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Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 06:38 am

Letters to the Editor

In and around Springfield

art3660
Terry Chesak is just one of dozens of Springfield area volunteers collecting donations for the Salvation Army. This year’s campaign ends Dec. 23. To see more of Eugene Knox’s work, go to jeromeprophet.com.
Photo by Eugene Knox

We welcome letters. Please include your name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; e-mail to editor@illinoistimes.com; fax to 753-3958.

CAN YOU FEEL A DRAFT?
Everyone, please pay attention to Congress. They are considering bringing back the draft! While I can be a fighter, I highly oppose war. Making people fight is wrong. If someone wants to fight in any war, that person will join the Army. We claim freedom for all? Where does forcing one to fight fit into our personal freedoms?

In my opinion, the draft is daft, and I will not fall prey to the violence our government uses to enforce power. Being one of the so-called world powers means that our government should try to set an example. This is what they are doing. They are showing us how to make enemies and become murderers. Peace and communication is the only way!
Julia Fruchtl
Springfield

THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS, DONORS
We recently dedicated the new receiving room to our longtime manager, Gene Humphreville. We also dedicated the two doors for food services to Sister Dominic and Jim Brahler. The new receiving room was constructed almost entirely with donated labor and materials. The volunteers at St. Martin de Porres would like to thank the following businesses and individuals: Sam Benanti and Mike Knox handled the supervision and most of the labor; John Chernis furnished removing the concrete for the foundations and pouring the concrete; Crazyhorse furnished the concrete; Henry Nelch and Sons provided a large steel door and frame; lumber was donated by R.P. Lumber of Chatham; Ace Sign Co. provided the signage for the receiving room and two doors; Rich Broughton completed repairs and sealed the asphalt parking lot; and Tru-Stripe, for the second time, completely striped the lot. Without the labor and materials provided by the above, completion of this project would have been very difficult.
Jack Healy
Volunteer
St. Martin de Porres

TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING
Now that the Democrats have taken over both houses of Congress, there is reason to mention once more that the impeachment of the president is a good idea.

There isn’t much that the Democrats can accomplish in the remaining two years of the Bush presidency. But there is one thing the Democrats can accomplish, and that is drawing up articles of impeachment in the House chamber, if, for no other reason than that we must begin to dismantle the police state that has been set up by the Bush people and stop the juggernaut of invading Iran, not to mention holding Bush accountable for the lies and deceptions that led us into the Iraq quagmire.

As for those who fear that impeaching Bush would mean a Cheney presidency — not to worry. Investigating Bush’s crimes would necessarily implicate Cheney. After all, isn’t he the real power behind the throne?

Although the Democrats in the Senate would not have the power to remove Bush & Co. from office, drawing up articles of impeachment would, I hope, lead to their resignations, because, by this point, outrage would be such as to force their removal from office.

All and all, impeachment would be good for the country.
Beni Kitching
Springfield

ART ASSOCIATION SAYS THANKS
On behalf of the board and staff of the Springfield Art Association, we wish to thank the community for supporting the SAA’s 75th Beaux Arts Ball, held on Nov. 25 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Springfield. Proceeds from the ball support the SAA’s School of Art, Gallery of Art, Michael Victor II Art Library, and Edwards Place historic home, which provide enriching programs to more than 98,000 people in the community annually. We would like to thank Beaux Arts Ball co-chairs Carole Walton and Kim Collins, our many dedicated Diamond Ball committee members and event volunteers, and our generous sponsors who invested their time, talent, and resources to make this event a success for our 501 guests. Lastly we would like to thank King Michael John Smith and Queen Katherine Cooper Narmont and their families and the families of our 75 court personnel for their ongoing commitment to the arts in the greater Springfield community and the Springfield Art Association.
Angie Dunfee
Executive director
Springfield Art Association

I’M REAL AND I’VE BEEN AROUND
Rumors of my fictional nature have been greatly exaggerated [see “Letters,” Nov. 30]. I am a living singular citizen of Springfield, Ill.

The reasons why my beliefs may seem to conflict are simple. I am not left or right. Last election I voted about 50/50. Neither party would elect me to any office, thank God.

My beliefs are based on my wide and varied experiences with people in many places and levels of society. I include in my list of close friends poets, musicians, bikers, published authors, educators, and doctors. On the other hand, I spent about 10 years hitchhiking around the country with little or no money, living in poverty. I base my opinions on my experiences with these varied peoples. People tend to talk to me.

Feel free to slam me all you please. I will not protest or negatively respond for the rest of the year. My suggestion is that every time you feel angry, find a Salvation Army kettle and donate, call Contact Ministries and ask how you can help, send a check to the Red Cross, give toys to the Marines’ Toys for Tots program, or help the Animal Protective League. You will feel better. May God bless you and your charitable hearts.
Patrick Johnopolos
Springfield

PANDERING TO ANTI-SMOKING LOBBY
It is disingenuous and cowardly for the mayor and members of the Springfield City Council to embrace and encourage the Illinois General Assembly to enact a statewide smoking ban as the means to “level the playing field,” which they have unilaterally flattened — at the level of McDonald’s [see “Smoke signals,” Nov. 16]. What the mayor and the aldermen are seeking is political cover for an ill-advised decision to impose a smoking ban for which they have incurred political heat that they now seek to deflect.

Under the guise of a public-health crisis, the City Council and the Sangamon County Board pandered to the propaganda and demagoguery of the media and anti-smoking lobby. They opted for the politically correct decision rather than a decision that recognizes the constitutional rights of citizens to exercise their freedoms of personal choice and use of private property. Political decisions beget political consequences. They deserve to feel some heat. They put smokers out in the cold.

Owners of bars and restaurants with beer gardens, if they have one, can apparently permit smoking in that part of their establishment. The goal of the ban seems to be to prevent those who are tobacco-smoke-intolerant from exposure to that smoke. Shouldn’t the owner be permitted to decide who will be served inside or outside his or her establishment? The tobacco-smoke-intolerant should be well-satisfied to be served outside where they will have an unlimited supply of “clean” air — and the smoker, who is paying excessive rates of tax to indulge the habit, will not be additionally punished by being denied the right to enjoy the services and amenities inside these public establishments.
Joseph J. Goleash Jr.
Springfield

TEACH KIDS TO RESPECT ANIMALS
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were no more school shootings, no more MySpace videos that show animals abused by children, and no more childhood obesity, diabetes, and other diseases? If everyone treated all living beings with the compassion and respect they deserve, we could be closer to this reality.

According to the National PTA Congress, “Children … trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind, and considerate in their relations with each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies, more humane, law-abiding, in every respect more valuable citizens.”

Indeed, studies have demonstrated that teaching children to respect and protect even the smallest and most seemingly insignificant animals will help them to value one another. I encourage all parents and teachers striving to raise kinder, more empathetic kids to read PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s upbeat new book, 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, with children ages 8 to 13. You can find it in most libraries and bookstores or order it from www.petacatalog.com.
Heather Moore
Senior Writer, PETA
Norfolk, Va.

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