In the letter to the editor "A newcomer with many questions" (March 31), the writer said he was new to Modesto and had some questions. I'd like to welcome him to our fair city and answer his last question: "Why every Sunday do I see a police officer blocking the slow lane for southbound traffic on Oakdale Road so the people coming out of St. Joseph's have their own lane to get on? Is this a free service and does the Police Department do this for all churches in Modesto?"
Answer: We pay the Modesto police $248 for four hours of traffic direction each Sunday. We are working with city planners toward a solution. Modesto is struggling to keep up with the population growth, and we are all in this together. Until a long-term solution can be found, we gladly pay for this service to ensure the safety of everyone on Oakdale Road. Finally, I suspect from the writer's name that he has some Irish Catholic background, and I warmly invite our dear newcomer to Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's.
Pastor, St. Joseph's Church