Four traffic accidents have occurred during the past 30 days within a quarter-mile stretch of Highway 23, a short distance south of Bardsdale Avenue. This is extraordinary.

Most recently, this past Thursday, a man alleged to be driving under the influence of alcohol, smashed into the rear of a truck which was making a left turn from the highway.

Later, this office received a phone call from a man who had been following this allegedly drunk driver from ‘C’ Street, all the way east, down River Street to the 23, from where he turned and headed south. The caller observed this driver narrowly escape several head-on collisions on River and the 23, after running over the turn-about on River Street. He also observed the allegedly drunk driver run into the truck at a high rate of speed (estimated to be 50-plus miles per hour).

Thank God he wasn’t able to negotiate Grimes Canyon; it would have been certain death attempting those hairpin turns and 300-foot cliff. He would have, in all probability, caused another vehicle to crash over the cliff. I’m angry just thinking about this incident.

Anyone arrested as a drunk driver belongs in jail, for a long time. Better that than having to attend a funeral for a family the drunk could have killed.

Drive carefully. Do not drive when you have been drinking.

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The city suffered a murder this week. A gang member was shot point-blank during a backyard party.

I clearly recall the prevailing attitude towards street gangs in Fillmore when I arrived some 21 years ago. There was an indignant reluctance to admit we had a gang. Some long-time residents would respond to a question about gangs with “Fillmore doesn’t have gangs!” This, despite repeated warnings from our Sheriff’s department that we did indeed have the beginnings of a gang.

Any police officer will tell you that a good 95 percent of all crime in our town is directly related to gang activity. Like a plague of locusts gang members infest the towns in which they reside. They prey on the weak; they live by stealing what honest residents have worked hard to obtain. They live in the dark where they vandalize our community and threaten physical harm to innocent citizens. They drag the very young into the miserable life and early death they have chosen. For influencing the young as they do, the Bible tells us they call down upon themselves a terrible curse: “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:2, Mark 9:42.

Gang members should think beyond the times in which they are living.

There is a God, and there is a Heaven and a Hell. There is no parole from Hell, and certainly not a Get Out of Hell Free card. Hell is forever, and forever, and forever; that’s called eternity.