A little bit about a lot of things:
• The heroes and the victims of one of the nation’s darkest days will be remembered once again Tuesday in Gustine.
Some 17 years have passed since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America - but those who lost their lives that day, those who were among the legion of emergency responders and those whose lives were forever changed are not forgotten.
West Siders will gather Tuesday evening to take part in a silent candlelight procession through downtown Gustine in remembrance.
The walk started with a small group of people in 2011 and has grown in number each year since.
Its founder and organizer, Gustine resident Judy Quinn, told us last year that she never thought she would see the walk grow to become the event that it has.
Credit Quinn, and everybody else who has thrown their support and assistance into the walk, with making the Sept. 11 observance one of Gustine’s traditions.
Gustine is a fiercely patriotic community.....the kind of place that would make sure that the heroes and victims of 9/11 are not forgotten as time goes on.
The walk through downtown Gustine will begin at 8 p.m. at the south end of Main Street. Candles and flags will be provided, and a short program will follow at the Veterans Memorial Hall.
• How fast is too fast?
That was the Newman City Council debate last Tuesday as staff presented recommendations that would have raised speed limits on more than a dozen arterial and collector streets.
I completely share those concerns.
Speed limits of 30 miles an hour on roadways such as Barrington Avenue and T Street do not seem prudent. Each has a high volume of school-related traffic, including pedestrians as well as motorists.
Shoot, T Street doesn’t even have sidewalks, making that roadway even more hazardous.
If people actually drove the speed limit (what a concept), a 30-mile-an-hour limit may be fine in some of those areas (there would still be lower limits in school zones)....but we know that a lot of drivers like to take liberties with posted speed limits.
Now, some of the proposed limits - such as increasing portions of Hills Ferry Road to 40 and 50 miles an hour - made sense, but all in all the council made the right call in sending staff back for more information.
This is not, by the way, an arbitrary process. Speed limits are established through a traffic survey conducted by consultants. One principle in the process is that the speed limit is set at the 85th percentile of the average speed of motorists surveyed.
So, as was pointed out by a council member, the speeders are essentially setting the speed limit.
That doesn’t make sense, but those are the rules the city must play by.
The survey is important in part because police can use electronic enforcement devices such as radar for speed enforcement only on streets which have a speed limit set through that method. That also doesn’t make sense, but, well.....again.
We will see what comes out of this all.
My thought, though, is that if the city raises the speed limit on those streets they must also be willing to hold motorists to that standard.
• So where will the search for new crew quarters for West Side Community Ambulance personnel end?
To date, the quest to find a Newman location has not panned out, although they are still working on it.
My growing concern, though, is that there may be a gap between the district’s budget and the cost of finding, developing and operating new crew quarters.
There have been times when the ambulance service has operated a rig out of rental homes....one just south of Newman, one between Newman and Gustine, and one in Santa Nella come to mind.
City officials, however, made clear last week that any such arrangement in Newman (or its sphere of influence) would require that the property be brought up to meet whatever commercial standards apply, such as parking, lighting, ingress/egress, etc. That could be a costly endeavor in its own right, although that remains to be seen as the city cannot determine which standards apply until it has a project to evaluate.
The ambulance service is very much in need of adequate crew quarters which can serve as a long-term base of operations.
That, however, is apparently much easier said than done.