Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Missed the news

I appreciated the story about the ticket debacle for subject concert. Although the story suggested that news of the ticket distribution was spread far and wide, it’s curious how it came to be that I, a longtime resident of Warner Robins who lives but two miles from the Aviation Museum, heard not a word about the tickets until this story came out and the tickets were already gone. I watch several local newscasts daily and read The Telegraph from cover to cover daily. Sure would like to know how I missed that news. Can someone help me figure this out?

On a related note, the story notes that the fireworks show will be moved to the museum also. I suspect that the Anchor Glass grounds would make a darn good viewing area for the fireworks show while doubling up as an overflow parking lot. While we’re on the subject, we could use the brush pile farm at the southern end of the base as the staging area for the fireworks. After all, the government has been threatening to burn it down for almost two years now to make room for a solar panel farm. They could kill two birds with one stone. And I could stop torturing myself wondering if that darned solar panel project is ever really going to happen.

-- Jerry Norris

Warner Robins

The concert featuring Darius Rucker was first announced in The Telegraph on April 13.

-- Editors

Clean water wackos

Two letters were published in Wednesday’s Viewpoints favoring the new EPA effort to add federal control over small mud puddles and backyard drainage ditches. The EPA has colluded with the usual enviro-wackos to push false science as necessary to keep drinking water safe. Unlike claims in the two letters, the EPA has already stopped homeowners and farmers’ efforts to manage their own locally contained water sites.

Federal courts have already ruled (and more cases are on the docket) that the EPA has routinely ignored federal law that requires the EPA to produce verifiable scientific evidence that supports their proposed actions. Without firm science behind policy, the EPA is as dangerous as Al Gore headed for a buffet table at a Geneva Global Warming conference.

The original Clean Air and Clean Water acts have been hugely successful and necessary. It is a good thing the Cuyahoga River no longer catches fire and that the Potomac is fishable again. Clean air efforts have been just as successful, with our air quality actually meeting the Kyoto protocol goals even though the U.S. did not sign that treaty. That is not good enough for the wacko’s seeking their version of Nirvana.

They knock themselves out trying to ban all fossil fuels, no matter that there are no viable alternatives now or quite possibly into the future, since the same morons also want nuclear power banned. Once again our “betters” in government feel compelled to modify the common folks’ ignorant behaviors to fit their enlightened goals. I hope they fail.

-- John Brogden

Warner Robins

Courthouse dress code

Great balls of fire. I believe the new Macon-Bibb County courthouse dress code is discriminatory against octogenarians. Many of us enjoy wearing a collarless shirt and shorts during the hot summer months and if we had an urgent legal or natural reason to enter our halls of justice while taking a morning stroll under the oaks of Mulberry Street, we would not be admitted.

According to The Telegraph, “shorts are prohibited in the courtrooms and in all other parts of the courthouse building if any portion of the body is exposed.” My walking shorts are one inch below the kneecap and many of the delightful ladies wear dresses several inches above the kneecap. If that isn’t discriminatory a duck doesn’t like water.

Let me hasten to say, I will be happy to forgo any legal intervention, and buy some stretch men’s hosiery that will cover all my skin from toe to kneecap if our rule makers will leave the hem of the ladies skirts as they are. Better yet, ask those sitting on the dress code committee to study the issue a while longer. Consultation with a haberdasher might be in order too.

-- John G. Kelley Jr.

Macon

On the flag

Down both sides and on the leading edge of the American flag should be printed, “In God We Trust.”

-- Travis L. Middleton

Peach County

Build safer streets

I strongly disagree with the tone of the Editorial Board’s opinion piece on June 5. (Walking demands our full attention, too). I believe this piece verged on blaming pedestrian/bicyclist victims for their own injuries and deaths on Macon-Bibb County’s streets. Our community, like many others throughout the nation, is suffering from a legacy of roadway construction focused only on motor vehicles. Recognizing the fact that the Federal Highway Administration estimates that 36 percent of Georgia’s population lack a driver’s license, we face the reality that tens of thousands of Macon-Bibb County residents must decide between remaining isolated in their homes, cut-off from work, shopping, entertainment, health care and family and friends, or risk life and limb traveling our community’s dangerous roadways.

Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, ought to have safe, comfortable and convenient access to community destinations and public places whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation. The editors state that “our roads are what they are” and seem to suggest that this reality is best addressed through “defensive driving” and wearing brightly colored clothing when walking or bicycling. I strongly disagree. By incorporating Complete Streets concepts and retrofitting Macon-Bibb’s roadways using strategies proven to reduce pedestrian and bicycle accidents, we can begin creating a safer and more equitable transportation network in our community.

The Federal Highway Administration has studied and recommends numerous strategies that Macon-Bibb could use to make its roadways safer. Road diets convert existing four-lane roads to two through lanes and a center two-way left turn lane and have been shown to reduce pedestrian crashes by up to 47 percent and improve access and mobility for all road users. The reclaimed road space can be allocated for other uses such as pedestrian crossing islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking and landscaping.

Pedestrian crosswalks combined with pedestrian hybrid beacons at mid-block locations (like the one on College Street at Alexander II Elementary School) have been shown to reduce pedestrian crashes by up to 69 percent. Mid-block bus stop, school and recreation locations are good candidates for this type of traffic control device. It appears that Ms. Jackson was killed at a mid-block location with bus stops on both sides of the road, but no crosswalks, pedestrian hybrid beacons or pedestrian protections.

Finally, pedestrian crossing islands or refuge areas -- raised islands on a street at intersections or midblock locations -- separate crossing pedestrians from motor vehicles and are shown to reduce pedestrian crashes by up to 46 percent. Macon-Bibb County must deal with a roadway system that poses a serious threat to life and limb of tens of thousands of the county’s residents who cannot legally drive motor vehicles. By beginning to strategically retrofit portions of our most dangerous roadways with proven safety-focused design strategies like road diets, pedestrian hybrid beacons, crosswalks and pedestrian crossing islands, we can start to reduce the death toll on our roadways and begin to create a community of complete streets where everyone can safely travel throughout our community whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation.

-- Brad Belo

Macon

Fruitless and amusing

James Huber’s recent attempt to psych me out was typical right-wing drivel. My attempts to think outside of the circle are often fruitless but hopefully amusing. My long career as a university and federal civil service librarian make me immune to any Chinese hacking. Same with listening to my often boring phone calls. Who cares and why even bother?

If our wonderful Constitution was as simple as Huber claims we wouldn’t need the U.S. Supreme Court and associate justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, et al. Our local, Libertarian, Republican Rep. Austin Scott’s main goal is passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. That would end all federal aid to state and local governments which would financially cripple them and cause massive unemployment.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

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