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Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:11 am

Letters to the Editor 6/20/13


The Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission is an independent and nonpartisan group of planners mapping out the future for Springfield and Sangamon County.

Many thanks to IT for your kind article of June 13 about the Regional Planning Commission, its staff and our work (“Planning a better Springfield”). Particular thanks to Pat Yeagle, who was able to tell the story of who we are, what we do and why we do it far better than I ever could.

Upon reflection, I can’t help but think that the story he tells would be far different absent the small group of dedicated, energetic and creative people who work together behind the door of room 212 in the county building. The people who make up the planning commission’s staff are often unknown to the public, but they work each day to offer the jurisdictions we serve the very best research, analysis, planning and advice we can. And it would also be different absent local leaders who allow us to do that. This shouldn’t be forgotten, because without the support of our local officials many of the projects that the story highlights would never have been requested, let alone done.

I continue to remember the mantra that Sister Mary Doris drummed into the heads of an obstinate bunch of fifth-graders, including myself: “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.” That is what all of us here at the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission desire the results of our work to be for the people we serve. Again, thank you IT.

Norm Sims, executive director
Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission


We have read with great interest and professional curiosity the many installments penned by Bruce Rushton of the Harris matter stemming from the horrific murders of the Gee family. Rushton’s reporting, and more importantly, his analysis, was spot on – accurate, riveting and incisive. The paper is to be commended for encouraging such a level of journalism. Its coverage was by far the best of that trial of any media which we read or heard.

Jon Gray Noll

Add a fifth lane to Lawrence Avenue at both MacArthur and Walnut and bring the cartoonish drivers even closer to homes lining the street? What a nutty idea! Speeding is a major factor in many of the collisions. The entire situation is a product of bad drivers, many texting or on a cellphone, many without valid licenses or insurance. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the design of the roads, intersections and traffic control devices. No amount of redesign will impact this problem in any way. I live right there and have been witness to many of the accidents over the years. The plans to widen Lawrence need to be returned to the trash can and a secure lid put in place this time so as to prevent this useless project from going forward and severely damaging the values of the nearby homes along these streets. Instead, the city would be better served to simply tighten enforcement at these problem locations (and spend the money instead fixing rotten sewers that underlie these intersections).

Thomas J. Immel


I sympathize with fathers. (“Fatherless Day,” Jacqueline Muhammad, June 13.) My son is also fatherless on Fathers Day. It is heartbreaking for him to watch birthdays and holidays pass without the children. His wife left him and moved more than 1,000 miles away. He followed to be closer to the children. She then moved even farther away. He returned to Illinois. She was able to retain a free attorney and get full custody of the children. Fathers must pay to retain an attorney in another state for visitation, etc. It is extremely difficult. He pays child support every month and would love to be more a part of the children’s lives, but when you are 15 hours away you can’t go to a school play or a baseball game, let alone visit for a weekend. I believe a lot of fathers get the shaft and I feel sorry for them. I am praying when the kids are adults they will decide to spend more time with their father. I’ve heard children can end up upset with their mother for keeping them away from their father and for lies told. Unfortunately, my son will have missed all the young years.

Name withheld by request

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