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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 09:45 am

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.


How amazing is it to be overseas and get an e-mail saying you need to check out the Illinois Times Web site only to find out that the IT readers chose the staff, cast and crew of the Springfield Muni's All Shook Up as having put together the best musical of 2008! I just want to drop a quick note of thanks to the Muni organization and a really passionate group of talented individuals for giving of themselves to put a show together that could be enjoyed by the Springfield community. Most importantly, I have to thank the greater Springfield community for their support of arts, athletics, and the many other opportunities available to get involved.

Being here at Cambridge — by all accounts a vibrant academic, athletic, and artistic community — one can truly appreciate the breadth and depth of activities that the Springfield area has to offer its citizens to get engaged with each other and the community. I've had the opportunity to live in several communities and Springfield has more variety and opportunity to get involved as citizens, athletes, artists and artisans than many areas twice as large or diverse. It is truly unique! For all that we may believe may be "wrong" about the Springfield community, never forget that there are so many things, both large and small each day, that are "right."
Jason A. Goodreau
University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


It is with deep humility, I thank you for the recognition given me [See "Hardest Working Small Business Owner," IT, Oct. 16].

I dedicate this honor to two groups; the struggling African artisans whose gift of artistry is shared and enjoyed by all, and to the community and loyal customers whose support has ensured the continuation of this endeavor. Please be assured, I shall not rest on my laurels, but will strive to offer high-quality cultural programs for the betterment of our young people and our community.
Roosevelt Pratt
Fashion Afrique



How wonderful that The Elephant Man produced by Theatre in the Park at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, was named as Best Drama 2008. We are simply thrilled!

I look forward to picking up the award and sharing it with the TIP board of directors. They, too, deserve much credit for approving the shows that are brought to the TIP stage!

I am wondering if you will have a correction made. Dan McLaughlin played "Ross" in the show. Bill Barton played numerous other characters.
Kari Catton
Executive director
Theatre in the Park, Inc.

New Salem


In your "Best of" edition, I think that you left out one very important category: Most active protester against record high gas prices.

Editor, I know that the people of Springfield have seen the signs on my bicycle, which read "SAVE YOUR GAS MONEY" and "PEDDLE POWER IS M-U-C-H CHEAPER."

Hundreds of well-wishers endorse my protest. Also, I have had dozens of strangers who, after the recent flash-floods, asked where my now infamous signs were. As soon as I told them they were destroyed by the recent storms, I was asked when I would be replacing the signs. After 20 downtown workers asked me this question, I made the new price protest signs, which are now attached to the rear of my bicycle.

I have no doubt that the press is not allowed to cover protests against record-high gas prices, but I have found that I have a real and most unexpected fan club among the working class victims of billionaire oil company thievery.

Norman Hinderliter



Yes, Rich Miller's columns bring out some excellent points to support voting for a Constitution Convention. Here are my suggestions: Limit all elected officials to two consecutive terms. No daily per diem for special sessions. Pay increases are voted on by the people. Allow recall of any elected official.

I like Rich Miller's idea of district maps being drawn by computer instead of the method used today. Here's an even simpler suggestion: use county lines! The boundary lines are already established and you should get a representative that lives somewhat nearby. Today's method is a joke and is disenchanting voters. I'm not even sure who my congressman is today.

I will likely vote to have a Con-Con even though I don't think anything good will come from it! Do I sound like a pessimistic voter? Yes, I am very pessimistic about our government officials. I've been voting for about 35 years and still hearing the same campaign promises, for the same issues. They can't fix anything in 35 years?? Why are they getting paid?
Jeff Davis


When I first read the article, "Kidney failure" [IT, Oct. 9], posted on the Illinois Times Web site, I felt disturbed, then outraged. I am a certified hemodialysis nurse, starting my career on the nephrology/urology/transplantation unit at Memorial in the late 1970s. Since that time, for all but five or six years, I have spent working in the field of nephrology, primarily in outpatient dialysis.

I think that makes me more than qualified to comment on this issue.

Life for a dialysis patient and his or her family is very difficult. Many patients do not have the energy or zest for life they did before their kidneys failed. A strict dietary and medication regime must be closely followed to keep dialysis patients as healthy as possible. Also, patients must come for their treatments three times a week, for an average of four hours at a time.

Transportation to treatments and frequent office visits to a variety of physicians is a problem for most. If a death in the family, or a happy event like a wedding, occurs a distance away longer than a day's drive, the patient has only a few choices: not go; try to arrange a treatment at a facility close to the destination (which is difficult and time-consuming) or skip the treatment. The latter is never advised. If those difficulties are not enough of a problem, there is also the financial burden most face.

The only hope for a better way of life for patients who qualify is a kidney transplant. With its recent decision, MMC has pushed that hope for a better life farther away. Area patients now must drive a considerable distance to see a transplant team. The closest transplantation center is in Peoria. With gas prices as high as they are, this adds more stress and hardship to the already burdened patient and family.

The beginning of the article by Dusty Rhodes describes a patient getting a call from the transplant team, and details the nervous excitement he felt. I have shared this excitement both professionally and personally. My nephew was one of the lucky ones. When a matching kidney was found for him, Dr. O'Connor immediately flew back to Springfield from a vacation to see that he got his transplant.

When Dr. Birtch hired Dr. O'Connor, he obviously found a surgeon who possessed the same skill, integrity and philosophy as he. Passing down the transplant program he founded to Dr. O'Connor must have made Dr. Birtch feel that the success he started back in 1972 would continue.

Karen Wade



I have been discriminated against on more than one occasion when applying for a job in a bank. I have years of banking experience and have been an exemplary employee in each job I have held. Since leaving my last job, I have applied for two jobs at banks, and rather than judge my abilities according to my experience and my excellent references, the institutions have chosen not to hire me based on my credit scores. I have fallen on some really hard times and I am trying to get a job in the area I know the best, which is in banking, so that I can pay off my debts and get back on track. I don't believe that such discrimination should be legal, if it is. If this is legal, why can't every institution and company in the country refuse to hire based on an applicant's credit scores? Then no one would be able to get a job and pay off their debts.
Dona Foster

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