Home / Articles / Commentary / Letters to the Editor / Letters to the editor
Print this Article
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 02:21 am

Letters to the editor

In and around Springfield

Letters policy

We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length and clarity.

Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail: editor@illinoistimes.com

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your article “Predator” is splendid [Bruce Rushton, Dec. 8]. To bring to light the truth of a sexual predator is, in my opinion, courageous and necessary. If our system can’t, or won’t, put dangerous sexual predators away then publishing their faces and crimes and alerting the public is the next best thing. I applaud you. Donna C. Boggs Springfield

I wanted to thank Fletcher Farrar for his article on the location of the Salvation Army project [“Let’s find a better place for the Salvation Army,” Dec. 1]. He has raised issues that need to be addressed. As an architect and lifelong resident of Springfield, my firm had the opportunity to interview for the project. During that process, we saw the survey that recommended that the facility be constructed within a mile of their current location. How they ended up out on Walnut Street (1400 J. David Jones Parkway) is only a question that can be answered by the Salvation Army and their architect, but I have not heard any compelling reason that would justify that decision. I see firsthand the homeless situation in and around my office, and it has never been standing in line at the bus stop. The most recent suggestion of spinning off the homeless shelter seems to be no more than a proposal to “cutting the baby in two.” How long will it take for the consolidation to occur due to the financial constraints of operating at two locations? While rejection to downzone the property in question is a potential lawsuit waiting to happen, it should be the responsibility of the city and its residents to hold the Salvation Army and its board accountable for the long-term impact their current decisions will have on our city’s future development. The project will be a benefit only if the owner’s criteria meet the city’s needs. William L. Prather, A.I.A. Prather Tucker Associates Inc. Springfield

Thanks for helping make this year’s Illinois History Symposium a success. Though the weather was chilly and our venues spread out, we established new records for attendance and served several new populations. Our programs for schools in Jacksonville and Springfield were attended by more than 250 middle- and high-school students. Our second annual video history fair on Nov. 30 was attended by more than 200. Our symposium banquet drew 130 guests and our symposium breakfast more than 80; both were sellouts. Our first Civil War Round Table program in many years drew more than 60 people to the Illinois State Military Museum on Friday evening.  The Thursday and Friday day sessions drew good numbers despite the cold. Our overall registration, including walk-ins, was around 225. On behalf of the staff and volunteers at the lllinois State Historical Society, I wish you a very safe and happy December. William Furry Executive Director Illinois State Historical Society Springfield

We seniors hope our government finds a better way to reduce its obligation to seniors than by eliminating seniors! Donald E. Palmer Springfield

I am strongly urging U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Barack Obama to conduct themselves with integrity when Judge Samuel Alito’s confirmation hearings begin. If they have legitimate reason to vote against Judge Alito, we’ll be waiting to hear their reasons. If there are no legitimate reasons, then confirm him. But please, no filibuster! Stephanie Raquel Naperville

Is this all there is? This question posed, silently, to whomever it is an individual talks or prays to about personal problems or concerns is both sad and reflective of our times. It is sad because it reveals a feeling of emptiness in the life of the individual, that something is missing. Life is not complete. Is this all there is? Could I have done more with my life? Should I have taken a different path? Have I always responded to the needs of others? Is there more I can do now? What? How? It is reflective of today’s world of self-centered and immediate gratification. One wonders if more individuals are not experiencing this nagging question “Is this all there is? The question is especially meaningful at this time of the year. Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. His message to mankind was love your neighbor as yourself. This admonition is simple, yet so important. Feed the hungry. Give drink to the thirsty. Clothe the naked. Shelter the homeless. Visit the sick. Bury the dead. 
Perform these acts of charity, and there will no need to ask, “Is this all there is?” Life will be full and complete. Christmas is a holy day for Christians. Though Christ’s birthday is observed with religious services, there are also, during this time, many acts of charity. Those in need are not forgotten. Sadly, most of the acts of charity
performed during Christmas end after Dec. 25. If only Christ’s message of love would be practiced every day of everyone’s life. Perhaps if we Americans thought of one another more often, our beloved country would once again be America the beautiful.
John D. Kolaz Springfield

I read with interest your article about smoking [R.L. Nave, “Up in smoke,” Dec. 1]. I am a very-high-risk asthma victim. I have COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and chronic bronchitis. I resent the fact I cannot go anywhere where there is smoke. Actually, it’s discrimination no matter which way you look at it. I know who some of the arm-twisters are! I won’t name them: Just read my last name. Smoking is filthy and also disgusting. William M. Kelty Springfield

The prevailing attitude among some smokers as reported: “I like to smoke. I know it’s not good for me. It’s a personal choice.” How could you argue with this? The anti-paternalistic fervor expressed by these smokers is based on false assumptions. The false assumption is that people usually make choices that are in their best interest, they do a good job making choices — and far better than what third parties could do for them. There is no question that most adults in most situations make better choices for themselves than others would make for them, and some public policies do more harm than good. However, a great deal of evidence suggests that in some contexts people make errors that lead them not to behave in their own best interests. Examples range from people borrowing too heavily, teenagers becoming smokers against their long-run interests, and so on. So, it is hard to take someone seriously who states that their addiction is an exercise of free choice. Vast empirical evidence support the fact that people tend to exhibit present-biased preferences — they value immediate consumption much more than future consumption in a way that they themselves disapprove of at every other moment in their life. In other words, people have self-control problems. Most who have given in to temptation will recognize the pattern. When consumption is distant, there is a preference for virtue (healthy diet or saving more). When consumption is imminent, however, preferences reverse in the direction of temptation with a feeling of disappointment. Such inconsistency in human behavior presents a challenge to the principle of consumer sovereignty, according to which consumers are the best judges of what is in their interests and will take it if given a free choice. For example, consider the fact that 65 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. Given the adverse effects obesity has on health, it is hard to claim that Americans are making ideal diet choices. It is hard to take someone seriously who states that his or her addiction is an exercise of free choice. The literature on self-control illustrates the fact that satisfaction will not always be best achieved by allowing consumers to choose what they want when they want it. Sometimes people may be made happiest by being given a restricted choice set or by having their choices “guided in the right direction. The policy to ban smoking is a good idea and will help some quit smoking because of it. Shahram Heshmat Department of Public Health University of Illinois at Springfield
Log in to use your Facebook account with

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on IllinoisTimes


  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed