NEIGHBOURHOOD

two papersI pulled two local papers out of my mailbox downstairs in the entrance hall. No one subscribes to them – they are kind of ad leaflets, and are shoved into all mailboxes by some invisible carriers – to be thrown out later as wastepaper the moment the boxes are opened by mailbox owners. Usually I throw them out too, but this time I decided to peruse the periodicals. Yes, they are on the periphery of the informational mainstream, but very often sidelights turn to be no less important in our everyday lives than highlights.

Actually, the papers I picked up are mouthpieces of two deputies representing our constituency in the city parliament, and every other article in each of them contains words of thanks and praises for the “unceasing and hard work” done by the representatives.  One paper inserted even a deputy’s family photo in which he, as a baby, sits between his mother and deputy as a babyfather! April 26 saw the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster, so a good part of the material is the information about the plight of the “liquidators” – clean-up workers who were removing the radioactive materials from the Chornobyl area in 1986. Their benefits have been reduced to the lowest level, the treatment of the ensuing diseases cost a pretty kopeck nowadays… Sad case… Naturally, the deputies in question are indignant over the decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Similarly, the local community is concerned about the electromagnetic emission from mobile base stations, dozens of which are being built among apartment houses – next to kindergartens and children’s playgrounds. Late last year the government removed digital radio relay devices and mobile base stations from the Easter basketlist of increased ecological hazards, so at the moment these stations and devices are built and operated uncontrollably – profit-making is the only control. Residents are rebelling against another Chornobyl in their yards, deputies are giving promises.

The well-being of people is measured these days also by the value of their “Easter baskets” – the total price of food products people traditionally take to church to get the food consecrated by the priest. As compared to the previous year, the price of each product in the basket (the Easter bun, sausage, eggs, cheese, wine, butter, apples, cucumbers) has risen by about 25 per cent, so Basket-2016 costs UAH 560 against UAH 455 of Basket-2015. Incidentally, old age pensions have been reduced by about 10-15 per cent – as a result of the “war tax.” The new prime minister promises to cancel the war tax starting this month. Who knows… promises are like pie-crust – they are made to be broken.

It was still interesting to read about a woman deputy who graduated from Kyiv linguistic university in 2001 and who, at the moment, is a student at the University of Sheffield (no idea how she manages to be both a student there and a deputy here – at the same time being the CEO of a company).

AzovetsA youth camp “Azovets” announces the enrollment of children aged 7 – 18 for the summer period. It looks very much like a scout camp. As it is mentioned, the aim of the project is to form a citizen of the future – a patriot, who will be ready to build and defend the new Ukraine. Incidentally, the battalion “Azov” is one of the strongest volunteer battalions involved in the war against the separatists in the East of the country.

There were two pages of the TV program. No use for me: I threw out my TV set two years ago.

And lastly, there came a crossword puzzle (with questions of the type: “an article crosswordof furniture with a slab on four legs, used for taking meals at it – 5 letters”). However, one question was interesting:  the name of a European country the origin of which is linked to the name of another country’s capital (Romania). Another was a harder nut to crack: a part of a tree stem from the root to the crown. The answer: Ukr. штамб, Engl. bole, or bolus – the  find which may prove useful one day. You never know 🙂

 

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