Letters to the editor
In and around Springfield
We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length and clarity.
Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TEAR IT DOWN, AND I WON’T RETURN
I have been following with great interest the evolving story of the Margery Adams House and the sad news of the Illinois Audubon Society’s plans to raze it. It has been heartening to read the many stories and letters to the editor, most of which express enthusiastic support for saving it.
I want to add my voice to this support and suggest that the Audubon Society, to protect its own image and to achieve its goal of being “near the seat of government,” the state Capitol, find a site near the Capitol for its new headquarters.
Razing, or even moving, the house would destroy the integrity and intactness of the legacy Margery Adams left. True, she did agree that the house could be razed if it became a liability. But over the years many people have donated thousands of hours of labor and materials to keep the house “alive.” Its destruction would be a slap in the face to those who labored on it and would forever dishonor Margery Adams’ memory.
The Adams House has been an integral part of the environmental and educational experience enjoyed by thousands of children and adults. If the Society succeeds with its plan, they will impoverish the forest, leaving it without the historic home of its original guardian. If it is gone, I for one will not set foot on the Adams Sanctuary again.
I urge the Society to look at the bigger picture concerning preservation, history and good will. On July 1, two days before I left Illinois, I did a quick watercolor sketch of the house as a memento, assuming I will not see it again.
MEET ME AT THE BIKE SHOW
On the weekend of Sept. 9-10, like many citizens of Springfield, I rode downtown to see and admire the automobiles that had traveled here to participate in the Mid-West Charity Cruise. There was a good turnout and it appears the event was an overwhelming success.
I have recently gotten into the habit of commuting almost exclusively by bicycle. I do this for three reasons. I have found cycling to be a rewarding and enjoyable form of exercise, preserving the health of my body, mind, and spirit. I save a little money on gasoline. And, for a moment at least, I cut back a little on my contribution to the steady destruction of our environment.
This weekend in Springfield should have filled me with pride in my hometown. But sadly this weekend I was not proud, but even embarrassed, for my hometown. I was harassed by charity-cruise participants. I was verbally assaulted even as I was riding in my lowest gear, safely and slowly by. State Police officers demanded that I walk my bike rather than ride, apparently at the request of the participants. At the lowest point, one gentleman, as I was being polite and introducing myself to him and his family, swore at me and threatened physical attack. My bike was parked and I was not even on it at the time.
I ride approximately 50 miles a week on my bike. Aggressive drivers on the streets, who make the occasional verbal jabs out of a car window, are generally par for the course — ask any cyclist. But the abusive behavior I witnessed this weekend had a rare potency.
I understand how hard you work on your automobiles. I also understand that it is possible for a finely crafted automobile to be regarded as a work of art. I saw many such works this weekend. I fail to understand, however, what harm I could possibly do by riding a bicycle. At no point was it ever explained to me. The police officers, who are just doing their job by the way, didn’t have an explanation when I asked for one other than “they requested it.” Still, even if there is a reasonable explanation, am I that threatening as to be forcibly and physically dispatched?
But there is a bright future ahead. When all the gas runs out, we’ll all be having bike shows. All of you are invited. Just leave your cars at home.
PROSECUTE PRIEST, NOT ATTACKERS
Why waste two lives for a sex offender? It’s an irony of our justice system where often the victims are punished and offender or criminal is let go unpunished! That is exactly what seems to have happened in case of two teens beating up Eugene Costa after Costa allegedly tried to lure them into sex acts.
The Springfield Catholic Diocese has said now in a written statement — and the same was admitted when the incident occurred — that Costa had a history of inappropriate and risky behavior. Costa later resigned as chancellor of the Springfield Catholic Diocese and pastor of two parishes. This suggests that what teens said about Costa’s behavior with them seems to be right and in that case why not punish Costa who ignited the incident?
It is wrong to put these two teens in jail for a stupid mistake of a so-called priest! Instead of prosecuting them, the state should commend them for their bravery in giving an alleged sex offender a lesson of his life! Please, let them go free and prosecute the priest.
Harish G. Bhatt
In 2001, FEMA ranked a major hurricane strike on New Orleans as “among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country,” directly behind a terrorist strike on New York City.
So what was done after that assessment? The Bush administration made drastic funding cuts in New Orleans hurricane-protection projects to make room for tax cuts for millionaires and the war in Iraq.
The same president who didn’t pay attention to a 2001 report that said Osama bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States and the same incompetent Washington gang that has badly bungled the war in Iraq have now bungled hurricane recovery. What a surprise.
Former FEMA director Michael Brown had no experience in disaster management — his previous job was running horse shows. Smart move.
I know one of the fruits of political victory is that you get to reward your cronies with well-paid, do-little jobs, and that everyone does this. But you’re supposed to do it with the ambassadorship to Luxembourg, not with running a department of emergency preparedness. It’s especially appalling that President Bush didn’t bring in someone with expertise after 9/11 when everyone in America, as one, agreed we needed to beef up that area.
Alan L. Light
Iowa City, Iowa
INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS SCIENCE. REALLY.
The controversy between proponents of Intelligent Design and Darwinism continues unabated. Darwinists maintain that Intelligent Design doesn’t belong in the classroom. They claim Darwinian evolution is more scientific than Intelligent Design.
But what is more scientific than to accept that his awesome, complex universe was designed by someone? Even the simplest life form is incredibly complex. Human beings, endowed as they are with physical, mental and spiritual qualities, are most complex. What is more scientific than believing all life and especially mankind was designed by someone?
To believe the premises of Darwinian evolution requires we accept something that has never been observed. Our observations tell us life does not arise spontaneously from nonliving matter. Evolution of one kind of plant or animal into a more complex kind or evolution of man from a lower primate has never been observed. On what basis can we classify unobserved events as scientific?
Whether Illinois was once underwater is not disputed. No one denies that mutations occur. Nor is this about the age of the earth. The probability of life arising spontaneously from nonliving matter is effectively zero, whether earth is 6,000 or 6 billion years old.
Intelligent Design proponents are not attacking science or the scientific method. Nor are they making up reality. Instead, they are promoting a plausible approach to origins that finds increasing acceptance.
Darwinian evolution is far close to pseudo-science than Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is truly scientific because it is based on observation. The concepts of Intelligent Design are more amendable to test. It takes incredible faith to believe the dogma of Darwinian evolution. Much less faith is needed to believe an intelligent being designed the complexity we observe.