Union Pacific Not Good Neighbors…

Dear Editor,

I would like to extend my whole- hearted thanks to the Union Pacific Railroad for being exceptionally good corporate neighbors to the citizens of Ponderay, especially those who live along the right of way between the Bonner Mall grade crossing and just north of the Kootenai Cutoff road grade crossing.

For between 120 and 144 hours, March 14 to 19, you provided us with a noisy obnoxious symphony of locomotive noises. After 48 hours of this discord music I started calling Union Pacific RR phone numbers, requesting that they either move the locomotives or shut them off. No one from corporate bothered to return my calls. Thanks so much for your promise to return my call as soon as possible. I am still waiting over a month later.

Next I enlisted the help of the city of Ponderay, the city clerk, administrative assistant, and the mayor. One of these people was actually able to talk to a live being at UP. This person said that the locomotive could not be turned off because the cars needed constant air pressure. Quite interesting since half of the train sat disconnected from all source of compresed air for its brake system south of the Bonner Mall crossing for the entire period of March 14 to 19.

For the further edification of the people of Ponderay, this is not the first time that UP has done this. They have taken to parking cars full of dangerous materials; petroleum gas, anhydrous ammonia, molten sulphate, hydrochloric acid, and other substances. I sure love UP’s concern for living breathing human beings. I wonder what our worth in dollars is to the UP corporate lawyers if they have a deadly accident. Bet you not much!

If any of this bothers or seriously concerns you, I suggest you start writing to your newspapers, federal, state, county and local offices, especially our US senators, state DEQ, county commissioners, mayors and city councils of both Ponderay and Sandpoint. If enough of you join me perhaps we can embarrass UP into becoming a better corporate citizen. I know, “How naive of me.”

Paul Felter

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