Tom Germond Sig New

Why did the ducks cross the road?

Heck if I know. They have been crossing a busy street for years in my neighborhood, and I'm worried that some of them may get run over and become buzzard food.

A neighbor shared my concern, suggesting that we should put up a road sign that says "Duck crossing."

Not so sure city fathers in Largo would go for that, especially if it came from a quack like me. 

Nor do I think they would embrace the idea of removing a large tree that's causing a vision problem for motorists at a busy intersection near me. One of those annoying "blind corners." 

Also on a street near me, motorists — to avoid waiting for what seems to be infinity for a traffic light to change — get in the right lane, turn right on red and make a U-turn in another turning lane to head east on Ulmerton Road. Seems like there's an accident to waiting to happen in that area.

Nevertheless, while mulling over some potential safety issues in my city, I wondered how many other citizens in Largo or elsewhere have noticed potential road or traffic hazards and have either forgotten to report them to city officials or just decided to ignore them.

I also recognize that for agencies that deal with a multitude of issues pertaining to traffic safety, the fate of fine-feathered friends, such as jaywalking ducks, is probably not a top priority. 

But mulling over traffic safety issues in the area where I live and on roads I use, I came up with an idea that might result in some improvements. 

What if every local government each year held an hour-long public hearing just pertaining to residents' traffic concerns, whether it be suggestions for new crosswalks, a reduction in speed limits, the need for signage or resurfacing a neighborhood street.

To encourage turnout at the hearing, government officials could offer a reward of $100 gift card to the individual who offers the best traffic-safety idea.

Not sure what the answer is to prevent ducks from walking across the busy street. I doubt they would learn how to operate a rapid rectangular pedestrian signal.


More ranting

As the stepson of a victim of Alzheimer's disease, I get irritated at all the red tape caretakers have to cut to provide needed assistance to their loved ones. 

The most annoying experience was trying to remove my mother's name from the voting rolls. 

Though I have reams of proof that I'm authorized to act on her behalf, I was told I could not remove her name from books without some type of court order. I verified that explanation with the state elections office, too.

I find that requirement to be ridiculous and demeaning. The realty is, mom doesn't know what day it is. 

I'm also mom's representative payee for Social Security. It seems since I have her photo ID, access to her bank accounts, power of attorney and a statement from a neurologist saying that mom can't make decisions on her own behalf, that would be sufficient enough to have her name from removed from the voting rolls.

As an alternative I was told by state officials that I could just leave her name on the voting rolls and it eventually will automatically be removed if she doesn't vote in two general election cycles. So that's what I'm doing — but I’m miffed in having to do so.

At some point, the doctrine of common sense, even in government, should be worthy of consideration.