Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 25, 2012

Editorial - April 25, 2012: Stage rules right move

The folks in charge of fairs and festivals across the state are understandably concerned about the impact of rules aimed at preventing a repeat of last summer’s state fair tragedy.

The rules are set to take effect July 1, and at this point, nobody knows for sure what they will say.

State regulators, though, say they will do their best to strike a balance. They hope to write rules that will prevent another tragedy without putting small-town festivals and county fairs out of business.

The rules being drafted by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security would cover the kind of temporary stage rigging that fell into the crowd gathered for a Sugarland concert at last summer’s state fair.

While the language is still being written, we do know the new rules will require additional inspections, and they might require event organizers to pay for plans designed and approved by engineers.

Homeland Security officials hope to have a draft of the emergency rules written by early May so fair and festival organizers around the state will know what they’re facing when they go into effect July 1.

Officials note there has been some confusion over what the new rules will cover. Some media reports have incorrectly indicated they are for temporary outdoor stages, but those stages are already regulated.

The state fire marshal’s office routinely inspects temporary outdoor stages set up at fairs and festivals across the state.

What the rules did not regulate is the kind of temporary, overhead rigging that collapsed at the state fairgrounds. A report released April 12 by engineering and safety experts hired by the state found the rigging structure didn’t meet industry standards for high winds.

And because it was “structurally independent” from the stage, the rigging wasn’t inspected.

That’s the gap in regulations the new rules will aim to close.

Some might argue the rules are being rushed into place, but supporters note they can be reviewed and modified if proven unworkable or overly cumbersome.

The point is last summer’s tragedy uncovered a gap in Indiana’s regulatory process, and it’s important the state move to fill that gap.

Regulators are right to move ahead with the new rules – even if they do create a bit of uneasiness during the process.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership' On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than

    April 16, 2014

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Such a thing as too much My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've n

    April 14, 2014

  • April 14, 2014: Letters to the editor Watch for bicyclists on roadways, drivers When you ride a bike near a semi, there are at least four blind spots where the driver can't see you. We need to be careful when we ride near trucks. If we get hit by a semi, it's usually our fault. But we ne

    April 14, 2014

  • April 14, 2014: Weekly wrap FEMA no friend to hardship Many government officials ... across the state are likely asking themselves if the winter of 2014 will ever end. Sure, the snow has long since melted, but the bills from plowing snow, treating roads and hauling away the whi

    April 14, 2014

  • Immunize your child Pertussis is a communicable disease Americans just don't worry about today. Health professionals begin immunizing infants against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus with the DTaP vaccine just two months after birth. But pertussis, better known as whoo

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll