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home : opinion : opinion July 27, 2015

2/23/2014 6:00:00 PM
Editorial: Trafficking and semantics, yeah yeah, yeah

Rich Thurlow

It's not an annual thing, but I like to go to Phoenix with my son when the Braves are in town so I can watch them lose to the Diamondbacks. My love affair with the Braves started years ago, back when they routinely lost 100 or so games. My son latched on to the Braves, too, and so when it works out we invariably get tickets to the two games the Braves are going to lose in the three or four-game stand against the D-backs.

Last summer, though, we almost didn't get to Phoenix because I was behind the wheel at the Wickenburg roundabout.

I know how roundabouts are supposed to work, but my mind was engaged in conversation as we approached. I kept waiting and waiting for that big pickup circling around to slow down for me. It dawned on me about two feet before my car insurance rates skyrocketed that I was the one who was supposed to stop.

So I did. In time. But just barely.

My son's a classy guy. He didn't demand the keys right away.

Anyway, take that experience and pretend you've been driving straight through since Holbrook and you're going to take the Stockton Hill Road exit at 5:08 p.m. on a weekday afternoon. You're tired, you're aching to stretch, the sun's in your eyes - and suddenly you've got to deal with a roundabout, some strange traffic thing you are only vaguely familiar with.

Roundabout? There? Not a good idea.


Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska made a common mistake, so common the Associated Press didn't point out the error in the news analysis in the Feb. 17 Miner.

The topic was the debt limit and the error was this statement: "At the end of the day you still have to deal with the fact that you can't let the country default."

Perhaps Johanns can be excused because the president has said the same thing, but refusing to raise the debt limit does not mean the U.S. would stop paying its bills or can't pay its bills. Money doesn't stop flowing into the treasury when the debt limit is reached. We will not default on our debt by refusing to add to it.

Conversely, by adding to our debt we are making it easier to default.


Not surprisingly, the departure of John F. Kennedy a half-century ago drew more reader response than the introduction of the Beatles into the lives of the Miner's readers. We could pick and choose submissions on JFK memories.

A similar call for thoughts on the Beatles brought the following submission from David Travis. I'm not sure where David lives, I'm not sure if David Travis is his real name, and I'm not sure if I'm being pranked big time by the name "Francine deKilta," but I liked the story:

"While the Beatles were impressing the audience of the Ed Sullivan Show, I was trying to impress Francine deKilta, an astonishingly beautiful exchange student from Ireland. I was a failing student burdened by the depression of the recent assassination of President Kennedy, wondering what fresh hell was next.

"Living in the sunset district of San Francisco, I was forced to attend Polytechnic High School, a purgatorial institution on the south side of Golden Gate Park's panhandle. A cold and foggy February found me walking home from school in the rain. I ducked under an umbrella of a girl going in my direction. As I greeted her like I belonged there, the most beautiful face I had ever seen turned towards me and smiled. Her hair was raven black and her eyes, a penetrating emerald green. They pierced me like Cupid's arrow. Her lilting Irish brogue was the music I had longed to hear. I was hers, to do with as she wished. Less than a week later, I was to discover what that wish was.

"She had seen the Beatles on TV, and since she could not have one of them, she decided to turn me into something that looked like one of them. The Woolworths store on Market Street had a giant table piled high with "Beatle wigs." I was directed to get one of those wigs and wear it whenever I was around her. I did.

"The resulting scorn and derision from family and friends drove a wedge between us. I tried, unsuccessfully, to blame the Beatles until a year had passed and seen me into the service of the U.S. Navy, where I had the time to listen to and enjoy their marvelous music.

"Being on a ship with other lost souls in the summer of 1964, I found what I needed in the words of Bob Dylan. However, my first memory of the Beatles is burned into my brain like a brand. Let it Be."

David Travis

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Article comment by: See the Light --- Yield to the Left

Thanks for the input, Wickenburg Resident. The sad truth up here is our locals just refuse to do the right thing - yield to the left!

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Article comment by: A Wickenburg Resident

There was a lot of dissent around here, too, before ADOT constructed the 93 bypass with roundabouts at each end.

We have had no T-bone crashes at either of them, nor at the old intersection of 60 and 93 in downtown Wickenburg.

And that's despite the increasing traffic between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

I don't understand folks issues with roundabouts, the same rules as intersections apply:

Yield the right of way to the left, so you don't get a bumper in your driver's door.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Another Thought

"Here's my 2 cent's on the best way to improve SHR and I-40."

