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February 9, 2001

I see where the city council had some more discussion the other night on the problem of U-turns being made by motorists around the Perry square. Itís not a new concern by any means. If anything, the situation has been growing progressively worse, and that means it poses a growing danger for other folks who are steering their vehicles in legal directions. Itís been pointed out that double stripes on the pavement are put there to warn motorists not to cross over them. Thatís not an effective way of stopping this violation, although it could be cited in court if a case were ever brought to trial. Itís been my observation that most of the guilty parties in these cases are people who want to save a few steps by changing directions, and they do that simply by making an illegal turn in the middle of the block. A lot of post office patrons do that, but you see it happening all over town.

Signs have been posted warning against the practice, but you know how ineffective that is. Motorists donít see them, or if they do they choose to ignore them. I donít know if citizen arrests are feasible, but something should be done. We donít need vigilantes. Our police officers might want to increase their visibility as a means of discouraging such offenses. Those uniforms and black and white cruisers have a way of making most of us more cautious and law abiding. If itís any consolation, these things happen elsewhere, too, not just in Perry. Stillwater has much more traffic than we do and you are likely to see illegal U-turns there quite often. No one seems willing or able to stop these dangerous violations, but maybe if thereís a personal injury accident at some point the scofflaws will take it upon themselves to quit doing it.

Speaking of those stripes on the street, why donít we have center stripes on the new streets being built in various parts of town? They may not stop those U-turns, but they might make motorists aware that they are cruising down the middle of the street, which seems to be another common problem. Seems like center stripes should be added all over town, including our new streets.

I canít let Lynn and Linda Scott leave for Iowa without wishing them well and thanking them for what they have accomplished here in the past decade. Lynn has been one of the best-liked and most effective ministers of the First Christian church during his service here, and Linda has been his equal as the church youth director. Together they are quite a team and now they have accepted a daunting challenge in another state. The Scotts have been dynamic figures in many Perry endeavors, including the Ministerial Alliance, and we will miss them. Good luck to the entire family as they leave their friends in Perry. We know they will give their new opportunity the best they have, and that should make it a successful venture.

Perryís Main Street renovation continues quietly but effectively. Roy Morris has installed real glass windows on the upper floor of his building at the east end of the north side of the square Ė the former home of Bush & Joeís Smoke House. Roy already has done a great deal to brighten that entire two-story structure, including the removal of some overgrown trees that shrouded the historic building. Now the wooden shutters upstairs have been replaced by glass windows and it looks just great.