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Your Views Wednesday, April 3

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A OKC Streetcar travels east toward Bricktown on Sheridan, Friday, January 18, 2019.  Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
A OKC Streetcar travels east toward Bricktown on Sheridan, Friday, January 18, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

A good experience while serving jury duty

Like many others who have received a notice of jury duty, my first response was a groan and an immediate catalog of excuses not to serve. None of them seemed to negate the call to civic duty. The first few hours were boring and frustrating. We were supposed to start at 8 a.m. but by the time I was assigned to a courtroom, it was after 10. From the group, 13 of us (including an alternate) were selected.

Judge Don Andrews was gracious, solicitous of the preparation and comfort of the jurors, and totally professional in his demeanor. Sometimes the proceedings became tiresome with repetitive questions and points from the lawyers. It was after 4 by the time we were ready to deliberate. We chose to stay late rather than coming back the next day.

Jurors’ views differed but we listened to each other and reached what we considered a fair verdict. Afterward, we went to the clerk’s office to turn in our badges. Judge Andrews offered to answer any questions we might have. It was now getting close to 7. I was glad I had participated. I felt this was the way the justice system is supposed to work.

Surprisingly, a few days later, I received a letter from Judge Andrews thanking me for my service. It was an unnecessary, but appreciated, gesture. If I'm ever summoned for jury duty again, I'll gladly appear. I hope others will feel the same way.

Elaine Warner, Edmond

Parole board needs to exercise caution

Regarding "Effort underway to release nonviolent offenders" (News, March 24): The state Pardon and Parole Board needs to be very careful with its early releases. A man who shot at a neighbor is being released the first of April after serving only half of his sentence. If, when he is released, he finishes the job, who on the parole board will take the responsibility? This was not a nonviolent crime. When considering what it costs to keep someone in prison, the cost of them being out needs to be considered.

John Harris, Oklahoma City

Streetcars are a poor use of $135 million

All laws and public spending should be used to solve problems. The Oklahoma City streetcar cost the public $135 million and solved no problems. It’s a novelty project needlessly connecting business districts while our brothers and sisters are killed by careless drivers because we've put little to no money into making our streets accessible to bicycles.

The Oklahoma City streetcar benefits a few businesses, whereas bike lanes would benefit citizens and let them choose the businesses to patron.

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, which has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes in what's considered one of the best cities in America to commute via bicycle, a protected bike lane costs $200,000 per mile and a buffered lane costs $125,000 per mile. At these prices, Oklahoma City could have provided 1,080 miles of buffered bike lanes or 675 miles of protected bike lanes. Compare these amounts to Chicago, which boasts only 18.5 miles of protected bike lanes and roughly 140 miles of buffered, and it’s clear that Oklahoma City had an amazing opportunity to become the best and safest city in America to bicycle in.

We can’t get our money back, but we can demand from our representatives that no more money be spent on the streetcars until we first spend money on bike lanes.

Oklahoma City has real problems to solve. Unfortunately for all of us, one of those is again tied timelessly to loss while we continue to shuttle nobody from Bricktown to Automobile Alley.

Joshua Cade, Oklahoma City

Mixed emotions about lawsuit settlement

Regarding “State, Purdue settle suit for $270M” (News, March 27): I have mixed emotions regarding this, and similar, settlements reached by Oklahoma and other states. I’ve noted a growing propensity toward these voluminous lawsuits. Manufacturers of cars, tobacco, firearms, pharmaceuticals … the list is almost endless. On one hand, I have no problem with punitive damages levied against companies displaying gross negligence or worse. On the other, however, it appears many of these suits are state-sanctioned attempts to win the lottery. TSET is a classic example. Huge funds used to pay for what? Overblown salaries for TSET managers? Did anyone notice $60 million of the opioid settlement going to pay “attorney fees”?

The hypocrisy of Oklahoma winning a huge settlement against a legitimate pharmaceutical company while sanctioning the “medical” use of another drug, i.e. marijuana, is stunning to say the least.

There are two drivers behind the illegal use of opioids. One is use of illegally manufactured, and in many cases smuggled, opioids. The other is the unbridled prescription writing by a not-so-small number of unscrupulous physicians. This lawsuit addressed neither. If the floodgates on a dammed river fail and allow far too much water to escape, you don’t blame the lake or the river that supplies it, you hold the floodgates responsible.

Donald Newsom, Oklahoma City

Concerned that Lenin was right about lies

Regarding “Floods suggest security threat from climate change“ (Associated Press, March 23): Vladimir Lenin said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” An example of this is the claim that global warming is causing more extreme weather. If you study paleoclimatology, it’s clear that the weather is much more extreme when the planet is colder. A warmer and wetter planet has more constant weather.

Interestingly if you look at the relationship of atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures over geological time, there does seem to be a correlation, but the increased temperatures precede the increased CO2 and not vice versa. The glaciers melted and then the CO2 went up. It is very important to understand the correlation does not mean causation! You can note the association but then you need to prove causation.

The article has a second absurdity: that national security is threatened by global warming. These alarmists never account for the ability of humans to adapt.

The next time someone mentions to you the danger of elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, ask them what the current CO2 level is. Most the time the people who think that it’s even an existential threat cannot get the answer right within two orders of magnitude. They will invariably claim that the exact number isn’t important, but what it shows is that they haven’t done any homework and are ready to believe lies because they hear them repeated. I’m afraid that Lenin was right.

Greg Campbell, Oklahoma City

Your View -- Letter to the Editor

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