Rezoning Not Needed

Dear Editor:
As a taxpayer of Decatur I would like to say that there is NO need to rezone the corner of 51st, Ash and Oak Ave to accommodate Aldi’s desire to build on that location in Decatur.  
This rezoning will degrade an upscale neighborhood which is exceptionally maintained by long term tax paying Decatur homeowners. This gives Decatur a positive image as visitor’s come into town from the North on 51. And makes Decatur attractive to future Corporations that employ more than 15 people. Construction of a new Aldi’s will create two eyes sores: the store they abandon and the new slightly bigger store.
At the meeting with CC Consulting Group and Aldi’s on August 27 they stated the new store will only be 3,000 sq. ft. larger than the current store. But there will be less parking than at the current site. This makes no sense. Aldi’s legal representative stated that the traffic issues and related expenses will be the responsibility of Decatur paid through taxes. As a taxpayer Decatur cannot and must not take on anymore debt.
There are plenty of empty business locations in Decatur that would accommodate Aldi’s desire to move. Besides there is enough space to enlarge their current store which has better access than they will have on Ash. On Ash they will have to create a left turn lane which will increase the numerous traffic problems at that corner. Plus Aldi’s delivery trucks will have to back into the store on Oak to off load goods because there is no room to make Oak two lanes.  
This is not just a neighborhood issue, it is a Decatur issue. We need to offer the current empty but zoned commercial spaces to businesses new and existing who want to expand. Just because Aldi’s wants to capture Walmart’s left over business (their words) does not justify rezoning this long term upscale residential neighborhood.
Dunkin Donuts and Decatur Pawn and Jewelry just repurposed two buildings on Pershing. Even the Decatur Police Department revitalized and expanded into an existing building. Aldi’s could do the same. There are a number of vacant building on Pershing for a start that would accommodate their needs just as well with better access to their new store without creating more traffic issues at 51, Ash and Oak Ave.
Over 400 taxpayers have signed a petition against this rezoning of an upscale neighborhood. I encourage the Decatur Planning Commission and Decatur City Council to NOT APPROVE this rezoning.  We need to fill the empty business properties we already have.  We need Decatur revitalized with new business. Not more of the same business just in a different location. 
We need to rebuild and revitalize locations already zoned commercial. If we want to preserve our attractive and desirable city this reckless rezoning must stop.

Edward Dawson

Rezoning Of Properties Could Destroy Neighborhood

Dear Editor:
Aldi is attempting to have the area nearest Route 51 by Walmart rezoned for commercial use so that they can move their existing store on Pershing Road to this location. The plan would be to demolish five nice homes in an established residential area on both West Ash Ave and West Oak Lane.
The rezoning of these properties would effectively destroy this neighborhood. West Ash Ave is already a very busy street which will become even busier if any commercial development occurs.  Residents in the area have signed a petition to stop the rezoning and to save their neighborhood. The rezoning meeting will be held this Thursday September 3rd at 3:00 pm at the Decatur Civic Center. Residents will be attending this meeting as well as the city council meeting on Monday September 21st at 5:30 pm to show their support against any rezoning in this location.
Decatur already has plenty of prime commercial real estate sitting vacant on the north side of Decatur that is an eyesore to the community. The locations occupied by the former Schnucks grocery store, K’s Merchandise, and Rusty’s restaurant have sat vacant for years, and would be prime locations for a business. During the meeting between residents and representatives for Aldi, the representatives confirmed that the current Aldi building on Pershing would be left vacant if the move occurs.
Aldi is also taking a strong armed approach with the city of Decatur to get this location. Mike Rosch, Director of Real Estate for Aldi was quoted in a story in the Decatur Herald & Review on Sunday August 30th as saying “if not approved we’ll continue to expand our search and really try and find a place somewhere north or south of U.S. 51. We would be open to opportunities in Forsyth as well.” During a meeting with representatives from Aldi, they said how they wanted to be good neighbors. A good neighbor would look for ways to help the community revitalize and not destroy a neighborhood to increase their own revenues.
If rezoning is approved and any commercial development happens on the corner of West Ash Ave and U.S. 51, traffic flow will back up further west along Ash Ave, blocking more resident’s driveways. During peak times of the day, residents find it difficult to back out of their driveways onto Ash Ave. Increasing traffic flow will make matters even worse.

