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Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 05:57 pm

Letters to the Editor 09/02/2010


Only 14.5 percent of the nation’s construction workers currently choose to join a labor union.

While our local media outlets often cover the many contributions made by our community’s working men and women, I hope that for Labor Day we can highlight the efforts of a particular group that sometimes goes unnoticed – the construction industry’s craft professionals.

Construction is one of our nation’s largest industries. The evidence of its size and scope is all around us – our industry’s professionals build the schools, hospitals, offices, churches, restaurants, highways, sports arenas and other venues that make our communities unique.   

We celebrate Labor Day as the symbolic end of summer. But for some, Labor Day is often associated with labor unions. However, it is a day to honor all workers, regardless of labor affiliation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 14.5 percent of the nation’s construction workers currently choose to join a labor union, while 85.5 percent work in a merit shop, free-enterprise environment. 

So on this Labor Day, let’s remember to thank all of the construction craft professionals, regardless of labor affiliation, whose hard work building America each day improves all of our lives.

Alicia Martin, president
Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., Illinois Chapter

This is in response to the article about the mayor seeking advice on infrastructure [see “Daring to imagine the future,” by James Krohe Jr., Aug. 26].

I am a simple field rep who drives around Springfield and central Illinois each and every day. I have been driving professionally for over 12 years and consider myself somewhat an authority on road conditions and traffic patterns (so-called infrastructure.) Am I not an authority as one who uses the product every day and has a spotless CDL and driving record?

I could cite many examples in Springfield alone, but I will illustrate one, as I happen to live in the area. The never-ending Veterans Parkway project has accomplished nothing. There was not a single condition hazard on that stretch of road one year ago. Traffic moved very freely. An uneven black tar asphalt surface with shoulder dropoff is the result.

It is no secret that all the I-55 and I-72 work is completely pointless. Why is it that most of the time I drive through the areas I never see a crew at all except for the cameras which issue a $375 ticket for going 46 mph in a 45 mph zone?

You stated in your article that I-72 to Quincy is among the least traveled highways. I agree. I am on it all the time and it is perfect. So why the construction? There is not a more perfect highway than I-72 from Sixth Street junction to out west. Yet construction?

Point being: consult the users of the product before pointlessly changing the product.

Andrew Butler

I would like to comment on Rich Miller’s column of Aug 12-18, entitled “Fear and loathing on the campaign trail.”

In his column, Miller stated, “Breitbart is an amazingly successful online entrepreneur who made news recently with his attacks against the NAACP’s alleged ‘racism.’”

His description of Mr. Breitbart leaves out some pertinent information. Mr. Breitbart is an employee of Rupert Murdoch and appears regularly on the Fox News Channel. Mr. Breitbart gave us the doctored tapes which attacked ACORN. He provided the doctored tapes of the Shirley Sherrod’s speech during the NAACP convention. He took Mrs. Sherrod’s speech which was about her personal journey in which she realized that she had to help all people, especially the poor, to be true to her own beliefs. He changed the sequence in the tape to make it appear that Mrs. Sherrod said that she would not help a poor farmer because he was white. 

Fox News, which ran the story, has not apologized for running a false story manufactured by its employee. Only one of the commentators on Fox has apologized. Then they blamed President Obama for the mess they had made. Then recently, the news organization run by Rupert Murdoch donated one million dollars to the Republican Party.

John E. Keane

The reference in last week’s “Fall classical fare” article to the Jacksonville Symphony should have credited Dr. Garrett Allman as director, not the late James Welch, who was legendary leader of Jacksonville High School’s symphony orchestra. Welch was mentor to William Lane, former principal French horn player with the Los Angeles Symphony, who will be featured at JSO’s Oct. 2 concert. 

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