Letters to the Editor 08/30/12
FITNESS HELPS LEARNING
The American Heart Association applauds Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to sign Senate Bill 3374 into law on Saturday, Aug. 25. This legislation establishes a P.E. Task Force which may play an important role in defining our children’s physical education opportunities for years to come.
While Springfield-established task forces often come and go without significant impact, we believe that this particular task force has the potential to be different. It will bring together all major education and public health stakeholders for a dialogue we’ve not had in over a decade. The task force will look at years of scientific research on the linkages between fitness and learning and will make recommendations on the future of P.E. based on its findings. P.E. advocates who are concerned about the rising tide of childhood obesity are hopeful that this will spur the adults to come to consensus on the importance of P.E. for health and learning, and will result in improvements and increases in P.E. throughout the state.
Chair, American Heart Association Illinois Advocacy Committee
GAS AND GREED
Gas prices spiked again today, as they have every 10 to 14 days recently. Would a local station owner please explain why Springfield’s price per gallon is well above the national average? Surely it is not greed.
MAKE TRAINING ACCESSIBLE
I have noticed that almost all of the local training centers are way out on the edge of town. With all of the buildings in the downtown area, which are listed for sale or lease, I wonder if anyone has dared to ask why all of the trades maintain training centers only at the outskirts?
Being an inner-city dweller who is limited to mass transit and bicycles for transportation, I must wonder why so many buildings in the central city are being left vacant, when central locations would provide much more effective access for workers from all over the city.
Why not place worker retraining activities within easy reach of so many of the people who are in need of these services?
Our governor has taken his share of criticisim lately, but deserves praise for helping Illinois children by signing the Steven Watkins Memorial Act, sponsored by Sen. John M. Sullivan, D-Rushville. [See news article, “Parents behaving badly,” p. 10.]
Passed in the wake of the tragic murder of Steven Watkins while picking up his daughter in Cass County for court-ordered visitation, this bill takes a giant step in raising the level of importance our state puts into enforcing visitation orders. Today 40 percent of children do not live with both biological parents and that number has been rising.
For years courts have suspended driver’s licenses of persons who failed to pay child support. With the enactment of SB 3283 courts now have this same tool to compel parents who violate visitation orders to comply.
Illinois Council On Responsible Fatherhood chairman Jeffery Leving has stated that both paying child support and complying with visitation orders are important, but arguably complying with visitation orders is more important. That’s because, while missed child support payments can be made up later, missed time with your child, may not. (See http://www.responsiblefatherhood.illinois.gov/.)
The importance of compliance with visitation orders is underscored by numerous studies showing that children who grow up without the nurturing of both parents are more likely to live in poverty, have emotional problems requiring counseling, commit crimes, do poorer in school, be more sexually active, and if female, get pregnant, or be a victim of rape and commit suicide.
Former legislative chairman,
Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood