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Letters to the Editor

Columnist misguided

In response to Meredith Sterling’s Progressive Views article – Permanent War – I would like to set the record straight. She states that the U.S. is the number one weapons dealer in the world. She is correct in that statement and thank God that we are number one.

She states that that fact does not make many friends out in the world. I do not know where she got that idea. I served 41 years in the military and served in two wars – Vietnam 1969-70 and Iraq in 2004.

I have also worked in many other countries as a geologist and can state that most countries that we have dealings with respect the U.S. because we have helped to defend them.

She states that US presence in other countries increases anti American sentiment. She is wrong and if she went out into the real world and worked with these people she would see what the real world is like.

She sounds like a post WWI isolationist. Remember history after WWI and that most Americans thought like the Progressive View isolationist attitude.

Nobody wanted to get in involved with foreign affairs. Even after Germany invaded Poland and declared war on France and England, the US did nothing. Thank God that FDR realized that America would have to enter the war and in 1940 secretly increased our defense capability.

With new weapons, including many new carriers and starting the draft, America was somewhat ready for 7 Dec 1941. Overnight America was not isolationist and helped supply the world with men and weapons to win the war.

Her statement “war and its side piece, military contracting corporations, cost us dearly, both in lives lost or destroyed and in billions of dollars spent – often with shiny new toys that we really don’t need.”

I was a pilot and very happy that we “spent money on shiny new toys,” such as modern aircraft to defend our way of life.

She needs to understand that if we do not create “shiny new toys” that Russia and China will and that they will have control over other countries’ futures.

She also doesn’t understand that when we sell other countries our weapons, regular parts and maintenance has to go along with the sale. Without that fact the “shiny new toys” will be sidelined for repairs and not functional.

That fact gives us future control of the weapons. Also, what would happen to the millions of people who would be unemployed in this country when our defense corporations close their doors?

She also states that millions of children in this country are hungry and that a good portion of defense money should be spent on social programs. These children and all of the rest of us would be dead if we didn’t have a great defense.

And most important, how about our fighting men and women who would have to defend our country with poor weapons. This is not a peaceful world.

– Harry Truman Holzman Jr., CW 4 US Army (ret.)

Citizens know

Boerne needs an incremental transportation plan, not an exponential one. In the past 20 years, TxDOT and other area agencies, usually in concert with the City of Boerne, have tried three times to put a loop around Boerne. All three times these schemes collapsed because they were oversized, part of a secret, local EDC plan or an AAMPO-TxDOT regional planning agenda.

In other words, they weren’t what proponents said they were. Fortunately, Kendall County commissioners and property owners recognized they weren’t really about mobility and shot down these extreme road plans.

Now, in 2019, the city is trying a fourth time to add more roads around Boerne in order to “mitigate current and future traffic congestion.” In the Kendall Gateway Study (a euphemism for Boerne Bypass-Loop Study No. 3), planners identified just 3 or 4 problem areas around the city, most of which were being impacted by high density construction, development and school traffic. Solutions were suggested by local stakeholder and technical groups (adding capacity to SH46, expanding FM 3351-Ralph Fair Rd and Herff Rd, etc.) but not heeded by TxDOT.

Bypass roads were considered but the SWG-TWG groups probably realized that Boerne already has four bypass roads (Herff, Dietz-Elk-horn, FOR Pkwy. and Ralph Fair/FM3351) that move people between SH-46 and I-10.

The city needs to fund its future road needs by bond issue or developer impact fees (e.g. Herff Road Extension, aka “Herff Bypass”). This approach keeps future road projects reasonable (incremental) and accountable to voters. Reaching out to AAMPO ultimately leads to “one-size-fits-all” TxDOT “template” solutions like loops since AAMPO isn’t really focused on Boerne (AAMPO = “Bexar County MPO” since board representation is weighted in favor of SA).

Better signage, multi-modal solutions and new transportation technology would also go a long way toward solving actual mobility issues once identified.

– Lance Kyle, Boerne