The residents of West Ash Ave
Tim & Julie Bresnan
Jim & Barb Forbes
Pam Ambeau & Bruce Baker

Creating Economic Security

Dear Editor:
The expansion of Convey Health Solutions, combined with the launch of National Foodworks Services, illustrates the diversity of opportunities for job growth in Decatur, and strengthens our national reputation in the fields of health care, food processing, and agriculture.
The 300-500 job opportunities provided by Convey Health Solutions are well suited for many of Decatur’s citizens.  They will provide employees with valuable skills that allows for career advancement within the company or for work with another company.  As Convey Health Solutions gains success in Decatur, it will be a strong signal to similar types of health care technology firms that the city has a labor force that is ready and able to help companies grow.
National Foodworks Services is an entrepreneurial venture that will fill a niche while taking advantage of one of our city’s strengths. With the presence of Archer Daniels Midland Company and Tate & Lyle, Decatur is a global center of food processing.
As National Foodworks Services develops it is likely that many of our newest food companies will get their start in Decatur.  Partnering with educational institutions such as Richland Community College, this food manufacturing hub and incubator is poised to become a new driver of economic growth and job creation for our city.
Decatur is positioning itself for long-term, sustainable job growth that will bring prosperity to its citizens.  Gainful employment provides economic security for families, labor certainty for companies, and ultimately serves as the foundation for better neighborhoods, stronger communities, and a vibrant city.

David Horn

The Iran Deal Betrayal

Dear Editor:
Never mind Obama is hiding the details of the Iran deal from the American people. Never mind many in congress oppose it. President Obama is trying to ram the Iran deal through by ignoring the treaty making mandate in U.S. Constitution. Obama acts as though he can enact it on his own.  
Our Constitution doesn’t recognize executive agreements or deals or treaties made solely between the President and a foreign power. That is not one of the enumerated powers delegated to the President. 
The delegated power to make treaties defined in the Constitution is very specific about who can exercise that power. It’s stated in Article 2, Section 2, clause 2;   treaties may be made by the President only with the advice and consent of the Senate, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur. 
Mr. President, by definition, all deals, agreements, with foreign countries are treaties. Did you know the Council on Foreign Relations has been on record for years as saying that the treaty clause is the part of the U.S. Constitution they would most like to change? 
Who are the CFR members; they are rich elitists who want to circumvent our elected representatives and rule over us. That begs the question; is that why Obama is attempting this unconstitutional power grab from congress? 
And for the record Mr. President, you cannot lawfully circumvent the constitution’s treaty-making law by calling the proposed Iran treaty a deal instead of a treaty. 
Some will say, yes but the Corker bill reversed the process for treaty ratification.  
Wrong, the only way to change the constitution is by the art. V amendment process and it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states, both the president and congress knows that. Sometimes, I think the federal government is little more than organized crime.

Roger German

Stephen Decatur Chapter Of DAR To Celebrate 
228th Anniversary Of Signing Of Constitution

Dear Editor,
The Stephen Decatur Chapter of the  National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is promoting the observance of the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America during the week of Sept. 17-23. This is one of the finest documents ever written, and we as Americans have reason to be appreciative that we have this document to give us the freedoms we have.
We are inviting the public to attend a bell ringing in Central Park on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 3:00 p.m. to celebrate this event. Bring a handbell to join us in this celebration. We will gather beneath the flag pole.
In 1955 the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside these dates annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Wilma Thompson
Constitution Co-Chairman
Stephen Decatur Chapter

