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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 12:18 am

Letters to the Editor 2/16/17


To Dick McLane (“Letters,” Feb. 2, Illinois Times): I believe this (the Beverage Tax Act) is just another tax. Where the dollars go is unknown but the goal is to make it fair and a necessity for all without creating possible job loss in this industry, not follow big Chicago, the Illinois Road Fund big dippers. How about a 1 cent tax per roll of toilet paper?

The state wouldn’t be borrowing money to pay off debt they got themselves in; they would pay the tax too. Maybe we could fix roads that require my extra expense for vehicle maintenance. The only downfall would be the old saying “Does a bear blank in the woods?” Meanwhile, stay out of our pockets and dip in yours; we would all remember this bill anytime one felt the urge or necessity.

Mike Dunne

Last week the Trump administration put out a sheet listing terrorist attacks that it said were not reported or were grossly underreported. Many mainstream news organizations reviewed the two page list and showed that the allegations of non-reporting or underreporting were not substantiated.

A very recent attack in Quebec, Canada was not on the list, even though six Muslims were killed in the attack by a white extremist. It was widely covered by the mainstream media, however.

Also not on the administration’s list are the many attacks that are designed to terrorize non-mainstream religious groups in this country. Burning predominately black churches, attacks on synagogues, and attacks on mosques are widespread and frequent by many accounts. It seems that unless there is significant loss of life, these terrorist attacks on people’s religious freedoms go mostly un- or underreported.

Be it resolved then, that the Westside Democratic Club condemns all religious and racially motivated terrorist attacks large and small as un-American. And that we support our friends in all religious communities in the peaceful exercise of their constitutional right for the free expression of their religious beliefs.

David Trout
West Side Democratic Club

For almost two years, the Illinois legislature has not agreed on a state budget. I’m sure you’ve heard about the devastation this budget impasse has caused – especially on social services and public universities.

This crisis has also affected Illinois Humanities. About 20 percent of our annual budget comes (and has come for the past 25 years) from the state of Illinois. We use these funds largely to make grants to cultural organizations across the state and for our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, primarily to organizations in places other than Chicagoland – many of them in small communities where institutional cultural resources are limited. In fact, libraries are the largest users of the Road Scholars programs.

We’ve worked hard to weather this budgetary storm, dipping into our financial reserves and making budgetary cuts that still allow our programming to remain intact. However, such solutions are only temporary. If the state doesn’t pass a budget, I’m afraid we will be forced to cut our Community Grants and Road Scholars programs for the rest of the year.

Although we all understand the awful impact of the budget impasse on the people of Illinois, state legislators tell us that they rarely receive phone calls or emails from their constituents complaining about the budget impasse. For the first time in a while, there seems to be some movement towards passing a budget. We encourage you to voice your support for such bipartisan efforts. There is a window of opportunity to make a difference. Please call your state representatives and the governor’s office and ask them to pass a budget for the second half of the 2016-2017 year.

Angel Ysaguirre, executive director
Illinois Humanities Council


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