LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Bypass width

A lot of ink has been dedicated to this controversial “bypass” for Highway 290 in Gillespie County. No doubt one is needed. I drive on another city’s bypass occasionally, which opened about five years ago. It is heavily traveled and only two lanes wide.

The bypass for Copperas Cove is a two-lane, 70 mph road, five miles in length. From Killeen to Belton, Highway 190 narrows to no less than a divided, four-lane freeway with access roads the entire way to IH35. There is about 26 miles distance between Copperas Cove and IH35 in Belton-Temple area, with a combined metro population of about 450,000. Highway 190 Business within Copperas Cove is a six-lane roadway and is very busy, so a bypass for that road was badly needed.

Gillespie’s population is about 30,000. Interstate 10 is 20 or 30 miles distant. Highway 87 to San Angelo and 290 West to Harper appear to be much less traveled than the Copperas Cove highways.

The Copperas Cove bypass connects an area with a significantly larger, rapidly growing population (500,000 people) to one of the busiest interstate highways in our state, IH35.

My question to the Texas Department of Transportation is, by what logic must our bypass be made twice as wide to connect roads to distant San Angelo and Harper and IH 10? It will be years before the population of this area and throughtraffic comes anywhere near to that of Killeen-Belton, if ever.

It doesn’t make sense, and I’d appreciate the enlightened reason as to the width they insist upon for our bypass. The insistence on the width is a stumbling block that gives ammunition to foes of any bypass.

And Copperas Cove’s two lanes is better than not having a bypass at all or waiting another 30 years arguing about it.

David B. Anderson

Fredericksburg

Not an agitator

This is in reference to last week’s letter “Cavity prevention” suggesting that “outside agitators go away.”

Just because someone has a different opinion on a subject doesn’t automatically make them an “outside agitator.”

I am four generations removed from being an outsider and far from being an agitator. I studied the facts presented to me and made an educated decision based upon those facts.

It seems to me that until we respect other people’s views without putting a negative label on them, it will always be an “us against them” mentality. It is a disparaging label such as this (outside agitator) that divides us as a people and sews discontent within a community.

Don A. Nagel

Fredericksburg

Unwise policy

Residents of Gillespie County and the Texas Hill Country are understandably proud of the biological diversity of our land and animal life. We have fought a hard fight to keep a natural gas pipeline from being built through our environment, because we value our land and our water.

Did you know that the Trump Administration has completed the rollback of 53 regulations that protect health, clean air, clean water and wildlife? Another 32 rollbacks are currently in process.

The apparent reason for the rollback of these regulations is because they are seen as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other large businesses.

The elimination or weakening of these regulations allows corporations to pollute with impunity. We must depend upon the goodwill of corporations to protect our air and water.

How does that work for us? Our health and safety are at risk because of the Trump Administration’s decisions.

Wherever you stand on global-warming and the need to reduce carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, it should be clear that health and safety are not the major concerns of the fossil fuel industry or the president’s administration.

What Mr. Trump is doing here is not an impeachable offense, but it is an unwise policy which affects all the people of the United States.

Lee Wilson

Gillespie County

Impeachment angle

Last issue, impeachment was the subject on the national level.

The challenge to our form of government can’t be ignored. I would like to ignore it, but since the harangue is becoming so all-consuming and ridiculous, we have to try to get it out of the way.

Last issue, our president was taken to task four times for violating our constitution and in not one of those complaints, the specific violations were never mentioned. In one, the insinuation was that the stock market’s all-time high was a reason for impeachment.

Another complaint, the lack of transparency, was thrown at the president and demanded particular text of certain phone calls. When the clamor reached a crescendo, the text of the conversation was released and there was no “cloak and daggers” to be found ... so the other party countered and held secret meetings, where only the invited could attend. It was speculated that it was a rehearsal of the witnesses to be questioned. Who really knows how this will all turn out?

The loudest voices for impeachment are coming from the candidates who want to unseat our president. No foul there, it’s our process.

But these same voices are calling for change in our system of government from a democracy, to a form of socialism. It’s hard to believe, but one of these candidates may be the next president of our United States.

And so, we will begin our journey to something akin to our distant neighbor to the South … Venezuela.

Charity begins in the home, but I ask, do we want to share all we own, all we have aspired to, all we amassed over a lifetime, no matter how humble it is, with all who have not expended the time and energy for their own well-being?

I say no.

Elias Rodriguez

Fredericksburg