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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005 08:47 am

Out of the woods

2005 in the words of the people who made news in Springfield

This year, Illinois Times covered everything that mattered in Springfield, Illinois, the United States, Earth, and the Milky Way. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration — we missed some stories on the far side of the galaxy — but, at the very least, we had something interesting to say. Here, we revisit the year 2005 through the words of people who made news in our pages. All of our stories are available on our archives, at www.illinoistimes.com.
“The left has had a near-monopoly on news broadcasting for decades. I am the opposing point of view. I am the counterpoint.” — Mark Hyman, Sinclair Broadcasting vice president, spokesman, and commentator, on “The Point,” addressing critics of his conservative editorials aired on the broadcaster’s newscasts, including Springfield’s Channel 20 [Todd Spivak, “Taking aim,” Jan. 6].
“It’s a day I thought I’d never see.” — Rick Garcia, political director, Equality Now, on the passage of landmark state legislation barring discrimination against gays [Todd Spivak, “Making history,” Jan. 13].
“For a second, I was kind of feeling like ‘Where’s the hidden camera?’ I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t funny. I sat in jail for two weeks before I believed it.” — Brandon Overton, acquitted of a capital-murder charge thanks to efforts by the controversial Capital Crimes Litigation Trust Fund [Dusty Rhodes, “Dead reckoning,” Jan. 13].

“No eccentric ever thinks he’s eccentric. We all have our quirks.” — Michael Scully, whose family was responsible for saving Union Station and who proposed turning the restored clock tower at the old train station into a tribute to the quest for the Holy Grail [Todd Spivak, “Back to the future,” Jan. 20].
“It’s worse than Vietnam. It’s time to wrap it up over there. This war is getting old.” — William Yokem Jr., a Vietnam veteran speaking on the Iraq war [Fletcher Farrar, “When will Obama find his voice on Iraq?” Jan. 27].
“There’s been a gradual erosion of independently owned newspapers that has been going on for many decades. The same is true for a lot of businesses, from banks to retailers. Newspapers are no different than any other industry.” — David Bennett, executive director of the Illinois Press Association, commenting on the acquisition of Pulitzer Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Bloomington Pantagraph, by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa [Todd Spivak, “Paper chase,” Feb. 3].
“If you want to know where Dick Durbin is coming from, you have to understand his connections to Paul Douglas and Paul Simon, which, I think, taught him that you don’t need to put your finger in the wind every time an issue comes up.” — Dawn Clark Netsch, a former Illinois legislator and gubernatorial candidate, on U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who emerged as the leading voice of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate [John Nichols, “Bush fighter,” Feb. 3].

“If Tripp’s evidence is flimsy to nonexistent, his historical arguments are often dazzling in their vacuity.” — Charles B. Strozier, professor of history at John Jay College, in his review of the late C.A. Tripp’s controversial book The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. Tripp asserted in the book that the Great Emancipator was homosexual [Charles B. Strozier, “Gay Abe?” Feb. 10].
“You don’t even see cigarette butts in downtown Chicago; people don’t flick ’em there. That’s a mentality that has to change for Springfield.” — Mayor Tim Davlin, talking about the city’s efforts to prepare for the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum [Todd Spivak, “Heebie-jeebies,” Feb. 17].
“The moratorium was a bad decision. We were overwhelmed by what happened.” — Former Mayor Karen Hasara, explaining how her call in 1999 for a halt to billboard construction led to more signs [Todd Spivak, “Signs of the times,” Feb. 17].
“It seemed to me that these children were considered blue-light specials, and I just couldn’t stand that.” — Adela Jones, executive director of Dallas-based Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services, talking about the fact that adoption-placement agencies charge on a sliding scale based on the child’s ethnicity [Dusty Rhodes, “Baby trade,” Feb. 17].
“Both political parties are owned by the petroleum-military complex and will do nothing to address the issues that face this nation. The only hope is an awakened, engaged American electorate.” — Rod Helle, a local schoolteacher, in his commentary on efforts by the Bush administration to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration [Rod Helle, “The price of our addiction,” Feb. 24].
“If this project moves forward, it would be the quality project that sets the example for redevelopment to grow south on MacArthur.” — Developer Todd Smith, outlining his plans for an upscale shopping center at the site of the old Esquire Theatre. The project was dropped in December after property owner Kerasotes declined to extend a deadline [Todd Spivak, “Man with a plan,” Feb. 24].
“The debacle with Vioxx and other drugs should be a warning. The system can fail. Sometimes it can fail spectacularly.” — Dr. David Ayoub, a Springfield radiologist involved in efforts to ban vaccines containing mercury vaccines from the marketplace [Michleen Collins, “Mercury falling,” Feb. 24].
“I was raped by those guys, I was raped by the police department, I was raped again by the state’s attorney’s office. And then I was raped by [Renatta Frazier and her supporters] using my case to win a huge settlement.” — “Jane Doe,” victim of an October 2001 rape that triggered the events leading to the resignation of rookie cop Renatta Frazier. Doe spoke for the first time about what happened in an exclusive Illinois Times story [Dusty Rhodes, “The survivor,” March 3].

