Letters to the Editor 7/11/13
QESTIONS FOR KROHE
The cheap shots at local business men and women were in poor taste, but that aside, James Krohe’s column in Illinois Times July 4 edition (“Qestions about Jefferson Crossing”)
completely misses the point and demonstrates an astonishing lack of understanding of the project. However, what is lost on him was vividly depicted in the photo by David Hine. Mr. Hine’s photo illuminates the blight and unseemly property that is Jefferson Crossing. Notwithstanding the recent improvement after removal of an even more blighted Jefferson Mall building.
Would Mr. Krohe prefer remnants of the Jefferson Mall slab and decaying signage, adjacent to a flood plain/contaminated landfill which has sat decrepitly for decades, continue to exist as it is? Would a redeveloped site, featuring aesthetic landscaped improvements along with viable worthy commercial enterprises, be less appealing than what is currently there?
Mr. Krohe’s trite suggestion the solution “best be done by remediating the old mall site not building something bigger atop it” curiously and conveniently fails to mention how, or who, would pay for this cost. His notion is disingenuous at best and vacuous at worst.
One thing we know for certain, surrounding neighborhoods welcome not only the more visually appealing landscape lines of sight and infrastructure improvements, but a development that features viable commercial entities that will improve their quality of life and enhance property values. This is without mentioning the temporary and permanent employment that will follow.
Whether the project will succeed or not, remains to be seen, but a commendable effort is underway to improve and bring the property to a higher and best use. And Mr. Krohe, as usual, rather than credit those risk-takers and city staff working to improve the area, offers nothing of substance.
Mike Farmer, Paul O’Shea
Office of Planning and Economic Development
City of Springfield
I recently read with interest an article concerning the TIF program being proposed to develop the Veterans Parkway and Jefferson area project. The part that most caught my attention was the portion that read, “The developer plans to dig up thousands of cubic yards of dirt from on part of the site, which will create a giant hole that will be turned into a fishing lake and donated to the Springfield Park District.”
Let me point out for those who are not aware, the Springfield Park District already has more than enough giant holes that they have no monies to maintain, a list of just a few of those would include Eisenhower Pool, recently shut down for the summer, Chamberlain Park in great disrepair, Robin Roberts Stadium which is in need of extensive updating including new lighting and light standards and the Henson Robinson Zoo which too is in need of great amounts of repairs.
I am totally in favor and support of the developers and applaud them on this venture, I wish them nothing but profits ... however; the last thing the Springfield Park District needs is yet another “giant hole” that someone wants to “donate” to them ….
HELP WITH TEEN ISSUES
I recently found a great local Internet resource in regards to teen relationships, communication skills and sexuality. www.sangamonhelp.org is for everyone, including parents, teachers and students. It is about the county’s new HELP (Health Education and Life Skills Partnership) program which provides great information on sex education topics from a wide variety of different sources. We all must remember that sex education isn’t just a subject taught in school; parents are also an important resource, and the website offers different ideas to get this uncomfortable conversation started. Even our state legislature is looking to enhance the education children receive by passing a comprehensive sex education bill. The bill now sits on our Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. It is time to be proactive instead of reactive. This website is a great place to start.
LONE RANGER APPLAUSE
For those who have criticized and downplayed The Lone Ranger film, please consider this: In The Lone Ranger, Disney gives an accurate and verifiably correct depiction of the 19th century American West during the building of the railroads, the immense greedy wealth created by silver and gold mines, annihilation of the American Indian and bonded labor of Chinese.
As to the Texas Rangers, that too is verifiable American history. Johnny Depp is a genius character actor perhaps even beyond the range of his mentor and encourager, the late Marlon Brando. Though a few of his modern verbiage, such as, “fatigued” or “did my name come up?” were out of place for a 19th century Comanche Indian, his characterization was not only correct but a tribute to his mentor’s statement for Indian rights during the
1973 Oscars ceremony. (Brando received an Oscar for his portrayal in the Godfather but declined instead using the time slot to voice the rights of American Indians).
As to the Lone Ranger himself; this screen actor did not carry the discernment, strength nor charismatic wisdom of a Clayton Moore (television) or Brace Beemer (radio). However, the story is being told by Tonto, and Depp is in the lead in this movie version, not the Lone Ranger character.
It is an honest and accurate a storyline as has been presented on the modern screen of the 21st century and well worth the price of admission. Disney deserves credit for not only providing an education for a new, younger generation, but an overlay of humor and tragedy on a history that is undeniably all-American.