Readers’ Forum: Nov. 17


Black Thursday?

The last time I checked, Thursday was not the new Friday. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the store I work at will be opening on a Thursday at 6 p.m. for a Black Friday sale.

Oh, and this isn’t just any Thursday we’re opening on — it’s Thanksgiving. I understand that some people out there might really want their $200 television but how exactly does the store opening earlier get you a better deal? A door-buster deal is a door-buster deal, whether it’s 6 p.m. or 12 a.m. At the same time, retailers may be thinking, “If we open the store earlier, they will come.” But you know what? If you open the store later they still will come.

Consumers, have a little patience. Retailers, have a little faith in Americans’ ability to shop just as much on Friday as they would on Thursday. Let’s take back Thanksgiving. Let sales associates and store managers eat Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving at dinnertime. And for goodness sake, let’s remember what Thanksgiving is really about. Come on America.

— Marcella Toronto

Beijing, China

Marrying young? Not such a bad idea

With the number of engagement rings that get flashed around on the hands of young girls at BYU, I sometimes wonder if diamond mines around the world have the Provo jewelry stores on their speed dial. With scores of young men and women returning from years of missionary service to attend the university and find love, a vast amount of them take this major step while still in their early 20s. With life as fragile as it is and with every plan so apt to change, how is it that many of us feel so comfortable jumping into this sea of uncertainty with absolutely no idea what life will look like even five years down the road?

Almost immediately upon my arrival in the Middle East, I learned just how shocking my relationship status was. Single men in their mid-30s and women in their late-20s were shocked to find out that not only was this 23-year-old American kid married but he had been so for almost two years. Getting married at the age of 21 to a bride a year and a half older than me (another fact that changes their state of shock into a full-on heart attack) seems, even to me, crazy. And yet, our experiences together have refined and defined my personality, and most importantly, the personality of our companionship.

I realize now that I would rather take this journey, with all my inexperience, with my willing partner sharing the ride and helping to plan the course, rather than to put it all off until I felt that I was absolutely prepared. Make no mistake, I understand that planning in all cases is important and that a large degree of maturity is required before such obligations. But if I had waited until I had graduated college, had solid employment, a home and a steady paycheck, I would have missed out on sharing a journey with the love of my life and many other dear ones along the way.

— Vaughn Durfee

Spokane, Washington

Bus rapid transit

Bus Rapid Transit will require the widening of 700 North, one mile of University Avenue and 1650 North and the building of two dedicated bus only lanes down the center of these streets. It will take away most street parking and build center-of-street loading platforms to fit 60-foot-long buses. The project will utilize 25 articulated buses, capable of holding 200 persons each. The proposed schedule and frequency of buses, if filled once per trip, could haul 280,000 people a week over half of the population of Utah County. This bus route currently carries about 17,500 people a week. What about the businesses that depend on the street parking?

There will be two new traffic signals on University Avenue and one on 700 North. The buses will control the traffic lights at 31 intersections. There will be restricted left turn lanes at nine intersections, traffic lanes on University Avenue will be narrower and there will be 13 less bus stops, thus rapid transit. This is a $190 million project to fix ONE BUS ROUTE. You can’t make this stuff up.

I’ve ridden the morning buses at three different times and most of the people who board the #830 bus around BYU get off at UVU. Provo City council meetings are on the first and third Tuesday where they will vote to give UTA a 50-year lease on the Provo streets.

— Phillip Hinckley

Provo, Utah

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