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Roundabouts

JIM SKAINE

CEDAR FALLS — Waterloo has received a $310,000 grant from the state to make the dangerous intersection of Greyhound and West Ridgeway safer. Waterloo will install a traffic signal, a center turning lane and an eastbound right-turn lane.

City Falls is studying the reconstruction of similar intersections on Greenhill Road. Snyder and Associates is recommending the intersections at Greenhill Road and South Main Street, at Greenhill and Rownd Street and at Greenhill and Cedar Heights Drive be reconstructed with roundabouts. The roundabout at Greenhill and South Main is projected to cost $2.8 million, the one at Greenhill and Rownd $1.8 million and the one at Greenhill and Cedar Heights $2.5 million. The total projected cost is $7.1 million. If the three were constructed using the Greyhound and West Ridgeway model, the cost would be $930,000 or $6.17 million less than roundabouts.

Roundabouts do not make a road safer. Roundabouts are not safe for pedestrians or bicyclists because roundabout traffic never stops.

Endangered species

DAVID VOIGTS

JESUP — There are many threats to our environment, but as the new year begins, let us pause to remember that some good things also are happening, particularly with endangered species. For example, not long ago the bald eagle was in danger of becoming extinct, but today as a result of protection under the Endangered Species Act, the bald eagle has rebounded and is no longer endangered.

The Yellowstone grizzly bear also has rebounded from very low numbers. As a result of habitat protection, improved food storage and public education programs, grizzly bears are no longer threatened with extinction. Another success story involves the black-footed ferret, which preys only on prairie dogs. In 1974, it was thought to be extinct, but a small colony was discovered. They were captured and put into a captive breeding facility. The program was successful, and today several hundred black-footed ferrets have been released into the wild.

The final example is the Kirtland’s warbler, a songbird only known to nest in small jack pines, mostly along the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. As a result of intense management, they have rebounded from near extinction to the point where they may be removed from the endangered species list.

Trump employees

SAM SNEED

GREENE — I was recently approached by a nonbeliever of our president. He informed me he had read where Donald Trump has hired and employs illegal aliens, and he just wanted me to know that. I spent considerable time trying to get the information that proved that to be a fact. I did find it to be true, to the letter. It seems one of his employees, a lady, was working in one of his hotels as a maid and a second illegal also was working as an attendant in a ladies locker room at one of his golf courses. I also discovered he either owns or has an interest in many properties worldwide and employs well over 35,000 people.

Of course, they are scattered around the world, and the chances of him ever seeing or meeting the vast majority of them is remote. With the many employees, I find it quite erroneous to print he has illegal aliens working for him. I find some members of the press are pretty guilty of knowingly printing false statements that are meant to be misleading and showing they are digging dirt to see what they can find.

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