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Thursday, June 9, 2011 12:43 am

Letters to the Editor 6/9/11

Gambling expansion, the homeless and prison inmates

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VETO GAMBLING EXPANSION

Gov. Quinn, you repeatedly said the gambling expansion bill was too top heavy and said it would make Illinois the Las Vegas of the Midwest. Yet legislators kept adding to the bill to get enough votes to pass SB 744.

We agree that the gambling bill is excessive, and we applaud you for asking if signing this bill is in the public interest.

Many families are already struggling financially. Families need the money they have for necessities such as food, rent, car payments, gasoline and clothing. Making gambling more accessible and acceptable will increase gambling addiction and harm children. Bankruptcy, crime, marital problems, child neglect and suicide are unintended consequences of more gambling. People who have never been in trouble with the law have been sent to prison because of crimes they committed to fuel a gambling addiction. Illinois residents have already lost their homes and family farms at riverboat casinos.

Tripling the amount of casino gambling will come at a high cost to individuals and devastate families. We agree that people will be harmed.

During these difficult economic times, legislators want people to gamble and lose their money in Illinois. Local residents, not tourists, will be tempted to gamble at casinos, racetracks and major airports in Chicago.

We agree that gambling is an unstable source of revenue. We ask you to veto SB 744 to safeguard the public.

Anita Bedell, executive director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems
Springfield



ROUND UP FOR HOMELESS

Please watch your June CWLP bill for a Round Up form to help the homeless and sign up. These forms only arrive in our bills two months a year. Giving just a few cents a month by rounding up could dramatically help the far too many homeless in our city.

A few years ago, the Springfield City Council passed my Round Up ordinance. It allows you to round up your CWLP bill to the next dollar, with the additional cents going to a fund to help the homeless. If you round up, you’ll contribute between 1 cent and 99 cents a month, an average of 50 cents. You can also opt to add a specific amount, like $1 or $5. This is good for customers on the level payment plan, who pay an averaged equal amount each month. You can also do both. Fifty cents a month may not seem like much, but multiplied by 65,000 CWLP customers or even by a fifth or a tenth of them, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

In its short life the Round Up program has already helped provide shelter to the homeless during our bitter cold Springfield winters. This happened because of the many generous CWLP customers who already round up every month. Please join them so we can do a lot more! Watch for the Round Up insert in your June CWLP bill; fill it out and send it in with your June bill payment, or sign up online: At www.springfield.il.us; click on the penny surrounded by the “Round Up” arrow pointing up at the bottom of the screen...a painless way to help those least fortunate among us!

Sam Cahnman
Alderman, Ward 5
Springfield



EARLY RELEASE

I was already shaking my head while reading the June 2 letter from Courtney Despenza about early release, but I almost choked when I saw her question, “How can a human being have such power to decide how another human gets treated?” Are you kidding me? These inmates did exactly the same thing to the victim of whatever crime for which he or she is serving time. Even if you do not include convicted murderers as she states, plenty of other inmates decided how they were going to treat another human by causing them pain, sadness, horror, disrespect. Who gave them that right?

Sharon Woods
Springfield

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