Man Who Killed Reporter, Photographer
Had History Of Cruelty To Animals

Dear Editor:
Vester Lee Flanagan II, who allegedly killed a reporter and photographer for WDBJ7-TV in Virginia during a live broadcast, reportedly had a history of cruelty to animals. According to news reports, the suspect wrote that he killed his two cats and buried them in a forest because he was angry after being fired from the news station.
This is yet another example of the link between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence. Medical experts and top law-enforcement officials agree: Cruelty to animals is a major red flag. Many serial rapists and murderers, including school shooters, have a background of abusing animals. The FBI uses reports of cruelty in gauging the threat potential of suspected and known criminals, and the American Psychiatric Association identifies such crimes as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders.
It is vital to immediately notify police if we know or suspect that someone is abusing animals. Animal abusers need intervention—including counseling and a ban on contact with animals—to prevent their violence from continuing. Visit www.PETA.org to learn more.

--Lindsay Pollard-Post
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk, VA 

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks

Dear Editor:
Thanks, thanks, thanks to you all.
I've celebrated my 99th birthday for two weeks. Really enjoying it. 
Thanks for all the prayers, gifts, visits, flowers and calls. I've enjoyed my 99th birthday beyond any imagination and I received 65 cards from old friends and new ones. 
Now, I'm looking forward to the big one - one hundred.
Again thanks one and all.

Mary King Miller

Above letters posted on 9/1/15

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Attended Clinic Hosted By Baseball Great Rogers Hornsby

Dear Editor:
I was born and raised in Northern Illinois and in the summer of 1949 I attended a clinic put on by Rogers Hornsby at American Legion baseball field in Dixon, Illinois.
Everyone worked their way up to bat by playing all seven positions other than pitching and catching. Rogers did all the pitching to a catcher he had with him. Most of the attendees swung from their heels trying to knock it out of the park. I was never a power hitter but could hit quite solid line drives which I did that afternoon and Rogers commented "Here's a line drive hitter."
The dumbest thing I did that day was have Rogers autograph my Stan Musial floating heel baseball glove and I of course kept using it until it was wore out and by then his signature had long since disappeared. I have thought about that mistake many times for by now his autograph would be valuable. Later in life I was smarter when I got Casey Stengel's autograph while staying at the Chase Hotel in St. Louis during the 1968  World Series.
Hornsby was definitely one of the best right handed hitters of all times.
We really enjoy the Tribune but I cannot figure out why they take about 2 weeks after the edition date to get to Carmel, Indiana which is about 13 miles north of downtown Indianapolis
Keep up the good work.

Jim Greenfield
Carmel, IN

New Mayor Is Worthy Of The Task Ahead 

Dear Editor:
The father and mother of the new Decatur mayor, lived in Sullivan in the early 50's and J.C. Moore, was a classmate of my father, in Sullivan, well before moving to Mattoon.  
Even though my younger brother pushed Julie's older sisters into a ditch 
when they were (all) children, I think Decatur has inherited a new mayor,  worthy of the task at hand.  
Integrity, fairness and empathy are worthy components, of leadership.  

Eric L. Kenney

Great Reminder Of A Good Neighborhood 

Thank you, Paul, for the Scrapbook article on the East End of Decatur, July 29, 2015.
It was a great reminder of a good neighborhood to grow up in.  I have many good memories of childhood there.  
In the article, Tom Hanks mentioned “Fisher's Snack Shop” and “Greene's Food Market”.  
Several months ago, I sent a picture and notes on the Kelly family, and their relationship to V-E Day and the east side of Decatur.  
The Kelly Grocery, owned by CW Kelly and included in those notes, became Greene's Food Market when CW Kelly sold the store in '46 or '47.   Fisher's Snack Shop was Fisher's Grocery; the Kelly and Fisher grocery stores were next to each other.  (Never knew why?!)  
The families became related when a Kelly daughter and a Fisher son married.  Their son Jerry Fisher is my cousin (he now lives in Florida).  
He, his wife and I drove through the area recently; we decided we would keep our memories of a different time, instead of the sad reality we saw there.
Thanks again, for your historical reminders of Decatur.

