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Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 12:58 am

Letters to the Editor 8/12/10

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“How will high-speed rail impact our community?” is the topic of a “People’s Summit” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Union Baptist Church, 1405 E. Monroe. The event is sponsored by the Faith Coalition for the Common Good.

SHARE THE TRACKS
While the author of “Slower than a speeding bullet” [by James Krohe Jr., Aug. 5] makes salient points about the competing concerns of passenger versus freight rail, he overlooks the fact that freight and passenger rail have successfully coexisted on the same infrastructure for more than 150 years. Development of high-speed rail in Illinois and the nation requires a sensitive balance between public and private interests. This is not unachievable. In many cases, high-speed rail investments will add double and triple tracks, as well as new sidings and signal improvements, which over time will allow freight and high-speed passenger trains to operate at the best speed for each use.

The cooperation of freight railroads is necessary to achieve the biggest environmental benefits for our nation, relieving highway congestion, improving air quality and reducing fossil fuel dependence. Sure, we’d all love trains that took us from origin to destination instantaneously. But for better or worse, America has not yet made the financial commitment to the very high-speed rail service now common in Europe and Asia. That’s all the more reason why Illinois and the United States should commit to building the incremental projects now that can boost speeds, mobility and the economy quickly and affordably. To say we should wait for “real” high-speed rail is like refusing to buy a Ford today because someday you hope to be able to afford a Lexus.

Kevin Brubaker
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Chicago



KIDS NEED ADULTS
It’s a shame it seems these changes are not allowed to have the time to see if they are going to work [see “Shakeup in juvenile justice,” Aug. 5]. Also, unless the funds and time are implemented to make the necessary changes then we’ll continue to just spin our wheels. When are adults going to wake up and realize that our kids need our time and undivided attention? We need to monitor what we, as adults, are feeding their psyche, such as media, friends, the quality of their education and interaction among peers while at school including the level and quality of guidance at school.

It’s hard to parent. I have eight children (four of my own and four stepchildren). We have our own issues but I realized early on that our children need us to be accessible to parent and guide them at all hours. I have had countless times I needed to check up on my kids and to send them the message that I was holding them accountable to be upstanding citizens. All children and teens these days are pulled in several negative directions by our society. It has been hard to compete. However, we seem to be succeeding.

It does take a village to raise a child. The child is influenced by everything within the society. We need to get back to smaller schools with smaller class sizes and more availability from the adults responsible for the children. We have to get back to the point where it is honorable to have a stay-at-home parent who can stay on top of things. In addition, we have to stop being afraid of teaching our children morality both in the home and at school. Among these things, mentoring needs to take a front seat. As individuals, we need to get past our own prejudices and step up to care for those children who have had adults violate them in the worst ways or have otherwise failed in their responsibilities as parents.

From illinoistimes.com


SAVE HISTORIC HOUSE
To me this house looks beautiful! [See “Historic stagecoach stop to be burned down,” by Jackson Adams, July 29.] I can’t imagine why anyone would even entertain the thought of burning it down. As time goes on we lose more of our historic buildings through natural disaster. Fires, floods and tornadoes wipe out things more than we like. Humans should not add to the loss, but instead try to figure out ways to preserve our history. Fundraisers, donations, volunteers to restore the building is what this house needs. If the owners don’t like the house, why not sell it to someone who cares? This is tragic!

From illinoistimes.com

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