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Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 12:01 am

Letters to the Editor 12/12/13


AND ALL THAT JAZZ

I couldn’t agree with you more on this week’s column on noise in public places. (“Foreground music,” James Krohe Jr., Dec. 5.) Being a person with some hearing loss, I find background music in restaurants particularly objectionable.

It is difficult enough to understand speech from an eating companion with the normal restaurant background noise, but the music makes it just that much worse. Actually, I find it a bit of an insult, as if the enjoyment of hearing what my companion has to say is not enough, that I have to have music too??!!

Dick McLane
Springfield



CONTINUED COVERAGE

If the president can “order” insurance companies to un-cancel and continue coverage of canceled policies, a dubious as well as duplicitous constitutional maneuver, why can’t he order the state of Illinois to continue Health Alliance coverage for thousands of current and retired state employees who are happy and satisfied with their coverage and their current doctors?

This would merely require one more executive order (his 925th) and make many people in his “home” state very happy. People in the know tell me there is an election coming up in 2014.

Bill Klein
Springfield



AIR POLLUTION

We are very disappointed that the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted Houston-based Dynegy Inc.’s request for a variance to delay its compliance with air pollution standards. Dynegy applied for this variance for five Illinois coal-fired power plants it plans to purchase from Ameren: Duck Creek in Fulton County, E.D. Edwards in Peoria County, Coffeen in Montgomery County, Newton in Jasper County and Joppa in Massac County. The Bartonville plant has been found to have violated the Clean Air Act more than 1,000 times. Dirty air emissions from this plant and the four others lead to asthma attacks, respiratory disease and early death. By allowing Dynegy to postpone complying with necessary air pollution standards, the board has chosen to place Dynegy’s profit margin over the health of the residents living near the plants. This is unacceptable.

Further, isn’t it time we moved toward energy that is cleaner and economical? A recent study by Illinois State University found that the state’s 23 largest wind farms contribute almost $30 million in local taxes. This means cleaner energy, jobs and local revenue for schools. Dynegy should invest in the future of cleaner energy rather than seeking special permission to continue polluting our air and water.

Carrie Otto
Prairie Rivers Network
Champaign, Illinois



SPEAKING FOR THE HOMELESS

Barb Olson, as a member of Homeless United for Change (HUC), was nominated and elected to the Heartland Continuum of Care’s new governance board on Nov. 14. This was a great day for HUC.

My only disappointment was that the new governance board criteria to include a homeless or someone who experienced homelessness was misused. Fifth Street Renaissance Executive Director Penny Harris claimed she met this requirement and this knocked a truly homeless representative out of the running. This was allowed by the current COC membership which is made up of the social agency directors and representatives.

This saddens my heart and shows the hate that still exists toward our homeless friends by our service providers that serve the homeless community.

Linda Gessaman, HUC executive director
Buffalo

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