I hope to respond with all due respect to Mr. Leibowitz’s recent column “Since you didn’t ask, here are my opinions.”
The column serves to increase the risk to physical safety of cyclists on the roads in the West Valley and everywhere cyclists share the road with motorists. I am one of these cyclists and regularly participate in the West Valley Cycle’s Saturday-morning group rides over the winter months when I visit family who live in the area of your readership.
Mr. Leibowitz writes that cyclists “should not compete for space with 4,000-pound vehicles going three times that speed,” and this is absolutely true! Unfortunately, the column’s tone suggests as much in a manner that reinforces the idea that the safety of cyclists on our roads should be of lesser priority, whereas it ought have suggested that cyclists shouldn’t compete for space with motorists as a matter of safe driving, public safety and moral obligation.
The column is a failure on the part of the West Valley View in that reasonable editorial oversight would have seen this as an opportunity to reinforce that cyclists have a legal obligation to ride on the road; that motorists have a legal and moral obligation to share the road; and that, most importantly, as a community we are all best served if we discourage taking chances with the safety and lives of those with whom we share the road, be they in our car, another car, on a motorcycle, on a bicycle or otherwise.
I am a year-round cyclist and hope to reinforce the notion that the ideas and tone of the column — both explicit and implicit — are irresponsible and help reinforce the ideas that cyclists and motorists cannot reasonably share public roads, that the safety of nonmotorists is of lesser importance and that cyclists are reasonable “targets” for road rage and dangerous driving. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, 783 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2017 (nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety). Might you both ask: If my own children were road cyclists, would I find the column’s tone acceptable, or would I fear for my own kids’ safety on their next bike ride? I praise the motorists of the West Valley communities to the extent that I have personally experienced their friendly, safe and mutually respectful sharing of the road during the Saturday-morning group ride, and I admonish West Valley View for working against what is already a reasonable and viable relationship in the community.
Mr. Leibowitz has suggested that journalists are “self-proclaimed guardians of the public interest,” but I would suggest that the column demonstrates that West Valley View does not seriously consider its role in the public interest, and has instead missed an opportunity to truly serve its readers and the public.
I sent an email to Gov. Ducey telling him, “I am so proud of him & support him for repealing financial incentive dollars that the State of AZ was providing to Nike to locate here. He stood up for our country, our history/heritage & our flag,” and I thank him for doing so. Patriotism is foremost for me.
I just read that the city of Sandusky, Ohio, has made Election Day a paid holiday by swapping it out with Columbus Day. I think it’s a great idea and we should follow suit here in Goodyear.
Surprise medical bills!
Recently I saw an ad on TV addressing “surprise” medical bills. I had heard of them through friends but didn’t really understand, so I did some investigating and found this to be a common occurrence. These surprise bills show up months after a person has gone to an emergency or urgent care facility. These people know they have insurance. They paid their premiums and co-pays and have big deductibles, but in an emergency they trust their care will be covered.
When the surprise bill arrives, people usually think it is a mistake, but when they start tracking it down, they find the bill is for charges their insurance company denied because the doctor or the service is not in their network.
Very few people can deal with these surprise bills, which could be hundreds of dollars. I can’t face a surprise medical bill because it is denied by my insurance. In an emergency you don’t have a choice of doctors or service. You just get what they provide and never know the costs. There must be some solution to this potentially devastating problem. I read about one state that has established an arbitration/dispute resolution structure that helps people in this situation. Shouldn’t Arizona have a process that would alleviate this situation? An emergency is bad enough without facing hundreds of dollars denied by our insurance.
A distraught letter writer suggests that we “have to fight fire with fire” in our raging American uncivil war. Rather inflammatory rhetoric, no? I recommend a less risky path: We partisans can settle our wide differences civilly at the ballot box on Election Day.
It’s our great American way, folks.