Install safety bars to prevent overpass hits
So another truck has been destroyed by the low bridge on Glenridge Road [Feb. 5 Gazette]. The truck driver has been ticketed, so we’ve assigned blame. Wonderful.
Detective William Marchewka says this is an ongoing problem. This tells me that while the driver is deserving of some of the blame, it’s not quite the slam-dunk it appears to be.
Ongoing problems like this indicate that there is design flaw. Obviously, raising the bridge would have been ideal, but recognizing that this is overly expensive, we have instead to figure out how to make this stop.
My suggestion is the installation of a fairly simple device that will get the attention of anyone driving an over-height vehicle, while not causing much distraction otherwise. The device in question is a clearance bar, which may sometimes also be called a tell-tale.
You will see clearance bars in parking garages and other places where height may be an issue. These are bars suspended from a ceiling or from an arm over the road by two or more cables or chains, and they are suspended at the same height (or ideally an inch or two lower) as the obstacle to be cleared. If you are over height, your vehicle will hit the bar, but because it is suspended, it will do little to no damage, but — and this is the important part — it will make noise.
I would like to suggest that these be installed from arms over the road just before the last opportunity to turn off prior to the bridge, as a simple, reliable way to get the attention of anyone who misses the signage and is otherwise going to hit that bridge. I think it will reduce these incidents dramatically.
Glenn C. Lasher, Jr.
Get informed on the issues or don’t vote
A couple of weeks ago, The Gazette printed a letter complaining that on average only 54 percent of the population generally votes in the national election. I believe the writer’s intent was to get more people to vote, which on the surface makes sense.
However, I’ve been following closely the presidential campaign and I’m struck by the high percentage of voters who — when asked who will they vote for in the caucus (Iowa) or primary (New Hampshire) — said they were still undecided, even up to the day of voting.
Maybe I assume incorrectly, but can’t these undecided voters make a decision after being barraged with information or misinformation from the candidates? What more do they want to hear?
If these voters are part of the 54 percent who vote when the real election comes to pass, we’re in bigger trouble than I thought. Hopefully these voters are weighing the experience, character, ideas and future plans that the candidates present to us instead of the insults, lies, distortions and bravado of being a tough guy or woman that one particular party seems to be engaged in.
None of these candidates are worthy of being president so far. Also, doing a fact check on what the candidates present is essential, since their “facts” are often far from accurate. So my advice to everyone is to make a list of the five or 10 most issues important to you and score the candidates accordingly. I’ve done it and it works.
Further, employ some critical thinking and ask yourself whether the candidate has the stature and leadership qualities needed to handle world affairs. And above all, avoid “group-think” and sound bites.
If you cannot do that or have some superficial reason for voting for a candidate because, for example, they “hate Washington,” want to discriminate against specific people or think rational gun control is “unconstitutional,” do us all a favor and stay home on Primary Day and especially Election Day.
I’d prefer we had a lower turnout of informed voters than a high percentage of uninformed ones.
Examine the wording of the Constitution
The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins with the words: “We the people.”
Soon thereafter, comes a lofty goal: “provide for the common defence” (old English spelling). Then comes a four-word clause in the middle of the paragraph: “promote the general Welfare.” Notice that the last word was capitalized. What do you suppose the founders meant?
Do you think they might have meant that we should help the needy (re: We the People) with such things as health care and Social Security? Just wondering.
Encourage employees to dress up, not down
I notice about this time, looking forward to spring I suppose, some businesses pass the word to their employees, "How about a dress-down Friday?"
With some of the dress-down looks I see, shouldn’t they pass the word to dress up?
Expansion of medical marijuana is needed
Re the Feb. 6 editorial, “Wait and see on marijuana expansion”: This smug appraisal of New York’s current medical cannabis trade did not account for a long tradition of political chicanery.
For 36 years, countless New Yorkers who qualified for medical cannabis treatment were forced to “wait and see” while most state leaders willfully did nothing to help them. Every passing day that sick people must keep waiting is intolerable.
Gazette editors should remember Antonio Olivieri, the former state lawmaker who died young in 1980 from a brain tumor. Out of genuine compassion for New Yorkers suffering through cancer and other health problems, Olivieri had pushed hard from his hospital bed for a medical cannabis “therapeutic research” law. It was actually passed by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Hugh Carey.
Evidently, that law and Olivieri’s tragic fate were soon forgotten by state officials and local media. Ignorance and negative biases toward people who smoke dried cannabis flowers have clouded public discourse on this matter ever since.
Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, has worked diligently for 20 years to enact legislation instituting the production of cannabis flowers in New York for medical purposes. He completely understands why the 2014 Compassionate Care Act (CCA) is already proving to be inadequate.
The rigid rules imposed on the CCA by Gov. Andrew Cuomo are being vigorously enforced by state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. Such overt political manipulation prevents the development of “a strong market” by discouraging thousands of doctors and patients from signing up to participate.
That’s precisely why Gottfried now counters by proposing a modest increase to 10 cannabis growers and 40 dispensaries.
It is beyond dispute that cannabis flowers can help many New Yorkers diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions. For their sake, a new sense of urgency to expand patient access is just what the doctors (and newspaper editors) should order.