“For the most part, stories were dictated. . . . I felt like I was part of a propaganda team.” — Jon Lieberman, former chief of Sinclair Broadcasting’s Washington bureau. He was fired by the company [Paul Schmelzer, “Puppet masters,” March 10].
“Right now I’m renting a room at a friend’s house, saving up money to buy a home. I’d sure like to have my own place someday.” — Rosie Flores, talking about the travails of a rockabilly phenom [Tom Irwin, “Rosie, by any other name,” March 10].
“People are very sensitive about Lincoln. And people who are serious about Lincoln are serious about not playing with his image.” — Susan Mogerman, chief operating officer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation, on why the museum wasn’t enthusiastic about artist Matt Schultz’s plan to populate Springfield with a bunch of fiberglass Abraham Lincolns [Dusty Rhodes, “This is no cowtown,” March 17].
“It had been my goal, coming of age, to serve God, serve country. Growing up, I was surrounded by veterans, and it was an anguished process to realize I could not follow them.” — The Rev. Martin Woulfe, minister of Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Universalist Unitarian Congregation, on why he is encouraging young men and women to become conscientious objectors [Ginny Lee, “Considering the alternative,” March 17].
“Once I got a call from school that my son was pulling the ears of another boy. I had to explain that it is a birthday tradition in his native culture — like our spanking at birthdays.” — Jeff Elston, talking about the difficulties — and joys — of adopting a child from the former Soviet Union [Mila Dvoretskaya-Lemme, “Coming home,” March 17].
“We hope to give people more opportunity to connect with Lincoln and how his decisions affect us today.” — Dick Lusardi, the retiring superintendent of the Lincoln Home Historic Site, discussing the National Park Service’s plans to restore additional historical sites in the Lincoln Home neighborhood [Todd Spivak, “The neighbors next door,” March 24].
“I think it’s disgusting and hypocritical when people place their political ambitions over the most basic needs of a member of their immediate family. And I think it is appropriate to out an elected official if, because of their closetedness, they inflict harm on other people to maintain their dirty little personal secret or family secret.” — Rep. Larry McKeon, an openly gay member of the Illinois General Assembly, talking about the ethics of pushing for civil-rights legislation [Todd Spivak, “Out, but not down,” March 24].
“When you see somebody with a Silver Star, you automatically think he’s brave, he’s an American hero, he’s ethical, he’s trustworthy — a whole string of things.” — B.G. “Jug” Burkett, Vietnam vet and expert on military records, on the case of Springfield powerbroker Joe Wilkins, who claimed that he had earned a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts — claims that the military, and the state of Illinois, refuted [Dusty Rhodes, “Precious medals,” March 31].

“Anyone who tries to benefit from the heroic acts of others does a disservice to all who serve and who were honored for their heroic deeds.” — Secretary of State Jesse White, explaining his decision to revoke Silver Star and Purple Heart license plates issued to Joe Wilkins of Springfield. White acted after an Illinois Times investigation [Dusty Rhodes, “Duty calls,” April 7].
“There is an incredible lure about waterfowl that captures our interest, whether we are birdwatchers, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, or hunters.” — Dr. Steven Havera, waterfowl expert with the Illinois Natural History Survey, talking about efforts to restore Spunky Bottoms in Brown County [Jeanne Townsend Handy, “Bird’s-eye view,” April 7].
“I know that the sixth-grader in my house — a child so permanently tethered to his Nintendo appliance that it might as well be a pacemaker — came home from his tour saying that the museum totally rocks.” — Columnist Dusty Rhodes on the Chicago Tribune architecture critic’s negative review of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum [Dusty Rhodes, “Whack job,” April 14].
“I assumed too much, and I assumed wrong. I assumed they would, at a minimum, go through a disciplinary procedure. And because the offenses, including perjury, would be crimes, I mean, I assumed that would result in termination.” — Bruce Locher, an attorney who signed an affidavit accusing several Springfield police detectives of misconduct. Locher filed his complaint with SPD after Illinois Times reported that a local investigator accused detectives Paul Carpenter and Jim Graham of misconduct in the November 2004 trial of Anthony Grimm [Dusty Rhodes, “Fast track,” April 21].
“I’m afraid for my neighbors. People don’t realize it, but the water’s just not safe out here.” — Brett Dixon, a homeowner in the Curran-Gardner Public Water District, where, some residents say, the water-district board has been unresponsive to complaints by local residents [Todd Spivak, “Got water?” April 28].

