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Thursday, June 28, 2012 06:09 pm

Letters to the Editor 06/28/12

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ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS BRIT

HIRING MINORITIES
I don’t profess to know the answers, but you can’t just give a person a job without determining if they are qualified to do the job [see “Hiring minorities: All talk,” by Bruce Rushton, June 21].

There has been great effort made to recruit minorities in Springfield, although you wouldn’t believe it from reading this story. I know; I witnessed it. Effort is a two-way street. The city makes an effort to recruit, but the person recruited has to make an effort to prepare for the testing process, be it a written test or physical agility test.

Springfield does need to change its civil service rules for police and fire hiring to requiring a bachelor’s degree to even apply. Federal level law enforcement, Illinois State Police, and Sangamon County Sheriffs Department require a four-year degree to even apply, why not Springfield?

From illinoistimes.com.

UNFOUNDED PRESUMPTIONS
Re: “Hiring minorities”: You have no idea what your talking about. Where is your proof? What do you call a person who makes unfounded presumptions about a group of people? That’s what you are.

From illinoistimes.com

GRIFFIN WOODS
I attended the city council meeting to rezone the area where Schnucks grocery is to raze Griffin Woods to put yet another grocery store right next to County Market. The Journal Register neglected to mention the other speaker who spoke against the motion. I noticed that even though her presentation was thorough, intelligent and based on sound fact, the only thing that was mentioned was the “emotion,” which wreaks of sexism. She spoke about how there were many vacant buildings in the area, so razing abandoned buildings somehow sounds much better than razing 350-year-old trees. She also spoke about how the area is already congested between the school and the current grocery store in the area, to the point of causing serious accidents and injury as the traffic from Fairhills and the school impact upon each other.

Another thing that surfaced in the meeting was how unprepared we are for protecting and preserving just plain green space within the city limits. Springfield has been cited for serious flooding issues through the downtown and the lack of permeable surfaces is a primary cause of this. We also need to be aware of how once topsoil is removed it cannot be replaced. Do we really want to be a city that is nothing but a series of parking lots and cheap building structures with no historical or natural beauty? Zoning ordinances are not in place to ensure developers maintain what forested surfaces we have left. The fact that they want to do a strip mall on top of building a grocery, when so many other businesses have failed in the area, is incredibly shortsighted and wasteful. The paper also failed to mention that the grocery store would leave room for the wooded area if the strip mall was not constructed.

Anne Logue
Springfield


CLOSE PRISONS
Gov. Quinn’s decision to close Dwight and Tamms is the one that makes sense on fiscal, safety and human rights grounds.

Dwight is an aging prison, large parts of which are not useable without millions of dollars of repairs – new roofs are needed, the water is unfit to drink, and the facility is in general disrepair. Repairing Dwight to make it functional takes money the state does not have. Dwight isn’t worth the cost of repair.

Tamms has been a sinkhole for taxpayer funds since it opened. During the 14 years since then, there has been no evidence-based proof that Tamms has improved the safety of the public, or of the prison system. Instead, Tamms now houses dozens of men who suffer from serious mental illness. Left alone in their cells 24 hours a day, with no medical treatment, they deteriorate. Many have engaged in severe self-mutilation, and other dissociative behavior which cries out for medical intervention – not punitive isolation.

From illinostimes.com

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