Mayoral Candidate Should Choose His Words Wisely

Dear Editor:
I see where Mr. Livingston has his hat in the mayor’s race. Good for him. Not knowing this man at all I do find his platform somewhat weak. 
A couple of things that got my attention were people moving away from Decatur and young people not having any entertainment. I-E nothing to do in Decatur. 
I have read in both local newspapers about how people can’t wait to leave Decatur and why would anyone want to stay here. 
We have all heard these things many times before so it is an easy target for anyone wanting to gain attention to draw on for public opinion. How many times have you heard it put this way: “If it were not for my family I would have been gone a long time ago.”? 
Well, I moved to Decatur in 1974 because my family  came here for work.  Another quote! “ If it were not for my job I would move from here. We have heard that one too. I use to say when I retire we will move from here to be closer to our children/grandchildren.  Have you heard that one? Well our children and grandchildren are all still here and thriving in this community because they work and have family here.  There is no plan on any of us leaving family or the Decatur area. The family unit and support from that unit will not be separated. 
This is one thing Mr. Livingston did not mention in this interview. Living in this town working here and raising a family here I think I can say yes there is a lot of room for changes and improvements to move Decatur forward but it needs to start with the family core and what it stands for and that core and the one of this community  are  at risk. 
Trust, support of each other, respect, loyalty, manners, religion, education, all these things are core issues. If these things can raise a family then they also can raise a community. 
So I say put family first and not entitlements and jobs and bettering a community. Fix the failing family and the community will benefit. 
As for the lack of free entertainment, this is how it worked for us: The family provided entertainment through friends church and family until you were old enough to choose your own then we supported that effort. That could mean playing the piano or sports or hunting just about anything that came up or all things were supported by the whole family. Brothers sisters grandparents and sometimes even neighbors. 
After an education comes work then you buy your own entertainment and continue at whatever level you can afford. Once again the community will benefit. 
Nothing mentioned in the Livingston interview and that of others is possible until the family is healed. When that happens the community will heal. 
I commend Mr. Livingston for his attempt but to succeed, I suggest to him and others to reprioritize how they plan on making these changes happen. 
I will vote and I will support but not on empty promises that have been around and used so much they become opinion page fodder for long time Decatur survivors. 
This interview should have been a little closer to the funny pages. I really did have to give it a “are you kidding me” moment. 
Do the math and demographics. This is not my first local election, or many of my age, so chose your words wisely or it will show.   

Rocky Daniels

Illinois Needs To Reform Laws, Prison Policies 

Dear Editor:
When do longer prison sentences and harsher punishment become counterproductive and financially irresponsible? 
For the past four decades politicians have built their careers on the tough-on-crime mantra. It's not uncommon for a low level drug crime to receive a prison sentence in the 10-20 year range.
At one time I was looking at a life sentence that ended with me now serving a 28-year sentence for cannabis and I wasn't violent in any manner. Regrettably, I have made some poor choices in my life and I'm sure I'm not the most sympathetic example for my argument I'm trying to make here but I honestly believe Illinois would benefit as a whole by implementing a reform in our laws and prison policies.
According to I.D.O.C's website the average sentence for a person charged with murder is 14.4 years. I personally know many nonviolent offenders serving more time than that.
In 1978 our state introduced the Class X felony; it was for the category of felony offenses reserved for the most heinous of  crimes, such as murders, armed violence, armed robberies, and etc. Shortly after that Illinois adopted the three strikes law, where 3 Class X felonies carries a mandatory life sentence. At the time of its creation its purpose was something I think we all could support. However, it is no longer only for the heinous violent of crimes. 
Now the mere possession of a small amount of a drug can earn you the Class X brand meaning in the eyes of the courts and corrections as "unrehabilitatable" and one of the "most heinous" criminals, this is a branding that's not even given a second degree murders.
Example: If a person carries 11+ pounds of marijuana from Springfield to Decatur he faces a Class X felony that can send him to prison for 12 to 60 years. While a person can kill someone, but not premeditate it, will face 4 to 15 and be given a Class 1 felony for second degree murder. I'm not suggesting  that drug offenses are not serious. They are. I also have children and worry about the drugs out there on our streets and some drug cases warrant a prison sentence. But I do not believe we should be incarcerating people for decades and life for the mere possession of any nonviolent crime.
According to the Chicago Metropolis 2020 the cost for housing nonviolent offenders to taxpayers is $240 million a year.
I'm proposing that we use the Class X branding and sentencing for what it was intended for, stop handing out decades and life to the nonviolent offenders. That would mean thousands less prisoners each year and the $1.4 billion and growing correction cost to decline.
Illinois, the time has arrived when the government must recognize that the primary reliance on incarceration as a crime reduction strategy and drug control policy is neither effective nor economically viable and recognize that we're investing more in prisons and getting a smaller and smaller return.