Maybe the solutions is closer than you think. A new 2 cent tax and a Round-A-Bout should make some of the BOS people happy. Think about it, every time they raise the taxes the people follow the boards leave and move down the road. Throw in a Round-A-Bout and that should reduce traffic two-fold!

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

I agree the Wickenburg roundabout is confusing, having driven thru it for the 1st time a month ago. But the typical roundabout north of Prescott is quite easy to figure out, unless you've never driven thru a roundabout before. The Wickenburg RaB is not a normal intersection. So I guess it can be said there are good and bad roundabouts.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

But Rich, you have to be smarter than the roundabout!

Oh yeah, by the way, when we reach the end of our revenues and there are bills yet to be paid, that's a default!

As an extra added defilement, our credit rating would be in the toilet. An ignominious end for a once great country -- is that what you're espousing?

BTW, what is that at the end of your 'editorial' and who is David Travis?

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…but refusing to raise the debt limit does not mean the U.S. would stop paying its bills or can't pay its bills.”

More schoolin’ from a Kingman economist. Ya gots to stay away from FAUX News if you wants to be takin’ seriously.

“…the departure of John F. Kennedy…”

JFK did not catch a plane. He was assassinated. As to The Beatles. Who cares?

Oh, yeah one last point – roundabouts suck – big time.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: James Clark

Here's my 2 cent's on the best way to improve SHR and I-40.

Improve Burbank St. from Beverly to Airway to 4 lanes and have the I-40 exit dump onto the intersection of Beverly and Burbank with a stop light at both intersections. Improve Beverly to 4 lanes from Harrison St. to Western Ave. Then improve Western from Beverly to where it juts west and build an on ramp to I-40 there. On SHR the on and off ramps would disappear so the light could move back to Beverly. Going south on SHR you could have a turn lane, or two, onto Beverly going west for traffic to the on ramp, same thing on SHR going north for a turn east onto Beverly. This, to me, would clear up a lot of the congestion at the I-40 & SHR intersection.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: Al Koffman

After ADOT finishes the roundabout, the city should erect bleachers. Every weekday at 5:08 pm they can sell matinee tickets for Kingman's version of the demolition derby. Just think of the revenue this should generate and it would be so much more fun to watch than a Brave/Diamondback game.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Yea, we are to side with a guy who admits he doesn't know how to drive and/or follow the rules of the road, and/or is too distracted to read road signs verses transportation experts whom have studied similar situations, examined traffic paterns, and analyzed that Stockton Hill - I-40 area for years.

Those of us who know how to drive and have an understanding of traffic circles have found the Wickenburg circles save time on the drive to Phoenix.

Mr Thurlow, you obviously don't understand the debt ceiling action required of congress. Raising the debt ceiling allows the bills to be paid THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SPENT. The time for your outrage of government spending is when our representatives like McCain or Gosar vote to spend money on farm subsidies, going to war, or sending a man to Mars.

Also you used the word semantics in naming this poorly thoughtout and poorly written column. Is "departure" the new semantics for assassination?

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: County Mohave - just doesn't sound quite right in Gaelic, does it?

I like to think that I can control my impulses and focus my mind well, but when it comes to lying criminal government and Irish girls, I can be an absolute spectacle. The former offends my deepest sense of things stretching back to earliest years, the latter doesn't require that much thinking at all - it takes a lot of adverse characteristics to offset those green eyes & freckles.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Article comment by: T C

You must of thought you had really scored one calling Sen. Johannes an idiot. But you proceeded keep talking and showed your own ignorance. Raising the debt limit allows the government to pay for bills we, in our collective wisdom, have already incurred. While borrowing to pay the bills doesn't seem logical to you, the notion that failing to pay all of the bills on time is inconsequential is something I wouldn't expect out of a newspaper writer who gets paid to be informed.

Of course money keeps flowing into the treasury from a variety of sources, but when its not enough to pay what is owed then you are defaulting on some payments. The idiotic notion put forward by some hysterics is we would instantly balance the budget this way, or that it would actually be good to be seen as a deadbeat country. Nothing could be further from the truth!

I'm not a fan of traffic circles, but because you failed to navigate one successfully is not the basis for a compelling argument.

I liked the Beatles and JFK, what's the problem?

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