Readers’ Forum, March 1, 2006

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    Higher minimum wage costs

    In a recent letter, Frank Kelland blasted the Utah State Senate for stopping a bill raising the minimum wage. I say more power to them! Remember people, you are not going to be students forever. Eventually, you will move on to jobs that pay much more than minimum wage. When minimum wage goes up, companies who rely on minimum wage employees have to raise prices to compensate for the increase. This means that everyone ends up paying more for things like gas, groceries, and movie tickets. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot!

    K. Michael Benson

    Corona, Calif.

    Code interpretation

    I am writing in response to Friday’s letter by Stephen Daniel. I actually looked up the Utah code that was referenced, out of curiosity. Mr. Daniels’ information was not accurate. The code states that a car shall yield if the pedestrian is already crossing the street; it is not in the code that the car must stop for every pedestrian. It also states that the pedestrian cannot leave the curb and walk into oncoming traffic.

    I think the statement made that there should be possible jail time for not giving the right of way is ridiculous. That is like saying since a pedestrian left the curb and made a driver slow down they should go to jail. I would hate to have Mr. Daniel as a public official, because everyone has driven through a cross walk in his or her car; this would mean that everyone should go to jail. Also, I do not think it is reckless driving when I do not stop for every pedestrian waiting at every crosswalk. The crosswalk being talked about (900 East) is only about 100 yards from a stoplight. If you are so concerned about your family, walk the extra 30 seconds and use the light to play it safe from all the “reckless and inconsiderate drivers.”

    Tom Penrose

    Long Grove, Ill.

    Enforcement of crosswalk laws

    Last week, Stephen Daniel suggested Provo City could reduce pedestrian-related accidents by increasing enforcement of crosswalk ordinances and imposing stiffer penalties for offenders. Both are excellent suggestions. We also recommend that Provo publicize crosswalk ordinances so residents can proactively comply with these laws, both as drivers and pedestrians.

    Utah code 41-6-78 mandates that drivers yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. More specifically, the driver must yield when “a pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”

    The same code also defines the “duty of [a] pedestrian.” Some pedestrians think they can step out into the street without regard for vehicles on the road, but the ordinance clearly states that “a pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Pedestrians should wait for a lull in traffic before entering a crosswalk.

    We second Daniel’s recommendation for stricter enforcement of crosswalk laws and harsher penalties. Ticket reckless drivers and pedestrians!

    Keith Morgan

    Medford, Ore.

    Daniel McMurtrey

    Cleveland

    Night blindness not the problem

    A letter last week claimed that drivers who cannot see pedestrians using the crosswalk on 900 East are either reckless or suffering from night blindness. There must be an epidemic of night blindness here in Provo, because all of the drivers we have talked to affirm that people using these crosswalks are very difficult to see at night.

    We have noticed that many pedestrians don’t seem to realize this simple fact: just because you can see a car does not mean that the driver of that car can see you! Other cars are easy to see because they have headlights. Pedestrians rarely have bright lights attached to them, and only some use reflective clothing or flags.

    Imagine being the only car on the road with headlights and relying solely on other cars’ reflectors and streetlights to help you see them. Cars without headlights are dangerously difficult to see, which is why police pull them over. Now, imagine a car with no lights shrunk down to person size. “Night blindness” is not the problem here.

    Pedestrians, please be aware of how invisible you are when you are on the road and be considerate of drivers, no matter who has the right-of-way.

    Aubrey Hutchings

    Provo

    Margaret Montrief

    Huntington Beach, Calif.

    America is no longer free

    I’m sick of Democrats and Republicans. Their ideologies fly in the face of what our forefathers stood for. And it was and is our duty as Americans to continually strive for a “more perfect union,” getting better as the years go by, continually progressing and making a freer America. But we are going the other way.

    The two major, corrupted parties think they are remarkably different. They are not. Both love big government. Both parties want government to clean up after them, control morality, control money, deny liberties, spy on citizens, become a socialist and/or totalitarian nation, start expensive wars using money that isn’t theirs and on and on. It’s called liberty, people. “That government is best which governs least.” People have the right to live their lives how they want, spend their money on what they want, and they have the right to own property. None of these freedoms are allowed to us anymore. America is no longer a free nation. America no longer stands for what our forefathers had envisioned. She has forsaken her birthright.

    Larissa Estes

    Frisco, Texas

    Hebrew blood in Native Americans

    A report in the L.A. Times by William Lobdell (Feb. 6) asserted that some Mormons were troubled by a “lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans.” In fact, about one third of Native American males selected for DNA research belong to Y chromosome lineage groups commonly found in modern Jews. This includes the Q-P36 lineage group that is ancestral to the primary Native American lineage group Q3. Q-P36 is found in five percent of Ashkenazi Jews, five percent of Iraqi Jews and a significant number of Iranian Jews. Other west Eurasian lineages found in Native American test subjects include R, E3b, J, F, G, and I. All of these are also found in modern Jews. The trouble isn’t a “lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans”, but a lack of discernible facts in Lobdell’s report.

    Douglas M Forbes

    Greenfield, Ind.

    Questionable shirts

    I’ve noticed an interesting trend on campus. It seems like everywhere I go, I see someone wearing a t-shirt bearing the logo “Cecil is my homeboy” with a picture of President Samuelson holding the saying. I can’t decide what to think about them. They are funny, but I can’t decide if they are appropriate or inappropriate in their humor. Does President Samuelson know these are being made and, if so, how does he feel about them? I mean, if the subject matter was President Hinckley, it would be obviously inappropriate, but President Samuelson’s a little bit different. He is a general authority and all, but I don’t know if I should find these shirts offensive or not.

    Maybe the honor code has jurisdiction over this. Is it offensive? I’m not sure what to think, but they are out there, and they are at the very least worth noticing.

    Amber Bowen

    Phoenix

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