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ALDOT not addressing needs
Road improvements should logically be justified and prioritized by engineering objectivity. Politics should occupy a secondary role in supporting funding and implementation. This order of influence is questionable in the Decatur area.
Hopefully, governor-elect Riley's plan to establish an independent transportation commission will result in more objective project prioritization. His plan may also improve Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) credibility over that perceived scandal and frequent change of directions.
From the Selma Times Journal (appearing in The Birmingham News, page A-11, Dec. 22, 2001) "It is almost impossible for the public to find out anything about road improvements or even road plans…they (ALDOT) are not serving the people who use this state's roadways."
Neal R. Pierce in the Decatur Daily in addressing allocation of transportation funds stated that major business interests are heavily influencing the process.
Such alleged practices and ill-placed political influence negatively impact objective planning and seemingly exist in the Decatur area.
A 1995, Rust Engineering study prioritized 14 Decatur area road projects: Priority eight (County Thompson Road) with one-fourth the traffic of Priority three (State Highway 36 East of Hartselle) was selected for projectization.
The "tabled" Highway 36 has fallen pray to yet another, Decatur's Spring Avenue, not prioritized in the study yet scheduled for construction in 2004. Daily traffic stated is 8,600 vehicles in 2002 (Highway 36 had 11,080 in 2000) with projection of 13,600 in 2002 (Highway 36, 16,000 in 2002 based on historical growth since 1994).
These examples suggest undue subjective influence in deciding road projects, ignoring traffic demands and related safety.
Hartselle's City Council has resolved to "actively and aggressively" seek Highway 36 improvements. Success depends on, hopefully, professional, ethical and objective planning; realistically, political clout, unless…
Robert Francis
Important Purple Heart meeting set
Military Order Purple Heart Chapter 2212 for Cullman and Morgan Counties: It's urgent that all members attend the Dec. 19 meeting, 4:30 p.m., at the Falkville VFW Post.
Patriots, there is a proud history to an award which was created for "Gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service."
Members of the order have each sustained a wound inflicted by an enemy in combat and left their blood in foreign soil. The order has the finest service officers, bar none.
Are you having problems with a VA claim? Transportation problems? Perhaps a Morph service officer can offer answers.
It's a shame to have a VA claim die because you're not getting the help you need.
Patriots, we need your support by becoming a member. We need a copy of discharge showing proof that you received P.H.
Your spouse, daughters, stepdaughters, and mothers can be a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. Also, your son can be an associate member.
New members are the lifeblood of the organization. We welcome and appreciate you joining our chapter.
If you are housebound and would like to attend, call 734-1947 in Cullman, 350-7769 in Decatur, and 773-0864 in Hartselle.
Hoping you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We extend greetings from the Finis J. Selfs Chapter 2212 to one and all.
George E. Mann
Commander, Chapter 2212
Parade winners announced
I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the sponsors and participants of this year's Hartselle Christmas Parade.
The sponsors who made this year's parade possible are Eddie Preuitt Ford, Corum's Building Supply, ReMax Plus Real Estate, Hartselle Heritage Funeral Home, Abercrombie Chevrolet, Hartselle Dental Association, State Farm Insurance agents Charles Howse and Chad Hughey, OH! Bryan's Family Steakhouse, Wal-Mart, and Southern Link.
Also, the parade would not have been possible without the hard work of the Hartselle Police Department, Hartselle Fire Department, Leigh Clemons of the Hartselle Housing Authority, Jack Templeton, Hartselle High School Key Club, and Jeff Faulkner.
This year's parade winners are:
First place: Webelos Pack 92, Den 7
Second place: Cub Scout Pack 26
Third place: Kid's Castle
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the participants and volunteers who made the 2002 Christmas parade a success.
Tom Sparks
President, Hartselle Jaycees