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Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 03:37 am

Letters to the Editor 01/07/2010

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PROTECTING ANIMALS
Kudos to Illinois for being ranked as the state with the strongest laws against cruelty to animals by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.    

Treating cruelty to animals seriously doesn’t only protect animals — it makes the entire community safer. Animal abusers are cowards who take their issues out on “easy victims” which often include their fellow humans. The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in its records of serial rapists and murderers. Psychiatrists, too, know that cruelty to animals is a red flag; the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for conduct disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion.

As Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.” Protecting animals protects us all. To learn more, visit www.HelpingAnimals.com.

Martin Mersereau, director
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, Va.



FIRST NIGHT
On behalf of the Springfield Area Arts Council and the First Night Committee, we want to thank all those who supported and participated in the 23rd Annual First Night Springfield, our Celebration of the Arts on Dec. 31, 2009.

The success of this event, showcasing a variety of music, dance, theater and visual arts, is due to the artists who share their talents, the volunteers and committee who dedicate their time and energy towards making this a safe and well run event, and those who purchase admission buttons and attend the performances.

A special thank you to Brother James Court and Central States Fireworks for partnering with First Night Springfield to provide an outstanding pyrotechnical display at the stroke of midnight on a very cold New Year’s Eve!

Our business sponsors, the Illinois Department of Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Program, the Steinmacher family, and the many individual “Friends of First Night” are to be thanked for their financial commitment to the event. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency added to the evening with the Lincoln Era Ball at the Old State Capitol and the 1897 tale performed at the Vachel Lindsay Home. Our media partners helped spread the word about the event. Hoogland Center for the Arts, Lincoln (public) Library, First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln’s Home Visitor’s Center and Springfield High School provided the venues for our performances and the City of Springfield provided the police, fire and logistical support required for this special evening of activities. Our deepest appreciation goes to each of the above.

Central Illinois has an outstanding arts community and we encourage everyone to recognize and support the artists and arts organizations who add so much to our quality of life.

Penny Wollan-Kriel, acting director
Judson DeVore, First Night chairperson
Kim Villanueva, board president
Springfield Area Arts Council



CONTAMINATED RIVERS
Because the Illinois Department of Agriculture ignored six scientists — including the Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois State Geologic Survey — the rivers of northwest Illinois and the wells that serve thousands of people are in danger [ see “IEPA fails to regulate factory farms, environmental group says,” Nov. 19]. When these are contaminated, it will take decades and millions to clean up. It is incomprehensible that the IDOA would act so irresponsibly and unlawfully, but corruption seems to be a fact of life in Illinois.

IDOA has broken the laws it is charged to uphold and placed Illinois citizens in peril. Your friends up north continue to fight against this illegal operation. www.StopTheMegaDairy.org.

Ken Turner
Warren

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