Barbara Alderson, 
granddaughter of CW Kelly
San Diego, CA

Above Letters Posted on 8/26/15

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Title, First Paragraph Of Article Was ‘Blatantly Incorrect’

Dear Editor:
In the August 5th Tribune, an article by Matilda Charles (Senior News Line) was published which was entitled "Slash Your Risk of Heart Attack."  The article was in reference to a study that was published by researchers at Tuft University in the Journal of American Cardiology on July 6 of this year.  
The title and the first paragraph of this article was blatantly incorrect as regards the Tufts study of 4400 people aged 65 and over.  This study examined heart failure, not heart attacks or coronary heart disease.  
Matilda Charles apparently confused the two different medical conditions.  Heart failure results from a weak heart which is unable to pump enough blood to all parts of the body.  This problem can cause fluid buildup in the feet and the legs, resulting in painful swelling, chronic tiredness, and other health problems.  
Based on the Tufts study, the conclusion that diet may not matter as regards heart health only applies to seniors with risk of heart failure, not to people with coronary heart disease.  Given the misleading title of the article, the Tribune should print a retraction, so readers are not fooled into thinking that diet has nothing to do with heart disease.  
A more accurate summary the Tufts study findings can be found at this National Library of Medicine website:

Mel Weinstein 

Welcome To New CEO Of Land Of Lincoln Credit Union

Dear Editor:
This is a welcome to the new CEO of Land of Lincoln Credit Union - this brings up a question for our readers. The Land of Lincoln Credit Union was a merge of credit unions. I remember the Wabash Credit Union started by Ed Arnold (later this was Norfolk Western) and the Signal Depot Credit Union was started by Walter Eichel. 
These men gave a start to our returning GIs. We all needed help. Does anyone know of other credit unions involved in this merger? These men were lifesavers then and we appreciate what they did.
Looking forward to Mr. Harris carrying on this legacy.
Good Luck.

Richard L. Parrish
Long Time Member

Senators Durbin, Kirk Voted To Continue
Funding Of Planned Parenthood

Dear Editor:
On August 3, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin voted to continue giving a half billion of our tax dollars a year to Planned Parenthood, an organization who specializes in the “termination” of preborn human beings through abortion. 
  Recently it has been learned that Planned Parenthood illegally dismembers and harvests the remains from these aborted babies and sells them.
  While a majority of U.S. Senators voted to end funding of Planned Parenthood, the 60 votes needed weren’t obtained.  Yet Illinois Senators Durbin and Kirk voted to continue giving our money to this inhumane organization. I hope you’re as outraged as I am!
  The moral and legal ethics of selling the organs of freshly aborted preborn babies are disgusting to most Americans.  Thanks to modern technology, we have a window into the reality of pregnancy and the abortion industry.  It is intellectually impossible to deny that abortion terminates a human life.  It’s murder. There simply isn’t any reason for taxpayer funding of abortion.
  I call on Senator Kirk to embrace the pro-life principles of the Republican Platform, and urge him to protect the women and preborn babies being exploited by those who promote and profit from death, destruction and the selling of baby body parts.
David E. Smith, Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute
Carol Stream, IL

Above Letters Posted 8/18/15

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Glad For Good News About Jobs, Disappointed In Negative Comments Of Councilman

Dear Editor:
I was very glad to see that a company had chosen Decatur for 300-500 new jobs.  That was very good news for Decatur and should have been celebrated by everyone.  I hope our jobless citizens take advantage of this golden opportunity and swamp RCC at the job fair.  Way to go Convey Health.  
But I was also disappointed by the comments made by one of our newly elected City Council members.  Maybe being so-called Decatur's Lawyer has given him a sense of elitism and he forgot that all of us at one time or another took a low paying entry job.  
Mine was at Sandys at Jasper and Eldorado in 1966 for 75 cents an hour.  I called it opportunity at that time.  
Maybe during that last election we should have taken a better look at this candidate.  I don't think his comments show that he is a real supporter of Decatur and our moving forward.  I am not sure of what the rules are but can he be recalled and replaced with someone who would look out for Decatur and be happy and supportive when an opportunity like this comes along.
Dan Sebok     

