Paul Schimpf For Illinois Attorney General

Dear Editor:
I endorse Paul Schimpf for the office of Illinois Attorney General. Paul will be loyal to the people of Illinois and the Illinois Constitution; not to the elitist political insiders who have run our state into the ground. Paul Schimpf, now retired, honorably served our country for 24 years. 
Paul started out as an infantry officer and later served as a JAG marine prosecutor. In addition, he served as the lead American attorney advisor in the successful conviction of Saddam Hussein. 
If you are looking for someone with political patronage, incompetence at prosecuting, poor understanding of the state and federal constitutions, ability to turn her head to avoid dealing with partisan political corruption, then Lisa Madigan is your candidate. Ms Madigan first ran on cleaning up political corruption 12 years ago; how's that working for you? 
Recent reports reveal she and Gov. Quinn are knee deep in the NRI scandal, where over 50 million of our tax payer dollars are at issue; the Quinn administration gives our tax dollars to his politically connected pals in Chicago. 
Yet Lisa Madigan is silent, just as she irresponsibly was during ex-governor Blagojevich¬ís reign of corruption. The Illinois Attorney General should be fighting corruption, not standing knee deep amid the corruption. There is no way Lisa Madigan should be Attorney General; not with House Speaker Mike Madigan being her father. The conflict of interest is obvious to everyone.  
Do you really think we can trust Ms. Madigan to protect us from corruption in state government? 
Trust a retired Marine who lived the oath, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies; the Chicago controlled Lisa Madigan has proved she can’t be depended on.  
I strongly urge everyone to vote for Paul Schimpf on November 4th for Illinois Attorney General.
Roger German

Will Illinois Voters Finally Wake Up?
Dear Editor:
  Will Illinois voters finally wake up to the fact that the Democrat Party is what has ruined this state and country?
     Will they wake up to the fact that absolutely none of the Democrat commercials against their opponents tell the truth about anything?
      I've thought for a long time that the Democrat campaign won't back anyone that isn't an accomplished liar.
     No matter what anyone thinks about the Republican Party, they are the only hope for this state and our country.
     Will voters believe all the Democrat garbage?

 Robert Jenkins

Still Doesn’t Know Who Is Telling The Truth

Dear Editor:
Here we are again--coming to the end of another round of what I call fear politics.  
Somehow I don't think this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution--surely not politics based on fear.  Fear that we might lose personal income, or the water might be polluted, or taxes will increase, or social security  is in jeopardy, etc.  
After millions of dollars spent on negative TV ads and slick flyers we don't know what the candidates actually stand for.  Some of what is published and aired seems to border on slander and libel.  It is taking pot shots from behind our "freedom of speech", and the opponent doesn't have a fair opportunity to answer back with a defense.  
It is dirty politics all over again and the victor is the one who has the biggest purse or the slickest organization to back them.  
Who's telling the truth?  
After months of being harassed by unwanted phone calls, negative TV ads, expensive flyers, etc., I still don't know who is telling the truth.  To the people from other lands, our politics must seem the craziest of all.  
That is my opinion.

John Fullmer 

Yoder Has Been Effective As County Treasurer

Dear Editor:
I would like to offer a word of confidence in and endorsement of Ed Yoder, our Macon County Treasurer.
Treasurer Yoder had quietly and effectively administered this important county financial office for the past four years.
Those four years have seen improvements in technology, innovation in payment options, and prudent fund reserve and investment strategies. Couple these positive changes with the continued personal, competent and courteous service that the treasurer's office provides and I think you will find a positive combination that equals good public service.
On November 4, please join me in casting your vote to re-elect Ed Yoder as Macon County Treasurer.

