Stop-light cameras curb violations
It was interesting to read the copious amounts of statistics concerning traffic violations in Wichita (Feb. 24 Eagle). The biggest violation I observe is by drivers who speed through red lights at the massive six-lane intersections in town. This activity has increased to alarming levels, and the violators expect the opposing drivers to count a few seconds before proceeding.
I understand why some of drivers run red lights. The wait on signals can be long. But that’s no excuse. I think running red lights is the most dangerous violation of them all. At least a speeder usually has a separate lane that is designed for high-speed driving. Crossing an intersection during a red light not only puts your life in jeopardy but, more important, puts innocent drivers in an extremely dangerous position of getting T-boned, which can cause serious injuries or death.
I think it would be a great idea to install cameras at all large intersections. They are extremely efficient. The picture is taken of the plate, the driver gets the citation in the mail, and the cameras will pay for themselves. It’s a win-win situation for the city, and it helps to stretch the long arm of the law.
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The decision by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, to attack University of Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little as part of the debt problem was disgraceful.
In his February e-mail newsletter, Pompeo linked Gray-Little with the president in this statement: “Like President Obama, KU’s chancellor argues that we should address the deficit through ‘balance.’ That is code for more taxes on hardworking Kansans and more money redistributed to Washington, D.C.”
As a Kansas Republican, I’m embarrassed by this style of demonizing. A balanced approach is the answer to get through this difficult economic period. It looks like Pompeo is hoping the “sequestration” will slow down the recovery, so he will have something to justify his re-election if the recovery fails.
I trust there is hope for Pompeo. With a good U.S. government West Point education, he should have the ability to become a statesman for Kansas, instead of a political hack.
Good governance could begin if he set aside politics for the next few months and did what is right for Kansas and the nation. He has placed himself in the middle between sequestration and the impact on the Defense Department, which has serious impact on the Wichita economy and jobs across the nation.
Oil time bomb
Demonstrators in Washington, D.C., recently urged President Obama to acknowledge the upcoming catastrophe of climate change and to block the Keystone XL pipeline. That pipeline serves a Canadian corporation, which is digging out its nastiest crude in tar sands and sending it across the United States to be shipped to other countries. That pipeline will not reduce the price of U.S. gasoline nor our dependence on foreign oil. The jobs it may create will be temporary. But the United States will be stuck with a ticking time bomb of pollution.
Our elected folks in Topeka and Washington need to look to the future. Please protect pure water and air, minimize future droughts and storms as much as possible, and create clean jobs with renewable wind and solar energy.
For those opposed to the Keystone pipeline project: What next? Stop trains and trucks from transporting oil, gas and other products that may be a hazard? Shut down the hundreds of pipelines that carry vital oil and gas to refineries? Maybe tanker ships should not be allowed in or out of our ports.
The Keystone pipeline will bring needed jobs. It will mean oil from our neighbor Canada instead of countries that are unfriendly to the United States. Canada is our friend and will produce this oil even if this pipeline is not completed. The Chinese would love to have Canada build a pipeline to the West Coast and sell it to them.
It is time for this project to continue construction across Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana and finally to Canada. Yes, there are always risks, but sometimes we need to take them in the best interests of the future of the United States. We store nuclear weapons in silos all across the Northern states. What kind of risks does this present?
On Friday, a total stranger performed an act of kindness for my husband and me. We are a “senior” couple with heart conditions, and there was no way we were going to be able to clear our driveway of 14 inches of snow.
Dean Berg came by with a Bobcat and not only cleared our long driveway of snow but would not take any money for it.
When we tried to pressure him into taking some money, he said that if we felt so strongly about paying, we should give the money to our church, which we will do. There are also a few churches in Wichita that had their parking lots cleaned Friday by Berg that were not even aware of who did it.