James Paul Miller
Jacksonville Correction Center
Jacksonville, IL

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Above Letters Posted 12/16/14

Christmas Spirit? Not At The Store Check Outs

Dear Editor:
Three times in last 4 months I have experienced being short-changed. Well they call it mistakes. 
Today’s customers do not have the benefit of being able to see the numbers on some cash registers screens.  The new style and some slightly older cash registers are not visible for the customers to see. When buying at these customer unfriendly stores, very frequently  the cashier can’t, or told by the store, not to count back the correct change as it is shoved back to unsuspecting customers. When this happens I drop the change on the counter. Count it out right there in front of cashier. Sometimes they ask “don’t you trust me?” 
Why should we when they appear unaccountable to customers? 
My first awareness of this trick was in a Florida gas station. I then learned gas station clerks, can make an extra $50 a day by short-changing customers that appear to be in a hurry, after standing in line, and never checking their change after a transaction. 
One store clerk that counted back my change caught herself and made correction. I believe that was not an intentional mistake. But when a cashier sees you count out the change and just looks at the customer, and the customer has to ask for the money owed to them, it makes one wonder. 
The cashier/clerk is the last person the customers see before leaving the store. There have been articles about one famous store. When customers use debit/credit card they are charged extra for cash that they didn’t ask for and don’t get. Maybe they don’t look at the receipt until they get home. Too late to complain. 
On Black Friday or Christmas shopping, this appears to happen more frequently. If you complain to the store manager, they don’t want to hear about it. “That is the customer’s responsibility”  the Illinois Attorney General warns of fraudulent scams. It is a busy season.  Stores want your hard earned money. What ever it takes to get it. 
Beware of these unfriendly stores and have a Merry Christmas.

Dudley Brown 

There Is Little Truth In Campaign Commercials

Dear Editor:
    If we learned anything about truth in campaign commercials it has to be there is little if any of it.
I noticed something about Congress-man Rodney Davis. At the start of the season he tried to take the high road and talk about ideas, problems, and solutions. At first I thought Ann Callis, his opponent, might actually be a rare democrat that tells the truth. 
Well it didn't take long for me to realize I was wrong about that when she started approving the socialist left's lies and ridiculous commercials, none of which were true, about Rodney Davis.
Well, Mr. Davis soon realized from watching other politicians get beat while taking the high road and refusing to dirty up their opponent, the only way to fight a bunch of liars is to fight back any way possible, and if you won't do that, you may as well quit. Many people are gullible and will believe anything.
     The only way the socialist democrats can win an election, since they have absolutely zero good ideas, is to lie and make up things, and lie about their opponent.
     Many wrongs the left has done need to be made right, and the republicans, now that will have the power to do it, need to pass a law that severely punishes anyone or organization that lies or distorts their opponent in a campaign. I'm talking fines of $10,000 a word or more. 
If this isn't done we will never have an honest election. 

Robert Jenkins 
City Needs To First Look Locally For City Manager

Dear Editor:
After a beautiful day touring historical buildings in Decatur on the Heritage and Holly tour, our family did some local and small business shopping. The customer service everywhere we went was wonderful. It was our pleasure to participate.
Now with this same mindset, will the city of Decatur first look locally before choosing elsewhere for a permanent city manager? The best person for the job may just be in our own backyard.

