Not front-page news
Ugh. On Sept. 28, the front-page headline on the BND was "Momma, they shot me." What follows is a heart-wrenching human interest story, but it is not news. This story was three days old. The comments belong in Lifestyle or on the Opinions page. If you go B5 you see a headline that belongs on the front page. "Sluggish job market rooted in many problems." Now that's worthwhile news that everyone needs to know as we face a presidential election.
No need for new cars
Did you know that most Ford Crown Victoria's that have been police cars actually go on to live two or three lives? The cars that Belleville and most other cities use for police cars actually are built to last up to 1 million miles or more. After the police are done, the cars are sold to taxi cab companies, then sold to people who can't afford new cars. They go more or less forever with normal maintenance. It certainly begs the question why Belleville needs to replace its police cars as often as it does.
Power failure, again
Another major storm, another power outage for Ameren customers living southwest of Belleville off Centreville Avenue in Stookey Township. To Ameren's credit, the power was restored within an hour. But the outages in this particular area seem to occur more often than elsewhere. I'm curious if this is an infrastructure issue. If so, I'm asking Ameren to invest in infrastructure in the future for their customers and less in executive bonuses.
How do we pay?
I see that Michael Ray Dillier is writing to the paper again about what he wants: collective bargaining, Medicare, Social Security, prevailing wages, the right to strike, the EPA, labor relations board, minimum wage, unemployment compensation, health care for all and all other things that the middle class need to survive. All these things are expensive and there is really no one to pay for them. But as a union member I guess you don't care about that.
Cartoon's on the mark
As I was eating my breakfast I had the Sunday BND under my plate and I got a glimpse at Glenn McCoy's cartoon. It is so perfect. My husband and I discussed that same stuff everyday. The marquee offers President Obama's free stuff and Mitt Romney is the conservative Salvation Army guy. The cartoon could not have been better. It just hits it on the mark. Thank you to McCoy.
Only friends hired
Some interesting patterns have developed in East St. Louis School District 189. The board of education was soundly criticized for allegedly having family and friends for positions with the district with exorbitant pay. The new superintendent has followed the same pattern. He has hired his friends with unbelievable salaries, including his own. To pay him $250,000 for approximately 7,000 student is ridiculous. It seems that no one in District 189 can ever apply for these new positions. None of this is logical or sensible. Someone needs to act responsibly.
Put football in sports
The front page of the News-Democrat on Sept. 29 is silly. Since when has high school football taken over world and national news? Come on, BND, get it right. Do the news. Keep high school football in the sports section.
My vote goes to Republican Jason Plummer in the 12th Congressional District race. Why would any Democrat bother again to vote in the primaries? Democratic candidate Bill Enyart was not elected by the voters, he was appointed by party bosses. What a scam. Since Enyart keeps bringing up about Plummer working for his dad, does Enyart have children? Where are they employed? Are they lawyers, judges or in the National Guard? Personally I think it's a plus that Plummer's father, with his very successful business, wants his son working at his business. I don't think seeing Plummer's income tax records is necessary. Let the IRS check that out and I'm sure they have.
Limit lawn ornaments
Does Swansea have an ordinance on the number of lawn ornaments or lawn decorations that a person can have. At a house on Gilbert Street you can't even see the grass for all the lawn ornaments. It's atrocious.
Afraid to fight crime
Much has been written lately about the crime in the apartments in Belleville and why the police don't do anything about it. If you just think back a few years, the Belleville Police successfully prevented crime in the city. Then the U.S. Justice Department came to town and forced Belleville to stop crime prevention. The rest is history. If police start controlling bad behavior at apartment complexes, the Justice Department will be back; the police know this so they back off. Who can blame them?
Get rid of tax increment financing. Do you realize what is collected in a TIF district stays in that district? Taxes should be used for the entire city. Start collecting from the businesses that were so generously given TIFs and spread the wealth.
Stretched too thin
Regarding the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department not responding to the burglar alarms. It's because Sheriff Mearl Justus has to send his deputies to do the city police work of East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Centreville. So back off the Sheriff's Department. There are just so many people and so many places they can be at once.
