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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 09:11 pm

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.

HOTEL CONTRIBUTED TO HOMELESSNESS Few people remember that part of the cause of homelessness in the Springfield area is what was once called the Renaissance Hotel. The hotel’s first contribution to the problem of the homeless was that its construction took away many of their homes. The site of the hotel and a site across the street were the home of several cheap hotel/room-rental operations, often referred to as flophouses. One was called, ironically enough, the Grand Hotel. In 1982 they were torn down and the individuals who stayed there were turned out on the street. In 1983 the state approved the use of Community Block Grants for the purpose of aiding the homeless. Some of us working on the problem at the time were overjoyed because for the first time we could apply for state funds to help the homeless. That joy was short-lived because the state announced that those funds would be bundled into a loan to finance the hotel’s construction if the investors agreed to build some low-income and affordable housing for the poor. What a boondoggle! The transitional shelter for the homeless, the Fifth Street Renaissance, was named for that hotel so people would never forget the event. Of course, the hotel lost money from the beginning, the loan was never paid back, and the hotel is now in receivership. The promised low-income housing was never built. So when you walk through the homeless huddled up around the Lincoln Library downtown, look up the street and you will see the biggest cause. Hopefully the people that caused it will get their just due. What a difference it would have made if the flophouses had been modestly retrofitted and the hotel had been built elsewhere and with private financing. So I hope that Alexis Giannoulias finds a way to give some of the money from the sale of the hotel to its new owners to the homeless community here.
Doug Nicodemus Riverton
NOT THE CHIEF CONCERN No longer will any Indian be offended at the University of Illinois. They will just be forgotten. Joe Donovan Illiopolis
ANOTHER INCONVENIENT TRUTH Al Gore, the talk of Tinseltown, and his ilk aren’t telling us an inconvenient truth — that 80 percent of the energy the world uses is carbon-based and will remain so for decades, regardless of how many billions of dollars Hillary Clinton wants to pillage from the profits of successful American energy companies. There is no magic substitute for carbon-based energy. So enacting Al Gore’s Hollywood-backed plan would only result in energy blackouts, dramatically more expensive energy, and a serious drop in all of our standards of living. Kim Rogalin Chicago
Anne Logue and Troy Gorda were quick to slam Danny Faulkner — or was it just more Bush-bashing [“Letters,” March 1]? One can hardly tell anymore from the lunatic Left. If they had not just slithered out from under their rocks to spew their venom, they would know Danny Faulkner has a long history of supporting the lives of the innocent unborn. Yet Logue and Gorda jumped onto their illogical soapbox to decry the Iraq dead, all the while ignoring the 3,500-plus innocent unborn ripped from their mothers’ wombs each and every day here in the USA. Nary a word from Logue and Gorda on how the 3,000 dead U.S. soldiers all volunteered to go overseas and fight for freedom. And certainly nary a word from Logue and Gorda that no unborn baby ever volunteered to be ripped from its mother’s womb and killed. One thing is certain. The wailing and lamentation will be the loudest from the Logue and Gorda types should the fight for freedom fail. It is because of that freedom they have the right to hate the way they hate.
To quote G.K. Chesterton: “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”
Steve Rossman

LEARN FROM THE GOP An open letter to the Democratic Party: If you don’t make the media your enemy, it will become your enemy. If you make the media your enemy, it will become your friend.
Conservatives have proven that to be true.
Tom Ferrari Tovey
PRESIDENT BUSH HAS A PLAN President Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq that begins with training Iraqi forces so they can defend their country and fight the terrorists. We are making tremendous progress towards this objective. Withdrawing from Iraq, as Democrats in Washington propose, would send a dangerous signal to our enemies that we cut and run when the going gets tough. President Bush is offering a clear strategy to win, not a political quick fix. Donald E. Hadden Decatur
MAKING IT EASIER TO BE ILLEGAL I guess everyone has heard about Bank of America’s pilot program to give credit cards to people without Social Security numbers. The program will begin in California and be nationwide by the end of this year. Despite the public outcry, Bank of America insists that what they are doing is legal and they will continue as planned. They claim they are not targeting illegal immigrants; however, common sense tells us that if a person has no Social Security number, it is more likely than not that he isn’t an American citizen. Other banks, such as Wells Fargo and Citibank, are giving mortgages to people without Social Security numbers — and often at a lower interest rate than what us Americans pay. I will be paying off my Bank of America credit card and they will not make another penny’s worth of profit from me. I am also calling my senator and congressman today to let them know that the government needs to hold these companies accountable for what they are doing and I hope others will do the same. If it’s illegal to hire illegals and help them to stay in this country, it should also be illegal to give them credit to help them stay in this country. Fellow Americans, please tell our government to get illegals out of the country, control our borders, stop allowing people into our country who could be a danger in many ways to the American citizens, and stop making us second-class citizens in our own country. Enough already! S. A. Starr Pocahontas
LED BY SCHOOLYARD BULLIES President Bush has gone back to the neoconservatives for his playbook, and that involves targeting all threats to Israel’s security — Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and Hamas. It is instructive to remember that Iraq was also on that list. Under the neocons, our foreign policy has been forged by Israel’s right-wing Likud party, and our unqualified support of Israel, and our commitment to fight her wars, is leading to a military (as well as a political) disaster in the Middle East. Iran is next in the crosshairs. In selling this new war to the American people, the White House is going back to a ploy used in the run-up to the Iraq war. It has secretly formed a policy unit that, among other things, will be used to influence the U.S. media to engineer public consent for war. The neocons are schoolyard bullies, spoiling for a fight, and Bush has made the mistake of looking to them for the leadership he lacks. They are leading him down a perilous path. Bush is a rogue president. He is very dangerous. And, like Hitler (I don’t mind making the comparison), the more desperate he gets, the more dangerous he becomes. This president must be stopped — and impeachment and removal from office is the only way to do it. Beni Kitching Springfield

WHO SAYS PROSECUTOR “OVERREACHED”? I am writing in response to your Feb. 22 article on Julie Rea Harper [Dusty Rhodes, “The epilogue”]. Why do you say Ed Parkinson “overreached his authority,” as if he had made some mistake?  Wasn’t he “asked in” to do it? I believe it was originally approved by the judge.  And when Harper’s conviction was overturned by the appellate board, didn’t they say there wasn’t a problem with the evidence, that the conviction was completely overturned on the matter of properly appointing a prosecutor?  Just wondering. Terry Zumbrun Columbia City, Ind.
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