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A history lesson on who Progressives are

It’s taken me two days to digest John McClure’s novel interpretation of who the Progressives are, when Progressives reformed government, and how our system of government works. Clearly, he draws attention to the need for a more rigid course in American History in high school.

Sticking to the basics, Darwin (Origin of the Species 1848) saw nature as red of claw and tooth, and that those species that survived had adapted to what nature provided, according to its own laws. Capitalism and corporatism were early adapters of competition as the mechanism of economics and progress. Those who make money, regardless of niceties like fairness and honesty, are termed successful. Losers who are poor are labeled not the fittest.

The progressive movement in America was a Republican reform movement (1890-1900’s) that brought structural reforms to our political system to reduce what they considered corruption. Thanks to the Progressive/Populist Movement, we have the direct election of Senators, direct primaries for the parties to choose candidates by a vote of the party members at large and attempts to remove the corrupting influence of money from politics.

Finally, the Progressives are staunch capitalists and express abhorrence for the despotism of both Communism and Fascism (1930’s). They do think that man is an imperfect vessel and see the need for reform and correction of human institutions from time to time. This shoves the hogs from the public trough at some point in time, and opens the way for a “reform” movement, which eventually becomes another set of hogs at the trough. Human nature evolves slowly as does political wisdom.

HARRIET H. YOUNG

Flagstaff

Warning about potential traffic issues near Fort Tuthill

We would just like to present our concern that traffic management be seriously addressed as part of the proposed Ft. Tuthill snowplay development.

Not only are the adjacent I-17 and Hwy 89A single-lane traffic circles the only Flagstaff access route for the many residents living south along Hwy 89A, but they offer the only access for emergency vehicles from Flagstaff down 89A along with tourist, commuter and delivery vehicles coming and going to Sedona.

Then there’s Flagstaff Airport access. With all the commercial flights and more coming, exit 337 offers the main airport access from Flagstaff, and the only access from Sedona and other communities south. As residents of the area, we have already experienced one backup related to a Ft. Tuthill special event that clogged both north and southbound I-17 exits, Beulah Rd, and both traffic circles. (We were stuck stationary in one of those traffic circles for 30-40 minutes.)

We are not opposed to the Ft. Tuthill snowplow concept — just want to encourage serious traffic planning to prevent extended backups at Ft. Tuthill potentially impacting residents, emergency and commercial vehicles, Flagstaff Airport access, and Sedona-Flagstaff tourist and business traffic serving both communities.

GREG and JEAN BROWN

Flagstaff

Found memories of church deacon

As a part-time Flagstaff resident and a longtime reader of the Arizona Daily Sun, I was interested to read of the passing of Vergie and Jay Ferguson. While I had lost track of her over the years, I remember her fondly as a deacon at Epiphany Episcopal Church. I was a student then at NAU. She was kind to our family in many ways.

All the best to Vergie and Jay in the great mystery and thanks to the Sun for serving as a reliable touchstone for the community.

SHERMAN R. FREDERICK

Flagstaff

CCC cuts crippling affordable education

I am utterly amazed and disappointed in the voters of Coconino County. The National Education Association (NEA) reported in 2017 data that Arizona is one of three states with the highest number of students per teacher at 23.51, only better than Nevada but worse than Utah. But wait, there’s more…

In the 21st annual ‘Quality Counts’ report by Education Week, we now get to brag that the state’s overall grade average for achievement, finance and chance for success is a D+, but we are still ahead of Nevada!

We Arizonans have crippled our K-12 public education system and are letting it fade away. If the Red for Ed movement hadn’t forced our state government to repay a fraction of what it has taken away since 2007, we would now be looking at another four years of stealing from the future and repressing our youth. But wait, there’s still more…!

Now we have crippled the next leg in our education system of a reasonable and affordable education by paralyzing our community college. We have officially put the cuffs on Coconino Community College and ensured that the cost of educating young adults will be too high for many. President Smith has done a commendable job in returning CCC to its original mission and core values, especially “to provide services that are timely, accessible, and affordable.” The cuts in CCC programs is now on us. Remember that when you, your child or grandchildren can no longer advance their education or afford to live without one.

BARBARA BATES

Doney Park

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