Hold trash haulers accountable but not for everything
Re March 29 article [concerning] garbage trucks and their accident record: I would agree that action needs to be taken if the accidents happened due to city workers rushing to cut their day short. I do, however, think that city workers’ side should be heard instead of assumptions and accusations by City Council members.
I travel the city streets as well in the early hours, and have found that although there are adequate street signs advising drivers where they should be parking, they park where it is convenient for them. I have seen where cars are parked on opposites sides of the road, and a city pickup truck could not fit through. So maybe some of these cars are parked illegally and should be towed.
I think a better solution is to split the parking enforcement shift to weeknights and weekends. I believe the revenue generated from these shifts would justify the hours.
I am [also] seeing fewer residents using garbage cans — they just throw the bags on the road. Stray animals and rodents feast, and garbage ends up on the street rather than in the truck.
I think some scrutiny is due for the drivers hitting fences and parked cars, but let’s be sure that is the real cause of the issues.
To our city leaders, how about enforcing some of the basic rules, [such as] garbage cans and parking? Maybe there will be fewer accidents and less garbage on the streets.
To city waste personnel, thanks for your hard work.
Medicare Advantage merits full funding
I have a Medicare Advantage plan, and it helps cover my health care costs. I don’t have a need for any of the extra benefits, such as vision and fitness, but I think they are extremely important for many participating seniors.
As we grow older, our health may deteriorate, and comprehensive coverage becomes more and more important. However, these extra benefits may be the first to go if further funding cuts are made to the Medicare Advantage program.
Any additional funding cuts could also lead to higher co-pays. Many senior citizens simply cannot afford to pay more for their Medicare. In fact, some may have to choose between paying their mortgage, buying food or going to the doctor.
Seniors deserve a decent quality of life, but without Medicare Advantage, many will suffer. Congress must do everything necessary to ensure that this vital program is fully funded now and into the future.
Obama deficient in global leadership
Those who followed the political career of President Obama will note that he was most famous for voting “present” in the Illinois Legislature and later in the U.S. Senate. He usually avoided anything controversial and let the other members take the lead. That approach served him well; he became president, as he did not stake out any tough positions on complex issues.
But as president, it is his ruin. It appears that voting “present” is still his modus operandi. He lets other countries take the lead and he “leads from behind.”
It is not surprising that Obama is missing from the new annual CNN/Fortune magazine list of the 50 top strong leaders in the world. That list is headed by Pope Francis, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is included, as is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Obama’s dithering with Iran and its nuclear bomb program has only given it more time to complete its bomb. He is delusional to think he can talk Iran into giving up the bomb that has been its focus for over a decade.
The president’s supporters try to attribute his consistent hesitation to his being thoughtful. He was so thoughtful about “[Syrian leader Bashar] Assad has to go,” that by the time he did or said anything, the time had passed for effective action. Early on, he could have armed the rebels and instituted a no-fly zone and Assad would be gone. Putin now has control over events in Syria, and Assad stays.
The recent confrontation with Putin over the Russian invasion of Crimea has again exposed him as weak and the United States as a paper tiger.
Obama started his presidency declaring, “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” But like it or not, the United States is the leader of the world, and we are exceptional. Our president is derelict in his duties when he simply votes “present” as the world falls into chaos.
Make senators read pro-marijuana piece
It would be nice if the March 30 Viewpoint by Lawrence Goodwin was required reading for all state senators. It was titled “Compassionate thing to do,” and concerned the medical marijuana law.
He makes reference to the current law’s passage in 1937, but not some of the interesting details. He does mention that marijuana was a medicinal in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia for more than a half century before 1937, but not that the American Medical Association testified against the law and wanted it to remain a medicinal.
Also, the hemp industry testified with many untrue statements, including racial nonsense which would never be allowed today.
Jack L. Underwood, M.D.
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