Some people say newspapers focus too much on negative events and never print good news. But this paper displays happy events all the time, ranging from graduation lists and charity fundraisers to major stories on new businesses locating here or relief efforts being mounted for victims of disasters.

One example of a good-news story ran on Page A1 this week, under the headline “R.I. challenges Maine for ship.” It told how a group in the Ocean State has announced its plans to compete with a Portland group to acquire the decommissioned aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy.

That’s good news because it holds out hope that the Rhode Island group will win the competition and relieve Mainers of the burden of trying to raise the millions of dollars the JFK would cost us.

Those who support bringing the carrier here seem to be infatuated by the dream that a mighty warship in the harbor would draw tons of tourists and spur local business.

But it is much more likely that the thousand-foot-long vessel would instead meet the Sunday sailor’s definition of a boat: “A hole in the water into which one pours money.”

Even by conservative estimates, the 60,000-ton warship would cost millions to restore and many millions more to maintain. A recent restoration of New York City’s Intrepid cost $115 million. This, at a time when needy Mainers are facing cutbacks in state funding for programs that aid them, and as private charities also struggle to raise money.

Further, the ship would dominate the harbor, drawing attention away from our scenic vista of islands and ocean. And how many people would come here just to see it? Likely, far fewer than would in Rhode Island.

Let them have it, and let’s keep our scarce charitable resources for those who truly need them.


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