SUPPORT CIVIC ORCHESTRA
On Saturday, Feb. 11, my wife and I attended the Sangamon Valley Civic Orchestra concert at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.
As a longtime observer and participant in the central Illinois music scene, I can say with certainty that this group has achieved a rightful place as a creative outlet for musicians of amateur and professional standing. No one receives a dime for their services, but all play their hearts out as if they were all under long-term contracts. They are well-dressed and well-rehearsed. Speaking with some of the veteran members of the group afterward, they all said they enjoyed themselves and believed it was worth the effort. They have a high regard for Matthew Sheppard, another in a series of doctoral candidates from the University of Illinois college of music. They realize that he most likely will not make a career out of the SVCO, but they are glad to have him while they can.
The SVCO is a civic group drawn from musicians in an undefined area, and we hope it remains that way, for if musicians come from too far away, the orchestra will cease being a central Illinois asset and become just another orchestra competing for the public’s dollars.
Listening to some of the outlandish (seemingly daily) statements of our recently elected president and some of his crew is reminiscent of the guys who, in the old days, peddled snake oils, elixirs and cure-alls from the back of a wagon, duping anybody gullible enough to buy the phony stuff. He comes across as just a modern-day charlatan with a much bigger wagon and (unfortunately) a much bigger audience.
A SECOND CHOICE
Republicans, please give us a second choice for governor in the next primary. Is the Illinois Republican party so easily bought? Is there no one who loves the state of Illinois and its tax-paying citizens?
It has been three years with no progress. Give us someone who will provide leadership by example. We have a failed union contract because the governor wants to reduce their pay. Yet people hired in the administration are paid more than the previous person.
The governor cannot find $3 million to pay the state’s past-due electric bills. Yet he can find $8 billion to give to an electric corporation threatening to leave Illinois. Not because they are losing money, but because they aren’t meeting their desired profit level.
The Illinois Lottery lost $5 million, and we had to pay the management firm $6 million to go away. This makes it clear that the problem is not collecting taxes but rather where the money is going.
What is next? A poll tax, because voters must have mental health issues to expect elected officials to reduce taxes and balance the budget.
PROTEST THE IMPASSE
I mostly stay away from reading the news because it’s just so depressing, especially here in Illinois. But I do manage to stay fairly up-to-date as a citizen and recent retiree of Illinois.
It seems people are protesting and marching more these days than in recent memory, so why are we not marching on our State Capitol demanding lawmakers and the governor do their jobs? The budget impasse is costing this state millions it cannot afford. What kind of debt are we willing to leave to our children, and why? So some politician can have his way? C’mon, enough is enough! Let’s organize and let our outrage be heard.