Letters to the Editor
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 12, 2009
• Will a Sulphur driver win the Indy 500?
Now that Councilman Mike Koonce, Mr. Vincent and Mr. E. Barkate have worked so diligently to repeal the speed enforcement ordinance, I expect to see Sulphur drivers start practicing for the Indy 500 again on our city streets, even though many have not stopped practicing from the comments I’ve heard and tickets issued, as well as from the speeding I’ve seen. I fully expect to see a Sulphur driver win the Indy 500, or at least place in the top 5. The only city I travel to that outspeeds Sulphur is Houston, TX.
My job consists of making deliveries in Sulphur and Lake Charles. I am in Sulphur three to four times daily as well as reside here, so I know what I speak about. Drivers are constantly practicing daily on Maplewood Drive, Cypress, Ruth, Henning, Picard, Napoleon and Beglis, as well as several others I travel on daily. Most Sulphur drivers think they are above the law. Besides seeing about 75 percent of drivers speeding in our town, I also see an average of seven people running red lights daily. Stop signs mean “STOP”, not coast through a stop sign. Other drivers who think that they are above the law include people driving unlicensed motorized vehicles on city streets and people operating golf carts, four wheelers, go carts and motorized bicycles. It would be unrealistic to think our city’s finest would ticket these law breakers, as some travel from Frasch Park to the Sulphur Aquatic Center daily. And a lot of these drivers are city employees.
Another instance of law breakers in Sulphur is in the lack of signal light usage. Drivers are supposed to signal any lane change or turn. Apparently, drivers seem to be too lazy or too uneducated about what the small lever on the side of the steering column activates. Push it up fro a right turn or right lane change, push it down for a left turn or left lane change.
I’m planning on meeting with Mayor Ron LeLeux and illuminate him on how our city can save thousands of dollars yearly. It’s easy; do away with speed limit signs, stop signs and red lights if our laws can not be enforced.
My next stop is Governor Bobby Jindal, if I can catch him in the state. We might as well remove all highway and interstate speed signs if the State Police does not ticket speeders; but that’s another story, for another edition.
• Delay may prove deadly
At the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, we are firmly committed to attracting new businesses and increasing employment in our region. The petrochemical and gaming industries have anchored the employment base in our part of Louisiana , and we have a real opportunity to grow the aviation industry’s presence in Lake Charles and Chennault Airpark. With the current economic downturn, we must push forward and do everything possible to develop jobs here in Southwest Louisiana .
That’s why I am pleased to announce that the boards of the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana and the Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development approved a resolution to support an effort to bring additional work to the Northrop Grumman Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center. For several years now, the U.S. Air Force has been going through the motions of selecting a contractor to perform maintenance work on its aging KC-10 aerial refueling tanker fleet. This work is absolutely critical to maintain our nation’s air superiority both now and in the future. Essentially, these aircraft operate as flying gas stations for U.S. warplanes, and represent a unique advantage for our military and coalition partners. These KC-10 aircraft have been flown in all combat operations over the last quarter century, including Iraq and Afghanistan , and are an essential part of our ability to control and dominate the battle space. Additionally, these strategic assets are crucial to U.S. humanitarian operations around the globe.
Given the critical role of the KC-10, we are concerned about the repeated delays the Air Force made regarding this contract. The current contractor has been granted several extensions on its existing contract while the Air Force continues its deliberations. The Air Force has paid a premium price for these extensions. We’re all for a complete review of the contract in order to make the right decision, but the taxpayers’ interest is not served by this delay nor are the lives of the men and women serving our country to preserve its freedom.
The Northrop Grumman Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center, in partnership with the Chennault International Airport Authority, SOWELA Technical Community College, and the State of Louisiana, is ready to provide the critical maintenance needed on these aircraft for our Air Force and our nation. I call on the Air Force to make a decision on this contract as soon as practicable so this fleet of aircraft can be ready for the fight once again. Our men and women in uniform deserve no less.
George Swift, President/CEO
The Chamber SWLA & Executive Director The SWLA Partnership for Economic Development