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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 01:39 pm

Letters to the Editor

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.

PROSTITUTION TIMES TEN

Fletcher Farrar's recent column ("Going to the Johns," IT, Aug. 21-27) highlights the issue we face due to prostitution activity in our neighborhood. Over the last four months, 19 prostitutes and one "john" have been arrested in Springfield. Thirteen of the prostitutes were picked up in the Enos Park area, which is not a very positive image for such a unique and historical neighborhood. However, since for every prostitute there are typically 10 times as many "johns," that means there are still a large number of men soliciting sexual activity from other women. In addition, Springfield ranks in the top ten cities in Illinois for almost every type of sexually transmitted disease. Put those facts together and you have a lot of husbands, fathers, brothers, and next-door neighbors infected with STDs.

Is there a solution to this problem? Most certainly, but it will require new priorities and a new emphasis on reducing the demand side of the problem. We must start with more sting operations to get the "johns." Once arrested, they must have to pay substantially larger fines then they do now, their vehicles must be confiscated, and let's make sure the public knows who gets arrested in prostitution stings!

The Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association is committed to supporting our neighborhood police officers, the city, and P.O.R.A., a non-profit agency providing support to help keep prostitutes off the street. However, these and other groups, including more neighborhood associations, must elevate their level of commitment to eliminate this scourge on our city. We can start by emphasizing how prostitution has such a negative impact on all of us, whether it's public health, the relationship between prostitution and drugs, devaluation of our homes, and the negative impact on the image of our city. This problem affects all of us! Ten times as many "johns" as prostitutes requires ten times the commitment and energy to resolve the problem!

Steve Combs, president

Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association

Springfield

SENIOR FOOD ENDANGERED
Senior Nutrition Centers in Illinois are at risk of closing. My local center hasn't had a budget increase in over 10 years while the cost of food, gasoline and utilities have gone through the roof. What will the shut-ins do if the centers are no longer able to provide their home-delivered meals? Please use whatever influence you might have in your community to help the nutrition centers in your area. There is no more basic a need than food.
Keather Thompson
Enfield, Ill.

A NATIVE VISITS FROM SAN ANTONIO

I was in Springfield last week from San Antonio. My 81-year-old mother still lives on Cummins in the nice neighborhood where I grew up in a wonderful clean nice blue-collar neighborhood in a clean town with a good amount of integrity.

My plans to move back to Springfield have been scrapped with no chance of changing my mind. Because in my lifetime, Springfield will continue it's nosedive. I love Springfield and I guess that is why I'm so mad. Over the years, I have watched Springfield gradually fall apart. Large areas are blighted and there are trashy people who could care less. Let alone the idiot governor. You sure got that right (See "Blago's war on Springfield," IT, Aug. 14-20).

I was not aware of moving the Department of Transportation traffic safety division. Why would you move140 jobs out of a capital city? You don't take state business out of a capital, you bring it in.

This is a dead historic town where people just stop to see things and leave. Thank God that the National Park Service took over the Lincoln Home area. Maybe in future years the Lincoln Home area will see the rest of our historic town follow through with more investment. All this history and no investment for tourists, plus letting the community fall apart.

Can we make sure this dunce of a governor will in the long run pay for making things worse than they already are? San Antonio, where I live, has the Alamo, and tourists flock here because Texas invests money into its history and tourist industry.

Every time I see other cities working hard to keep their town in top shape to promote the history, I think that Springfield could have been doing the same thing.

This is really sad, but this is also the first time I realized someone cared.

Harold T. Bartlett

San Antonio, Texas

PETA PLAYS THE CANCER CARD

This is a response to Steve Marley's letter in your Aug. 14 edition that attacked PETA for pointing out some nutritional facts. The letter writer seems to think one can eat meat without worrying about health issues. He could not be further from the truth.

The top causes of death in this country are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. All are heavily related to eating meat. Vegan diets maximize the foods that help us fight cancer—fiber-packed grains and beans and phytochemical-packed fruits and vegetables—and minimize the foods that cause cancer. Combine these two factors, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the scientific evidence is clear: "Vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to get cancer than nonvegetarians, regardless of other risks, such as smoking, body size, and socioeconomic status."

One study compared cancer rates of vegetarians and meat-eaters in 34,000 Americans. The results showed those who avoided meat, fish, and poultry had dramatically lower rates of prostate, ovarian, and colon cancer, compared to meat-eaters.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, arguably the foremost epidemiological researcher alive today, argues that animal proteins are the prime carcinogens in meat and dairy products. Dr. Campbell says, "No chemical carcinogen is nearly so important in causing human cancer as animal protein."

If we are naturally omnivores like Steve Marley claims, then why do vegans live longer and healthier? Why do vegans have cholesterol levels half that of meat eaters? Why are most primates herbivores in the wild?

Ryne Poelker

Petersburg

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