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Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 12:19 am

Letters to the Editor 11/16/17



A sure sign that winter will be here before we know it was the opening Sunday (Nov. 12) of our city’s overflow shelter.
Thanks in part to the many generous CWLP customers who already “round-up” their bills to next dollar, the overflow shelter was able to add 18 more beds and other enhancements this year. But more help is needed and “rounding up” is an easy way to do it.
As we approach Thanksgiving and the season of giving, you can help now and all year around by simply looking in this month’s CWLP bill for the Round Up insert. By filling it out and sending it with your November bill payment, your future CWLP bills will be rounded up to the next dollar with the extra change going to agencies that help the homeless. You’ll contribute 1 to 99 cents (an average of 50 cents) a month. You can also opt to add a specific amount, like $1 or $5, which is good if you are on the level payment plan. While 50 cents a month may not seem like much, multiply it by even a fraction of CWLP’s 65,000 customers and you’re talking real money.
If you already paid your November bill or pay online, you can still Round Up by calling 789-2030 or going to http://cwlp.com; clicking on customer service, then clicking on the Round Up Program, and filling out the online form.
Sam Cahnman


James Krohe Jr. is about two steps ahead of the rest of us in his commentary on the economic development study paid for by Sangamon County (“Business as usual,” Nov. 9). Krohe makes a number of good suggestions for the kind of experts who could facilitate the thorough self-examination that a successful economic development effort needs, as a prerequisite to determining how and where to focus its efforts. His basic caution is that any new effort had better get some fresh thinking or we risk fulfilling Einstein’s definition of insanity, repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. This is so very correct. Unfortunately, we are not quite ready for that essential step. As the recent study indicates, our first job is to get the key people charged with various aspects of workforce development, job creation, place-making and infrastructure to come down out of what the report terms their “silos” and working with each other as a matter of routine (not only when there is a crisis). At the moment, we must focus on pulling the disparate parts together. In the past, we have failed that critical first step. Perhaps the community at large is past ready to address the challenge. If so, they will now see if their leaders can follow.
Andy Van Meter
Chairman, Sangamon County Board


On Oct. 18, Representative Darin LaHood was in Springfield to speak about what it’s like to be a Catholic politician. I attended to ask questions about issues that are important to me but was prevented from doing so by the way the event was managed. Questions had to be submitted in writing and were screened.
I was alarmed by LaHood’s approach to religious liberty. He said he was “very happy” with the President’s recent Executive Order, and stated that people should not be mandated to do things that are against their religion. It is alarming that LaHood is supportive of policies that allow discrimination against many of his constituents, including women, LGBTQ and other religions. His definition of religious liberty is at odds with what our founding fathers put in place to protect us from having religion imposed on us. As my representative, I expect LaHood to uphold the original intent of religious freedom and separation of church and state.
LaHood was elected to represent the people of District 18, all 710,000 of them, not just those who share his religious beliefs.
Gwen Smith


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