Impressed By Background Of Rep. Sue Scherer

Dear Editor,
As the mother of five small children, there is nothing more important to me than making sure they have access to good schools and safe neighborhoods. 
So, when I hear politicians talk about their ideas and plans for our area, I automatically think about who will work harder on behalf of future generations. 
One candidate that I have been really impressed by is Sue Scherer. Not only has she spent the last 30 plus years of her life teaching, but she also raised four children in Decatur, which shows me she understands the issues young mothers face. The fact that she was born and raised in Decatur is very important to me, because I know the future of Decatur is near and dear to her heart. 
I can't say this for all politicians, but I know Sue cares whether my children succeed, and that is why I am encouraging all mothers to vote for her!

Heather Grider

Talking Points Against The Smart Meter

Dear Editor,
The Smart Meter is back and Ameren is still claiming not a health risk and too "general" to be seen as an invasion of anyone's personal life. People can "opt" out by paying $20 more a month on the bill. That is the charge for reading the meter.
  Points of the Smart Meter:
  Possible  Health Issues: It emits dirty and powerful RF Radiation into the house every 3-6 seconds. Reaction can be: headaches, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations and more.
    Scientific Testing; Never been properly tested. Waived testing. Smart meters not U.L Certified under most states' electrical code. It has been reported to cause fires.
    Risk of Hacking: It violates the 4th Amendment--Invasion of Privacy. It snoops into homes 24 hrs. a day on what you are doing, part of the house you are in and appliances using.  It would know when family is not home.
    It is not meant to deliver more efficient use of energy but meant to change our behavior.
The Smart Meter is used for surveillance devices,  violating Federal and Wiretapping Laws. It is unconstitutional and violates the 10th Amendment--STATES' RIGHTS.
    It is not "mandatory" according to "the EnergyPolicy Act of 2005”. It mandates" to offer and install upon customers' request.
    The United Nations promotes this through AGENDA 21, which is a comprehensive plan that wants to control every human aspect of impact on the Environment. It will have RF chips in appliances so meters can "speak" to the chips and will know everything you do.
    A new tax forces the public to finance the Smart Meter/Grid at the rate 100% of costs plus a profit margin.
    "Big Brother will be monitoring and controlling over distribution and consumption of electrical power with an inclusion for gas and water (2012).
   AGENDA 21 will succeed to impose totalitarian, econmic dictatorship of the world, which is beginning to happen in America.
  Take a stand in Decatur: Watch: http://www.decatursmartmeterawarenesswebstart.com/

June Innis

Political Advertisements --Bah Hum Bug 

Dear Editor:
Political advertisements --bah hum bug. 
Each one seems to be a negative—Bill writes, Jane cheats on income taxes. Jane writes, Bill falsely tells his waste size etc, etc. 
That should give us an idea of their integrity. What is their plan for a better Illinois? Why should we want to vote for this person, not because of the adv. That should tell of their intelligence. Must be very low, from these ads, they approve. 
Well at least they are not making un-kept political promises. So what do these candidates really stand for? THEMSELVES! How can we really tell who not to vote for? 
Lots of unanswered questions. What can they do if elected? What is a democrat? Or what is a republican? They both look the same today.  Same rules. 
Talk about Americans being lazy? Example, There are over 300 bills sitting in the Senate, the DO Nothing Congress. WHY? Is it a “high moral disengagement”? 
We need new standards in politics. We need statesmen, not career politicians. They falsely claim “I want to serve the public.” 
This is still America, not some third world country as some would make it. As Illinois taxpayers we are being cheated in Springfield and Washington. I suggest whoever is in, vote for the other new person. Make it a one term for them.. Some have promised “Oh I’ll only run for one term.” 
Make them honest, vote for the new person. Illinois is a failure under present leaders. We the citizens are not failures. The voters are smarter than those we elect to be leaders. There are places on the web to check what candidates are really doing. Be a little bit more informed than the beggars you vote for. (Wow, this is a negative letter) 
Maybe I’ll be a candidate next time-- but only one term. I promise.  
 Dudley Brown

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Letters Above Posted 10/14/14

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Is City Management Capable Of Fostering
Downtown Retail Businesses?

