Bishop Boulevard traffic

Do you want to see hundreds of cars added to the traffic on Bishop Boulevard? A poorly advertised attempt by an out-of-state developer to annex 48 acres of agricultural land with access to Johnson Road, very near to Bishop Boulevard, could result in intolerable congestion.

This developer will likely build dense housing. It is pre-zoned by the City as R3 for housing. The acreage adjoins a 5-acre plot proposed for building a 13-story ELEVATE apartment complex or other businesses. The increase in traffic caused by these developments will foster gridlock, cost money to improve the roads, require new traffic lights, and impede ambulances trying to reach our hospital. The intersection of Johnson Road with Bishop Boulevard is not suitable for new housing developments. Anyone using Johnson Road, the Old Moscow-Pullman Road, or Sand Road will be negatively affected.

It is imperative that you speak against this annexation and request that the 48 acres remain agricultural. The hearing is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the City Hall Council Chambers. Let the city know that Bishop Boulevard and Johnson Road were not designed for heavy traffic. We don’t need new developments that strain road capacity and endanger drivers and pedestrians.

As a resident of Pioneer Hill, I know how difficult it is even now to enter Bishop from ProMall Boulevard. I am deeply concerned that the city will speedily grant this annexation and subsequent housing developments that will further congest Bishop.

Your voice, heard live at the public hearing, will have the most impact. Plan to attend Tuesday and speak for three minutes, or send your comments via email to Mr. RJ Lott, director of planning at rj.lott@pullman-wa.gov and request your comments be shared with the City Council.

Nancy Mack

Pullman

Thoughts on mileage, taxes

I’m drawing near to Scotty Anderson’s position (His View, April 3): a tax on mileage, rather than on fuel. My starting point was one of fiscal conservatism, wishing to lower peak demand, so we could build fewer traffic lanes. One way to do that would be to heavily tax travel during peak hours, versus off-peak hours. No problem; we now know that employers and employees can be flexible in their timing. A big drawback for me was the sacrifice of privacy, such that a taxing agency could know where we were driving during peak hours. Oh, too late! Our cell phones are already reporting our location to the operators of the cell system, to some app creators, to the NSA, and to … ? So, we can do this if we have to.

But how big a tax increment would be needed? We know that people will absorb extra cost for their preferred travel. And consider the essential workers. They must be at work during the hours that work is available to them. And these folk don’t have any cushion in their budget. (Funny, how those whose work is essential, are underpaid, and are individually disposable.) So, now, my position is neutral.

Scotty’s dead on, when he says our highway taxes need to follow us as we switch to electric cars; and carrying our weight is a conservative thing. The question hangs: shall we minimize the spending for more traffic lanes, by discouraging travel on congested roads during peak times? Would that savings more than offset the administrative cost of a system needed to monitor and tax?

Wiley Hollingsworth

Pullman

HR5 good and overdue

A recent letter against legislation to protect people with sexual and gender differences demands a response.

Sex, gender, orientation and identity are simple matters for some people, and complicated for others. I’ve had it simple: my XX chromosomes, physical appearance to match, heterosexuality, and sense of who I am make it relatively easy for me to “fit in” in society.

For some people, it’s complicated. There are natural variations in genes and their expression which can result in different appearances, orientation or identity. It must be very challenging when you are judged harshly for simply being your true self, trying to live your life. Discrimination against people with these differences is wrong.

My take on the Bible is this: the great commandments are to love God and and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Some of the words of Paul are problematic for many theologians; they reflect his times and his own judgements. Thank God we are learning more about biology, psychology and the value of every human being.

In a program taught by the Roman Catholic Church, I heard these words repeatedly: God does not create junk. Pope Francis is working hard to overturn many injustices in his Church, and has said “Who am I to judge?” While not a member of his faith community, I am heartened by his openness and leadership. I belong to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church here in Moscow, and rejoice that we and some other churches are welcoming and inclusive.

With regard to “behaviors,” my morally conservative and wise mother used to say, “What happens between consenting adults in private is their business.”All people should have equal legal rights and protections. Having looked up the HR5 Equality Act, I think it’s actually a good and overdue step for human rights.

Martha D. McIver

Moscow

Unsubstantiated conclusions

A recent April 1, no April fools joke, letter by Jean Durtal, while venomous, jumped to unfair and unsubstantiated conclusions.

Yes, it’s her opinion, but, writing that African Americans are “the perpetrators” of Asian racism and “are almost entirely blacks,” appears to be ridiculous.

I “Goo-gooed” and searched looking for information and articles pertaining to Durtal’s venomous assertion. I searched AAPI hate articles and followed threads all over the “internets.” I was unsuccessful at substantiating Durtal’s statement “what the media failed to mention.” Since, as Billie Holiday sang, “Is that all there is?” Is Durtal’s data coming from the dark web?

Durtal touched on the Atlanta shootings saying the perpetrator was sex addict who had to eliminate this temptation. What Mrs. Durtal failed to include was the perpetrator is white, thereby significantly nullifying part of her venoma.

Durtal also wrote the Colorado shooter was a “Syrian Muslim.” Not so. Al-Asisi was brought here 19 years ago when he was 3. He’s a naturalized U.S. citizen, no longer a Syrian. As to being Muslim, that’s irrelevant to murder, no matter how hard Durtal tries.

I would suggest to Mrs. Durtal to get her facts straight and cite her sources.

Unfortunately, insinuating hatred and bigotry through misinformation has become business as usual in the anals (pun intended) of Republicanism. And nothing more.

I believe everybody’s anger is because of Trump, who duped millions of people like Jean Durtal and polluted the country for four miserable years with his 30,000 lies of racism, unfairness and “making America great again,” manure.

Jim Roach

Moscow

The larger public interest

There is some unexpected push-back against states that are passing legislation to restrict voting. Corporations, like Coca Cola, Delta Airlines and MLB are making strong statements of disapproval, and backing it up by withdrawing their funding of GOP campaigns. If it seems strange to you that corporate CEOs are becoming voting rights advocates, consider their calculations. With democratic initiatives enjoying strong support from voters nationwide, these entities seek to be on the right side of issues that affect the citizens of our country.

Though many conservatives may not like it, our country is seeing the benefits from acting in the larger public interest, like financial support of disadvantaged children, rapid deployment of vaccinations against COVID-19, student debt reduction, identifying domestic extremist groups, aid to State and local governments and much more.

The time when the nation agreed that government should be shrunk has passed. Those laws gave greed a green flag. As Bernie Sanders says, “we must create an economy that works for all its citizens.” Good government, that which seeks to provide for the least among us by taxing those who make great sums on our consumer goods, is having its time.

Problem is, the GOP has been pulled to the extreme right by appealing to issues that trigger its members, issues like abortion, gay rights, gun rights and civil rights. So as their voter base shrinks, these legislators are using their legislative might to restrict who can vote. Instead of threading this needle with a thought to how their party might grow, they choose to squeeze out legitimate voters across our country.

Now that Idaho legislature will be back in session, I fear they, too, will succumb to this tactic. I beg of them, think before you enact bad policy!

Zena Hartung

Moscow

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