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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 05:18 pm

Letters to the Editor 09/23/10


The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has mandated a three-year study to determine how much sewer overflows during periodic flooding contribute to pollution of creeks and rivers. Results are due in 2012.

Regarding “Storm over sewers,” by Rachel Wells, Sept. 16: I have fought this battle with the city public works department for about a year and I can tell the poor people who are having this problem what they will hear from Mr. Norris: “Plug your drain and pump your sewage to the sanitary sewer.” It seems that my neighbors on St. Francis Drive fought this battle for 50 years before they gave up and stopped reporting the sewer backups.

What this city needs is a change in attitude. I had hoped the people at IEPA would help but they are just too interested in keeping their seats warm.

It might be obvious to most people that water coming into your basement through the floor drain has something to do with the sanitary sewer being overloaded but you will never hear the city deny access to a developer. The sad thing is that the IEPA is supposed to protect us from this problem.

Jerald Jacobs

I appreciate James Krohe Jr.’s effort in his column encouraging Springfield residents and city government to be more ambitious about clean energy programs [see “Greener than thou,” Sept. 16]. However, I’m disappointed that he did so by belittling the actions of numerous community groups and ignoring much of what’s already happening in Springfield.

Mayor Tim Davlin deserves credit for showing leadership on energy issues, but it’s a mistake to call this a one-man movement. Over a year ago, for example, a dozen local organizations submitted petitions to the city council with 500 signatures in support of Springfield becoming a Cool City. Additionally, CWLP has conducted an energy audit of the city that will help guide a climate action plan, and it’s being done with the help of citizen members representing the environmental community. If Mr. Krohe peruses back issues of Illinois Times he’ll find many excellent articles about local citizens organizing to promote clean energy.

There are several aspects of the city’s agreement with the Sierra Club that the column did not mention, such as a mechanism to fund new energy efficiency projects, which have the potential to reduce our global warming emissions even more than the wind power purchase. The agreement called for CWLP to hold quarterly public forums to provide updates on progress and seek feedback. The next forum is Nov. 30. The public is also invited to learn more about the growth of green jobs in central Illinois at a panel discussion hosted by the Sierra Club Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. in Lincoln Library.

There’s no need for anyone to remain nostalgic about past glory days of environmental activism with so many current opportunities to be involved. The environmental movement is stronger and more diverse than it has ever been.

Will Reynolds
Chair, Sierra Club Sangamon Valley Group

On Nov. 2, I am voting no on the sales tax for schools referendum. I am not at all against school improvements, but I am against putting the cost of school expansion unfairly on the backs of the low-income people of this county. In Springfield, if the sales tax is increased, we will see nine percent charged on nearly all purchases. In Legacy Point, 10 percent will be charged. While that is only a penny more for every dollar spent, it adds up to a lot for low-income people. If a low-income family is spending $3,000 on goods annually, that means it will cost them $30 more each year to buy those goods. That is one less pair of shoes for their kids, or one less family day at a local recreation venue. Not having a new pair of shoes could make a child less confident in the classroom, voiding what the referendum is wanting to achieve.

There are several school districts in this county that have not needed to increase property taxes and have blue ribbon schools. How is this? Because their boards of education committed to keeping the budgets balanced and holding the line on taxes.

Steven Black

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