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Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 04:10 pm

Letters to the Editor 10/6/11

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Torch Tuesday performers, with the event’s creator, Howard “Torch” Tomas, in front, second from left
PHOTO BY DAVID HINE

FIRST NIGHT HIP-HOP

I am pleased that Illinois Times and the Springfield Community have finally acknowledged what national underground artists have known for years: Torch Tuesdays. [See “Hip-hop in the Heartland,” by Scott Faingold, Sept. 29.] It’s a stop I try to frequent as often as I can.

It’s where the Springfield Area Arts Council recognized rappers/entertainers Scoobie and Tebe, just to name a few of the performers who appeared at Lincoln Library last year for First Night. My gratitude goes out to Torch and B.S. and company as they have undoubtedly put in their overtime on the nightshift and the dayshift to make Bar None a given name among those who need a showcase and venue for fresh entertainment. As we prepare for First Night 2011-12, we hope to bring even more newcomers to the open scene.

Douglas Yul Holt, promoter/artist
Springfield Area Arts Council First Night Chair



SAVE ENOS SCHOOL

James Krohe Jr. is right on the mark about saving Enos School. [See “Two schools for the price of one,” Sept. 22.] Some comments: First, he writes that he “can’t say” if the building is potentially historic, but that doesn’t matter – what does is the determination by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency that Enos School is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Next, he could have countered the only objection by the school board to the lot offered by the developer to build a new Enos School, that it’s partly bordered by North Grand, a road with heavier traffic than the present location. Fact is, the developer’s plan would allow the school district to design the new school to face Elliott Avenue across from the present building; and there’s enough acreage in the proposed new school lot to allow for attractive landscaping along North Grand to screen the new building from that street.

Then, while Krohe points out that the Historic Sites Commission has asked the school board to examine options other than the demolition of the school, he omits that that view also is supported by a citizens petition and that the preservation option (saving the old building and building a new school on the nearby lot) is supported in writing by Memorial Medical Center, Downtown Springfield, Inc., the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Association and Save Old Springfield.

School board president Bill Looby has been quoted stating that the board “will consider comunity concerns” regarding Enos School’s future. That is most encouraging, and we urge the board to give serious review of the preservation option, which would be a win for all parties, not the least the taxpayers; they’d save more than $400,000 in demolition costs and gain close to $150,000 a year in property taxes accruing from the apartment house that would fill the old school building.

Jerry Jacobson
Save Old Springfield



TEXTING SAFETY APP

It is well known that distracted driving is dangerous [see “Lethal texting: Teaching teens why driving and texting don’t mix,” Sept. 22]. It is also extremely difficult to monitor. According to a Pew Research study, more than half (52 percent) of cell-owning teens ages 16-17 say they have talked on a cell phone while driving. One in three texting teens ages 16-17 say they have texted while driving. And about 40 percent of teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger. The statistics alone are alarming, to say the least.

If you are a concerned parent, there is a mobile app called AmberWatch SafeText that helps prevent distracted driving by allowing parents to safely monitor their children’s phones. You can find it online.

Kyle Crawford, vice president
Protext Mobility
Syosset, N.Y.

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