Following the massive damage to utility lines during the December snowstorms we read that fiber optic service would not be replaced along Lake Wenatchee’s south shore due to the very high cost. Then on Jan. 18 we received an email from the PUD, backed up by an article in the Jan. 20 Wenatchee World, saying that it would be replaced. The number of customers along the south shore was given as “approximately” 64 in the email, and “approximately” 80 in the World article. Doesn’t the PUD know how many customers are affected? Does this “approximate” number mean actual customers? Potential customers? Full-time residents? Weekend rentals? A combination of these, or what? The cost of replacing the fiber has been a moving target, too. The latest figure given in The World is “approximately” $750,000.
The fiber optic line runs up Chumstick Highway to Lake Wenatchee, yet it is unavailable to Chumstick residents as far as I know, so you see this public utility is really not for the public at large. However, we did get to help pay for fiber’s initial installation and now, I’m sure, we’ll get to help with the “approximately” $750,000 repair bill.
I don’t know if the PUD is helping a special customer on the south shore of Lake Wenatchee or if it took the path of least resistance when it reversed it’s initial decision. It doesn’t really make any difference, the public will pay anyway.
We are pleased crashes are being reduced in Wenatchee since the installation of traffic safety cameras (“City: Red-light camera data shows accidents down citywide,” The World, Jan 18).
In 2002, our daughter was killed by a driver speeding through a red light. Since then, we have made it our mission to reduce traffic fatalities caused by red-light running. The bottom line is, when it comes to saving lives, photo enforcement works.
In Puyallup, red-light cameras led to a 52 percent reduction in red-light running. In Federal Way, collisions dropped at all photo-enforced intersections and almost 90 percent of violations were one-time offenders, indicating a change in driver behavior and a positive impact on road safety. As The Wenatchee World reported, collisions are down 37 percent in Wenatchee.
Traffic safety cameras send a clear message: If you break basic traffic laws, you will be held accountable. There’s no reason another family should have to endure the loss of a son, daughter or parent to someone who refuses to obey the law.
Paul and Sue Oberhauser
National co-chairs Traffic Safety Coalition
More slaughter ahead
One of the more discouraging things I’ve read in The World was a Safety Valve letter from Ella Dillon on Jan 17. In it she states that, even though she was horrified by the school shooting of 5- and 6-year-olds, she is MORE horrified by the possibility of gun control. If this doesn’t illustrate what’s wrong with our country, nothing does. For some, the deaths of innocent children dim by comparison to gun control. This is a sad statement and highlights the moral turpitude of our country today.
Another letter sent in by Gordon Schuster (Jan. 17) called for cars to be banned because there are more deaths due to car accidents than by guns. What part of the purpose of guns doesn’t he get? Cars are not purchased to kill people. When it happens, it is by accident. Handguns have NO other purpose than to kill people.
Ms. Dillon recounts a terrifying experience where she was robbed at gunpoint. She’s suggesting because of this experience, that we arm everyone in the country. So the solution in her mind isn’t restricting the criminal’s ability to get a gun, it’s MORE guns. Guns in everyone’s hands. Armed guards at kindergarten, for heavens sake. We are becoming more uncivilized by the minute!
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free atate, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
I believe we must put ourselves into that time in history (1791) to understand the meaning of the Second Amendment. It was written after a bloody Revolutionary War was fought and won, largely due to armed militias. A tyrannical British government with an invading army was on everyone’s mind. The militias also, protected people from Indian enemies on the frontier. There were many dangers in a wild, sparsely populated and mostly uncivilized land.
Fast forward to the 21st century and the Second Amendment has morphed into every Tom, Dick and Harry’s unfettered right to bear arms. It’s become the excuse for lawlessness and anarchy. Until we get a Supreme Court whose majority can put this back into the context of the time it was written and then interpret it in light of the reality of today’s world, I fear we are going to face more slaughter of innocents.
Send letters to The Safety Valve, Box 1511, Wenatchee, WA 98807.
Fax letters to 665-1183, e-mail to Newsroom@wenatcheeworld.com.