Letters to the Editor 4/17/14
Enjoyed the article by Lauren Duncan (“Pay at the pump, fix the roads,” April 10) regarding raising the gasoline tax to raise more money for roads.
I am not sure that raising taxes is the best way to go about this problem. Cities and municipalities around the country have been struggling with the rising cost of road repair and the motor fuel tax (MFT) funds have not been keeping up with the need. Higher fuel economy for vehicles mandated by the federal government plus the continued popularity of electric and alternative fuel vehicles has created a hardship on those trying to maintain our roads. All-electric vehicles and alternate fuel vehicles use our roads every day but pay zero at the gas pump and do not contribute to the MFT funds that are paid back to each community.
We need to figure out a solution that will be fair to everyone that uses the roads, not just those that purchase gasoline and diesel fuel. A fee for how many miles you drive might be a solution but that would require some type of monitor in every vehicle which would be impossible to control. I don’t have the answers but I would think those that use the roads the most should pay the most.
On Saturday evening, I joined scores of well-wishers to congratulate Rabbi Barry Marks on his 40 years of ministry and service within Springfield.
Several shared how he had made a powerful impact not only on the Jewish community but the larger one as well. I was privileged to speak on behalf of the interfaith community and Mayor Houston presented him with a special proclamation. For an evening, at least, those present set aside their concerns about the world.
No doubt, many who had attended the festivities woke up on Sunday, focusing on preparations for the coming observation of Passover. By midday, we began to hear appalling news, the murders of innocents at Jewish community centers in Kansas City and the reports thus far indicate that this was a hate crime.
This heinous attack is but the latest in a long, too long history – and those who perpetrate such crimes are a disgrace to the values all Americans revere. The mood of this week’s Seders will undoubtedly be tainted by this hate crime. We are heartsick for our Jewish neighbors, and pray that justice will be served.
More so, as we remember this week that Jesus himself celebrated a Seder meal as his final supper with his loved ones, we pray that our Jewish neighbors will find deliverance from the unfounded hatred too often strewn across their paths.
Rev. Martin Woulfe
Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation