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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 09:19 am

Letters to the Editor 1/10/13

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ROUND UP FOR HOMELESS
Before paying your City Water, Light and Power bill this month, please look for the Round Up insert with your bill. By signing up, you can join other residents who help the homeless by giving just a few cents a month. These inserts only arrive in our bills two months a year.

 If you fill out the insert and send it back with your January bill payment, your future CWLP bills will be rounded up to the next dollar, with the additional cents going to a fund to help the homeless. You’ll contribute 1 to 99 cents a month, 50 cents on average. You can also opt to add a specific amount, like $1 or $5. This is good if you’re on the level payment plan and pay an averaged equal amount each month. You can also do both. Fifty cents a month doesn’t seem like much, but multiplied by 65,000 CWLP customers or even by a fifth or a tenth of them, and pretty soon you’re talking big money.

 The Round Up program is already helping the Salvation Army keep the overflow shelter open, and Mirror, Inc. provide meals to homeless families with children. This crucial help is being provided because of the many generous CWLP customers who already round up every month. Please join them so we can do a lot more! Watch for the Round Up insert in your January CWLP bill; fill it out and send it in with your bill payment, or sign up online. At www.cwlp.com go to the lower left and click on Round Up To End Homelessness...a painless way to help our homeless brothers and sisters when they need our help the most, in these cold winter months.

 Sam Cahnman
Alderman, Ward 5
Springfield



SHIMKUS REFLECTS
To my former constituents: I took my first oath of office as your congressman on Jan. 3, 1997, and since then it has been my absolute privilege to be your representative. I have never taken the responsibility of this office lightly.

Unfortunately, redistricting has once again changed the size and shape of the congressional district I represent. First I represented you as part of the 20th District, which Sen. Durbin held before me. Then beginning in 2003 I represented the 19th District, which took me to parts of deep southern Illinois.

On Jan. 3, 2013, I began representing the 15th District, which now goes from my hometown of Collinsville east along Interstate 70 to Effingham, then both north (to Danville) and south (to Metropolis).

Christian, Greene, Jersey, Montgomery and Sangamon counties have been special to me. I have held office hours numerous times at the courthouse in Carrollton, the courthouse in Taylorville and Litchfield City Hall. I have visited local schools, hospitals and media outlets. I have witnessed the growth in Jerseyville and Springfield over the years.

While I am saddened to not have this area in the future, I know that you will be well represented by Rodney Davis. I have known Rodney for 20 years, including having him as an employee for most of the last 16 years. He will undoubtedly visit often and provide excellent constituent service.

I have tried to reflect the values of the district – which is mainly a rural, conservative area – through my votes to the best of my ability. I cannot thank the people of Illinois enough for sticking with me over the years.

Thank you for allowing me opportunity to both serve and be of service.

Congressman John Shimkus
Collinsville



911 TAPE LOW BLOW
I strongly object to the Illinois Times news report by Bruce Rushton (“Tied up at the moment,” Jan. 3) which included a priest’s 911 call. I saw a version of the story on the front page of The Gawker website. There are many embarrassing situations that necessitate calls to 911 or visits to an emergency room. But how low and tawdry to expose an emergency 911 call for the supposed entertainment of your readers? Did the editors consider whether this was in good taste before making this 911 tape available to the public? Were you happy for the publicity the Illinois Times gained when this tape went viral on the Internet? It ruins your reputation as a decent newspaper for me. But maybe I had that wrong to begin with.

Mary Jo Erickson
Champaign

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