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Thursday, July 17, 2014 12:01 am

Letters to the Editor 7/17/14


Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and President Barack Obama exchange greetings at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
PHOTO BY ALEX GARCIA/MCT

 

OBAMA, DURBIN DOING THEIR JOB
A recent letter published in the State Journal-Register criticized President Obama and Senator Dick Durbin on immigration reform. The writer echoed the unrelenting chorus of politically charged complaints unleashed whenever the president and reasonable members of Congress try to actually govern. The writer simplistically connected the current surge of Central American children fleeing violence at home with recent executive-level changes to U.S. immigration policies.

Numerous facts suggest this recent so-called immigration crisis is, in fact, a humanitarian crisis with little or no connection to the policy changes in question. What does seem to correlate to the U.S., however, is that the uptick in murder, rape and other violence in these countries is fueled by America’s insatiable drug demand.

Senator Durbin has championed immigration reform his entire career. Over a year ago, he and seven colleagues, three Democrats and four Republicans, including Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, negotiated the “Gang of Eight” legislation that passed the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan 68-32 vote. Business and labor organizations, religious leaders and law-enforcement groups supported the bill.

The majority of Americans – including conservatives – are in favor of immigration reform. I am glad that President Obama, Sen. Dick Durbin and others continue to seek solutions to this and other pressing issues. If the U.S. House of Representative continues to obstruct broadly negotiated legislation and reject any form of compromise on immigration reform, then I applaud President Obama for taking measured action within the scope of his legal executive powers.

Sheila Stocks-Smith
Springfield



SOLAR PANELS FOR THE NEEDY
The letter to the editor “Taxing Carbon” (June 26), submitted by Lynn Goldfarb, reminds me of meeting someone on the street begging for money or maybe a cigarette. The letter was in response to the article by Patrick Yeagle, “The future of power” (June 12). At least Yeagle’s article is accurate. Electricity will become more expensive.

I chuckle because all suggested solutions require a new or additional tax. Regardless if it’s called “revenue-neutral” or “carbon,” the end result of any tax is it will come out of our pockets, at some point!

This will upset Climate Change believers but base power plants (like CWLP) are not going away anytime soon (perhaps never) and new, future plants will need to be to be built. It doesn’t matter what the fuel is (coal, natural gas or nuclear), power plants that provide electricity on demand are necessary. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun isn’t available 24 hours a day.

Investing our tax dollars in solar or wind farms is a waste of money. David Kraft in Yeagle’s article says it correctly, we need a “distributed power system.” That means solar panels on roofs or in backyards. Let’s offset the need for these power plants to generate more, by generating electricity for ourselves.

Instead of a new tax, reallocate the subsidies given to oil, natural gas, wind-solar farms and create a program to purchase and install solar panels on people’s homes. The panels should be installed first on homes where the owner can’t afford the current power bill and receives energy assistance payments now. Create the distributed power system using our existing tax dollars.

Unfortunately, Lynn, our legislators prefer to make us pay twice – Once in the form of a tax and as higher usage rates.

Jeff Davis
Dawson



PASFIELD HOUSE GENEROSITY
Those of us who operate a not-for-profit organization know how vital it is to have the support of local firms and businesses. Every once in awhile this support is so selfless that it amazes us, as was the case recently with Tony Leone, owner of the beautiful historic Pasfield House Inn, who hosted a Fourth of July party for WSEC/PBS Springfield.

Mr. Leone provided his Inn, with its wonderful veranda setting, and the food service for more than a hundred of our viewers. On that perfect Fourth of July evening we had the opportunity to really meet and get to know some of our most enthusiastic viewers. It was a terrific exchange of information and ideas in a perfect setting. The evening was nicely capped off by a view of the downtown fireworks over the Capitol dome.

I know Tony Leone doesn’t expect recognition for his generosity, but the truth should be known. He went to great effort and sacrifice to help his public television station and it will never be forgotten here.

Dr. Jerold Gruebel, president and CEO Network Knowledge WSEC/PBS Springfield

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