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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 04:10 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.


UPLIFTING

What a great article by Thomas March and Darcy Fryer [See “Barack Obama’s confident humility,” IT, Nov. 20]. I really appreciate this kind of uplifting comment and the object, President-elect Obama. More people would greatly benefit from this sort of attitude and how much better would be our world if all of us tried to be inquiring minds and hearts.

Marilyn R. Piland

Springfield

OBAMA AND BEN

Comparing the reasonableness of Obama’s politics to Benjamin Franklin’s philosophy makes perfect sense [See “Barack Obama’s confident humility,” by Thomas March and Darcy R. Fryer, IT, Nov.20]. I have always been inspired by Franklin’s autobiography, and now you have pointed out one of Obama’s more winning qualities, the ability to listen to dissenting views without feeling threatened. Being able to listen is the first step in working together to solve problems.

Let’s hope the return to rational thinking catches on beyond the White House. Thank you for writing this. It is wonderful.

Patricia Markert Aakre
New York, N.Y.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

David Brunson is right, society seems to have a short memory when gas prices drop [See “Plug and play: Fun with an electric vehicle in Springfield,” IT, Nov. 13].

I almost hope that they shoot back up for the holidays to keep alternative

energy vehicles on the minds of the car companies and new technology

developers like myself. I own both a 1980 Comuta Car and the partial remains of one of its older brothers, a 1975 CitiCar. The CitiCar is intended to be a test vehicle for some alternative drivetrain designs that I have been

working on developing.

My Comuta Car sadly wasn’t on the road during this year’s high gas prices

due to a mechanical problem that I just didn’t have time to repair, but she

will be back on the road when spring rolls around. I can drive to work and

home again for under a quarter — yes under $0.25 per day! I sure can’t do

that in my Chevy Blazer!

Thank you for bringing David’s story to the public’s eye. We need more

promotion through the press like your story to let people know that it is

possible to create these vehicles, they worked in the 1970s and 1980s,

just like they worked back in the early 1900s when one out of every three cars on the road was electric (the others
were one third steam and one third gasoline powered).

Dave Pyatt

Alliance, Ohio

SAVE WATER AND MONEY

Where has the Illinois Times been on the Hunter Lake debate recently? Surely, you might explore one of the least expensive methods yet to be aggressively acted upon by the city and that is usage pricing. Encouraging residents and businesses to reduce their water use through pricing, low rates for low use, higher rates over a certain limit, could cost us nothing. Many cities are doing this already and reaping the benefits. Seattle is one example.

Globally, we are all facing a shrinking water supply as well as a shaky global economy. What better solution for both than to cut back on our water consumption and save money at the same time? Simple, inexpensive methods are already out there and just as we turned toward greener forms of transportation once the prices went up, so would we look to save on water if it is to our benefit.

Low water plants could replace high water lawns, discipline in our daily water use would not be an impossible task with just a little effort and dredging our current lake would harvest at least 4-5 millions gallons a day increase. The city is wasting its time and ours in “dredging” up this Hunter Lake debate, instead of tackling the less glamorous, less expensive task of enlisting and encouraging conservation practices by all of us in Springfield. The solution lies right in our backyard.
Anne Logue
Springfield

CAREGIVERS MONTH

Today, nearly 44 million Americans are caring for an older family member, and 2.5 million grandparents are raising over 4.5 million grandchildren. However, most do not think of themselves as caregivers. As our roles change with aging, illness or unexpected circumstances, we rely upon our family members to provide care and assist with daily living tasks. Family caregivers and grandparents/relatives raising grandchildren are providing a much-needed service to help older family members stay at home for as long as possible and allowing families to stay intact.

The Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland wants to acknowledge our nation’s caregivers during November, National Family Caregivers Month and inform caregivers and grandparents/relatives raising grandchildren that there are services available to support them.

These services are available:

Access assistance — assists caregivers in obtaining access to available services and resources within the community. Counseling — individual counseling, support groups and training provided to caregivers and families to assist in decision making and problem solving related to their caregiver roles. Respite service — offers temporary care for the older adult or child in order to provide a brief period of relief or rest for caregivers.

Legal assistance — this service includes legal advice, education and representation for caregivers and grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland funds Family Caregiver Resource Centers which serve Cass, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott counties. To learn more about reaching services for Caregivers, contact Gloria Plummer, Caregiver Support Program Field Coordinator, at the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland.

Caregiving for a family member can be stressful and confusing, but it can also be a rewarding experience that fosters family closeness. Taking advantage of available supportive services can ensure a more positive and healthy experience for the caregiver and care receiver.

Julie Hubbard

Executive director

Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, Inc.

Springfield

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