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Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:58 am

Letters to the Editor 7/29/10

Birth records, drunk drivers and crime prevention

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Ann Wilmer of the Green Ribbon Campaign for Open Records was reunited with members of her extended birth family after painstaking research.

OPEN BIRTH RECORDS

No state has ever guaranteed, by law, the anonymity of relinquishing parents [see “Birth records opened, but not enough,” by Jackson Adams, IT, July 15]. But all states do have laws to protect every individual’s privacy, which is a different thing entirely from anonymity. The vast majority of birth parents and adoptees do not desire anonymity from each other anyway, yet most states mandate it by law. Whose best interests are being considered here?

The idea of sealing the original and issuing an amended birth certificate was devised as a means to shield the “illegitimate” person from public scorn. With single parenthood now common and single parents adopting children, it has lost any need to exist. The exploding popularity of “open” adoptions is testament to this.

Despite claims from certain opponents to birth certificate access equality, anyone willing to look can verify for themselves, with official state data, that states which make birth certificates freely available to all adult adoptees have steady to increasing rates of adoption and steady or reduced rates of abortion.

The best argument presented by adoptees is the claim of discrimination, that they are treated as a sub-class subject to special restrictions based on arbitrary criteria over which they have no control. Why shouldn’t they be afforded all the liberties others enjoy without question?

From illinoistimes.com.


ATTACK ALCOHOL

As I read the recent article in IT “Gaining on drunk drivers” [July 8], I see a knee-jerk response to a serious community and nationwide problem. The idea of living in an alcohol-approving culture and car-dependent communities is a recipe for disaster. After judgment is impaired by alcohol, how surprising is it that the next step is driving an automobile under the influence? Alcohol, as tobacco, should be treated as the serious health and safety danger it is. MADD and other advocates for even more and longer expensive imprisonments for drunk drivers are addressing symptoms instead of attacking the cause.

We read of city council business being done in bars, a recent major political party event called “Family Day” sold tickets that included all the beer you could drink, the referenced “Gaining on drunk drivers” story was followed by another story about a downtown festival with a half page photo of beer vendors and people walking around Springfield streets drinking. How do you suppose they got home after the day’s drinking?

Quit pruning the tree and take an axe to the root.
Pastor Michael J. Hart

Peoples Church
Springfield



NATIONAL NIGHT OUT

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, neighborhoods throughout Springfield are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 27th annual National Night Out crime prevention event. National Night Out is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. The event showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation.

The Springfield North End Improvement Assn., Enos Park Niehgborhood Improvement Assn. and the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Assn. will be hosting their Night Out 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Ridgely Elementary School, 2040 N. Eighth St. Remember to lock your doors, turn on your outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and the police.

Margaret Ann Gramlich
Springfield



OVER PARTIES

Re: “Green for governor,” IT, July 15: We’re not entranced or distracted anymore. We are totally disillusioned with the empty promises and false guarantees from both corporate parties.

Everywhere we look it is demonstrated that they are unresponsive and not taking into account the people’s concerns on a day to day basis. For them, it’s just a straight up power-play/money-grab/job-clutch.

Kevin Perez
Chicago