How did it happen?

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

January 9, 2013 1:20:02 PM PST
No drugs. No booze. Maybe just plain old operator error or equipment failure. That's the first-blush take-away for what caused this morning's ferry crash as it was docking in Lower Manhattan.

More than 70 people were hurt - at least 2 critically.

We'll have the latest at 11.

And the other big accident we're following is a crane collapse in Long Island City in Queens, at a construction site. Several workers were hurt.

For me the back-beat to tonight's newscast is my mom, who died 24 years ago today. This morning, my 3½ year old daughter helped me light a Yahrzeit candle. She has seen pictures of my mom, but now that she's starting to ask questions about dying (in every one of these fairy tales, someone's parents is always dying, right?), I told her that we're lighting the candle to remember my mom, her grandmother, who died.

This led to bigger and more immediate discussions about the subject, and it's so clear she's trying to comprehend it all. Her brow furrows, her eyes ask more questions than she could possibly speak, and she is, as always, leading with her heart.

I tell her I miss my mom, but that this candle is a great way to remember her. Then she says when she misses her other grandmother, she just calls her and says hello. Her mom, always the wisest in the room, uses the opening to steer the conversation towards how much my mother-in-law loves those phone calls and how much she loves her granddaughter.

Oh, if only my mom could have been there to witness the whole start-of-the-morning. Maybe she was. In that candle that was flickering. I'm just sayin'. Did I say that my mom was just 61 when she died, of lung cancer. If you smoke, and you have people who love you, please - STOP!

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Amy Freeze (in for Lee Goldberg) with her AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports, including the message-sending-vote today at baseball's Hall of Fame, where no one was elected. Hard to imagine at the height of their first remarkable and then tainted careers that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa wouldn't have been elected on their first try. Each was denied. Justice, many would say.

I hope you can join Diana Williams (in for Sade Baderinwa), tonight at 11.


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