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Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:26 am

Letters to the Editor 4/14/16

Downtown Springfield, Inc. continues to push for affordable housing downtown and public spaces that encourage fun, a healthy lifestyle and integrity.
ILLUSTRATION BY SW PARRA/TNS

 

GREEN SPACE DOWNTOWN

Downtown Springfield, Inc. director Lisa Clemmons Stott continues to make an excellent point in citing housing downtown as key in revitalizing the downtown area. Drawing residents by creating spaces that encourage fun, a healthy lifestyle and creativity would set the tone of integrity and encourages the very best in each other.

Safe routes for people who bike downtown are essential for both visitors and local residents who seek healthier, economic transportation. An indoor winter market downtown with a demonstration kitchen is well on its way to happening here. This has the key ingredients to draw residents who are looking to live better and have fun in the process. Let’s not forget to encourage urban gardens for residents to grow fresh fruits and vegetables.

Green space with bike lanes could be used to slow traffic downtown, and would create a space where residents could safely enjoy green areas and biking. Bringing children downtown would be safe without speeding vehicles running by.

When developing green space, please include artists and those who support native habitats. It is exciting to see how other cities have used green space as a place to explore, protect and enjoy nature.

Creating a sense of integrity and character to the downtown is shown by what we encourage and protect.

Anne Logue
Sustainable Springfield
Springfield



MCARTHYISM AND THE GOP

I find the statements of the Republican Party Platform of 1956 not surprising if viewed against the backdrop of McCarthyism. (“Where does the GOP’s right-wing grouchiness come from?” by Jim Hightower, April 7.)

After initially swaying the nationalist and conservative wing of American politics in the early 50s, it very quickly fell out of favor in the mid-50s. So it is not surprising that the Republicans tried to distance themselves from this ideology in 1956. But – and this is a humongous but – McCarthyism never really disappeared. Sen. McCarthy’s wingman, Richard Nixon, won two elections for president. Beginning with Nixon’s “silent majority,” the fear and hatred of socialism, social action, sexual deviation and intellectualism (all very obvious in the actions of the “House Committee on Un-American Activities”) quietly returned and gained momentum during the presidencies of Reagan and Papa Bush. That these attitudes still are rampant is the more bizarre as the original enemy, Soviet Communism, vanished 25 years ago.

Rev. Hans Poetschner
Springfield



SPIRITED SATIRE

In the spirit of the Boston Globe’s recent satirical front page about the adventures – and misadventures – of a President Donald Trump, I wonder if we might see more local stories like this in the future:

PEACEKEEPERS TURN AROUND TURNAROUND AGENDA

SPRINGFIELD – Under the watchful eye of UN peacekeeping troops in blue helmets, international aid workers from Denmark and Sweden today set up an emergency operations center here in the former state capital of Illinois, where they will restore police and fire protection, water filtration, sewage treatment, electricity and other government services.

“This is a sham humanitarian crisis,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “We’ve just started shakin’ up Springfield, and I call on Speaker Madigan and the global economy that he controls to negotiate a budget including the job-creating structural reforms in my Turnaround Agenda.”

Rauner issued his statement to news media from a tent in the Stratton Building parking lot, where he set up a temporary governor’s office after utilities were shut off and the state Capitol building became uninhabitable. He left immediately after the photo op and took no questions from reporters.

Peter Ellertsen
Springfield

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