Sherry Procarione

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Above letters posted on Dec. 9, 2014

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Residents Are Paying An Unfair Utility/Fee Tax To City

Dear Editor:
Last month the City of Decatur initiated a new Utility Fee / Tax on all property owners.  Quoting from the brochure sent out by the city, "The concept behind this fee is that every property contributes to run-off and should support the storm-water drainage system in the city,  the city has identified, (through a consultant's report done in 2009 ) over $57 million in projects to reduce flooding problems within the city"
If one reads the consultant's report (available on-line in the council minutes ) there were some 100+ properties identified in this study that had experienced habitual flooding and combined sewer back-ups in the previous five years following heavy rains.
Reflecting on the logic employed in this new tax/user-fee, I am at a loss to explain how properties miles apart can contribute to the flooding problems found in the locations cited in the 2009 report.  There are hundreds of properties in the city that have no storm-sewers ... yet are now being assessed a new tax to pay for storm sewer improvements in parts of the city that do have this service.
A user fee implies that one has access to the municipal utility system being used or improved, or that the utility system in question will be extended into those areas of the city that presently are without said services , but are being taxed to support.  
I have found nowhere in any publication on this topic that the city will extend storm sewers into all areas of the city that are without them now as part of these $57 million worth of capital projects .   Therefore, one is left to conclude that possibly hundreds of Decatur property owners are going to pay for a city-owned and operated storm-water system that they do not now, nor will have access to in the future. 
I would call one's attention to the case of Bolt v City of Lansing - 459 Mich 152 (1998 ) in reference to a similar situation where the state Supreme Court invalidated such a utility tax, saying the fee did not serve a regulatory purpose since these improvements had been funded through the city's General Fund and the tax was not proportionate since not all residents derived a direct benefit from the levy .  
Hopefully, our elected state representatives will get enough requests from residents in this city who are being assessed this tax and will never receive a direct benefit from it to research the legality of this action as an over-step in home-rule power.

Terry Howley

Memories Of The Hitching Post, Steak n Shake

Dear Editor: 
Your recent story, which included some history of the Steak n Shake, the Shore Restaurant and The TeePees, brought to mind an even earlier incarnation. 
In the 40s, I worked as a curb boy at the Hitching Post. My brother, Walt, worked across the street at the only Steak n Shake in town where he peeled potatoes. 
The Hitching Post was owned by Clark Tarrant, a World War II Marine, who lived in our Jasper Street neighborhood. 
I never met the founders of the Steak n Shake, Gus and Edith Belt, but later I did meet their general manager, Dave Smith, a great guy.
Ah, the memories.

James L. Fisher
Vero Beach, FL

Parents Should Be Outraged By New Sex Ed Curriculum

Dear Editor:
While Chicago parents do their best to raise healthy, responsible children, the Chicago-based Female Health Company is marketing female condoms to 11 year olds through Chicago Public Schools’ new sex ed curriculum. 
Graphic pictures and step-by-step instructions show girls and boys how to insert them. 
However, the fact is, female condoms don’t sell well to the public because they fail to prevent pregnancy, let alone STDs. 
Yet tax-funded government agencies buy them and promote them to young children. 
When confronted, school officials claimed the material was “accidentally” presented to parents at the Andrew Jackson Language Academy and was not part of the curriculum. 
What?! Accidentally?! Parents should be outraged! They can thank the Illinois General Assembly for giving them “comprehensive” sex ed last spring.

Kathy Valente
Director of Operations
Illinois Family Institute
Carol Stream, IL 

Amateur Radio Showing Steady Growth In The US

Dear Editor:
The national  association of  amateur radio operator,  the ARRL, reports the number of amateur radio operators is increasing,  a conclusion which differs from the report in the Tribune.  The following numbers are taken from the files of the Federal Commissions Commission, the federal agency which licenses  U.S. amateur radio operators:  
“The Amateur Radio population in the US has continued to show steady growth. As of the end of 2013, the FCC database showed 717,201 licenses in its Universal Licensing System (ULS). That’s the greatest number of US hams ever and up from 709,575 in December 2012. The volume of Amateur Radio applications slowed somewhat to 141,943 from its zenith of 176,826 in 2007, the year the FCC dropped the Morse code requirement.
“‘The three current license classes also peaked at the end of 2013,’ notes ARRLVEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. FCC-issued club station licenses are also at an all-time high in the FCC database at 11,363. The number of new licensees has increased by 7 percent over last year (28,886 in 2013 and 27,082 in 2012). Somma said that a significant number of Technician licensees were earned through large emergency communication and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes.”
There are  two very active  ham radio clubs in Decatur which have a history of providing emergency communications locally, particularly in the tornado season. Our radio stations  (WDKR and WXFM)  donate use of  our towers for such purpose.