Thank You To Decatur’s Finest
Dear Editor:
Last night, my husband and I called 911 for a wellness check on an elderly widow.  She lives alone and we hadn’t been able to arouse her at her home.  After arriving at her house and seeing no sign of life we called 911.
  The police officers, who arrived were so polite, and so helpful and, truly, went out of their way to find out about her welfare.
  We want to let all of Decatur know what a blessing and how reassuring it is to have these dedicated men and women in our police department.  
Thank you.

Patricia E. Brahier

Foolish To Tolerate A Plan That Endangers American Lives

Dear Editor:
Conservatives say they don’t want to embrace the liberal’s agenda; they would rather try to tolerate it “conserving” the status quo, but this enables the status quo to always continue to grow in small increments.  We as a nation must not tolerate anti-Constitution, anti-God agendas and legislation.  The only path for us is to wipe out and destroy the aberrant behaviors and laws and not tolerate them for the sake of “getting along.”   
It’s foolish to tolerate a plan or law that endangers our own lives, freedom and country.  It must be destroyed – not tolerated.  Toleration has been redefined, like so many other words, and is used as a club to criticize those who don’t believe in a certain leftist agenda being forced on them.
Unfortunately, all of us will be involved in the punishment of this behavior.  It’s not just the wicked that will suffer from their false teaching, but all people, because, let’s face it, the people could not have been deceived except by their own consent.
The Roman senator Marcus Cicero was told how Julius Caesar was working to destroy the Roman republic.  He said, “Don’t blame Caesar.  Blame the people.  We are letting Caesar get away with it.”   Today, that’s us.
Walt Kelly’s comic strip of long ago, Pogo, so concisely points out the main problem with our society:  “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Stephen McGuire

Be Brave Leaders -- Say No
Dear Editor:
I recently read in the Herald & Review where the Muslims are wanting the 35-acre land (they say), for a cemetery to bury their dead in Farmersville, Texas. Why would the community leaders even think about it!  Isn't there land where they came from to buy? What makes them think they're better than us? Next, every race and religion will demand their own cemeteries.
I think our country and government has gone down. We need leaders who'll stand up, have nerve to say no, taking care of our own. We’ve waited long enough. 
I'm sure if there is a way, Obama will make sure they get it.

Sandy Petroski

Decatur Memorial Hospital Hits A Home Run

Dear Editor:
Decatur Memorial Hospital hits a home run! Wow! 
On July 23, I attended the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at DMH's new wound center! What a "state of the art" addition to the community! If you have not seen it or heard about it, you need to check it out. It can improve the quality of life of someone you know or love!
DMH has made a major financial commitment and the center adds nine new jobs! We need those in Decatur.
Another plus is the director of the center, Dr. Tim Bailey, a local Decatur guy who graduated from MacArthur High School, Wesleyan University and the U of I School of Medicine.
Borrowing a term from our new branding sign, 'We are limitless Decatur and Macon County" if we all work together.
Again, thank you DMH for your premier wound center and thank you, Dr. Bailey. You make us proud!

David D. Wilhour

Congratulations To Local Church

Dear Editor:
 Congratulations to The First Congregational United Church of Christ! Good for you providing a meeting place for The Macon County LGBT youth group who previously had to go to Bloomington or Springfield for Support Meetings.
It is sad that most of these young people are home-schooled because of abuse and bullying from students in the public schools.
Bless the retired minister who has come forward to lead this Support Group.