Dear Editor:
Is Decatur's city management capable of fostering downtown commercial retail businesses? 
Downtown merchants spend many thousands of dollars on signs to attract customers. 
Does city management know this? Well, the city did sell signage rights to a business to advertise by a a big sign on the Civic Center - ergo signs the public, in cars and when walking can see, are judged good for business.
Before the recent makeover of downtown was begun a light pole and big tree blocked a decent view of the Lincoln Theater marquee - the north side which faces all the south-bound traffic on Main Street.
Assuming the group operating the Lincoln had the awareness and gumption to exploit the marquee for attention and revenue they must have been glad when the obscuring light pole and tree were removed. 
Then the makeover proceeded - and another big tree was planted to block the marquee all over again - as well as many other trees to block the views of many other shop signs. Stupid isn't it?
One more thought about the Lincoln. The city evidently gets cut-rate utility costs.
A big impediment to the theater's success is its big utility bills. If the city leased the theater for a modest rent, understanding it would sub-lease it to the operating group to manage, then with cheaper utility costs it just might break even - probably the best we can hope for. 
Or is this all too complicated for the people who put up trees so we can't see the forest of struggling merchants?

John E. Fick

The Phrase ‘Beautiful Lake Decatur’ Was True 
Many Years Ago, But Not Anymore

Dear Editor:
Decatur proudly boasts about the Central Illinois jewel of "Beautiful Lake Decatur".  
Perhaps it was beautiful decades ago.  During the 1940s sleek 3-cockpit Chris Craft cruisers took many of us on speeding trips around the lake. The lake was safe for swimming.  
My Uncle Walt had a cottage on the lake off of Country Club Road complete with a pier and sand beach .  Many summer days were spent swimming there and also at Nelson Park Beach and the Spitler Beach.  
None of these beaches exist today. During the summers of 1948 and 1949 I worked for the City of Decatur Water Department as part of their "Rip Rap" crew. The rebuilding of attractive limestone retaining walls around areas of lake shore was an annual event.   Winter ice expansion would cause collapses that required rebuilding.
Most shorelines now sport banks of broken-up sidewalk concrete.  What is especially annoying today, are the unattractive Lost Bridge, Williams Street and A. E. Staley (Nelson Park) Bridge approaches.  The sides are so overgrown with wild brush and trees that views of the lake are impossible except for the few feet along the bridge itself.  (There has been some relief along the southern Lost Bridge Road approaches as a result of tree and brush removal I believe to be associated with the lake dredging project).  A tree expert could identify the greenery but the majority of trees and brush can be classified as trash.  
A coalition of State, County, Municipal, and in the case of the A. E. Staley Bridge to include CSX Transportation, should be able to devise a cutting and removal program to make lake views possible again. 
The jumbled collection of private piers west of the Beach House and along the shore to the Commodore Stephen Decatur Yacht Club is most unattractive.  
Hopefully, this situation is being addressed by the Lake Decatur planning commission.
Perhaps, some year soon, we can have our "Beautiful Lake Decatur" back with us again.

Robert Von De Bur

Sheriff’s Office Thanks SANDEMAC Kennel Club

Dear Editor:
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the SANDEMAC Kennel club for their continued support of our office’s canine division.
Due to their financial support, our office has been able supplement all of our daily canines’ expenses including housing, veterinary expensive, and food expenses. 
This local kennel club is recognized by our office as a great supporter for many within our community as well,
Thank you SANDEMAC Kennel Club!
Lt. Jonathan Butts
Administrative Lieutenant 
Macon County Sheriff’s Office