Tom Burns, Co-Owner

Thanks To The Decatur Community For Donation

Dear Editor:
We thank the Decatur community for the donation of story books, coloring books and flash cards for our grade school children. 
The DAR promotes education and encourages families to read together. 
Thanks also to Talk 101 Radio for their support and the drop off locations of Earthmovers Credit Unions,  the YMCA, Eagle Ridge, and Land of Lincoln Credit Unions.
Marie Boedecker

Literacy Promotions Chairman
Stephen Decatur Chapter
National Society
Daughters of the American Revolution

Above Letters Posted on 12/2/14

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The RICL Fight Continues
Dear Editor:
RICL is a 500 mile high voltage direct current transmission line that plans to transmit Great Plains Wind Energy to the East Coast.  This long distance electric extension cord passes through Iowa and Illinois prime farm land.  Sections of RICL transverse our area.
RICL is not the usual transmission company. It is an out of state venture capitalist speculative project.  RICL has no facilities, no customers, no supply source, no request for service, no demand.  RICL has inadequate finances to complete the project but they have “dreams” and political connections.  That is, “dreams and connections at the cost of others, Illinois and Iowa farm owners and utility consumers”.
RICL   has always presented themselves as an approved project.  As bi-state, RICL not only needs permission from the Illinois Commerce Commission but also Iowa Utility Board and the PJM and MISO  electricity grid suppliers it must feed into to get to the East Coast market.  None of the above have given final approval.  At present the ICC is reviewing the rebuttals of their recommendation.  RICL is far from a “done deal”.
In spite of the above facts, RICL agents continue to aggressively approach landowners, especially the elderly, for project easement rights.  An honest company with a good product doesn’t need to employ such tactics.
  RICL is not the usual transmission line.  It’s wires would be the size of a man’s arm, 180 feet lattice steel towers could be used with concrete bases 48 ft. x 48 ft anchored by 17 cement truck loads of concrete buried below the surface . The easements would stretch hundreds of miles at 200 ft. wide. Non renewable  soil in the easement that is not destroyed with the towers will be limited in use and compromised forever.   
State law requires easement compensation but it does not state it has to be just and fair.  Dealings with RICL have shown them to be less than honest and forthright. RICL hopes to obtain legal rights to use private land for their personal profits.  They plan to obtain the right to enter a private business, farming operations, at any time when it is convenient for their purposes. RICL would be able to sell easement rights without knowledge or approval of the land owner. 
This is why it is strongly advised those contacted not sign any papers.  Easement agreements are binding and volunteer easement agreements are different than having land taken by eminent domain. 
To anyone on the RICL path,  you are not alone in dealing with these assertive “bully” billionaire agents.  Contact www.BlockRICL.com for support.

Jeanette Carothers
 Earlville, Illinois
Thanks To The Mt. Zion Community
For A Successful Food Drive

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the congregation of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, we would like to thank the businesses, churches, organizations, schools and community members for making the 5th Annual Community Food Drive, in support of Northeast Community Fund, a tremendous success.  
A special thanks to Thrivent Financial For Lutherans, Breakfast Sertoma Club of Decatur, Van Horn, Wonder Women Cleaners, Decatur Earthmover Credit Union, Town and Country Bank, Cromwell Radio Group, WXFM/WDKR, Mt. Zion Region News, Decatur Tribune, Herald & Review, Mt. Zion Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Zion Police Department, Village of Mt. Zion, Rick & Debbie Bright, Thomas Chandler, Kevin Fritzsche, Rev. Melvin and Karen Weseloh, Sheri Jesse and to all the volunteers who helped load and unload the donations.
Our goal this year was 7,000 items.  In addition to donations brought to the food drive site, we picked up 3,100 items from Mt. Zion Grade School and Mt. Zion Intermediate School.  The Mt. Zion Junior High School had a battle between the 7th and 8th grade classes.  We will not tell you who won this battle as we feel all of these young men and women are winners.  However, their total donations were 15,321 items, giving us a grand total of 19,846 items.  We also collected $2,515 in monetary donations.
We appreciate the efforts of all those involved this year who helped to make this food drive a huge success.
May God bless each of you for your giving hearts.

