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Thursday, July 16, 2009 05:17 am

Letters to the Editor 7/16/09

Garbage in the Pacific, Illinois Symphony and disabilities dispute



I would like to use your paper to broadcast an apology to someone I hope reads your paper. I mean, doesn’t everyone?

Some months ago I was chatting on break with a younger male worker. I had recently read an astounding story online that I shared with him. “Hey,” I said, “I read that some guy just found a floating, plastic garbage area in the Pacific Ocean that is twice the size of the United States!” I proceeded to describe it as formed by the ocean’s currents sweeping the plastic detritus of land and ship into a gyre of plastic totaling six times the amount of plankton found similarly in its area and how that posed a threat blah de blah.

He listened, politely enough, then replied: “There’s no way anything twice the size of the United States could have just been discovered in the Pacific.” I, too hastily, retorted, “You either overestimate the United States or underestimate the Pacific.” Oh, how easily the foot slips neatly into the mouth.

In truth we were both right . . . and wrong: while there are eight documented garbage gyres in the world’s oceans, the detritus of which measures twice the size of the U.S., the gyre referred to actually was half the size of the U.S., or approximately twice the size of Texas, hidden in plain sight all this time. My bad. As to the size of the Pacific: the entire land mass of the world can fit easily into it; it is 15 times the size of the U.S.

Chris Gilbert


Insisting upon residency in a community is a foolish move [See “No strings attached: Deal’s new contract with Illinois Symphony frees her to roam,” by Dusty Rhodes, IT, July 9]. It limits an orchestra that might otherwise find a fine music director, but one that might also have conducting obligations elsewhere, or live in a metropolitan area, where other conducting opportunities also abound.

The better the conductor, the more people who want him/her to conduct. An orchestra should want such a person on the podium. I once heard a fine board member say that she did not particularly want to see her music director shopping at the local grocery store. While that comment may further instill the “maestro mystique” that is often superficially false, it says something about thinking one needs a hometown boy or girl on the podium. Such a requirement is amateurish, and if the ISO has abandoned it, it shows the first glimmer of intelligence and professionalism exhibited by this bunch.

From illinoistimes.com


I don’t see any shades of gray here [See “Shades of gray: Friends of bicyclist who died in a crash are haunted by new DUI charges against motorist,” IT, July 9]. This guy is a menace. I think they were right to not charge him for reckless homicide for the death, but they should be hammering him for driving while drunk/high/etc.

And throw in that he is cracked up and using a broomstick for the pedals (how fast can your reaction time possibly be with a wooden pole transferring it from accelerator to brake, especially throwing in the drugs). Throw this guy in the slammer. Go to the Sangamon County court Web site and look at all the trouble he has caused this community. I say to the brink with this parasite!

From illinoistimes.com


I know Kerry Jennings personally and know what he’s trying to do with Chrysalis Independence Foundation, Inc. [See letter, “Don’t segregate disabled,” IT, July 9.] He is not trying to exclude anyone, but instead include people with disabilities who have been forgotten. I am tired of a select few people who have deemed themselves leaders in the disability community tearing down other people in the disability community for their own personal agenda.

From illinoistimes.com

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