Letters to the Editor - Jan. 11, 2013
Letters from Kathie Oriet, David Terry, Henry Reeves
City considered options
Carlton is a wonderful destination for people to partake in fabulous local wines or stay in a B&B or vacation rental home. We welcome visitors with open arms.
Unfortunately, Highway 47 is our downtown Main Street. It has been suggested that we move traffic through on Pine Street, left onto Monroe, right onto Kutch, then left on Madison. While we appreciate folks trying to help with our truck traffic, the city considered this option. There are reasons we don’t want to move the traffic as suggested.
First, very large semi-trucks have difficulty with the two 90-degree turns on Highway 47. Why would we force these trucks to make four 90-degree turns to return to Highway 47, and tear up city streets?
This proposal would just move Highway 47 traffic from one section of our business district to another. We’re talking about 162 round trips a week for Waste Management trucks alone. Add log trucks, gravel trucks, other semi-trucks and farm trucks and we’re talking about hundreds of trucks going through Carlton every week.
Year-round, children walk to and from school or the swimming pool from all parts of town. Kids don’t always pay attention like they should, and this includes watching out for traffic.
Since we won’t get rid of the highway or trucks anytime soon, what Carlton needs is for ODOT to rebuild the base under Highway 47 to protect downtown buildings from the unstable roadway. All this truck traffic causes buildings to shake and occasionally knocks computers offline. At least, there’s talk about “maybe” being placed on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program timeline for 2017.
To sum up, a truck or all-vehicle bypass would risk the safety of our children, cost city taxpayers to repair the roads, and threaten the viability of the rest of our business district.
Kathie Oriet, mayor
City of Carlton
Sign gun control petition
No topic has been more debated in recent weeks than gun control. When tragedy strikes vulnerable children, anti-gun advocates see it as an excuse to violate individual liberty, pushing for new firearms bans in a foolhardy quest for illusory safety.
The next time a killer strikes, the more responsible citizens who are armed, the more likely it is that the tragedy can be minimized through timely intervention. Defending schools doesn’t have to involve new government programs or expanded police powers. All it requires is allowing responsible citizens to carry their firearms in schools just as they already do today in restaurants, grocery stores, churches, malls and many more everyday locations.
In the wake of this tragedy, some are pushing for more gun control, but they ignore the real, practical ways it could have been prevented and numerous examples from the recent past.
A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school’s vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.
A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun.
A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.
A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two co-workers who carried concealed handguns.
A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.
Stop the war against self-defense and the encroachment of so-called gun-free zones. Sign the petition at www.DefendSchools.com.
Editor’s Note: Some examples cited by the writer involved apprehension of shooters by armed individuals outside the shooting sites, after people were killed and wounded. Others involved direct intervention during active shooting incidents and were credited with savings many lives.
Bypass is a pig in a poke
In the News-Register’s Jan. 4 feature on Commissioner Leslie Lewis’ departure, Waldo Farnham is quoted as saying, “More than $994,695 of county money was wasted due to Lewis’ poor decision making and vindictiveness.”
That’s peanuts compared with her role as godmother of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass.
We don’t know the final costs of the completed bypass nor the necessary local contribution by the county and affected cities. Every cost estimate is higher than the previous one. And who will pay for maintenance and fee collection costs, also undetermined, for only the truncated Phase One of the 11-mile corridor? We appear to be buying the proverbial pig in a poke.
Consider that driver miles are down, traffic counts are dropping, miles per gallon are increasing and fuel tax revenues are declining. Most telling to me is the notable traffic decline in the Dundee segment of Highway 99W. Are we building an astoundingly expensive solution, still searching for a problem?
But let’s jump ahead in time and accept the premise that Phase One will be constructed. How might the completed bypass be appropriately recognized? Utah has its Golden Spike, which commemorates completion of the transcontinental railroad. Might we have the Golden Shovel Bypass marked by the very shovels by which Commissioner Lewis and David Haugeberg began construction in August? Or perhaps an authentic gold shovel could be prominently and permanently mounted before our county “White House”?
Also, we might create a Bypass Time Capsule, which would contain significant bypass records. The capsule could be ceremoniously opened and sealed every decade with two key questions put to vote: 1. Was this enormously expensive undertaking necessary? 2. What might have been done locally and nationally for education, health, safety, present infrastructure upkeep, and so forth, with equivalent funding?
Henry M. Reeves