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church
Mt. Zion
Patti & Jerry Underwood
Food Drive Co-Chairpersons

Sen. Durbin Votes ‘No’

Dear Editor:
Again Sen. Durbin votes no on the Keystone Pipeline. His yes vote would have put it over the top. 
Sen Durbin touts being a freind of the labor working class, but instead plays politics with his vote. A yes vote would equate to jobs in Illinois. Albeit mostly temporary, but still very good paying jobs. 
Sen. Durbin needs phone calls from the constituents voicing our displeasure with his vote.

C Ray Powell

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Letters Above Posted 11/26/14

Governor-Elect Rauner, Make Cancer a Priority

Congratulations, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner, on your campaign victory. Before you begin serving the state of Illinois, I would like to make a few suggestions for your first term in office. Let’s make the upcoming legislative session about preventing and fighting cancer.
Cancer is not a partisan issue. Almost every person in Illinois knows someone who has been diagnosed with, survived or passed away from this terrible disease. Republican or Democrat, we all want to make cancer history.
This year alone, more than 66,000 people living in Illinois will be diagnosed with cancer – more than 170 individuals every single day. Sadly, an estimated 24,000 Illinoisans will lose their battle in 2014. That’s why the time to act is now.
I urge you to prioritize public policies that reduce cancer incidence and death. Help us make cancer medications more affordable for patients. Encourage healthy habits like reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Increase access to breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured Illinois women. Until we take this issue seriously, cancer will continue to cut lives short in our state.
Governor-elect Rauner, your constituents are counting on you. On behalf of cancer advocates like me, make fighting cancer your priority.

Kelly Tohill
Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Kudos To Those Providing Culture

Dear Editor:
I was totally enthralled by the headlines of the Decatur Herald & Review about the young actors participating in the winter arts program which will eventually reach into the summer and the new amphitheater. Culture is necessary in any town or city and kudos should go out to those providing them. 
Let by-gones be by-gones and let these actors (albeit young children) act in a manner portraying such plays as Goldilocks, etc. 
For people of the city, save the city for our kids might be one title of it. A muny opera for the young might be a title of it. Although it doesn't need a title, it is culture.

David R Baker

Thanks To The Voters For Re-Election As County Clerk

Dear Editor:
I wanted to thank the voters of Macon County for electing me a seventh time as their county clerk.  It really means something to join the ranks of two other Macon County Clerks, Laurence and Bill Tangney, who were elected seven times. The commitment to public service has been at the back bone of the county clerk’s office under our stewardship,
I have been blessed with a wonderful staff who are hard workers. For 35 days of early and absentee voting prior to Election Day, Election Day, and days to follow until canvassing the results there has been countless hours put in this election. At the same time we served the public on the other side of the office with marriages, vital records, property tax issues, and other services we provide.
Thank you to all election judges, zone leaders, and all the others who assisted in making election day work.
The past twenty years have seen a lot of changes in election procedures and equipment.  It seen a lot of advancements in vital records going paperless. Issuing the first civil union in State of Illinois, right here in Macon County,
Finally, issuance of same sex marriage licenses.
It has been a honor and privilege to serve as county clerk. I hope the next four years to continue provide great service.
I do not know if this will be the last time on the ballot but that decision will be made by my wife and I at later date down the road.
Thank you again for the privilege for allowing me  to be a public servant.

Steve Bean
Your Macon County Clerk

Congratulations To People Of Mt. Zion And
Mt. Zion Lutheran Church

Dear Editor:
Congratulations to the people of Mt. Zion and especially of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church. 
While over one million pounds of food were recently gathered for the needy of our community, Northeast Community Fund was not included as a recipient. 
There are three agencies serving the needy of Decatur but TV and radio sponsored the food drive for only two. A small church, under the leadership of Jerry and Patty Underwood, united the people of Mt. Zion to step forward to help fill in for the oversight. 
They did this, even after giving generously to the original drive.

