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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 12:01 am

Letters to the Editor 11/28/13

Artist’s rendering of the Kidzeum, to occupy now-empty buildings on Adams Street in downtown Springfield.



A column on Springfield’s coming Kidzeum (“Having fun saving the world,” James Krohe Jr., Nov. 7) challenged the premise that play museums are a learning experience.

Sure, kids do a lot of playing while at the Play Museum, but docents (mostly volunteers) strive to point out to children, for example, digging in the fossil pit that this is what archaeologists do. When kids look at an object such as human hair in the easy-to-operate microscope, right away they see interesting detail not evident to the naked eye without the need for accompanying adults to point that out to them.

The column asked where was the imagination in doing things like that? Perhaps the use of their imagination in such a way at the museum is a bit less than if they were home in an empty room pretending to be digging for fossils. But, are today’s kids at home really going to do that, with all the more glamorous options such as video games awaiting them?

There are many studies showing that play is an important part of a child’s development. The column took issue with the notion that all learning must be fun. No such notion is apparent in these play museums. But if, now and then, learning can be fun, what is wrong with that?

In the case of the Play Museum red jeep, when asked where they are going, kids are as likely to say to visit grandma as saying they are going on a jungle expedition. And that’s OK.

I encourage any IT readers who have not yet visited the Play Museum, to do so and form your own opinions. Likewise, when the Kidzeum opens, do the same there.

Dick McLane


This is in regard to your regular first-page columnist James Krohe Jr. He used to be quite witty and humorous in his wry observations on society. Bet now, he must be going through a particularly difficult midlife crisis. It seems lately his tone has degenerated into caustic, sarcastic, cynical comments. How sad as he is now quite critical of many of our local private and community organizations. But of course, many of us readers would agree with him on the poor state of affairs in our local and state government. Hope you’ll decide to print this letter as there may be many who feel the same way.

Janet Roth-Shaw


The cartoon published in your Nov. 21 edition of Illinois Times depicted Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki in a very offensive manner. It was demeaning and unworthy of a newspaper wanting to influence public opinion in a professional way. Please tell me you were away and some very ignorant and misguided journalism “wannabes” opened poison instead of ink cartridges. They, obviously, did not attend the Bishop’s Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage last Wednesday, so, for their benefit … and yours, I’m including a link to a full copy of the homily (dio.org).

Bishop Paprocki said: “Our prayer service today and my words are not meant to demonize anyone, but are intended to call attention to the diabolical influences of the devil that have penetrated our culture, both in the state and in the Church. … We must also affirm the teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexual persons ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.’”

Paula Atwood

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