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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005 02:00 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

Fletcher Farrar’s recent commentary is an example of why Enos Park continues to improve [“Landlord journal,” Dec. 15]. His rental houses are refurbished into clean, well-tended homes. He carefully screens the tenants, as he did his renter Ron, and he gives folks a chance. He also takes the next step as a responsible landlord by holding people accountable for their actions and keeping them from being a nuisance to the neighborhood. Would that every property owner were as involved as Farrar! Farrar is mentioned several times in At Home in the Park: Loving a Neighborhood Back to Life because he’s the sort of resident, investor. and landlord who has made such a difference in Enos Park’s fortunes. I was delighted to find that my book was chosen by Corrine Frisch as a holiday-gift pick for “Hometown talent under the tree” [Dec. 15]. Believe me, it was an early Christmas present to open Illinois Times and find myself compared to Garrison Keillor! (Actually, I was aiming for two parts Erma Bombeck, one part Ada Louise Huxtable, but I’m more than happy with Keillor.) At Home in the Park dwells on what’s right about Springfield without glossing over the fact that there are very real challenges. However, having to toss out a rowdy tenant and cope with nearly $1,000 worth of damage can happen anywhere. I remain grateful that Farrar chose Enos Park as the place to take his own stand for what’s best in humanity. Lola L. Lucas Springfield

Roland Klose makes his argument on the impeachment of President George W. Bush from the perspective of someone who did not want him in the Oval Office in the first place [“Commentary,” Dec. 22]. He considers only the facts that are convenient to his argument and ignores those that would buttress the views of his opponents. For example, when he discusses the fact that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to monitor the private communications of American citizens, he discusses how this happened under both the Nixon and Johnson administrations but completely ignores the fact that both Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ordered similar wiretaps and spying on citizens, such as that in the Aldrich Ames case under Clinton. By declaring that Bush ordered spying on American citizens in this current case, he ignores the fact that members of Congress — Democrat and Republican — were kept abreast of the monitoring as it occurred. Another such example of ignoring the facts is Klose’s claim that President Bush pushed us into the war in Iraq, apparently (according to Mr. Klose) on the strength of his own will alone. Klose chooses in this case not to even mention Clinton’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, let alone all of the statements by various members of Congress, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Did Bush push us into war? Or was Bush guided by the same intelligence that guided those before him? Bush was in charge at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Critics now argue that he should have done something to prevent those attacks. By using all of the weapons legally at his disposal as commander in chief during a time of war, he is trying to prevent any future attacks. If something else of the magnitude of 9/11 occurs, Mr. Klose will be amongst the first in line to blame Bush once again. As president, George W. Bush has an obligation — an oath — to protect and defend this country, and I believe — based on the facts — that he is doing just that. By choosing only the facts that support his biased argument while intentionally or ignorantly ignoring counter-facts, Klose does more damage to his own side of the argument than if he had simply taken a more balanced view. His argument is thus completely null and void. Keith Housewright St. Jacob

Bravo to Roland Klose for being willing to openly raise the issue of impeachment of George W. Bush! It was about 10 years ago that Congress began impeachment proceedings against a sitting president for the acts of engaging in and lying about sexual indiscretions in the White House. Today we have a president who, based on lies and incompetence, has engaged in a preemptive war to the benefit of his closest business friends, is robbing from the poor to give to the rich, and is wantonly abusing the civil rights and liberties of the American population. When looked at from that perspective, which individual should be impeached? Maybe the call for impeachment in Klose’s column is not as unrealistic as first appears. Larry Golden Springfield

I want to thank you for your call to impeach Bush. Every time he steps over the line, I wonder, “Will Americans finally be outraged this time?” Why has America become so complacent about being lied to by our president? Jennifer Nahlik St. Louis

I am writing to you because I have read the article about Michael Redpath [Bruce Rushton, “Better than nothing,” Dec. 22]. I have never been so angry at our so-called justice system and how impotent it really is in that he was sentenced to just three years in prison for all he had done. I think that if he comes up for the end of his sentence, the court system should bring him up on charges for the other crimes and give him a life sentence without the possibility of getting out. That he was allowed to do the things he has done is a black eye for every law-enforcement officer in the state. John Rector Springfield

For Miss Chestnut, the American Chestnut at the corner of Cherry and Chatham roads, life came to a violent end as she was struck down by a
It is thought she was the last of her family in Springfield and, perhaps, for many miles around. She had lived a long life. Her exact age was unknown, but it is believed that she was born at the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th. Her longtime caretakers, the Bale sisters, who recently died in their late nineties, said that she was there when their parents built their home. Early in her life she saw most of her family die of chestnut blight, but her good and rare genes helped her to survive. Throughout her life she saw many changes. Born in the woods, she became a part of the front yard of a home on a dirt road. The road changed to gravel, and bridges were built to the east of her. She saw her woods become the yards of homes. Within her view were constructed churches and schools. Many days she watched as children played in the schoolyard behind her home. The road changed to concrete both in front and to the west of her home. One spring she awoke to find a stop light located on her corner. She watched as the mode of transportation changed from walking to bicycles, horses, and automobiles. She watched as the houses built around her were lighted and powered by electricity. Each year she quietly produced a crop of chestnuts. She saw the time arrive when her human neighbors lost their knowledge of how to prepare them, but the squirrel population rejoiced with her each fall as her crop ripened. Miss Chestnut has no family surviving her. Among her surviving friends are Taco Oak, many weeping willows, and several birches, which have shed their bark in sorrow. Prayers are asked for her repose as she goes to meet her departed family and prepare a way for her friends to follow. No services or visitation will be held. Her remains may be viewed from the street. Wendell Walch Springfield

Creation. Evolution. No problem. There is no need for conflict. Both occurred, but not by chance. Life and the evolutionary process had to be created to have a beginning and to develop. Believing that life and form could result from time, chance, and the properties of matter is like believing that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747. R.W. Becker Springfield
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