Arts—A Secret Ingredient In Fueling The Economy

Dear Editor:
On March 28, I celebrated the 32nd Congressional Art Competition by hosting a reception to honor the imaginations and talent of promising young artists from across central and southwest Illinois, and to congratulate this year’s winner. In celebrating the achievements of these young artists, we must also remind ourselves of the importance of arts education in an increasingly challenging global marketplace. 
Although high school graduation rates in the U.S. have reached an all-time high, the results aren’t necessarily translating into greater opportunities for our nation’s youth. The next decade is estimated to create approximately 8.5 million STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) job opportunities. At the same time, it is estimated that the U.S. will face a shortage of 1 million STEM graduates. Representing a Congressional district with nine universities and colleges, this is always at the forefront of my mind.
Many ideas have been proposed to help address this crisis, including enhanced industry incentives, more affordable education opportunities, and better targeted government resources to reflect the needs of local industries and employers. These proposals are important, yet too often they ignore an area that would make a huge difference on workforce preparedness and our economy—the arts. Research shows the arts and arts education prepare students for jobs in technology and design, adding to our nation’s economic vitality. For example, students who are involved in the arts are four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair, and students who study music outperform their non-music peers in math assessments. Research also shows that the advantage of music studies actually increases over time.
According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released in December 2013, arts and culture accounted for 3.2 percent of GDP ($504 billion) in 2011. In Illinois, Arts Alliance Illinois estimates that the nonprofit arts and culture sector represents a $2.75 billion economic impact to the state, supports more than 78,000 full-time jobs and delivers $324 million in state and local government revenue.
Despite this, the arts get lost in discussions about STEM. Today, there are hundreds of worthy STEM initiatives in city and state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, and the private sector—yet these initiatives frequently overlook the arts.
All too often, we forget that the arts and sciences together create breakthrough innovations and, increasingly, are at the heart of great digital experiences, which are contributing to economic growth in myriad ways. 
Without the marriage of design and technology, some of our most important advancements of the last decade would never have come to life. And these innovations create high paying jobs and make our lives better.
As a proud member of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, my goal is to celebrate the next great American painters, photographers, and designers, and make sure we highlight the important role they play in strengthening our economy and brightening our future, much as we do for future scientists, software coders, engineers, and mathematicians.

Hon. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
STEAM Caucus Member

Pastor Reaches Out For Third Annual Prayer Walk 
Dear Editor: 
If we ask anyone between five years old and one hundred what “holiday” falls on October 31st, 100 percent will resound: “Halloween!” 
If we ask the same individuals what the next day proclaims, I guess 90 percent would stare back bewildered, because All Saint’s Day, November 1st, remains unknown by many, even Christians, as does All Souls Day on November 2nd.
Nevertheless, my Letter to the Editor in the Daily News, Jacksonville, North Caroline, two years ago brought added attention to All Saint’s Day. I announced that my wife and I would walk once around one of our city’s landmarks, Jacksonville Commons’ Pool, at 6:00 p.m., praying for God to continue to guide and bless our nation. In my letter, I invited other Christians to join our ten minute walk. A small group arrived and shared our praying. Last year, another Letter to the Editor about our All Saints Day Prayer Walk drew more praying walkers.
This third year, God’s Spirit touched me to invite more of God’s people to share in our All Saints Day Prayer Walk. Therefore, I am sending this same invitation to every newspaper and Christian church email I can find, local and afar, throughout America. I encourage churches to tell their congregations of this prayer walk or at least tell them of this national effort. Further, I encourage Christians, wherever they worship, to gather at a landmark in their city or community. 
Then, on November 1st at 6:00 p.m., praying Christians can join spiritually over vast distances with Jacksonville, North Carolina souls in our Third Annual All Saints Day Prayer Walk.
Regardless of the distance between us, what a blessing God will bestow on our nation if two or three (thousand) gather in Christian spirit every All Saints Day. 
If we walk worthy of our calling, praising God, humbling ourselves, praying and seeking His face, God will forgive our sins and will heal our land as He promised in Second Chronicles 7:14.
If we invest a few minutes in an Annual All Saints Day Prayer Walk until Christ returns for us, His living saints, we will no longer hide our light under a bushel. We will shine it from the highest hilltop for all to see.

Rev. Gene Poore
Jacksonville, NC 28546

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Above "Letters To The Editor" Posted 9/30/14

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Discouraged Voter Encourages Citizens To  
‘Think Before You Vote’

Dear Editor:    
I am a discouraged voter.  
Let’s face the truth, the State of Illinois is in deep financial trouble, most of the state-run pension funds are deeply underfunded, our prison and school systems are troubled, and our highways are in desperate need of major repairs. Our employers are leaving the state due to excessive taxes and
rules and regulations, and our citizens can’t find work.
Yet, year after year, we continue to allow the Governor and the Democrat controlled legislature, to continue to be re-elected. 
Their primary concern seems to be what can we promise or do to get re-elected, and don’t worry, be happy. We can always pass legislation and taxes to force the taxpayers to pay additional fees and taxes, so we can continue to collect our perks and pensions for our part time jobs.
We all watch, as the politicians tell us how good things are, and then “cut another ribbon” on a non-essential project.
Yes, I will continue to vote, because too many of us do not vote. We all need to change that.  This is our State, and we all have to live with the results of our votes. Your scarce personal dollars are funding all of this.
Think before you vote.

