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Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:14 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.
HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER I must say that I was pretty disappointed in elements of your recent story about opposition to a proposed corn mill. [R.L. Nave, “Tortilla flap,” July 19]. You apparently have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the Lodge site proponents’ attempt to construe this issue into a racial issue and one that pits farmers against residents of the area. These individuals’ sole concern is to receive a windfall from the sale of their farmland to the proposed plant developers and owners. Attempts to stoke nonexistent passions are the acts of desperate individuals. Many of us opposed to the plant’s proposed location own farmland (me included) and farm. Some of us are large-scale farmers; some of us are not. The issue is the proposed siting of an industrial use in an agricultural district surrounded by 40 years of residential development in conformance with Piatt County’s zoning map. This residential development includes 22 subdivisions on ground that has largely been sold to residential interests by previous farm owners. I cannot attempt to speak for every Piatt resident. Of the approximately 700 residents who have signed petitions opposed to the plant, not a single person is opposed to the plant on the basis of the ethnicity of the plant owners or of who might work at the plant. Our group is concerned with several issues, which are researched and documented at www.lodgeillinois.com. The method by which the proposed plant is attempting to be zoned in is by means of a “special-use permit” rather than siting the plant in a district zoned industrial or going about a much more public and deliberative process of a zoning-map amendment to create a new zoning district. A special-use permit is intended to be granted to a current landowner who is requesting a special use on their property. The special-use permit would not be passed on to subsequent owners of the property upon the sale of the property by the landowner granted the special-use permit. In the case at hand, the special-use permit being sought is proposed to run with the land rather than the owners. The siting of an industrial site in this manner, within a township that derives 80 percent of its tax assessment from residential properties and 0 percent from industrial sites, is a serious abuse of the little loopholes that the county has provided itself as a means to avoid the economic and environmental studies and legal process that would coincide with a deliberate process of public meetings and discussions prior to a zoning-map amendment. Manuel Lopez (a member of the family that owns the proposed plant) is an outstanding individual and a man who has to proven to be true to his word. The plant owners have demonstrated their appreciation for the concerns of hundreds of residents surrounding the proposed site by seeking alternative sites that are more appropriate for an industrial operation. I welcome Mr. Lopez and his entire family as my neighbors. I look forward to welcoming them as my friends and friends of the community. Our goal is to site the plant in an appropriately zoned area, and I believe that Mr. Lopez will find success once he has done so. Thank you. John N. Stolfa Jr. Monticello
SPINELESS NEUTERED RATS What about the Democrats? When are they going to do their constitutional duty and impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney? So far, they are doing nothing but posturing. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally admitted that she knew all along that the Democrats would not be able to accomplish a thing during Bush and Cheney’s remaining tenure in office. By the way, did you know that Pelosi threatened to deny U.S. Rep. John Conyers the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee if he pushed for impeachment? Are the Democrats spineless, or are they narcissistic? It appears that Grover Norquist was right after all when he predicted, well before the 2006 election, that the Democrats would be “running around like neutered rats.”
Beni Kitching Springfield
LIMIT LAWMAKERS TO A SINGLE TERM With the complexities of today’s very dangerous world, it is foolhardy to think that the president can control everything necessary to ensure peace, prosperity, and happiness. Where is the common sense? It most certainly is not in either house of Congress, where the highest priority is to spend, spend, spend. Would they spend, spend, spend if they were serving just a single term? The answer is clearly no. In this country there are many thousands of talented and perspicacious people eager to serve for a short time and then return to the private sector, which they can do without missing a step. Their only motivation would be to serve the people based on their values, common sense, ideology, and the platform they were elected on.
Our country is desperate for ordinary successful Americans to become part of the process by finding a way for them to equitably compete with career politicians and the wealthy. Currently the door is slammed shut, but if all members of the legislative branch could serve but one term, the door would be opened to them. Bob Ruble Springfield
AMPLIFICATION Syndicated columnist Norman Solomon says he did not resign as a Project Censored judge because the organization selected a story that questioned the 9/11 Commission’s findings; rather, Solomon says, he resigned because Project Censored invited physics professor Steven Jones, a critic of the 9/11 Commission findings, to be the keynote speaker at its awards conference without inviting a rebuttal speaker. “This refusal to allow a contrary viewpoint into the conference schedule was a choice that reflected de facto Project Censored policy, as I learned when I requested that such a debate or wider forum be allowed at the conference and the Project Censored director declined to schedule any such debate or wider forum,” Solomon tells Illinois Times. Solomon says that a recent story on the controversy, “Over the line” [C.D. Stelzer, June 28], did not fully outline his reasons for resigning.
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