In case you didn’t know, you can drown in water.  You can especially drown in deep water.  You could put yourself in peril of drowning in rapid currents.  Most of us know these things because we possess what used to be called common sense.

Falling off a bridge is dangerous.  Jumping from planes is dangerous.  Crossing a busy highway during rush hour could result in serious injury or death.

Do we need signs everywhere to remind us there’s potential trouble?  Some local people believe it would deter people from taking their chances or simply being stupid.  This follows an effort by some concerned citizens to remove a dead man from the Snake River after he drowned at Pillar Falls.  They were traumatized.  They believe a warning sign would stop another tragedy.

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I was a teenager a long time ago and signs always appeared more of a challenge.  The river attracts its share of adrenaline junkies and I’m sure they aren’t going to tiptoe around the canyon.

The sign at the top of the page is at Centennial Park.  The issue isn’t people failing to return jackets.  Many won’t use them.  Even when it comes to kids 14 and under.  Deputies pass out tickets every day.

In some spots along the river, the county can’t simply put up a sign.  There are multiple three-letter federal agencies that need to approve any changes.

I think we also need to acknowledge something called personal responsibility.  We can’t chain people inside their homes to keep them safe.

And for those who’ve been traumatized by what they’ve seen, there are men and women working rivers, lakes, and roads across the valley.  They deal with tragic consequences sometimes several times a week.

In one brief span of two years when I was a little boy, my dad responded to calls about a shooting and a drowning.  In both cases, he encountered dead relatives.  He endured.

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