Milton J. Brahier

Where Has Durbin Been For The Last 30 Years?

Dear Editor:
I find it rather amusing that all of a sudden our illustrious Sen. Dick Durbin is bragging about how he's going to stem the flow of jobs and companies from going overseas. That's campaign talk telling us what he thinks we want to hear.
Where has he been for the last 30 plus years as our Senator while the flood gates of greed were open?
Maybe it's because he has spent a considerable amount of time trying to destroy our 2nd Amendment and take away our  guns. This year's slogan: DUMP DURBIN!

Jim Hopkins

Mike Bell Claims To Be  An ‘Outsider’ But Has
Jumped From One Elected Office To Another 

Dear Editor,
With every election season, comes a wave of "new" politicians who claim they are the answer to all of our problems. While many of them claim to be running for elected office because they are fed up with "politics as usual," it always surprises me to find out that most of them aren't new to politics at all. 
A perfect example of this is Mike Bell who is challenging Sue Scherer to become our next state representative.
Bell claims to be an outsider to politics, yet he has spent the majority of his adult life jumping from one form of elected office to the next. I am all for public service, but when you use elected office as a stepping stone to make a name for yourself, and then turn around and call yourself a newcomer to politics when it benefits you makes me severely question your motives for running. 
If Bell insists on deceiving voters while running for office, why should we expect anything else from him if he were to win?

Steve Woosley

Car Care Guide Has Been Redesigned

Dear Editor,
To help take the mystery out of auto service and repair, the non-profit Car Care Council has totally redesigned its popular Car Care Guide, adding 20 additional pages of new information to help motorists be car care aware by better understanding the when, why and how of caring for their vehicles.
Available in English and Spanish, individual copies of the 80-page Car Care Guide can be ordered free of charge by visiting the Car Care Council website at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.
New sections include finding an automotive repair shop, alternative fuels, understanding the warranty, vehicle telematics, careers in the auto care industry and an expanded environmental awareness section. The new Car Care Guide was reviewed by industry experts with various backgrounds and areas of expertise and the information has been vetted by car care professionals.
Because properly maintained vehicles perform more safely and dependably for drivers and their families, the Car Care Council offers many other free tools on its website to help consumers drive smart and save money, including a custom service schedule and email reminder service, Car Care Minute videos and Maintenance Mondays tips. The Car Care Council can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Rich White
Executive Director
Car Care Council
Bethesda, MD

Sen. Manar Has Been Working To
Make DCEO More Accountable

Dear Editor:
Illinois has been the subject of numerous hot topic issues in the past few years. One issue in particular – unemployment – has become an increasingly important matter within the state and has been the source of contention in downstate Illinois and throughout the Chicago land area. The state agency DCEO – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – is the main leader when it comes to finance and employment. 
State Senator Andy Manar has been working to restructure the DCEO in order to make the agency more accountable for the financial crises in Illinois and the high level of unemployment. HB 1544 will work on putting a strategic development plan in place. On top of this, there will be an advisory board with business experts which will work to establish measurable and attainable goals for DCEO, which in turn, will allow the agency to work towards fixing the high unemployment and financial crisis in Illinois. 
This bill progresses the unemployment issue onto the agency and creates the resources to outfit it and hold it accountable in working towards achieving resolutions to problems of high unemployment and budget despairs. HB 1544 could mean an entirely different future for Illinois, one without high unemployment and without lingering financial crisis. 

