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Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 02:29 am

Letters to the Editor 10/22/09

Obama, Storytelling, High-Speed Rail and Mass Transic



“The idea of Obama,” in This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow [IT, Oct. 15] is not only the best strip of the year, it’s also the best political commentary of the year as well!

I catch heat on Facebook, Myspace Blog, etc., because people still¬†believe the idea of Obama and the actual Obama are the same president! Even though I am African-American, I am critical of Obama because I expected the actual to have the courage to embrace the idea. Isn’t that what change is all about?

A.J. Woodson


I write to thank IT for the great writeup and images promoting Once Upon a Prairie Storytelling Festival. Hundreds turned out to the Old State Capitol for the programming, and we had a nice crowd at Café Moxo. Thanks for your support of our historic sites.

Justin A. Blandford
Site Manager, Old State Capitol


It seems the Legal Industrial Complex has decided to raise the standards of electronic communication and narrow the lattitude with which normal people are allowed to communicate, to benefit both the public and private arms of the legal community [see “Blogger busted: Free speech goes on trial in Sangamon County,” by Amanda Robert, Oct. 15]. They do this, first, by creating busy work to justify government jobs in law enforcement, and second, by creating unwilling but inevitable clients for private defense lawyers.

Fred Slocombe


Too many people seem to be overlooking the big picture in regards to the proposed high-speed rail service. That picture encompasses a proposed service that is, realistically, a complete waste. We need not concern ourselves so much with where to run the tracks at this time. The concern should be the type of service.

The proposed high-speed rail plan is for trains that run 110 mph south of Dwight and 79 mph north of there. This would only reduce travel times from Springfield to Chicago by maybe 30 minutes. As someone who maintains residences in both Chicago and Springfield and travels between the two cities frequently, I can without hesitation say that this “upgrade” in service would not be beneficial in the slightest. Under the proposed plan, it would still be more convenient for commuters such as me to drive their own personal vehicle between the two major cities.

I would love to travel by train on my frequent trips and I am much in favor of high-speed rail service. However we need high-speed rail in its true form. True high-speed rail utilizes trains that travel at speeds well over 200 mph. Any service less than true high-speed rail is a ridiculous waste of money and time. For now we all need to put aside the issue of which Springfield corridor to run the tracks through and concentrate on the level of service.

Zack Brinkmeier


I write to express my sincere and profound regret to the patrons of the Springfield Mass Transit District and the entire Springfield community regarding the events that occurred after an operator wore a pink tie with his uniform and my decision to suspend him. Unfortunately, my decision has left the mistaken impression that the SMTD and I do not support the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and, even more regrettably, has hurt and insulted the many families who have had to deal with this horrible disease.

My decision to discipline the employee was based entirely on an application of the SMTD policy that allows a deviation from the standard operator uniform only with prior approval. This policy is designed to assure that the attire of operators is appropriate and that all operators receive equal and even-handed treatment with respect to their uniforms.

I am truly sorry that my decision appeared to indicate an unwillingness of the SMTD to participate in the breast cancer awareness activities or an insensitivity to those who are or who have been afflicted with breast cancer. Because that was never my intention, I have reversed the suspension in an effort to resolve this situation and to correct the misunderstandings.

Linda F. Tisdale
Managing Director
Springfield Mass Transit District

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