Vote out Kern
Anybody in St. Clair County who votes for Mark Kern for County Board chairman needs to have his property taxes increased. If we vote against him, maybe we can use the money being spent on MidAmerica Airport for some good. Get rid of the election board in East St. Louis. The county is paying for part of it.
Business feeds us
To all legal voters: Vote for the hand that feeds you. That's not the government but businesses and taxpayers. The government can't feed anyone. It only handles the money it has collected. So, think of the true source of all the freebies the government distributes and vote for the man with business acumen and experience. Our present chief has proven to be a failure. More jobs and more successful businesses will mean more taxes collected to provide for those freebies and also for a strong military, without which our liberties are put in jeopardy.
Are Belleville leaders stalling the court date on the downtown Belleville property dispute until after the election? Two and a half years looking at the hole on East Main Street. Google "Classic Curl" and see what this building looked like before the fire and before Mayor Mark Eckert thought it necessary to tear it down before authorities for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and insurance companies had a chance to look at it. The mayor is responsible.
Creator of nothing
I just heard a commercial for Mark Kern, who is running for re-election as St. Clair County Board chairman. They called him a job creator. That's baloney. He hasn't created jobs. He's maintained jobs. You know, those seven or eight people who are costing us $8 million a year out at MidAmerica Airport.
Time for a change?
This is a message for the good people in the five poorest communities in St. Clair County -- East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton, Centreville and Cahokia. Take a drive or walk around the community and look at the streets, the housing, the infrastructure. If you are happy with the appearance and the progress for the last 20 to 30 years, then keep the people who have been in charge in office. If you are think things can be better, try to make a change. The choice is yours.
In last Monday's Sound-off, someone asked whether there are any clinics on this side of the river to treat people for heroin addiction. Well, people who use heroin knew before they started how addictive it is, Now are the taxpayers supposed to pay to help users? As far as I'm concerned, the drug users are on their own.
Everywhere a sign
It's really great that Belleville has an ordinance against signs so they won't be all over the place. It's unfortunate that East St. Louis fails to do the same thing. Maybe it's because the politicians dump so much money into East St. Louis. Every sign is probably worth $100 and there are thousands of signs in the city. What makes it even worse is that 10 years later you can drive through the city and that sign will still be out there because they have no way of making sure that the people who put the signs out will actually pick them up after the election.
Playing to interests
It seems that this election is about satisfying groups instead of all Americans. The Republicans feel that catering to the upper class will cure all and the Democrats want to focus on the middle class. But lost in the shuffle are people in the lower class, whose numbers are quickly exceeding the sum of the others. Maybe we need a third party that would give these people a fighting chance to live the American dream. We need a livable wage instead of a minimum wage. I would also strongly suggest that the haves in our society stop their condescending attitude toward the have nots because with their numbers and proper leadership. these people could create an America of their own choosing.
How to stop crime
My wife and I both think that the best way to solve the west end crime problem is for Belleville to buy the problem rental properties and tear them down just like Stookey Township did with a complex off South 74th Street a few years ago. Otherwise the problem will be with the west end forever.
The next big thing
They make cars that park themselves, cars that tell you if your tires are low, bells to let you know your seat belt is not on, if you are low on gas, that start without being in them, maps to let you find the way to go, etc. Why don't they put on a device to know if you have been drinking? Or are the automakers afraid that if they did that, more than 75 percent of cars on a given day would be sitting idle? Just think of the chaos this would cause.
Obama wasn't rich
Bob Kenny who wrote in a letter to the editor that President Obama came from a wealthy and privileged background. He had Obama's mother being vice president of the Bank of Hawaii. His grandmother worked for the bank. As far as his college, Obama took out loans to pay for it. He was accepted at both colleges because of his grades and his intelligence. He did not come from a rich family. Kenny needs to get that story straight.
None of the above?
With all these political fights in this election season, there is so much mudslinging going on, it makes a person wonder if any of them are fit to hold office.
Life without gun fire
My heart broke when I read in the Belleville News-Democrat the mother of the 14-year-old boy cutting grass that got shot say, "I didn't even pay any attention to the shots because we hear them so often." Then it ends up being your own child. How bad could it be. Wake up, East St. Louis; please.