“They got all the ground; they moved everybody off; they may as well go ahead and build Hunter Lake.” — Don Durbin, one of the landowners displaced by the Hunter Lake project, which apparently has been revived by the administration of Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin [Todd Spivak, “The return of Hunter Lake,” May 5].
“It’s just not fair how scared you have to feel, the emotions that you feel — confusion, anger, fear, and especially sadness. It is so overwhelming. It is so hard. It hurts.” — Jennifer Buffington, a member of the Illinois National Guard’s Paris-based 1544th Transportation Company, which has suffered numerous casualties in the Iraq war [Dusty Rhodes, “Sister soldiers,” May 12].

“This guy’s got no consistency. The people I thought would’ve been squashed, he passed. I’m just a novice reading this, but if a guy had a beer, he was out.” — Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, a former fire chief, talking about Dr. Michael Campion, a psychologist hired to assess fire- and police-department candidates but dropped by the city after Illinois Times reported that he was on the board of a conservative anti-abortion, anti-gay group [Dusty Rhodes, “Last straw,” May 19].
“When it comes to the weather, we expect the unexpected. It’s not as predictable as it used to be. It used to be that the ground was frozen all winter. Now in the winter it freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws. Some of the models show this part of the country getting very dry, and that would be a big problem. If the weather got any drier, I wouldn’t be able to farm as I do.” — Henry Brockman, a Congerville farmer, talking about the climate changes some scientists attribute to global warming [Jason Mark, “Harvesting chaos,” May 19].
“Computers, communications off the Internet, and the declining costs of digital production have transformed consumers into producers [and] listeners into speakers. We are putting the ‘mass’ in the mass media for the first time in our history — that is a revolution that is just beginning.” — Dr. Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America, discussing the explosion of alternative media, in conjunction with the National Conference on Media Reform, held in May in St. Louis [Joan Villa, “Consider the alternative,” May 19].
“This is a funny town, and it’s easy to make enemies. And calling the president of a major record label was not the way to make friends in Nashville.” — Lyman Ellerman, a native of Riverton, explaining the unusual way in which he managed to catch a break in Music City, U.S.A. [Tom Irwin, “The road to Nashville,” May 26].
“My job is to get to know people. If you’re going to get to succeed over there, that’s something you have to know.” — Officer Matthew Fricke of the Springfield Police Department, talking about what it takes to be a successful neighborhood patrol officer [Dusty Rhodes, “The natural,” June 9].
ART OF SUCCESS “I have students say to me, ‘Mr. Crisp, I’m going to major in art,’ and I tell them, ‘No, you’re not. Don’t major in art. Minor in art. If art is going to be your goal, take business or marketing so you can afford your art.’” — Springfield artist and teacher John Crisp [Job Conger, “The here and now,” June 9].
THE MORNING AFTER “You don’t have a right to pick and choose who you’re going to provide prescriptions for and which medication you’re going to fill. If you’re in the business, you’ve made that choice.” — Abby Ottendorf, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who signed an emergency order in April requiring Illinois pharmacists to fill prescriptions for Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill [Joan Villa, “Right of refusal,” June 16].
THE ADAMS FAMILY “Our members do not give us donations to restore old houses.” — Marilyn Campbell, director of the Illinois Audubon Society, in the first report on the society’s plans to tear down the antebellum residence at the Adams Wildlife Sanctuary. An outcry by preservationists later caused the society to rescind its decision [Linda Hughes, “Tearing down the house,” June 23].
WHAT SAFETY NET? “Eighteen thousand people die every year in this country from lack of coverage. It’s like six World Trade Centers going down.” — David Gill, an emergency physician at Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton and a congressional candidate who advocates a single-payer health-care plan for the United States [Mary Rickard, “Code red,” June 23].
“It was a real Ozzie and Harriet neighborhood. Everybody walked to school, walked home for lunch, and then raced back to the schoolyard to play.” — Barry McAnarney, a native of the North End, whose residents got together for a reunion this summer [Bob Cavanagh, “Northern exposure,” June 23].
BUSH FIGHTER, PART 2 “What really got Durbin in trouble was telling the truth — that America’s behavior doesn’t match its ideal.” — Columnist Fletcher Farrar, reflecting on controversial comments by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. The senior senator from Illinois ignited a firestorm by criticizing the use of torture by the United States [Fletcher Farrar, “Durbin was not misunderstood,” June 30].
“My heart feels broken, my spirit feels broken, and I feel as if there are people delighting in it and dancing on my grave. It’s venom that is beyond my ken.” — Marion van der Loo, reflecting on her dismissal weeks earlier as conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra Chorus [Dusty Rhodes, “Discord in the Symphony,” June 30].

