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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Safety First in the Valley...

The paramount concern in the country today appears to be the safety and security of America's citizens: build a wall to keep out the evil ones; hire more security personnel and station them to have its back should the wall not be high enough to thwart the hordes of villains and blackguards lurking without, eager to work their evil on our citizenry; increase security groping at airports, extreme pat downs, if you will, to protect air travelers from the evil that is afoot in the world at large; implement travel bans to insulate the homeland from those bent on wreaking havoc on our way of life, families, and peace of mind; and for the future, promise the country will boast a military the likes of which haven't existed on Earth since the days of the great Caesars. Soon all citizens will be able to have a good night's sleep: safe and secure in the knowledge we can now go about our daily lives without constantly having to look over our shoulders. In short, we will finally be able to roam the country in safety and at last be able to leave our guns at home.

The foregoing pertains, in the main, to the national stage, but those who pass through or reside in the Valley should give thanks to our State's Department of Transportation for its proactive efforts to keep drivers safe, detect any potential snares and pitfalls that may prove a hazard to motorists who use the Valley's Tualco Loop Road.

There's new signage, if you haven't noticed it, an embellishment to the Tualco-North Highrock turn lane. If you aren't too focused on looking left and right (twice on the latter...remember your Driver's Ed instruction) for your opportunity to creep carefully onto SR. 203, you'll see it. Staring you straight in the face on the east side of 203 and firmly bolted to a state-of-the art breakaway stanchion is a yellow warning sign featuring two bold black arrows. One arrow points north toward town; the other to all points south on SR. 203.

I happened along just as a pair of orange vested DOT workers finished the installation. They moved from side to side examining  their work, and apparently satisfied, moved across the road for a repeat performance on a new stop sign for traffic coming to the intersection.

It is not often you have the opportunity to thank those whose job it is to keep you safer. And The Ripple was not about to let this chance slip by. I pulled alongside the two State workers, rolled down my window, and shouted my approval of their labors. "Thanks to your efforts and that sign," I shared, "I'll no longer have the urge to run the new stop sign, shoot across three lanes of traffic on a busy State Road, and plow through a thicket of blackberries into the murk of Riley Slough." One orange vest stood momentarily, smiled, shook his head, and gave me that quizzical look as if to say: "We're just doing our job, 'ours not to question why,'" and resumed work on the new breakaway stop sign.

So on behalf Tualco Valley motorists The Ripple extends a heartfelt thanks for making the Valley a safer place for drivers. Thanks, WSDOT. Thanks for your service.