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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 11

September 11, 2013

SHA is sensitive to economic development issues


To the editor:

The recent article “It’s their way or the highway,” regarding the Fountainhead One development on Pennsylvania Avenue requires clarification from the State Highway Administration (SHA). As an agency that provides mobility for travelers, SHA supports economic development and new businesses.

The SHA’s first priority is the safety of every person traveling on our roadways. The SHA shares responsibility with each county, and is required by law to assure that developers make roadway improvements that offset traffic impacts created by any  new development and/or redevelopment.

As part of the county approval process, developers hire consultant engineers to conduct a traffic impact study of the proposed building(s) — whether commercial or residential. The SHA reviews the analysis to determine what improvements — such as installing a signal or a turn lane, or even constructing an interchange — are required.

The SHA provides that feedback to the developer, whose consultants then submit roadway improvement plans during the pre-permit engineering plan review phase. This process often requires multiple reviews by the SHA so that all appropriate safety measures are accounted for in the engineering plans.

Once the plan review is complete and accepted, the SHA issues an access permit that allows the developer to proceed with construction. To ensure these improvements are completed accurately and in a timely manner, the SHA requires a surety in the form of a performance bond. The final approval of other permits is by the local jurisdiction.

In the specific case of the Fountainhead One development, there was uncertainty from the developer about the process for submissions and subsequent request for a Use and Occupancy permit from Washington County. To assist, the SHA provided a liaison to guide the developer through the final steps of the process.

In recent years, the SHA participated in a governor’s task force to streamline the access review process. The SHA took measures to provide a timely turnaround of document reviews and improve communication with developers unfamiliar with engineering. Depending on the complexity of the submittal, most reviews take 30 to 45 days.

The SHA appreciates the importance of economic development across the state and strives to work in partnership with counties and private business to assure the safety of all highway customers.

Melinda B. Peters, administrator
State Highway Administration




Israel’s security should not be sacrificed


To the editor:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, dated Nov. 22, 1967, stated that Israel was entitled to new, defensible borders to replace the previous fragile borders from which it was attacked in the Six Day War of June 1967.

What are those “defensible borders?” They form the east and west edges of what is called the West Bank, a large part of Israel that the Palestinians are demanding that Israel surrender in the name of peace and justice.

The Jordan Rift Valley, the eastern boundary of the West Bank, forms a natural barrier between Israel and Jordan, Iraq, and Iran. If Israel gave up the West Bank, the narrowest part of Israel would be only nine miles wide. Tel Aviv, a west coast city and a prime target in previous wars, would be in great danger. Any future Palestinian state in the West Bank would have to be demilitarized. Anything else would be national suicide.

A combat aircraft coming from the east can cross Israel in only four minutes. An enemy plane could penetrate Israeli airspace and reach Jerusalem in only two minutes. Any hostile plane must be shot down at least 10 miles east of the capital to prevent it from crashing into major population centers, which of course includes Palestinian residential areas. Israel must be able to identify and intercept hostile planes quickly. This means controlling the airspace over the west bank.

No one knows the future of the current regimes in the Middle East, and Syria is a prime example.  Like it or not, the West Bank of Israel cannot and must not be sacrificed in the name of false promises of peace, political correctness, or anything else. Without it, Israel, and all its citizens (Jewish and Palestinian), would be defenseless.

Ruth Brown
Silver Spring, Md.



Mass killing of deer on public property is wrong


To the editor:

We live in evil times. We have become on evil country with an evil government run by a lot of people with bad ideas.

When I read in the (Sept. 4) paper a story about the United States National Park Service plan to slaughter more than 3,000 of God’s beautiful creatures that rightfully belong to all of us, I felt ill and I felt that this is terribly, terribly wrong.

How can we say we are a humane, godly country if we commit such acts of horror and permit such acts to happen? I am a sportsman and hunter. Every year, nice West Virginia deer are harvested by family and friends in fellowship on our 100 acre farm, but the NPS plan to indiscriminately, brutally slaughter 3,000 deer, simply because they have wandered onto our property and are eating our trees is evil. 

The park service deflects the reality of this massacre and tries to justify its act by saying, “The meat will be donated to the needy and poor.” Hogwash! In Catoctin National Park, this same evil thing was done. Almost all of those deer were buried in mass graves or hauled away to rendering plants, due to meat spoilage. 

Every citizen and decent sportsman should be up in arms to stop this evil insanity. How can we call ourselves humane and allow this to happen? These deer belong to  all the people of their perspective states, as determined by the DNR. They are not federal property just because they wander onto federal property.

Paul Highbarger
Halfway

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