SELLING OUT “I used to worry about selling out in one way or another all the time, but I think I’m growing past that. People worry about selling out on the one hand and turning into a mercenary on the other; then they end up doing nothing.” — Ted Keylon, a local activist, reflecting on landing steady work as an actor at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum [Mikel Weisser, “Will success change Ted Keylon?” July 7].
“We have an enthusiasm for sharing things with other people. If we had unlimited resources, we could conquer the world.” — Jacques Nuzzo, program director of the Illinois Raptor Center, which cares for injured and fledging birds of prey [Celeste Huttes, “For the birds,” July 14].

THE FEW, THE DISQUALIFIED “It is disheartening to be in a city where you grew up and find out you can’t even serve your community.” — Michael Newman, who scored in the top tier of recruits for the Springfield Fire Department but inexplicably flunked a background check. Newman was the only African-American in the top band of the eligibility list; the fire department has just three African-Americans on a roster of 211 firefighters [Dusty Rhodes, “Smoke and mirrors,” July 28].
GRRRRRRRR “A friend of mine was hunting on my property and shot a huge buck. It was so big that he had problems moving it, so he called me. It had started to rain, so I told him, ‘Let’s get it in the morning.’ Well, the next morning we go to right where he knew it was, and it is gone! We searched everywhere and eventually found it some 500 feet away. All that was left was the skin, the end of the legs, and most of the head. It wasn’t ripped apart like coyotes would do. This was different.” — Homer Briney, who believes that a cougar lives in the Illinois River bottoms near his Beardstown-area farm. He is one of many central-Illinois residents who claim to have seen cougars; one provided a grainy videotape, which is available at www.illinoistimes.com [Scott Maruna, “The beast of the bluffs,” July 28].
DRILL BITS “I’m hoping we wasted every dime in that emergency-operations center; I hope we wasted this week of training. I pray we did. But you know what? If we didn’t, we’re a lot more prepared to fight these disasters and protect the city.” — Ralph Caldwell, director of homeland security for Springfield, talking about a recently completed citywide emergency drill. [R.L. Nave, “Target Springfield,” July 28].
“I know that here in Illinois, leaders of the UFCW are not angry at the AFL-CIO; neither are the Teamsters and neither is the SEIU.” — Margaret Blackshere, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, talking about the decision of several major unions to quit the national labor federation and form their own [R.L. Nave, “State of the disunion,” Aug. 4].

“We’re in Springfield, Ill., but parts of it look like Birmingham, Ala. Actually, Birmingham probably looks better than Springfield.” Jamie Adaire, president of the Bunn Park Neighborhood Association, complaining that the city leaves streets unpaved and hasn’t provided sidewalks [R.L. Nave, “Where the sidewalks end,” Aug. 11].
“In the end, it was almost like death by strangulation.” — Baker Siddiquee on the dissolution of the Mayor’s Task Force on Race Relations [Dusty Rhodes, “Fade-out,” Aug. 11].
“Shyness is not to your advantage in a camp like this. You have to be insane to be good.” — Sally Iocca, one of the experienced performers at the Springfield Theatre Centre’s popular Performing Arts and Visual Enrichment program [Mikel Weisser, “Two weeks to stardom,” Aug. 11].
“I’m not your garden-variety criminal, no I’m not. I’m an idiot.” — Lori Burger, a library employee fired for taking about 2,000 books — and selling many on an eBay subsidiary [Dusty Rhodes, “One for the books,” Aug. 18].
“There was no doubt in our minds that Brueggemann was also guilty. We just didn’t have the proof. He’s obviously a diplomat who knows how to cover his ass.” — A juror in the case brought by former Illinois State Police office Michale Callahan against three supervisors, including deputy director Charles Brueggemann [Dusty Rhodes, “Badge of honor,” Aug. 25]. The comment was later cited by U.S. District Judge Harold A. Baker, who, in a ruling on Nov. 2, wrote: “Rarely does the public learn the specifics of jury deliberation. This is one of those rare cases.” 