Melvin L. Weseloh

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Above letters posted 11/18/18

Country Is Blessed Because Of Faith In God

Dear Editor: 
Now that the elections are over some people are very happy and some are very unhappy.  Looking around now, after the elections, I notice the majority of citizens are putting their faith in this country.  This isn't good or the right thing to do.  
We, as thinking Americans, should not put our faith in the United States just because the United States is good, and because we have excellent roads, minerals, coal and oil deposits, lakes and streams and wealth, etc.  
Although America is good - and there’s no doubt about that - our focus should come back to the reason why America is good and why we have all these great assets.  
We were fortunate enough to be born here in a country God has given us and it’s through our trust in God, not our trust in the United States, that we are so blessed.  If we don't get our minds back to God’s goodness and off our country; that is, if we worship the United States instead of God, we'll slip back again to the place we were before the elections.  Politics don't make a country.  Political parties don't make a country, and this is why:  
All history shows, if faith in God grows dim, morality becomes a mere custom, if not a cobweb, to be thrown off lightly.  It is not rooted in reality, and so lacks authority and sanctionÂ…Once we let men come to think that morality is a human invention, and not a part of the order of the world, the moral law will lose both its meaning and its power. Inevitably, a society without standards will be a society without stability, and it will one day go down.  Not only nations, but whole civilizations have perished in the past, for lack of righteousness.  History speaks plainly in this matter, and we dare not disregard it. --W. H. Denier Van Der Gon
“The state is what it is because its citizens are what they are.  Therefore, we need not expect to have better states until we have better men.””Will Durant
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” --Proverbs 14:12
We can no longer allow debauchery and unrighteousness in our government.  We need men and women in our government who earnestly seek God’s wisdom in all their decisions.  These people must be of good character and honor the truth and the Constitution, even if it goes against the grain of the liberal establishment, which it will.  
The time for political correctness is over if we are to salvage this great nation.  Be warned:  We ignore God at our own risk.  If we decide to be like the third world countries, we can continue on as usual.  If we really desire to be great, as we once were and should be, we must turn to God and ignore the blather the liberal left will crucify us with.

Steve McGuire

Congressman Davis:  Remove Politics
From Alzheimer’s Funding

Dear Editor:
It seems that for a while now Washington D.C. can’t set forth a sound, responsible financial plan to invest in solving the problems that are costing enormous amounts of tax dollars. I say this is because when the sixth leading cause of death cost Medicare $107 billion in 2013 and the federal government is only investing about $500 million in research – the odds to curb this killer aren’t in our favor.
I’m talking about Alzheimer’s. The scariest fact isn’t the financials but it’s that there’s no cure or even a preventative measure to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Even with these staggering numbers and that there is no end in sight; we still can’t pass legislation that would remove politics from federally funding Alzheimer’s research. Playing politics with Alzheimer’s has no place at the table, even in Washington D.C.
Congressman Davis, I know you fight every day to protect the taxpayers of the 13th District of Illinois. I follow your legislative activities and your efforts in Washington. Just based on costs alone, you should be supporting and co-sponsoring the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act (House Resolution 4351).
210,000 Illinoisans and over 5 million Americans are living with this disease. 
Please co-sponsor the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act (HR4351) today – lives of future generations are counting on you, Congressman Davis.

Sophia Crawford
A constituent and Alzheimer’s 
awareness advocate,

Catholic Charities Thanks Community For Support 
Of Annual WSOY Community Food Drive

Dear Editor:
Catholic Charities extends a huge thank you to the entire community for their monumental support of the 13th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive. The combination of food and cash collected totaled over a million pounds. 
Our thanks go out to all the organizers, corporate sponsors, businesses, individuals, organizations, restaurants, community volunteers and all the Macon County Schools, who worked to make this event a huge success. 
Our pantry distributes 30,000 to 40,000 pound of food each month and the food and cash donations we are given will help us provide food assistance to thousands of food insecure families right here in our community.
God bless all of you.

