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Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 03:27 pm

Letters to the Editor 8/29/13

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The intersection of Chatham Road at Cherry Road southbound has no left turn lane onto Cherry, only a green arrow.
PHOTO BY ANITA STIENSTRA

ONE LEFT TURN DESERVES ANOTHER
A letter writer recently (“Lawrence Road Blocks,” Tyre W. Rees, Aug. 22) noted the need for left turn lanes on Lawrence at its intersections with both Walnut and MacArthur. I agree and would like to nominate another location where left turn lanes are needed, for virtually the same reason.

Most of the signalized intersections on Chatham Road have left turn lanes for left turning traffic. An exception is Cherry Road. The absence of left turn lanes at this location, especially for southbound traffic, causes congestion and erratic lane changes.

Just one southbound vehicle unable to turn left (east) onto Cherry Road, because of heavy northbound traffic, virtually reduces southbound Chatham Road at this point to one lane. Hazardous maneuvers often occur as drivers, stuck in the inside lane, try to get to the outside lane in order to beat the light.

Left turn lanes could be added by reducing the widths of existing lanes via striping, at relatively little cost. This is what has been done previously at other intersections along Chatham Road.

I believe that any downside of reduced lane widths here, to enable left turn lanes, would be greatly offset by a positive impact on safety, as well as improving traffic flow on Chatham Road. At the same time, such striping should have no adverse impact on Cherry Road, since the change would affect only through Chatham Road traffic.

Left turn lanes need to be added to Chatham Road at this intersection, at least for southbound traffic.

Dick McLane
Springfield



CLEAR PATH TO CITIZENSHIP
Local congressmen Aaron Schock and Rodney Davis should vote to pass Senate Bill 744, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill currently under consideration in the House of Representatives. From an economic standpoint, it makes perfect sense to offer a path to citizenship to those undocumented persons in the U.S. Millions of undocumented immigrants are already working in this country and are being exploited by unscrupulous employers trying to profit from their difficult situation. Allowing a pathway to citizenship would treat those workers with the respect their hard work deserves and will allow them, through the taxes they will begin to pay as a result of this bill, to contribute in a more meaningful way to this country they came to in order to improve their lives.

Our borders should be made more secure, as the bill provides for, but we should not spend time and money punishing immigrants who were brought here as children and know no other country as home. The current immigration system creates more problems than it solves and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will go a long way toward making it a fairer system for everyone.

Karl Schultz
Springfield



MCPARTLAND’S OTHER LEGACY
Most people know that “Piano Jazz” host Marian McPartland was an incredibly gifted pianist, but not everyone knows that this lovely, gracious lady was also a great friend to animals. Ms. McPartland, who passed away on Aug. 20, was a member of PETA for more than 20 years.

I had the pleasure of speaking with her more than once, and she told me about how, years ago, after she learned about the cruelty of the fur industry, she sold her mink coat and fur stole and gave the money to an animal shelter. She became incensed about animal experimentation after reading about it in the newspaper and was an ardent supporter of laws giving students the right to choose alternatives to dissecting animals.

Ms. McPartland was also passionate about protecting wildlife and appalled that animals continue to be torn from their families and natural habitats and sentenced to lifelong imprisonment in zoos. She wrote countless letters in response to PETA action alerts, pleading for compassion and justice.

As a musician myself, I was blown away by Marian McPartland’s talent and improvisational ability. But her legacy of kindness is just as impressive.

Liesel Wolff, PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.

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