Kevin Meachum

New Docks Just Another Problem For Park District

Dear Editor:
Well the folks at our park district office have admitted, or almost admitted, that the new docks are a wee bit high from the Lake Decatur water. Thaat’s something anyone who has seen these new docks already knows. The first time I saw them it was a “holy cow moment” as in what were they thinking when these were put in? I thought this is going to put a stop to boat traffic coming to the restaurant. We use to enjoy going to the Beach House when boating. Haven’t been there since the new high rise docks came to the lake. 
It looks like the hopes of a 300 unit condo in Chandler park isn’t going to happen. 
Another wish off the list. 
So look at this through a taxpayer’s eyes. Feasibility costs, you hire a firm to tell us what we need and we do it but it doesn’t work.  We hire a firm to tell us what we need and even they realize this isn’t going to work and try to get the district to adjust their wishes, but the Park District knows best and sends them on their way. 
We do have a new miniature golf course, though. Another disappointment for myself. All the talk about sticking to the zoo theme with animals and the like at each hole. I haven’t been there yet but from the road it looks like yard ornaments to me. 
Sorry but not impressed yet. During all of this, Lake Shore Drive remains closed. Maybe hindsight would have been to leave it open to see if or until these grandiose plans work or fail. There is still time. 
One thing for certain in Decatur is if you plan and build thinking you’re going to attract upper middle class to price out anyone lower you will fail. This is a blue collar community, has been and will remain so. 
High end boat docks and condos won’t make it in this town, even by the lake. My dad use to call it a champagne appetite with a beer pocket book.  
Makes since to me.     

Rocky Daniels

What Would Abe Do?

Dear Editor:
What would Abe do?
The gubernatorial election in Illinois is pointed everywhere but on the issues. If the media restricted political advertisements to major problems facing the state, we might be on the road to economic reality. We are rated the worst state in the nation financially. That's a political problem that Lincoln would deem important and face up to. Difficult, yes! Unpopular, yes, but not like declaring war on states separating themselves from the union!
Unemployment is another hot-button topic. If government pensions are running amuck should we not talk about the ways and means of dealing with the problem? State taxes, entitlements, skewered labor laws all jump right up there with what's keeping new business out and the old employers leaving. 
Would Abe stand against an opponent because of wealth? I think not. Our most revered leader would climb out of today's political slime pit and face the issues of importance. The discourse should be on the glaring problems. Let the electorate deal with those who create and propagate the disaster we face.

Tom Cooley

FOIA The State Police

Dear Editor:
Someone needs to FOIA the State Police Dept. concerning any/all facts pertaining to the reason(s) why firearms permits (conceal carry) are being denied by this governor's arm, against our legally protected right to carry - to protect life, property, and liberty - reference to Bastrat's "The Law".
Didn't we have a little tête-à-tête with the King in the 1700's over Lex Rex or rightful authority and unalienable rights?
Illinois shall not be above the rule of law.

Sherry Procarione


Bad Experience With Illinois State 
Treasurer’s Office

To the Editor:
Today (Friday) I had the unfortunate experience to call Dan Rutherford’s office about “unclaimed property” of my deceased mother-in-law.  
Previously I had completed forms and sent them to the Illinois State Treasurer’s office as instructed along with a copy of the last will and testament, small estate affidavit, death certificate and of course these documents were certified by the Macon County Clerk of the Circuit Court and signed by the Circuit Judge. 
Guess what?  
After a month or more, the USPS delivered another form and a request for the same documents I previously submitted!  I called the number provided and was curtly told I had submitted ‘copies’ and I must submit originals certified by the Circuit Clerk (the embossed seal must be ‘raised!’ ).
The Treasurer’s office is not helping residents of Illinois by making such ridiculous rules, hindering the rightful owners of unclaimed property!   The Treasurer’s office publishes full page notices with many names, acting like they are the savior and then have such regulations!  
The Treasurer’s office personnel do nothing but create more bureaucracy to justify their jobs.
Illinois’ political climate and finances have to be the worst in the US! 

Dennis G. Mahorney

Some Resources To Help Take Control Of Your Medical Care

Dear Editor:
We live in an era of medicine that offers the best of care, but is often put off course by jumbled communication. Here are important resources to help you take control of your medical care.
1. "How Doctors Think", by Jerome Groopman, MD - Harvard medical school professor explains the diagnosis process and how patients can help steer their doctors in the right direction.
2. Labtestonline.org - Lets you look up any lab test and find out why it is given and how to interpret the results.
3. MedlinePlus (www.nim.nih. gov/medlineplus) - Provides authoritative information from government agencies and private health care organizations.
There are hundreds of health-care related books and web sites. These three resources are a good place to start. 

William C. Faber, Jr.

Above Letters Posted 9/16/14

Letters Are Printed With The Most Recent Submissions First

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P. O. Box 1490,
Decatur, IL 62525-1490.

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Looking southwest from the editor's office in the Millikin Court Bldg. downtown

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