Letters to the Editor 07/12/12
I have been hearing and reading about the trash issue for many years, yet nothing ever gets done [see “Garbage in, garbage out, garbage everywhere,” by Bruce Rushton, July 5]. Currently in Normal the city provides waste pickup. You can put most anything at the curb and it’s gone. However there is a debate going on there now, whether they should privatize waste pickup or keep it a city service. To my amazement, they looked at how Springfield does it. Hope they see what privatization looks like and run far, far away from the way we do it here.
Leucadia National Corp., a New York-based company, wants to put Illinois families on the hook for a $3 billion coal gasification plant in Chicago. It has already enlisted the help of politicians in Springfield, who passed a bill recently that would make Illinois residents pay for the plant and purchase its overpriced synthetic coal gas – which manages to be dirtier than both coal and gas – for decades.
This would be a huge mistake, locking Illinois into dirty fossil fuels at a time when wind power and other clean energy sources are making real progress.
The plant is also a huge environmental threat, fueling global climate change and using millions of gallons of water from the Calumet River each day.
Forcing Illinois residents to invest in a dirty industrial project that we don’t want or need would be a big mistake. Gov. Quinn should do what is right for Illinois families by vetoing this boondoggle.
As plans for development of Griffin Woods proceed, it is critical that concerned residents speak up for a plan that will preserve the most sensitive and important parts of the woods.
The plan submitted by Schnucks and their developer to the regional planning commission show the set-aside tract for a potential park is in the northeast corner of the woods, a portion that is only about 50 percent wooded. While it is good that the developer has adhered to the city plan, it is disappointing to see that a future park on the site would be half vacant lot. I hope the park district proceeds in working to make the purchase of part of the woods viable, and advocates for a part that will preserve the most important elements of the woods.
Volunteer naturalist groups could undertake a survey of the woods to determine this – like the aging of trees done by Jason Daley.
Paving over much of Griffin Woods will also exacerbate the existing problems with flooding in the area. The Griffin Woods issue should serve as a catalyst for the city to adopt better zoning and land use ordinances, to protect open space and to reduce the impact of developments, including sustainable stormwater management practices.
ILLINOIS FALLS APART
I am not shocked at how the state got here [see “Illinois falls apart: State agencies scramble to avert crises as funding vanishes,” by Patrick Yeagle, June 28].
The state legislature is the best paid in the 50 states. Most legislators have other jobs besides their part-time work at the Statehouse. There are three people who essentially make the legislative decisions. They have ignored laws that were not convenient, such as paying into the pension funds. Pet projects, premium rents that they pay for offices, top-heavy administration in state-run agencies, tax cuts for corporations, and inadequate taxes. I think that sums it up.
Unfortunately, that leaves state agencies with no choice but to cut services to the citizens of Illinois. The unfortunate thing is that as it stands we cannot seem to get rid of the members of the legislature. Chicago calls the shots and we are left with an inept Statehouse that does little for the state. I have no answers for how we can fix the state finances. It took years to get here and it will take years to get it fixed. I would think that common sense would come into play.
However, until the members of the legislature realize that they serve the citizens of Illinois rather than their own interest, the state will go belly up and drag the rest of us with it.