Recyclables going to landfills?
In the past year I’ve heard and read a lot about problems with recycling. Apparently, recycling is becoming less cost-effective, in part due to China having cut off all imports of recyclable materials from other countries. It’s a shame that our ability to recycle — especially plastics — is dictated by profit margins, rather than by a desire to do what’s right for our environment. I’m aware that recycling costs money, but of all the things subsidized by our government, maybe recycling should be a top priority.
I want to recycle, but am wondering how much of what I deposit for recycling is ending up in a landfill. It would be an interesting and worthwhile investigative reporting project for the Gazette to determine exactly what, and how much, is actually recycled, vs. being dumped in landfills. I want to recycle, but don’t want to waste my time and effort if it’s going to a landfill.
The people have no voice
I am very much against the addition of bike lines to and the narrowing of Cascade Avenue. It adds to traffic congestion on my street, North Wahsatch among other streets in the downtown area. I also cycle often and as one who has been hit by car while riding, have found the cycle lanes on Cascade too dangerous to use. Thus, I go down to either Wood Avenue or to Monument trail as there is much less and/or no traffic.
I have found neighbors are overwhelmingly against the narrowing of downtown streets by the addition of bike lanes along with the city’s heavy handed promotion of such. There are negative letters to the editor almost daily in The Gazette regarding the city’s aggressive assignment of these bike lanes. In my opinion, it looks like the people who live here and pay taxes have no voice. It’s not right.
Cyclists subsidize motorists
That Tom Antkow quoted Ronald Reagan’s famous line, ‘There you go again’, as he, himself, reiterates the same incorrect points for the third time in fewer months is irony too delicious to pass up.
To be fair, Antkow goes a bit further this time advocating for something akin to a police state for cyclists with licenses, permits, registrations and minimum ages. Yikes.
I believe his anger stems from his misunderstanding that bikes don’t ‘make the same financial contributions as motorists.’ Cars don’t pay registration and taxes, the operators of those cars do. And the operators of those bikes also pay those same registration and taxes on their cars. They don’t get a rebate for the days they choose to ride their bikes. I personally know hundreds of cyclists in town and I know of only one who doesn’t own a car. That’s less than one half of one percent.
To those of us who have thought about it, the only conclusion you can come to is that the cyclists, except the one who doesn’t own a car, by paying the same taxes and registrations but not creating potholes or destroying the roads and bridges, are subsidizing the motorists every time they ride. I’ve never been thanked, but you’re welcome anyways.
Shaky relationship with the truth
In his Dec. 12 letter to the editor Lee Jones states that, “With President Trump our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is at 4.2 percent, the highest it’s been in over 100 years.” That statement is simply not true.
While it is a desirable result, it’s not especially remarkable. The 4.2 percent refers to the growth rate of a single fiscal quarter — the second quarter of 2018. By comparison, under President Obama the quarterly growth of real GDP exceeded the 4.2 mark on multiple occasions: 4.7 in the 4 quarter of 2011, 5.1 in Q2 of 2014 and 4.9 in Q4 of 2014.
As to the notion that it is the highest in 100 years, the U.S. has only measured GDP (then known as Gross National Product) since the early 1930s. Notably, the 3 highest annual GDP’s recorded since WWII occurred during the tenures of Presidents Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton, all of whom were Democrats.
The lesson here is that if you choose to quote our current president, use caution. He seems to have a shaky relationship with the truth.
Note: The figures used in this letter can be verified with published data from US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Negative hype about vaping
This negative hype around vaping, on the right and the left, is simply misleading and irresponsible.
Vaping products produce a harmless glycerin based vapor that presents zero proven risk for second hand inhalation, evaporates almost instantly, and has a pleasant smell. The products sometimes contain nicotine — not tobacco — and sometimes do not. Treating vaping like combustion based smoking is ignorant.
Nicotine is not cancer causing. In fact, the Michael J. Fox Foundation is studying the positive effects of nicotine on patients with Parkinsons and other related disorders. Recent studies find that nicotine may be no more harmful than caffeine. Non-combustion based nicotine has been available for years and has proven safe and cancer free. Nicotine may actually have some real positives: Don’t take it from me, take it from Harvard Medical, Forbes Magazine, The MJF Foundation, and Scientific American. Combustion based products like cigarettes (including marijuana cigarettes) are cancer causing agents that represent the number one preventable cause of death in the world. No one believes that kids should be using nicotine based products — it should limited to 18 and up. My father, both grandfathers, father in law, and grandmother all died from smoking (not nicotine) related illnesses.
I hope we can put an end to the deadly habit of combustion based smoking. However, the peddling of nonsense about vaping products is only going to result in one thing: the demonization of a product that has the potential to save literally millions of lives.