News and Tribune

April 29, 2014

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For April 29


It’s time for some street smarts

On Thursday, April 23, I was working from home, periodically jolted from the computer screen as Spring Street residents were treated to a preview of the street grid’s enduring malfunction, courtesy of the Main Street’s Deforestation Project. With brief traffic delays occurring on Main, heavy vehicles are self-diverting to nearby, unpoliced streets like ours.

In short, during one brief half-hour segment just before noon, I counted six dump trucks, six more garbage or related recycling vehicles, and five block-long semi-trailer rigs, all shaking the rafters as they thundered past my house on Spring Street.

If a single one of these vehicles was traveling anywhere close to the posted speed limit, I’d be very surprised.

Do school buses always drive this fast?

From the very start, the deforestation project’s chief architect, John Rosenbarger, as well as its same-engineering-firm-as-always design team (can’t we freshen the gene pool every decade or so?) have insisted that when completed, Main Street’s 13-foot wide lane widths would accommodate these destructive, pass-through monstrosities, most of which are not making stops in New Albany, but trying to find a shortcut from points east to points west.

From the very start, these protests have been both disingenuous and frankly insulting. The single point for pass-through drivers isn’t lane width; it is unobstructed speed of travel, and one-way Spring Street is designed to mimic an interstate highway in this regard.

Having become accustomed to self-diversion during periods like the present one, there is little chance these vehicles will return to Main Street when the project is finished, whether lane widths are 11 feet or 13 feet. Everyone involves knows this, but insists on saying otherwise. Spring Street residents are seeing more of these vehicles than ever before, feeling their homes shake, and vividly illustrating that not only are the “experts” incapable of effective street design — they also can’t lie very well.

All we can hope for is that Jeff Speck’s street study reveals the extent of their fabrications. In this town, you hope for the best … and plan for the worst.

— Roger A. Baylor, New Albany

Utica resident endorses Dan Moore

I am writing to endorse another term for Judge Dan Moore of Clark Circuit Court 1. We need to keep his experience and knowledge on the bench in that important court. Let me tell you about the kind of man he is.

As Utica Town Board President, before Dan took the bench he worked with me to build the coalition of community partners to open what is now Paul Garret Avenue through the old ammunition plant. This was an important second way out for Utica and nearby residents and it was a real ”door opener” for Utica.

Our entire town, the Quarry Bluff residents and people near the Conservation Club now have flexibility to travel and our town board now has a chance to begin real long planning for our town.

Dan Moore put in countless hours on research, meetings working documents, easing fears and giving assurances to get the old Waterline Road opened up. He went to many meeting with other local officials, businesses along the road and the reuse board to make this all happen. He even bargained for guardrail and paving donations from our neighboring local governments. And he did all this work at no charge to Utica.

The names on the road changed, options for nearby citizens changed and the future of Utica changed with this road opening for the town. Dan Moore has not changed one bit. He knows what hard work is all about.

We still recall some of the hurdles and preconceived notions we had to overcome to build trust that this road opening would work. Dan’s work to transfer the entire old ammo plant to local control in 1998 will also stand the test of time. There is no one that works harder to get a job done than Dan Moore.

This kind of commitment to hard work we need to keep on the bench in Circuit Court l. I fully support judge Dan Moore’s re-election in Circuit Court No. 1 and hope you will vote for him on May 6, too.

— Henry Dorman, board president, Town of Utica

Reader counters political letter

Seldom am I prompted to respond to a letter submitted by another reader, but today I am making an exception.

While a recent letter-writer named very rich political donors, both were Republicans. What about the very rich Democratic donors, such as Marc and Denise Rich, or the just convicted hotelier Sant Chatwal? And don’t begin to talk to me about Jeffrey Katzenberg. Look, there’s plenty of wealthy donors in both parties. That’s why it’s more important than ever for the average American to get to the polls on election day.

As for complaining about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being struck down by the Supreme Court, we all should be celebrating that we have finally evolved to the point in our culture where the act is no longer needed.

And the complaint about voter IDs being required? It simply doesn’t hold water. Too many other ordinary functions of life require a photo ID: buying alcohol; buying cigarettes; opening a bank account; applying for food stamps; applying for welfare; applying for Medicaid/Social Security; buying a cell phone; and many other things.

I have no knowledge of what it takes to buy a gun in Texas, but I don’t care, I live in Indiana. I know I had to use a driver’s license to purchase a gun in Indiana. I can also tell you that you cannot use a student ID to apply for a passport because it has no issue date and no expiration date.

I applaud Indiana’s voter ID law and any other state that implements voter ID laws. We simply cannot allow those individuals who are not qualified to vote to influence our elections.

You have to show a valid ID to do so many other things in life, why are liberals so focused on it? And as for the consolidation of voting sites, blame it on the economy. Counties don’t have the funds to keep funding voting polls on every corner and they don’t have the people to man the polls like they have had in years past.

Schools used to send high school students, but that has also ended for the most part because schools are now in session. Transportation has always been provided to the polls and I have not seen that it is ending. It may be advantageous to extend voting hours in light of reduced polling places and travel required. Early voting transportation is also an option.

I bristle at the “the sky is falling” theory presented. The facts do not support the theory presented. I sure am glad I’m a registered Independent.

— Betsy Madden, Georgetown