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The Unnecessary War!
Mr. F. B. Baker, II: I dont plan on writing a letter of around 800 words to answer your letter. "This war was absolutely unnecessary"; that is and was my opinion. All the facts (I guess) you wrote would not had to be written, if Mr. Bush stayed out of Iraq. Further more, terrorists grew out of the invasion of Iraq.
I dont know if you are a war veteran? I am; WW2. You must approve of all the killing going on? I dont. Have you ever been next to a buddy that got killed?
Im amazed at your knowledge of "Iraq statistics." (Personally, I am not sure if your letter was even worth answering.)
Yes, I am undermining "The killing of our people." Just the other day on TV, I heard the question, "Why arent the Iraqi people helping the Coalition?"
Response To Mr. Baker
Mr. Baker indicates in his letter to the editor of April 28, 2004 some rather impressive statistics. Since none of this has been reported by the media, I think we all would really appreciate a listing of Mr. Bakers sources.
RE: Its Been A Big Mistake
Im a fairly well informed American vet (US Army 67-71) who reads several newspapers, watches newscasts on television (including CNN and FOX), subscribes to Newsweek and Time magazines, and discusses current events with my co-workers on a daily basis. I believe I have a reasonable cross section of views, from a variety of sources to form opinions on the situation in Iraq as a result.
The figures, facts and opinions offered by Mr. Baker concerning the situation in Iraq have not been available, to me, from any of the above-named sources. May I suggest that he remove his blinders and tin foil hat to expose himself to some very evident truths. Skewed reality by the current administration has been rampant since the adventure began. All the people he refers to, indicating that the war would be over in a month are members of Bushs cabinet, not some liberal loonies. Support the troops? Damned right, and vote, too. Your freedom depends on it.
The Rail-Trail Council of NE PA would like to remind trail users that the D & H and O & W Rail-Trails are closed to ATV use. This ban was instituted in year 2002 and the trail has been signed to indicate that ATVs or dirt bikes are not allowed on the trail. You can be charged with trespassing and tickets have been given out.
This decision only came after many years of attempting ATV use shared with other users, as hikers and bikers. It also took a board vote after many meetings of heated discussion, a review of letters indicating both positions, and a review of the log book kept of complaints and incidents involving ATVs.
Our reasons for the permanent ban follow:
The Rail-Trail Councils founding vision was for a recreational greenway intended for hikers and bikers. With recent ATV use, our many longtime members and financial supporters were beginning to discontinue their memberships and their support. RTC has 1660 members who do not want ATVs on the trail.
Bikers and hikers were becoming a rarity out on the trails, because they were either afraid to ride bikes with their families due to speeding ATVs or they did not want to eat the dust created.
Adjacent property owners were complaining on a regular basis: dust, noise and trespassing. Over 95% of adjacent property owners do not want ATVs on the trail (survey required for Master Plan 95).
Complaints from two local realtors have indicated that property values along the trail were decreasing. Property sales were lost in a few instances due to ATVs trespassing onto adjacent property.
Township and borough officials were complaining on a regular basis. Again, dust, noise and trespass being the major complaints. Another major concern was riding of ATVs along the streets to get to and from the trail.
Safety for all users is our main concern. The inherent nature of the trail, being long with few turns, encourages speeding. The speed differential between a walker and an ATV rider is too great. ATV trails designed by professionals are built to keep the speed down, and discourage speeds over 15 mph. Our Rail-Trail is not designed for ATV use mixed with hikers and bikers.
A major construction project of drainage improvements and resurfacing is to begin in the Fall of 2004. This project uses over one million in TEA-21 funds (federal highway enhancement funds-FHWA). These funds are not to be used for ATV trails. According to federal statute 23 U.S.C. 217(h), "Motorized vehicles (including ATVs) may not be permitted on trails and pedestrian walkways which use federal aid highway funds (except snowmobiles, and where specifically authorized by state or local ordinance, motorized wheelchairs, electric bicycles, and maintenance vehicles)." We cannot allow ATVs using this source of funding for trail improvements.
It is not just a few bad apples; ATV use just does not mix well with bikers and hikers, who are our primary intended user group. We cannot have both, and our seven years of attempted shared use have proved this. It is also proven in the fact that no other Rail-Trails in PA allow ATVs (only one is still attempting shared use).
We understand that there are many respectful riders in this area, but the many issues listed above make it difficult to get ATV use under control and it will take an exclusive use, well-designed trail for this to happen. Please continue to support your local ATV club or organize an ATV group, as there are many opportunities for state and federal grants to purchase property and build ATV trails. Please contact the Rail-Trail office (7857245) for information and assistance on these grants. However, we do ask that you understand and accept our position banning ATVs from the Rail-Trail.
The Board of Directors
Rail-Trail Council of NE PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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