June Wray

Look How Far United States Has Fallen In Recent Years

Dear Editor: 
America has lost our credibility and standing in the world.
  How could any world leaders truly trust us, when our elected and appointed individuals, use non-governmental, easily hacked, and unprotected computer servers, to conduct, official government business?           
  Can you imagine making a bank transfer from your bank account, through a “private” computer system, that is located in the basement of your favorite teller?  You would not tolerate it, and the government would not permit it. 
  Why are politicians different and why are they not prosecuted?      
  I can’t imagine, any world leader, friend or foe, who wants to deal with any government leaders, who make public statements, then fail to follow through, or know that their private conversations, are being electronically monitored.
  For decades we have been respected for our ethics, and leadership in world affairs, and now look how far we have fallen in recent years.

Milton J. Brahier

Above Letters Posted On Aug. 11, 2015

Thumbs Up To The Quick Action Of The YMCA

Dear Editor:
Several weeks ago as I was passing through the ladies locker room en route to the pool, I noticed a friend attempting to get out of her swimwear. As she is a regular in the arthritis swimming class, I stopped to speak to her. It was clear from the beginning that something was wrong. She said she just wasn’t feeling well and was going home. Upon further questioning, I could see she was experiencing classic heart attack symptoms. My friend complained of not being able to breathe and was rubbing her left arm. From the instant they were notified, the front desk staff jumped into action. Before I could get back to the locker room I heard multiple notifications over the loud speaker system. 
Within moments one of the life guards was administering oxygen and someone else was racing in with an AED. I am so impressed with the speed in which life-saving actions began to occur. 
Staff began swarming the area, making sure she was comfortable, asking questions related to the situation, and seeing to her every need. 
Each person spoke to her with such kindness and compassion. It was clear that this routine had been rehearsed over and over by everyone involved. Almost out of nowhere the emergency people arrived and carefully whisked her out of the locker room and into an ambulance.
The people at the Y had a well-practiced plan and followed through quickly, kindly and with great skill. 
I cannot thank the great staff of the YMCA enough for all of their efforts. I am quite certain that their professional actions saved the life of my friend. My friend had surgery that very day and is doing much better. She returned to the class today. 
Decatur has so much going for it and the YMCA is at the top of the list!
Jane Wright

News Media Attention Certain To Create
More Murderers In Future

To The Editor:
Our nation has experience a number of terrible mass murders. The national news media quickly and correctly informed the nation. Then they continued to focus their attention on the grief and pain of the survivors and the families and the shock of the community. 
The next group of murderers are watching the grief and pain. They know that they are seeing just what they hope to accomplish to feel like an important person, who will be remembered by name for many years. 
As long as the media continues to focus much of their coverage this way, I believe it is almost certain that the terrible acts will continue.

Eldon Clements

Pope Should Pay More Attention To Our
Religion Instead Of Climate Change

Dear Editor:
Our Pope should pay more attention to our religion instead of being sold by Obama and his great fraud of about climate change.
It's apparent that Obama's purpose of his trip to the Vatican was to sell his propaganda to the Pope.
The Pope is not a scientist and neither is Obama. A lot of people just don't get it, without CO2 there would be no plant life or even people life on earth.
Goofy Al Gore made himself a multi-millionaire selling this fraud to others -- even to Obama and his fellow wackos.

Edwin Welge
Payson, AZ

Change Lake Decatur’s Name To Honor McElroy

Dear Editor:
As soon as I heard about our wonderful mayor passing away I said to my wife if we can name a viaduct, William Sands, a street at the Decatur Civic Center, Gary Anderson, the highway west of Decatur for a State Senator, Penny Severns, and a north/south street after a civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, all of which were great people, I think for a man who put so much effort into making Decatur a better place for all of us, why not name Lake Decatur after him?
I think it would take 8 signs at the four bridges and notifying Rand McNally on future maps to call the lake, "Lake McElroy."  
Let's do more than talk about what a wonderful man and mayor "Tuna" was.  Let's show Decatur how we really feel.

Tom McKenzie

Posted 8-4-15

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