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Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:02 pm

Letters to the Editor 7/22/10


Tim Bagwell wants to go to Congress and spend money [see Guestwork, July 15].

He envisions expanded rail carrying manufactured freight, but fails to identify or suggest how Illinois will attract manufacturers. If it’s just a train thing then sure, let’s build train tracks. I suspect there are other factors to overcome. For evidence I point to the fact we already have train tracks all over the place. Illinois’ failure to attract manufacturing jobs cannot be solved with a new train set.

He envisions commuter travel on an Amtrak connection from St. Louis to Indianapolis. Surely he doesn’t mean daily commuting at 5-7 hours round trip. Besides spending Illinois money, does he expect Missouri and Indiana money and has he asked them yet?

He wants to implement a rural cooperative broadband network, which plays well in rural areas, not unjustly. You know, even urban people want someone else to pay for their cable. Are those rural electric co-ops from the 1930s still getting checks? Watch out for another lifetime taxpayer sponsorship.

Here’s the problem I have with Candidate Bagwell’s sales pitch. He’s selling visions of results without a phrase uttered about how we’ll get them. How much does he plan to spend? Whose money is he planning to use?

John Levalley

It really saddens my heart to see so many imperative organizations that assist the residents of Sangamon County being threatened with closure or massive funding cuts. One particular institution is the Springfield Epilepsy Resource Center. Not only does ERC teach about the aspects of epilepsy, they also reach out to the families so they can learn how to live with epilepsy. My son was diagnosed with epilepsy more than 10 years ago. Before that he thought he was “weird,” “different,” an outcast. Once we were able to assess his condition we were on a road to treatment.

ERC was a Godsend. They made him feel like he was not alone. They stepped up to the plate to teach him. They helped him with employment avenues. He was discriminated against by employers many times. One time he came to work with rug burns on his face and when they asked him what happened he told them he had a seizure the night before. They said he couldn’t work there anymore. My son learned enough through ERC about ADA to keep his job.

This is one of many organizations that touch people’s lives for the better and it should not be thrown away like refuse. My son passed away recently and left a loving wife and beautiful 2-year-old son. I know in my heart that his experiences through his last decade in life would have been more difficult without the outreach information and caring that ERC provided to him and us.

Anna M. Hubbs

“Make the will of the people the law of the land.” With his amendatory veto, adding an open primary to House Bill 4842, Gov. Pat Quinn put those words he so often recites into action.

More than four out of five Illinois voters expressed their will for the open primary in advisory referendums that dozens of volunteers and I put on township ballots in Sangamon County and all across our state in November 2006.

In those referendums Illinois voters told their elected representatives in no uncertain terms that how they vote in the primary is “none of your business.” Quinn’s open primary legislation would guarantee voters a secret ballot. Currently, voters must publicly declare whether they are voting Democratic or Republican in the primary, and that choice becomes part of their permanent public voting record. That’s why almost no one votes in the primary. This year 77 per cent of us stayed home.

The final step in making the will of the people the law of the land is in the hands of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago). When the legislature returns to Springfield in November, Rep. Currie should carry out the will of her constituents and the citizens of our state by making a motion to accept Gov. Quinn’s amendatory veto, and the House and Senate should vote yes, just like more than 80 percent of their constituents did.

Sam Cahnman
Alderman, Ward 5

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