Letters to the Editor 3/6/14
Lauren P. Duncan’s takeout story, “Cash helps Rauner climb” (Feb. 27), ought to be required reading for everybody who votes in this month’s Republican primary, probably the November election too. It’s a balanced, objective look at a candidate whose unlimited cash for 30-second negative television ads and refusal to answer reporters’ legitimate questions have left the public with more opinions than hard information about the man.
Might I suggest a follow-up story? Check out Rauner’s role as board chairman of the Academy of Communications and Technology in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood from 2008 to 2012. According to published reports, he fired the teachers, closed the school and turned it over to a controversial out-of-state charter school corporation that destroyed the curriculum and reopened it as a highly regimented elementary school.
When Rauner promises to “shake up Springfield,” a story about his highhanded, arrogant management style at ACT could give a better idea of just how he might go about it.
Mr. Rushton could have included other Lanphier facts in his article on Coach Blake Turner (“Coach has a past,” Feb. 27). Several years ago, Lanphier, along with Springfield’s Southeast, was ranked in the bottom 10 percent of the state academically. Lanphier also had more students arrested on campus last year than all other high schools in Sangamon County combined. Mr. Turner is not the only convicted criminal to be associated with the Lions.
Like they used to say about the University of Oklahoma (football), “Maybe someday Lanphier will have a school the basketball team can be proud of.” This doesn’t even address the probity of spending so much money on so few students at a time when physical education instructors are being furloughed and student obesity and diabetes rates have reached an all-time high.
Darryl E. Fox
BAN OLYMPIC BOXING
With Super Bowl XLVIII over, people still debate football-related head injuries and brain damage. Recently, President Obama weighed in on the issue, saying, “If I had a son, I would not let him play pro football.” Increasing public awareness of harmful sports, particularly among young athletes, is both highly desirable and commendable. Yet, it seems that we are eerily silent about boxing which is considered by far the worst villain and culprit of all the contact-heavy sports. Pugilistica Dementia (boxer’s dementia) best describes savage boxing for what it is. In light of indisputable medical evidence, it is indeed a sad commentary on the International Olympic Committee that the 2012 Summer London Olympics for the first time ever allowed women boxers (286 of them) to compete in the events in the name of gender equality, thus the London Olympics being called otherwise “women’s Olympics.”
To quote Dr. John Hardy, a leading neuroscientist and molecular biologist at London Institute of Neurology: “We should not get our fun out of watching people inflict brain damage on each other and having women in a boxing ring is horrible – not because women should not compete alongside men in sports, but because women boxing means more people inflicting more damage on more brains.” Hence, it is about time that IOC took some bold action to ban boxing altogether from the upcoming 2016 Olympics.
Chansoo Kim, M.D.