Fri, July 19

<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</b></center>

Apathy reigns in Verde Valley


I am writing to congratulate Sharon Wilson on an extremely well-written and "right on" appraisal of the issues.

I communicated with people on the town council to express my views on the "roundabout" issue. Diane Joens was the only person who actually listened to an opinion of someone who lived in New Jersey with several "circles" (as we called them) that have now been totally dismantled.

They are extremely dangerous and confusing and we had many years of horrible (sometimes fatal) accidents until they smartened up and got rid of them. I guess people who actually lived with the situation are not well enough informed. There is not one person from the New York/New Jersey area that would tell you they are a good thing.

I have to say, Diane, based her decision on the opinions of people who had experienced the issue and for that I have nothing but the highest regard for her and would vote for her again in a minute.

As for the gas prices, we just returned from two lengthy drives across country. We went to the Northeast and to the Southeast, thus driving through different states each time. There were very few places that even came close to Cottonwood's high prices. For the most part, prices ranged from 20-35 cents cheaper per gallon. Why? I have tried dealing with the State Attorney General's office several times in the past year and a half … to no avail.

Frankly, I think they just yes us to death, knowing we'll get sick and tired of complaining. They tell us to report price gouging and thank us for calling, but nothing has been done for so long. I am tired of complaining and getting no response, but I thank Ms. Wilson for her very eloquent letter and for trying to motivate people to speak up.

As for the water issue and the Ruskin land trade, I agree that money talks and no matter what people say about the negative water impacts, the people with the most money are going to win.

I agree with you that government by the people for the people and of the people is history, but I feel that is because of the extreme apathy we see being demonstrated when any issue needs to be dealt with. Compared to the local population, only a handful of people come out to discuss or protest any "problem."

One evening a group of friends were discussing the fact that the Cottonwood gas stations were ripping us off big time. One of the participant's comment was that we should "get over it" and accept the situation. There you go.

Nancy Bauer


Modern roundabouts; try to stick to the subject


This running commentary on modern roundabouts is getting pretty ridiculous. It wouldn’t be so bad if the folks who profess to be against modern roundabouts would actually discuss roundabouts, but they keep describing "traffic circles."

Apparently, the first modern roundabouts were installed about nine years ago in Avon, Colo. I’ve been on those and had no problems. And they’ve been pretty successful. Traffic circles have been around in Europe and the Eastern United States for years, and they have problems.

The similarities? Well, they’re both round. But so are apples and oranges. You can’t have a meaningful discussion about apples if you keep describing oranges.

I keep reading letters that start out with something like, "When I was in England years ago," or "I spent many years driving in Europe," or "Growing up in California," and then go on to describe a traffic circle. The last letter I read was one of my favorites. The letter started out discussing European traffic circles. Then the writer drove on a newer American one and observed no accidents. The last roundabout the author had been on was "late at night and no one else was driving it at the same time." Yet, he described it as a "death trap." Umm … good presentation of the facts. I’m trying to buy in to the whole death trap thing, but the fact that he was still alive to write the letter left me unconvinced.

As I’ve said before, I’m not really for or against modern roundabouts. Fearing "old coot" syndrome, I tend to want to give new ideas a chance. But it’s really hard to meaningfully discuss new ideas when the debate focuses on old ones.

Folks, the subject is modern roundabouts. Not traffic circles. Please stick to the subject.

Randy Victory