Letters to the editor: May 1 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: May 1

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Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 3:09 pm | Updated: 2:48 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

In blogs and online posts, photo enforcement opponents have lauded praise on vandals who have attacked government-contracted cameras, vans and equipment with paint, ice picks and even guns. Now, the cold-blooded killing of Doug Georgianni raises the question of whether the defenders of aggressive driving are partly responsible for the crime.

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Photo Enforcement

Take back the highways

In blogs and online posts, photo enforcement opponents have lauded praise on vandals who have attacked government-contracted cameras, vans and equipment with paint, ice picks and even guns. Now, the cold-blooded killing of Doug Georgianni raises the question of whether the defenders of aggressive driving are partly responsible for the crime.

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Anti-camera vigilantes may see their actions as a form of civil disobedience, but we should all recognize it for what it is: law breaking born of a growing disrespect for traffic laws and the people who enforce them. On the road, this mentality endangers everyone with an attitude that says, “I’m entitled to drive as I want and others should get out of my way.”

Without enforcement, we surrender the highways to this type of driver. Speed and red-light cameras are simply a tool for law enforcement to keep everyone within the rules of the road. Georgianni was just doing his job and lost his life while working to increase public safety. We cannot allow camera haters to intimidate our safety professionals. If we do, they’ll be driving all law-abiding citizens off the road.

Leslie Blakey

Executive Director, National Campaign

to Stop Red-Light Running

Washington, D.C.

State Budget

Cut school administrations

The state budget is in crisis due to economic downturn and projection of less revenue over the coming years. The education system is one of the largest expenditures in the budget and is therefore seeing a large cut in coming years.

I believe everyone with children and foresight knows that the education of our youth is important for the long-term viability of our state and nation. To that end, there have been many articles in the Tribune and editorial posts on the subject. The slant of many of the editorials is: How can we take money away from education, and how can the districts lay off teachers? It’s funny that most of the challenges to reducing education funds haven’t exactly said where the cuts in the total budget would come from instead. I have heard a number of teachers are getting laid off, but we haven’t heard of significant cuts to district and administration. This is likely where the real salaries are paid, not the people who are in front of our children.

If the goal is to maintain teacher numbers and classroom sizes, the district and administration should be getting a disproportionately larger reduction than the people who actually teach our kids. Perhaps this will be the straw that pushes the districts to merge to trim duplicative positions over a larger area. Maybe we should examine having very little in the way of districts and administration and give the individual school administrations (principals and actual teachers) a greater voice. The districts are an arm of the government and likely operate with the same bloat.

Ed Glancy

Mesa

Public Transit

Making matters worse

On April 12, Tribune writer Mike Branom wrote an article on public transportation. Public transportation is supposed to reduce commute times by reducing traffic jams. The problem is that public transportation is slower than jammed traffic. Taking public transit increases commute times. Simply, using public transit is worse than freeway congestion.

I drove from east Mesa to work in Tempe. The average commute takes 40 minutes during morning rush hour; the longest time was 1 hour 15 minutes due to an accident.

I noticed a bus dropped people off directly in front of the office I was working in so I decided to experiment one Saturday and take public transit. I walked 1 mile to the bus stop at Power Road and University Avenue, which took 20 minutes. I then rode a bus to University just west of 52nd Street in Tempe with a transfer in downtown Mesa. The bus ride took two hours.

Public transportation caused me over an hour of delay, this on a day when public transportation and traffic should have been at peak efficiency. I prefer to be jammed on the freeway inside my car.

I am a mechanical engineer and studied mathematical modeling. Modeling mechanical systems is based on physics and can be very precise. Social modeling is based on statistical data and is much more susceptible to assumptions and prejudice. Social modeling is not to be trusted. I find the Arizona PIRG statement that public transportation prevented 3 million hours of traffic delay and saved the economy $55 million to be fallacious if not malicious.

Finally, the cost of public transportation should be borne only by those who use it. I refuse to pay for someone else’s ride to work. Public funding of transit is fundamentally unjust and unethical. The tax money used to subsidize public transportation is a drag on the economy and lowers the standard of living for everyone.

David Dillmore

Gilbert Elections

Vote for Daniels, Scroggins

Now that Don Skousen has bowed out of the race, and we thank him for that, it is positive that John Lewis will be Gilbert’s next mayor. It is absolutely critical that he have a council that fully supports him and to have in mind the best interest of the citizens of Gilbert.

The only two who meet these standards are Jenn Daniels and Erin Scroggins. There are only two seats open on the council, and we encourage everyone to fill those seats with Jenn Daniels and Erin Scroggins.

This team will right the wrongs of the past administration and stop the spending that put Gilbert in the financial disaster of the present. Also this team will support and assist the county island folks who have been wronged by the previous council.

Wayne and Shirley Whitlock

GILBERT

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