Letters to the Editor

Letters: Toftrees Avenue needs more pedestrian safety features; thanks, Penn State student

Action needed to end to gerrymandering

As a high school sophomore, I’ve not yet cast a ballot. Yet many who have the right to vote, all across our country, have a very tamped-down voice.

Why? They live in gerrymandered voting districts where their vote makes little to no difference in determining the final outcome of an election. This problem is not limited to Pennsylvania, nor to a single party. Yet Pennsylvania has been the gold standard for drawing perverted districts that limited the voters’ opportunity to influence an election. Many assumed the 2018 court ruling ended partisan gerrymandering. However, it did not solve the underlying problem.

First, the state legislative districts were not changed and are still so convoluted that the Democratic Party, which won 54 percent of the vote in November, won only 44 percent of seats. Secondly, the court ruling in 2018 provided no assurance that districts will not be gerrymandered again in 2021.

We cannot rely on the courts to bail us out again. The process needs to change permanently and should receive bipartisan backing. I want to change the system now so that my peers and I can vote in fair elections when we come of age.

Representatives Borowicz and Benninghoff must be persuaded to support redistricting reform. Majority Leader Senator Corman can bring a reform bill to the floor of the Senate. Contact your elected representatives to end gerrymandering. Remind them that they serve us, their constituents. Their failure to support reform should put their jobs on the line.

Kyle Hynes, State College

Border wall compromise?

Congress should compromise by authorizing the president to spend however much money the Mexican government agrees to appropriate for the purpose of erecting a wall along the border between our countries.

Ken Lawrence, Spring Mills

Who’s really to blame for longest government shutdown?

I agree that our system is broken but berating the Speaker of the House for her role seems trivial when you have people like Hannity, Ingram and Coulter running the country. They have never been elected to public office and could never win if they tried. Along with Trump and a spineless Senate, he can thank those three for the longest government shutdown.

Margaret Roof, Lemont

Thanks to Penn State student

Recently I wore my Korean War veterans cap to get my hair cut. On my departure, the clerk said a Penn State student had paid the fee. I wish I had his name so I could thank him. Thanks, Penn State.

Bill Nichol, State College

Toftrees Avenue needs more pedestrian safety features

I live on Toftrees Avenue and am concerned about local residents’ difficulties crossing the street. Recently, the Patton Township Supervisors indicated that they will consider putting in speed bumps or rumble strips but will not consider pedestrian activated flashing lights or other accommodations because there is not money in the budget.

I am 72 years old and have a compressed disc in my neck that I have had for many years. I am no fan of either speed bumps or rumble strips. Because of my neck, I have to slow to a near stop and crawl across them when I drive, and I have to beg whoever is driving to do the same when I am a passenger. Otherwise, the pain is excruciating. Many people with a variety of ailments have similar experiences. Toftrees Avenue is home to many dwellings for senior citizens as well as students and the general population.

The traffic on Toftrees Avenue, which is winding and hilly, has increased dramatically. While speed bumps and rumble strips are inexpensive, experts say that they are not effective in stopping traffic so that people can cross the road. In State College Borough, at the corner of Park Avenue and McKee Street adjacent to campus, a pedestrian island and highly visible signage were put in place that made crossing safer. Patton Township has done much to improve pedestrian safety. I only ask that they give the same professional planning for Toftrees Avenue. It is a matter of life and death.

Matthew J. Kane, Patton Township