Editorial: Information availability encouraged

Feb. 21, 2014 @ 11:13 PM

City of Henderson council members offered encouraging signs this week at an annual retreat.

Most notable to us was the transparency issue. The council’s only problem is the two-way street upon which they walk.

They should not be deterred. While residents seldom show for public meetings, even the hearings that can significantly affect them, information on city activities needs to be available. The Dispatch has proven, through 100 years, we are a conduit. That won’t be changing.

Residents should seize upon the offering, perhaps even offer a “thank-you” in the comment period at Monday’s meeting.

And residents should subsequently hold our council accountable to the plan.

• The baby boomers have done it again. Always the subject of countless predictions and impacts on American life, they’ve shown in the last decade that a forecast of more traffic crashes involving them was, so far, just plain wrong.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report on Thursday. Drivers age 70 or older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations and are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash.

The study gave due credit for two major reasons. Vehicles are tremendously safer these days, even 10 years later, and seniors are much healthier.

And this despite the fact the mileages traveled has increased.

Older drivers will only increase. In 2012, there were 29 million age 70 and over, about 9 percent of the population, and in 2050 the prediction is for 64 million, or about 16 percent of the population.

• Less than one week remains during a public input period for the Kerr Reservoir Shoreline Management Plan. Don’t miss the chance.

The plan’s last revision was in 1995. It includes guidance for the 850 miles of shoreline that spread across North Carolina and Virginia.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already held open houses during the month. The next step is to take the comments and work on an environmental assessment, setting the stage for another comment period.

The new plan could be in place by spring of 2015.

To include comments prior to Friday’s deadline, email the Corps at kerrsmp@usace.army.mil or call (434) 738-6143 for more information.