State should pay for safety courses
After reading Sunday's story on motorcycle deaths, I would like to make a point about the motorcycle fatalities here in South Carolina.
There are ways to make this situation better, but the state has withdrawn or withheld the funding to provide safety courses. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation course used to be given at York Technical College. I took the advanced course several years ago, and even though I had been riding for many years, I learned a lot. When my then-girlfriend wanted to take the beginners course a couple of years ago, she had to go to Gastonia, N.C. None were available here.
There is a private motorcycle dealer who wants to work with York Tech to give classes. The dealer will even provide the motorcycles for training, but the state is balking at the size of the field where the outdoor instructions are given, even though it was perfectly adequate for motorcycle training before.
I'm a little tired of the state officials talking out of both sides of their mouth. If they are so concerned about motorcycle safety, which they should be, let them put just a little money where their mouth is, substitute the instructors, as they do on other things, and teach these new and older riders how to properly operate a motorcycle. Let them use the York Tech facilities, which would be on the weekends anyway when the parking lot is idle, and let these riders learn from experienced and trained instructors how to safely operate their motorcycles.
City emulates video poker operators
I feel it is ironic that the city is using a technique that it opposed during the days of video poker proliferation. Many devices were used to limit the machines, such as limiting the number of units in a single place, the utility connections, etc.
But one of the methods was to limit how close to schools a poker site was allowed to be. One example I used to drive pass every day was the site directly across the street from Castle Heights School. In order to "comply" with the minimum footage required, the site created a maze of chain link fencing so that a walker could not directly enter the site door without negotiating the maze. Using that route amounted to the required footage from the school.
I have no objection to the city using the same technique to "comply" with the minimum footage required between a liquor-licensed restaurant and a church. Many people do not oppose such licenses for tax-paying establishment, and many dislike such regulations preventing otherwise lawful activity.
I just think it is ironic that "what goes around comes around."
Emil W. Wald
Let's deal with unfinished business
I've noticed that our made-in-China "Never Forget" bumper stickers have begun to fade, and I've heard or read in more than a couple of places in the last few days how 9-11 tributes, memorials and commemorations have become tiresome and kind of a pain.
A nationwide moment of silence when Mohammed Atta crashed a hijacked 767 into the north tower of the World Trade Center, followed by a monotone recitation of the first, middle and last names of the departed in alphabetical order has always left me feeling a little empty, too.
Perhaps we have such awkwardness with acknowledging this event because we have yet to do it justice. It is uncomfortable because it is still unfinished business. It is a challenge we still have not completely risen to.
Most of us are happy not to remember, not to think about it. We still have a hole in the ground, and those behind it still walk free. I will say I am glad that after all these years the horrible concept of Freedom Tower is no further off the ground. It is painful to remember the events of Sept. 11. What is tiresome is failure of vision.