Pit Tip

I’d been meaning to publish a tip that an anonymous reader had to say about pit bulls:

“Contrary to the city councils’ belief, veterinarians rely on dog owners to determine what breed of dog they have.  Every vet I have ever met also loves pit bulls and hates BSL.  I hope the number of registered pit bulls drops by at least 50% next year.”

Now, I’m not advocating deception, but there are plenty of folks out there who own mutts that may have been called a pit bull when the dog was initially adopted.  If you don’t feel your dog belongs in that category, discuss it with your vet.  (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if I had a penny for every German Shepherd or Golden Retriever labeled as a Chow Chow on Petfinder, I’d be a rich woman.  This isn’t about deception, it’s about correcting a label a shelter may have assigned a dog.)

In related news, Brattleboro licenses both dogs and wolf-hybrids.  Really.


I spent a couple of hours recently at Worcester Regional Airport.  I was surprised to discover that we have a crew of TSA agents handling security for our outbound flights.  I guess I just assumed that a small airport like Worcester would just hire its own security personnel.  After all, flights/destinations are so few that most passengers are either snowbirds or Disney-bound families.

I watched the boarding of two different flights and was able to observe the security measures being taken.  Passengers queued at the security point about an hour before their departure time.  As travelers entered the secure area, they emptied pockets, removed shoes/belts, and placed these items into trays on a conveyor belt; these accompanied carry-on luggage through an x-ray machine, while the passenger walked through a metal detector:

Passenger in red placed items on the conveyor belt; walk-through metal detector is on the left.

After this, most passengers get to put on their shoes & belts and go wait in the post-security lounge for their flight to board.

Approximately every 8-10 passengers, someone would get called aside for a more thorough inspection.  There was no discernible criteria to the choices made; it was evenly split among men & women.  The flights I observed had few minority passengers and few younger passengers, and none of these seemed especially singled out.  Nor were elderly/infirm passengers spared the extra attention, such as this fellow who had great difficulty standing:

The screeners asked the passengers a series of questions, explained what they were about to do, and then followed up with a very thorough pat-down search:

Men were searched by male screeners and women by female ones.  There isn’t (yet) an option of preferring a full-body scan instead of the pat-down search; presumably this is reserved for larger/international airports.

The TSA staff were quick and efficient in processing the two flights I observed.  If you’re planning to fly out of Worcester any time soon, I think you’ll find the process relatively hassle-free.