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Thursday, May 18, 2017 12:18 am

Letters to the Editor 5/18/17

Springfield city officials are considering reducing lake capacity for the proposed Hunter Lake from about 21 million gallons per day to around 12 million gallons per day.


Springfield city officials are changing the decades-old design for Hunter Lake. They are considering reducing the lake capacity from about 21 million gallons per day to around 12 million gallons per day.

A smaller second lake would still meet the city’s projected water needs over the next nearly 50 years, according to the engineering firm the city has hired to assist with the study. Thus a 42 percent reduction in volume is justified.

With this in mind, perhaps the city should reconsider the alternatives to a second lake. These would probably be less expensive, have less negative environmental impacts and be less susceptible to pollution from farm runoff.

Some people seem to have their hearts set on creating a second lake, regardless of cost, destruction of historic areas and an old, naturally diverse landscape. But a second lake has been debated, investigated, litigated and pursued in fits and starts for decades.

Questions of whether an alternative source would produce adequate water might be moot compared with the proposed smaller lake. Now might be a good time to compare the scaled down design with the various alternatives put forth over the years and select one of the alternatives. Let’s finally make up our minds and get this done.

Richard Leary

Now that U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Tayorville, and Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, have thrown a monkey wrench into Springfield’s local economy by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with – God knows what? They need to explain in concrete detail what specific steps they are taking to alleviate the human suffering and economic dislocation that Trumpcare inevitably will bring us.

It’s hard to know exactly what the losses will be, because the House Republicans rushed into Trumpcare without waiting for accurate estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. But we know they will be heavy.

In Illinois alone, A.J. Wilhelmi, president and CEO of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, estimates we could “sustain $7.6 billion to $8.4 billion in reduced annual economic activity, resulting in 55,250 to 60,750 lost jobs.”

In Springfield, where hospitals and other health care facilities are major employers, the pain is inevitable.

“More than 40 percent of Illinois hospitals are losing money (in the red) or have extremely thin operating margins,” Willhelmi said. “Hospitals would be in the difficult position of eliminating services, not hiring physicians and nurses, and delaying facility and technology improvements.”

Davis and LaHood are smart guys, and Willhelmi’s estimates come from a letter IHHA sent to members of Congress before Trumpcare passed. They know what they’re doing.

Fine. That’s politics. Sometimes ideology trumps your responsibility to your constituents. But what, specifically, are they going to do to clean up the mess they created?

Peter Ellertsen

Is it your practice to publish letters no matter how ignorant? Complaining about the various governors, Steve McGrew writes (“Letters,” May 4), “The state fell apart under the crooked James Ryan ... .” Whatever you may think of former Attorney General James Ryan, you can hardly hold him responsible for the acts of Governor George Ryan, to whom he was not even related.

The fact that you printed this letter with no acknowledgment of the error makes it appear that you also don’t know the difference.

Sheryl Essenburg


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