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Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 03:27 pm

Letters to the Editor 8/22/13

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Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called the American sweet gum.
PHOTO BY JEAN-POL GRANDMONT VIA WIKIPEDIA.COM

NOT SWEET

How romantic!

Give a gal a break. (“Going slow on sweet gums” by Bruce Rushton, Aug. 15.) There are far, far more sweet gum trees in town, with a huge abundance of sweet gum balls, than any flock of overwintering birds could possibly consume. If you are a bird lover, which I am, go to Wild Birds Unlimited and get some real food for them.

The sweet gum tree population, much like the silver maple tree population, is way out of kilter as a result of massive plantings years ago. These trees are not only a nuisance to residents, they destroy walks, curbs, streets and sewers.

I can assure you, there are more than enough sweet gum trees, even after the harvest of 300, to supply the birds. Fact is, there are still way, way more than there should be. I say cut ’em down, cut ’em all down!

Sally Jackson
Springfield



FURLOUGH POLITICIANS

I am a Title 32 National Guard Technician at the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. I bust my ass in the heat every day to put out a product in the form of a jet engine that goes in the F-16 to defend and protect you pansy-ass politicians so that you can sit in your nice, cool, comfortable office and find new and more inefficient ways to shuffle useless paperwork all day. I am angry as hell that you choose to take a day or two “every week” out of my paycheck and you only take one day a month out of your own. Your job would be more important than mine if you actually did it. But in reality, I think if you were put on permanent furlough there would be no negative impact on the way our state functions.

As far as voting for House Resolution 2613 and 2614, you can do whatever you want to do, but know that I will not be voting for you or any of your other pathetic cronies when the time comes. I will vote for representation that connects with the people they are put in office to serve. I will choose someone with common sense, loyalty and integrity. I will most definitely choose someone who doesn’t see the world in the same black and white, Republican and Democrat perspective that you have so clearly exhibited. My prayer is that such a politician exists.

Name withheld by request


LAWRENCE ROAD BLOCKS

It really burned me when I read the article “Lanes on Lawrence?” by Patrick Yeagle (Aug. 15) and found the Historic West Side Neighborhood Association is still selfishly trying to block the one proven improvement that would greatly decrease the crash problems at both MacArthur and Lawrence and Walnut and Lawrence, the construction of left turn lanes.

Yes, most of the crashes do occur under good weather conditions and during heavy traffic volumes because the vehicles sitting in the turn lanes across from each other block the sight of the approaching through vehicles and conversely the sight of the turning vehicles from the through vehicles. It is not an environmental visibility problem in most cases. The installation of left turn lanes also decreases sideswipe and rear end crashes on the approaches caused by vehicles moving from the left lane to the right lane to avoid the vehicles stopped to make a left turn. The left turn lanes also allow two through lanes each direction allowing the through traffic to flow smoothly through the intersections, increasing the amount of vehicles that can flow through the intersections each time period and decreasing the urge to speed up to “beat the light.”

The city already owns the right of way necessary to construct the turn lanes, with the possible exception of small triangles in each corner to provide for easier right turns. The trees that would be affected are city trees on the city right of ways.

It is time for the Historic West Side Neighborhood Association to quit being selfish and let the traffic engineers do their job. I would be tempted to bring legal action against both the city and the Historic West Side Neighborhood Association if I was injured in a crash at one of the intersections -- the city for failing to act when they have been given constructive notice of a correctable crash problem, and the neighborhood association for blocking the improvements.

Tyre W. Rees, former city traffic engineer
Springfield

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