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Thursday, June 13, 2013 09:33 am

Letters to the Editor 6/13/13


Chris Britt’s cartoon from the June 6 issue of Illinois Times.

Chris Britt does a great job of creating cartoons that promote discussion. I support that even when he creates a cartoon as silly as the one in the June 6 issue of Illinois Times which slams McDonald’s. I have been a health/fitness advocate for over 30 years. I would like to see more nutritious choices on fast food menus, but I do not blame McDonald’s for their offerings. They are not conspiring to create a nation of unhealthy people. They are a business trying to please their patrons in order to make a profit. I support that too.

I go through a fast food window line about twice a month. Sometimes I choose wisely (salad), and sometimes I calorie splurge and choose the high-fat offering. The point is I choose. I can also choose to skip the fast food restaurants altogether and pick a restaurant with better meals or fix a healthy meal at home. Don’t pretend we have no choice because of time, cooking skills, money or exhaustion. Don’t expect government to regulate fast food menus with laws or taxes in order to create a healthier nation – it won’t work. People choose what they like and corporate America caters to those wishes. If McDonald’s could profit from a Happy Meal of steamed broccoli, poached salmon filets and brown rice, they would.

People choose McDonald’s because they like the menu and because we are an easy button society. It’s just so much easier to hand over the cash, get the bag and avoid the shopping and prep required of a nutritious meal as well as the training of our children to actually like nutritious meals. If you want more nutritious offerings at McDonald’s, stop choosing the unhealthy options or just pass up the easy drive-thru windows. They’ll get the message.

Melanie Ostermeier

Friday, history will come alive in Decatur, not with reenactors, but with the real live descendant of Dred Scott, who played a crucial role in ending slavery by suing for his freedom all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dred Scott’s great-great-granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, will speak at the African-American Cultural and Genealogical Society Museum’s annual dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Heartland Grand Palace, 3253 N. Brush College Road, Decatur. Tickets are $50. Jackson will talk about Scott’s life and his landmark Supreme Court case.

Dred Scott is intertwined with the history of this area. His case was tried in St. Louis, where his statue was just erected last year. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 ruled, 7-2, that because Scott was of African descent, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. Thus, he remained a slave. The decision so outraged many northerners that it greatly influenced the election of President Abraham Lincoln, who pushed the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery, through Congress. For more info, go to www.african-americancultural.org or call 217-429-7458.

Sam Cahnman

Springfield should sue Chatham for defaulting on their water contract. Instead of fulfilling their obligation under contract, Chatham offered to buy their way out by paying their estimate of Springfield’s profit. Where does that concept reside in law?

If you break your lease, law supports the property owner seeking payment of remaining rent, not estimated leftover funds after maintenance and taxes. If you default on a debt, law supports the debt owner seeking collection of the full amount, not the expected leftover funds after business overhead.

Civil suits often end in negotiated settlements and this one could. Before that happens, I’m hoping a judge administers a dose of reality to Chatham. Chatham should not be allowed to create a new contract strategy, whereby one party simply walks away from their responsibility to a contract by dictating a settlement akin to leaving a small tip while stiffing the check for dinner.

John Levalley

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