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Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007 01:47 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.

BYE TO THE CHIEF AND COLONEL DAN I call it quits. After supporting the Illini for 50-plus years, I plan to never attend another University of Illinois game or function. They don’t deserve my support, as long as they are run by anti-U. of I. people, the South Side of Chicago, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and Senate President Emil Jones. All of my shirts, jackets, sweaters, pictures, flags, posters, decanters, and golf bags are for sale. Dan Cedusky Champaign
WRITE ABOUT POSITIVE ROLE MODELS It is February 2007. This is a month when we should recognize African-Americans, either in our communities or African-Americans who actually made a difference or are making a difference. I can understand how the article about Larry Washington ended up in Illinois Times, but, I can’t understand why this article graced the front cover [Dusty Rhodes, “Springfield’s worst nightmare,” Feb. 15]. My intentions are not to pass judgment on Washington or Illinois Times. I do feel I should point out that during the past 30 days there have been African-Americans who have accomplished things that one would never imagine. Let’s take a moment and reflect: Hmmm, how about the two African-American coaches, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungey, who showed the world what true sportsmanship is all about? One of those men is from Illinois — and this newspaper is the Illinois Times. That’s not all. Don’t forget about U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and his decision to run for presidency. I’m sorry, that is a mistake — there was an article in this paper about Obama, on page 8 at the very bottom, almost as if it was an advertisement. I found it disrespectful to the African-American community that, during Black History Month, an article like this appeared on the cover and took up approximately three pages. Crystal Collins Springfield
ANOTHER NONSMOKER WEIGHS IN Bravo to Walter Foster for his letter to the editor in the Feb. 15 issue. I, too, am a nonsmoker who supports the rights of tavern owners to control their own smoking situation. Patrick Johnopolos Springfield
NOBODY FORCES YOU TO HAVE CABLE Once again people are writing and complaining about Insight’s alleged bad customer service and the “monopoly” they have on the cable industry in Springfield [see “Letters,” Feb. 8 and 15]. People are claiming that the government somehow needs to step in and do something about it. There is no monopoly, and there are plenty of choices in Springfield. If you don’t like Insight, try DirectTV or Dish Network, or you can even put up an antenna to receive free television programming. Cable service is not a right; it’s a service provided for a fee. You’re not required to have cable. If you think it costs too much, then don’t get it! How simple is that? The answer most certainly is not legislation just because some people think it costs too much. I’d love to have a new car, but the cost is prohibitive, so I don’t have one. Should we be lobbying the government to legislate new-car prices? Finally, I don’t know what kind of customer service other people have received from Insight, but I’ve always had excellent service from them. Their customer-service representatives have always been courteous, helpful, and quick to resolve any issue I may have with my cable or Internet service. Quit complaining about something being too expensive and expecting the government to fix it for you. If you don’t like it, don’t get it. Kevin Johnson Chatham
SUGGESTION FOR OBAMA’S HEART U.S. Sen. Barack Obama can’t call himself a Christian and be pro-choice. We had three presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush — who were pro-life, and they won the White House. Also, of the 50 million abortions in America, 36 percent of them were African-American — that’s 18 million babies. I pray Mr. Obama will have a change of heart on this issue. Danny Faulkner Springfield
SUGGESTION FOR BUSH’S LIBRARY The most appropriate location for the Bush presidential library would be Guantánamo Bay. The Gitmo prison could house a one-of-a-kind world-class section on the history and methods of torture and actual examples and devices. After all, Bush will want to be remembered as a “war president” — the war president who bravely led us into the Great War on Terror. If Cuba ever gets back the piece of land now occupied by the U.S. military, Bush’s library could then be moved to the Pentagon, which surely will continue to be, long after Bush and all of us are gone, the focal center of America’s ongoing, endless War on Terror. That way, George W. Bush’s legacy could last — who knows? — perhaps a thousand years. Robert Waldmire Portal, Ariz.
Barack Obama, a U.S. Senator and a presidential candidate, is an African-American. Please let those be the last words about his heritage. In 1955, at the age of 6, I was taught a valuable lesson about life by my dad. At the time, he was a coal miner who loaded coal the old-fashioned way — with a pick and a No. 2 coal shovel. Dad’s lesson was taught at a gas station in town that doubled as hangout for the local male population. On one Saturday morning in 1955, the topic of conversation at the station concerned the only Negro who worked in town. Dad and I listened to the conversation while he paid for his gasoline. As we left, Dad made eye contact with those present and said, “That man is a hard worker.”
We drove home in our ’52 Chevy without Dad saying another word. He did not need to. The lesson that was learned that day, eight years prior to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech: Judge a man by how hard he works. Barack Obama is a hard worker. One does not become successful without working hard. As the 2008 presidential candidates begin their run for office, listen to what they say. Do not become distracted by what others say about their race, gender, party affiliation, or whether they are conservatives or liberals. The next presidential election is too important to be distracted.
Stephen J. Verotsky
Johnstown, Pa.

LET’S BAN UNRULY CHILDREN In response to the reader who said that “establishments aren’t important enough for smokers to patronize,” we both smoke, however, we will occasionally patronize an establishment that doesn’t permit smoking. Our main reason for not patronizing establishments is that they do not have a ban on unruly children who are “chaperoned” by ineffective parents. When we do go out, too often are we subjected to children clambering around, kicking, bickering, and whining.     When did parenting become a game of “let’s make a deal?” If I am to use my good manners and smoke outdoors, why can’t you use yours and take your offensive offspring out of the public eye until he or she learns that the establishment is not a play area (unless you are at McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese) and that their unruly actions have consequences? Is it asking too much to let the rest of us enjoy our outing without brat children ruining it for the rest of us? (And yes, we are parents — with well-mannered children)
Robbin and Cecelia Smith

DISAPPOINTED WITH GIFT CARD POLICY I have neither given, nor been given, a Ned Kelley’s gift card. Nonetheless, I find their offer regarding how local people can use these cards, now that the local Ned Kelley’s is closed, unsatisfactory. People were offered only one option: They could use these cards at other Ned Kelley’s restaurants. With the nearest Ned Kelley’s now being in Peoria or Bloomington, that is not much of deal to most local people due to the cost of having to drive that far, not to mention the round-trip travel time. I believe any business in such circumstances should do better by their customers. Unless it is made known to the card’s purchaser at the time of purchase that the business closest to either the home of the purchaser or the home of the recipient of the card will be closing soon (say, in three months), there should be additional options. One would be a full cash refund. Another would be to arrange with a nearby similar business to redeem the card in full.
Dick McLane Springfield
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