“State politicians have a duty to their constituents. The fact that there may not be something they can do directly doesn’t mean there aren’t things they can do to advocate for the return of their National Guard.” — Charley Richardson, an anti-war activist, talking about the responsibility of governors to speak out on the extended deployment of guardsmen and women in Iraq. [R.L. Nave, “Keeping Guard,” Sept. 1].
“This neighborhood is run-down — it needs a lot of work. I remember, at age 15, walking through here at 1 a.m. and being perfectly safe. Now it’s crazy walking around here at any hour.” — Wayne Treat, talking about Springfield’s South Town neighborhood [Michael Brown, “At the crossroads,” Sept. 8].

“It’s gotten so bad that if somebody just wants a job picking up paper, they’re being asked, ‘How’d you vote?’ ” — Roy Williams, executive director of the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government, complaining about patronage hiring by the Blagojevich administration [R.L. Nave, “At diversity’s expense,” Sept. 22].
“We are not talking about apples and apples; we’re not talking about apples and oranges; I’m not even sure we’re talking about fruit.” — Jay Bartlett, City Water, Light & Power chief engineer, attempting to explain why a financial analysis of the cost of plant construction, used by Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, was flawed [Dusty Rhodes, “Aldermania, revisited,” Sept. 22].
“I’m exhausted politically — I have no confidence in the Republicans or the Democrats. Like Warren Buffett said, the war is over. The rich won.” — Kathleen Christ, a member of Military Families Speak Out and featured speaker at a large anti-war rally in Springfield [Bruce Rushton, “Had enough?” Sept. 22].

“They offered such a bad package that they knew there was no way in the world we would take it. Now they’re pissed because we got unemployment that they told us we weren’t going to get. They’re upset, and their pride has gotten in the way.” — Kelly Street, president of Local 484 of the Boilermakers union. The union’s members have been locked out of the Celanese plant in Meredosia since summer [R.L. Nave, “Locked out,” Oct. 6].
“I think we were very cooperative — at first. But, you know, when you answer and re-answer and re-answer, you get to a point where you know they don’t care what you’ve got to say.” — Jeanette Slover, who with her husband and son was convicted in the murder of her former daughter-in-law, Karyn Slover. The three, who say that they are innocent, were interviewed by Illinois Times [Dusty Rhodes, “Karyn’s killers?” Oct. 6].
“I can’t believe how unprotected I was in the state mental hospital, and now I feel like I’m in the clutches of the state again.” — Lisa Weisser, who was raped at McFarland Mental Health Center in 1994 and was pursuing a financial claim against the state. Her attacker, who had a record of violence against women dating back to 1992, was free last year and arrested for harassing a Springfield woman. Weisser, 45, committed suicide Dec. 3, her decade-old case still unresolved [Bruce Rushton, “Victim of the state,” Oct. 13].
“Suffering is a common problem facing all human beings. No one likes suffering. If you don’t like suffering, then you need to practice vipassana.” — Gunasiri, a monk who moved to Springfield this year to share the teachings of Burmese Buddhist master Chanmyay Sayadaw and to preside over a meditation center [Karen Fitzgerald, “Meet the monk,” Oct. 13].
“This is not a ‘not in my back yard’ thing. They’re making us seem like we’re backward yokels, but we’ve found no one who wants this, except the Salvation Army and the State Journal-Register.” — Phil Douglas, president of the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Association, explaining why his group was fighting efforts by the Salvation Army to open a homeless shelter on J. David Jones Parkway. The City Council delayed action to approve the Army’s zoning request until early next year [R.L. Nave, “A reluctant fight,” Oct. 20].
“I would say to folks who say we coddle kids that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We needed to prevent the disease, not just treat the symptoms.” — Charles Hoots, Springfield High’s principal, describing the school’s efforts to help students who show up late or skip class [R.L. Nave, “Tardy control,” Oct. 20].
“Since the case is still pending before federal court, further statements from any source could taint the jury pool.” – M/Sgt. Rick Hector, spokesman for Illinois State Police. Hector declined to explain why the state paid outside lawyers more than $685,000 to defend three high-ranking officers accused of violating another’s civil rights [Dusty Rhodes, “The good, the bad and the expensive,” Oct. 27].
“The positive progress made in the second half of the ’90s, where the numbers of poor were reduced and we had movement in the right direction, that has stalled.” — Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, reflecting on the growth of poverty in Illinois and across the country in recent years [Joan Villa, “Slim pickings,” Oct. 27].
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING “Sometimes, the legal system gets so busy trying to do the right thing that it gets discombobulated and ends up making something worse instead of better.” — Angel Diaz, a murderer upset to learn that he’s also been labeled a sex offender because of a change in state law. He says that the new label made him “emotionally and mentally distraught” [Bruce Rushton, “Truth in labeling,” Nov. 3].
“This is the thing that really blows my mind: We have our regular people, but we have a different crowd every time we have a show.” — Kimberly Moore, one of the three organizers of Expressions in the Dark, a spoken-word event that continues to grow in Springfield [Marissa Monson, “Bringing the word,” Nov. 3].