Michael Day

Thanks To All Who Supported Third
Annual ‘Peanuts’ Buddy Walk

Dear Editor:
We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all the businesses and individuals who so generously supported and donated to The Macon County Strides For Down Syndrome 3rd Annual "Peanuts" Buddy Walk.   With your support and donations we are able to keep the cost of the entry fee down and also provide free refreshments. We love providing a family friendly affordable event that our "Buddies" and their families can look forward to year after year. Additionally, this year,  we were able to purchase a tablet for each of the "Buddies".
The Macon County chapter was formed in 2012 by Mark and Melinda Dereak after their son, Xavier, nicknamed "Peanut", was born with Down Syndrome.   The Dereak's saw the need for awareness of Down Syndrome in our community.  The goal of our chapter is to promote education, research and advocacy initiatives.  We are associated with The National Down Syndrome Society in New York City and are a Non-Profit organization, a portion of all proceeds from our Buddy Walk are donated to the NDSS.
With the help of you, our sponsors, we were able to honor our "Buddies" with the walk.  We had a total of 10  Buddy Teams this year, with the attendance of over 300!   We hope to double that number next year!  The Buddies had a great time and had fun dancing to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams!!  Thank you again for your support.  Plans are underway for the 4th Annual Buddy Walk!  

Phyllis Bodine
Mt Zion

Ed Yoder Should Be Re-Elected County Treasurer

Dear Editor:
We have always known Ed Yoder. He is a friend, fellow church member, fellow veteran, and fellow farmer. Ed is honest, dependable, and a hard worker. His integrity is without question. Ed has been our Macon County Treasurer for the past 4 years and is seeking re-election on November 4.
During his tenure, Macon County has become one of the first counties in Illinois to be approved to accept all major credit cards for paying property taxes on E-PAY IL.
Now included in tax bills is a flyer of tax payer frequently asked questions.
Ed has extended office hours on the due date of the second installment of tax bills. And, very importantly, since he took office, Macon County is debt free and there is a 3 month reserve fund.
We urge you to vote for Ed Yoder for Macon County Treasurer November 4, 2014.
Norman J. and Mary L. Ross

What Government Program Can Match Community Food Drive?

Dear Editor:
Food for thought.
The recently held WSOY Food Drive at the Decatur east-side Kroger Grocery Store sponsored and supported by many local large and small businesses, is the perfect model for helping those in need:
• 0% administrative costs
• over one million pounds of food collected in mere hours
• to be distributed to local food banks for immediate use.
What government program can match that?
Count on the efficiency, generosity, and compassion of the American people to get the needs of others met.
Now that - you can bank on!

Sherry Procarione

Criticism Of Scherer On Legislation Is Not True

Dear Editor:
There has been a lot of criticism of late directed towards State Rep. Sue Scherer for her support of legislation that would provide back pay for public employees as guaranteed in their contract.
Mike Bell, Scherer's opponent, and his political crony allies are going after Ms. Scherer and hoping voters aren't wise enough to do their homework on those trashy mailers filling up our mailboxes.
Well, I did a little research and here is what I found out is contained in the bill that Bell is so critical of:
Funding  for the construction of or improvements to Illinois' National Guard facilities, local libraries, park districts, Richland Community College, St. Mary's Hospital, the Cancer Care Center at Decatur Memorial, a local senior center and an area VFW. There is also funding for jobs programs, road safety improvements, and a downstate public transportation to help citizens get to work or the doctor.
Also, included in the bill that Mike Bell is against is funding for improvements to the police department in his own home town of Edinburg.
Yep, these are the things that Mike Bell would have opposed. Good to know.

Travis Harrington

Keep Ed Yoder As Macon County Treasurer

Dear Editor:
On November 4th let's retain Edward D. Yoder for Macon County Treasurer.
Ed is a lifelong resident of Macon County and Long Creek. He has been a local farmer for over 35 years. He has served on the Macon County Farm Bureau board. 
He is a lifelong member of Long Creek United Methodist Church. He faithfully served for many years as the Long Creek tax accessor. Most importantly, he is a good friend and neighbor as well.
As treasurer he has brought ease and customer service on a level never before seen for treasurer's office. 
I am excited to see what he can offer for the next four years to the County.
Let's keep Edward D. Yoder as Macon County Treasurer on November 4th.

Andrew and Jessica Clarkson

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Letters Above Posted Oct. 21, 2014

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

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