Dear Editor:

I enjoy Bob Urban's columns very much, especially when they go "back in time." I would like to go "back in time" a bit to when the WPA existed. As a kid I can remember the WPA building parks, curbing, culverts, all with cut stone and pointed cement finishing. Many of these works of art are still standing today. The WPA also gave a lot of people work. Imagine for a moment if the WPA were around today! We could take a lot of people off unemployment and yes, even disability (heck, they can hold a red flag and turn a stop/slow sign) and give them real jobs! Since this is just a pipe dream, perhaps I could suggest something new!

Several years ago Penn-DOT instituted a "turn-back" program where the state would fix a road, and then turn it back to the local municipality to maintain. Well, after observing the way PennDOT is taking care of the roads today, I think it would be a good idea to turn all the roads back to local municipalities, get rid of PennDOT and keep the highway taxes local. Think about it for a minute; it would give local people work, local people control over the dollars, and the response time in winter and pothole season would also be quicker.

While pursuing that idea, take a ride up Mahoning Mountain Road. Penn-DOT threw some Elmer's glue down, then scattered some stone chips and called it repair!

Today, the stones are helter-skelter, the potholes and roadways are still a mess, and the money to do this was wasted!

One more suggestion, then I'll shut up! Perhaps Mahoning Township Highway Department (someone who knows how to repair potholes) could conduct classes on proper and prompt pothole repairs and invite other departments to attend, with a special invitation to PennDOT! Heck, I'd even pay for the coffee and doughnuts! O.K., enough of the pipe dreams, but hey, maybe some of your readers have some thoughts and comments on the issue!

Thank you,

Dick Gross,

286-59 Lower Nis Hollow Drive,

Lehighton