Letters to the Editor
Would the FAA let jets land at airports with runways that are too short? No.
Would car manufacturers defy federal law and manufacture cars without seatbelts? No.
Then how can Amtrak run new trains on new tracks without providing and, in some instances, activating the safety device known as Positive Train Control? It’s already installed along some lines and just requires the flip of a switch.
From everything I’ve read to date on the subject, Amtrak’s explanation for not activating the system is, ‘It costs too much.’ Really? That means Amtrak has placed a price on safety throughout the northeast corridor, the equivalent of our stumbling around needlessly, and dangerously, in the dark by choosing not to flip on a light switch because we don’t want to increase the cost of our electric bill.
What price does the company feel the safety of its riders is worth? Perhaps riders can get an answer to that question by boycotting Amtrak trains for a week. A week’s worth of lost revenue for them, a week’s worth of inconvenience for riders. A long enough time to re-focus national attention on the issue and an opportunity for the riding public to demonstrate its seriousness about safety issues and its determination to bring about change.
Large companies and corporations pay attention when their bottom line is affected. As much as we may hate to admit it, economics often have more clout than ethics.
After having lived in West Haven for the first 40 years of my life, I have a special place in my heart for the city and its straight shooting, tell-it-to-your-face residents. In recent years, be it the politicos in Hartford or the new mall developers, it seems West Haven always gets the short end of the stick.
I frequently visit the city to see friends and, perish the thought, actually purchase some goods and services. On my way home, I drive along the wonderful West Haven coastline. The New Haven Register recently reported that Water Street will soon close because of the mall development or current illegal activities. Police need to step up patrols in that area. I knew that eventually Water Street would have to close with the new mall, but I certainly didn’t believe it would be this soon before anything is even built. Water Street is a vital part of entering and leaving the city. Its closing will double the traffic on First Avenue and Elm Street making it even more difficult to get on and off Interstate 95.
Right now, everything on the New Haven side of the Kimberly Avenue Bridge is an absolute and utter clown show. The design of the entrance and exit ramps from the I-95 West River bridge project certainly didn’t have the convenience of Westies in mind. The closing of the old Exit 44 off-ramp, the moving of the I-95 entrance ramp and the closing of Water Street all impact West Haven in a negative manner.
I’m thinking about running for governor as a write-in from the We’re Not Gonna Take It Party. With the Twisted Sister song as my theme, I will serve the state residents who are left with no recourse and are feeling less about themselves because of it.
I once taught English in a southern town where the high school football coach was venerated for his championship record. The second year I was there, everything went wrong for him, both on and off the field. The season was the worst of his entire career. One morning I asked him if he ever considered giving up such a stressful activity. “Oh, no,” he said. “It’s not losing games that will do me in. When I lose the joy of the game, I’ll know it’s time to quit.”
Watching Geno’s dispirited, semi-abusive performance after the Huskies’ (winning) game on Jan. 18 set me to thinking about that remark.
Mary S. Mitchell