a part of a balanced diet.

So we were disappointed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, acting on the advice of a scientific panel, excluded white potatoes from the list of groceries subsidized by the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. But that doesn’t mean we support the industry’s efforts to lobby furiously to get its product back on the list.

There is an opportunity for potato growers to promote their product by educating the public about tasty and nutritious ways to prepare it. Money spent lobbying for access to the WIC program could be better used encouraging people to eat potatoes at home in ways and in quantities that promote good health.

— The Portland, Maine, Press Herald

As airline mergers continue, and as the Department Of Justice shrugs its shoulders and does nothing to stop them, guess what? In spite of all the vaunted efficiencies the airlines say result from the mergers, airfares continue to rise.

According to the Airlines Reporting Corp., a leading processor of airline tickets, airfares have increased more than 12 percent since 2009. This does not include other charges that have cost consumers $3.4 billion a year for suitcase checking fees, reservation change fees, cancellation fees and whatever other fees they can imagine.

One would hope that as these charges skyrocket, airline travel would at least be more comfortable. Hardly. Flights are jammed, seats are smaller, and a flight meal now consists of a bag of peanuts — if you are lucky. Cancellations have increased and late arrivals have mushroomed.

All of this while the Federal Aviation Administration sits back and does nothing.

Free competition does not truly exist when mergers and acquisitions diminish it to create a virtual oligopoly. That is what is happening within the airline industry.

— The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Conn.