“There’s one part in there that says you have to have a loin-skirt of truth. Those Lycra bicycle shorts that fit so tight, they definitely reveal the truth.” — Mary Grant of how the Bible offers guidance to cyclists. A cycling enthusiast and Christian, Grant recently launched Wheel Power in Springfield [Bruce Rushton, “Pedaling Jesus,” Nov. 3].
“She had the knack of making everybody in her life feel like the center of the universe. Each of us felt like Judy was there for us completely.” — Cassandra Claman, speaking about her friend Judy Dyer. Dyer, a lawyer and aspiring writer, died of cancer in early November [Dusty Rhodes, “Her huge heart,” Nov. 10].
“Some of the customers come here just for crab legs. It’s not too many customers like this. We try to forget about it, even when feel pain.” — Linda Snyder, manager of International Buffet, discussing how buffets such as hers manage to thrive in buffet-happy Springfield. [Bruce Rushton, “The last stuffer,” Nov. 10].
“You get into trouble when the editor and the owners and publishers exert so much influence that it’s only their view that shows up in a newspaper. It’s not the way to run a railroad.” — Barry Locher, editor of the State Journal-Register, explaining that he doesn’t agree with much of cartoonist Chris Britt’s work but still appreciates Britt’s ability to bring readers to the newspaper’s editorial page [Dusty Rhodes, “True Britt,” Nov. 17].

“I believe in honesty. I believe in what’s right and what’s good and what’s fair. And I have attempted to live my life with the philosophy — that God has been so good to me that it doesn’t leave me room to be bad to anyone else. We all know, though, there are times in your life when you have to defend yourself, and this is one of those times.” — Ex-cop Renatta Frazier, responding to a defamation lawsuit brought by Carl Madison, former head of the Springfield branch of the NAACP. Madison claims that he was defamed in Frazier’s book, The Enemy in Blue [Dusty Rhodes, “Sticking to her guns,” Nov. 17].
“People are so dug in holes that there’s no way out. We want to mainstream everybody, but not everybody can be a respiratory therapist.” — Sharon Hall, who works with the Salvation Army in Centralia. The southern-Illinois town has been hit by successive plant closings, and replacement jobs are hard to find [Mary Rickard, “Future shocked,” Nov. 17].
$300,000 MAN
“If the state’s paying for somebody to be a full-time employee, how can you turn around and be paid as a full-time employee by somebody else?” — Maynard Crossland, former director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, on how president museum director Richard Norton Smith manages to hold down two full-time jobs [Bruce Rushton, “Big name, big money,” Nov. 24].
“There is a relatively small number of people in our community who are exercising an extraordinary amount of influence on the aldermen of the city of Springfield.” — Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom, sponsor of an ordinance to ban smoking inside most public places in the city of Springfield. A watered-down version of the ordinance was tabled by the City Council on Dec. 6 [R.L. Nave, “Up in smoke,” Dec. 1].
“I’m glad to see him off the streets. . . . You kind of take what you can get. I think when he gets back out, he’ll reoffend. I feel sorry for anyone who comes in contact with him.” — The father of one of Michael Redpath’s victims. Redpath, the subject of a Dec. 8 cover story, agreed to serve three years in prison for the sexual abuse of minors. He is eligible for parole in 18 months. [Bruce Rushton, “Better than nothing,” Dec. 22]
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