Robin Murray
Community Services Supervisor

Above letters posted 11/11/14
Some Ideas To Improve The Election Season For Voters

Dear Editor:
I refuse to run for public office because I like to be right at least some of the time.  I mean, I have been married for more than 40 years.   I know what it is like to be in mild dutch a good deal of the time, but occasionally, it is admitted that I am  right.   
As an elected official, you start out with about half the people after your butt,  just on principle, even if they have none.  I  wouldn't put up with the kind of lies told about opposing candidates.  If you were to say the kind of untrue things about me that I see on TV, or hear on radio, I'd likely come after you with an axe handle.   
If these charges are really true, where is the prosecutor's office?  I remember talking to a young voter who extolled the virtues of a candidate I found to be extremely objectionable.  His main point was "But she has such a winning personality".  
Face it, anyone who is running for public office had better have a "winning personality", because really, what else do they have?  Nobody votes for a klutz.  
     People, we really do need to pay attention to what these elected people are doing to us.  We may wish to ignore the polticians and the bureaucrats, but they have no intention of ignoring us.  
Do you have any idea of how many laws passed this year that effect you?  On the federal level?  On the state level?  On the county level?  On the city level?   How about in your township?  
What about what regulations the unelected bureaucrats have imposed?  The internal revenue service code is more than 70,000 pages, and you are supposed to be responsible for complying with each and every bit of it.  
They keep jacking around with it, too.  Since there are a lot of conflicting rules, if some bureaucrat wants to get you, they can, unless you can afford a better lawyer than the government (read you are paying for), has.  That is just from last year--what about what they have done to us all of the preceeding years?
I have some ideas that would improve the election season for us "victims", the voters.
1)  You can't give a politician money, unless you can vote for that politician.  A  politician, or candidate, can't accept money from any one who can't vote for him.  That means registered voter in the district.  No out-of-district contributions, no PACS, no unions, no parties, no corporations, no lobbyists.  I don't know if it would improve the quality of the ads, but it sure would reduce the number of them.
2)  We really need term limits.  In a country of more than 300 million people, can it  really be true that there are only 537 people who are qualified for those offices at the federal Level?  I hate to admit that I don't know how many elected people are in the state government, but the same thing has to be true here, too.
3)  I agree that we do need to pay them for their time and knowledge, but I don't think it should pay full time wages for what really should be a part time job.  I'd go along with people being able to continue what ever retirement plan they have in effect when they are elected, but there should not be a separate state retirement plan for them that is really good.   
I'm not convinced that, if this is the best paying job someone has ever had, that they are the right person for the job.  
In my case, the pay for a job as an elected official in Illinois would be a significant reduction from my retirement pay.  I would not even attempt to tell you that I would know how to do that job.  
Maybe the fact that, over the years they have expanded the role of government in our daily lives, is an indictment oif the damage they are doing to our country, and government should be significantly reduced--like take a commercial chain saw to it, not just a meat axe.
4)    Make the legislature vote on each and every rule bureaucrats plan to impose.  

John Harvey

Lyme Disease Survey Is Available

Dear Editor:
Recently the US House of Representatives passed a bill to advance the study and research of Lyme disease and other tick-bourne diseases.  
Macon County residents can be a part of collecting data for this area regarding individual’s diagnosis and treatment of the disease.  
This information will be passed on to the sponsors of this bill, to local and state health authorities.  
Surveys may be picked up at the Decatur Public Library and at Mari-Mann Herb farm.  Instructions for the completion and submission of the survey are included on the survey.  
Surveys are to be submitted by November 15, 2014. A national committee will be charged with producing a strategic plan hoping to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease.   Additional information is available at 217-422-0532.

Linda Kehart
Member of the local 
Lyme Support Group

Congratulations For Excellent Production Of ‘Spamalot’

Dear Editor:
Richland Community College and Theatre 7 are to be congratulated for the excellent production of Monty Python's "Spamalot". 
The costumes were elegant, the staging was excellent, and the music and dancing were outstanding. The citizens in the Decatur area are truly fortunate to have this talent available.

Doris Hudson

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Letters Above Posted Nov. 4, 2014

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Letters Are Printed With The Most Recent Submissions First

 Send your letter to
the editor to decaturtribune@aol.com
or to: Decatur Tribune,
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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Decatur Tribune Offices Are Located At:
132 South Water Street 
Suite 424
P. O. Box 1490
Decatur, Illinois 62523

Mon.-Thurs. 9:00-4:30
Phone: 217/422-9702
     Fax: 217/422-7320
Email: decaturtribune@aol.com

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