Your money going around
Madera County has started the process to build a roundabout in North Fork at the intersection of Road 274 and Road 225 that will cost an estimated $1.86 million.
The claim is this will make the intersection safer and more efficient. The real question begs - is this a good use of your money?
The county is receiving a federal grant for $1.3 million, but kicking in $558,000 from local Measure T road funds.
The traffic study shows a peak two hour window in the morning of 694 vehicles and 617 in the late afternoon. That is about 5.5 vehicles a minute. In two directions there is no stop sign thus no waiting.
Is this really a congested intersection? The study makes no mention of accidents, there was no actual timing of delay at the stop signs, and no comparison to other intersections to reference averages.
We know our roads need a lot of repair. There are areas that flood, needing culverts, and plenty of paving to be done. Once again the county has chosen to waste our money on something that is not needed.
Marc Sobel, Oakhurst
NOTE: Marc Sobel has announced his candidacy for Madera County District 5 Supervisor in 2018.
Trump and Syria
Donald Trump and Republicans bank on the notion that their supporters are oblivious to real news and have very short and selective memories.
In 2013, Trump made numerous statements that Obama should completely stay out of Syria and now claims Obama’s ultimatum to Assad about his use of chemical weapons was empty rhetoric, conveniently leaving out the part where Obama properly sought permission from Congress and they would have none of it.
During the presidential campaign, Trump lambasted George W. Bush for leading us into regime change in Iraq. More recently, he lead the charge to block passage of Syrian refugees to our shores but then feigns shock and outrage over tragic footage of Syrian children dying of a chemical weapons attack.
What did he think was happening in Syria for the last five years to cause all those innocent victims to flee their homeland? Is he only just now waking up to the horrors? Where have you been Mr. Trump? Oh yeah, silly question, playing golf in Florida.
Now he launches an illegal attack on a Syrian air base and there’s talk of taking out Assad, which leaves what? Regime change. Will this be Trump’s Iraq? Kind of convenient and conspicuous that this comes right as his poll numbers are tanking amid increasingly compelling evidence that he colluded with the Russians over their hacking of our election, amid the litany of all his other abject failures in less than 100 days of his presidency. Is the dog wagging the tail?
Everyone agrees that Syria is a devastating human tragedy on a massive scale and it is heart wrenching to watch, but what difference will our involvement truly make short of total regime change which we cannot afford to facilitate with all the problems we need to fix here at home?
Is Trump truly a nationalist only until he needs to divert attention away from his own scurrilous activities?
Joe Nelson, Oakhurst
How much will be left?
At 73, this is my maiden voyage to writing a letter to any editor, basically highlighting a letter I recently sent to Gov. Brown.
As Gov. Brown, with the sound of a speeding bullet (train), rapes his constituents, here in the failing State of California, I am curious to know if he is going to pad his retirement, as President Obama did, before leaving office. And are our elected officials going to let him?
After all, with the billions he has trapped us with for road repair, and the unnecessary bullet rain in the Central Valley (we needed the train from Bakersfield to LA - not replacing service already available), I wonder how much will be left after our lobbyists and government officials get hold of the billions of dollars in new funds.
Perhaps Gov. Brown, might have considered investigating where the funds, already earmarked for road repair, are actually going, and how many hands are already in that pot.
Pamela Silva, Ahwahnee
Say no to rollbacks
Science matters because it gives a reasonably accurate map of current reality. A science and technology based civilization has brought great benefits. Science is needed to develop solutions to renewable resources of energy and materials, ecosystem collapse, accelerating climate change, global pandemics, and sustainable economies.
The American political situation displays willful ignorance and apathy towards addressing these problems in a serious way.
The inability to response to what is actually happening is a sign of severe dysfunction and qualifies as mental illness.
A tiny number of wealthy and powerful people are rolling back environmental protections in the pursuit of profit. The 99.99% of us who live here now have the power to say no to this.
On this April 22, Earth Day/ Science Day speak out, march and connect with groups or organizations working for positive change. The time for concerted action is now before it is too late.
Daniel Blodgett B.S. M.S. MD, Coarsegold