Before commissioning a statue for retired Congressman Jerry Costello, it should be noted that a lot of the money he brought into the district was for make work -- make- believe projects that were not needed. Combine this pork along with that of every other congressman in the country and you begin to understand why we have a $16 trillion debt. We all complain about people on welfare, but the people benefitting from these pork projects are no better.
I read your timeline on former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello and I find it amusing that you left out his vote on Obamacare, the largest tax increase in American history, plus the devout Catholic making all the rest of us pay for free contraceptives. Again, the propaganda flies.
Skip the sainthood
I'm wondering when they are going to nominate former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello for pope or sainthood or something. The only thing I know he's done for sure is get his wife and sons cushy jobs.
Commercials still loud
I thought I read in the paper that the FCC was going to stop all the TV stations from raising the sound level when they went to commercials. The local channels sure don't adhere to that. When the commercial comes on, the sound goes up.
Of lawsuits, liability
Michael Ray Dillier wrote a wonderful letter of nostalgia from his childhood days in 1962. I have the answer to what happened to our country and that is big government. No longer can we have any personal responsibility. We must now have the government protect us from ourselves. It's about more lawyers, more lawsuits and more protection. Dillier talked about mowing yards but who's going to hire a kid to mow the lawn and be liable if he gets hurt? The fact is, between government and lawyers, this country has been ruined. 1962 might as well be Mayberry and Mr. Dillier, the Democratic Party is the leading contributor to this. I'm not saying the Republicans are innocent, though.
I never thought I would see the BND have actual courage like printing Glenn McCoy's cartoon on Jan. 9, telling the truth about the Catholic Church. It is pathetic when members of the biggest church in the United States support abortion, which is totally against what they are supposed to believe in.
Belleville, just quit it. You sure like to rub it in the faces of those who mortgaged themselves to the hilt for their businesses. Billions of dollars you've given to businesses in the form of TIFs and now $200,000 to tear down another nice building?
Belleville doesn't have the money to tear down the former Meredith Home and do anything with it and we don't have the money or legal power to fill in the ugly hole on East Main Street. Yet we have $200,000 to give to Kroger, one of the biggest companies in the country, as an incentive to build a little store on the North Belt to compete with the other stores. Meanwhile the inner city has no grocery store. I don't get it and I don't think anybody does.
Some people have nothing better to do than to complain. They should be glad they live in a country that allows bells to toll as they do in Millstadt.
Rejoice and be glad
If Jean Vickers' biggest problem is listening to the bells at Zion Church in Millstadt, she is truly blessed and every time they ring, she should thank God that her life is so simple.
Watch out for pigs
Letter writer Paula McGowan has some misconceptions about pot-bellied pigs. Though much smaller than full-sized sows and boars, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, pot- bellied pigs can exceed 200 pounds. The pig can be extremely dangerous if it becomes aggressive. Their compact weight would likely take stronger tranquilizers than Animal Control would have on hand. Two years ago I witnessed a pot-bellied pig repeatedly ram a 200-pound, 40-year old man who was working at our home. The pig ran away but reappeared with the neighbor's dog chasing it. After doing battle with the dog, he disappeared but had he appeared again, he would have been at high risk of being shot.
It amazes me how people have beaten around the bush on the reason for and the cause of the Belleville occupancy laws. The problem is that people will rent a house for a family of two, three or four people and within a month there are 10 or 11 people living in it. That's what started the whole thing but nobody will admit it. It does happen and I know that for a fact.
Questions on guns
If police officers are allowed to carry their weapons anywhere and any time, shouldn't citizens, after completing requirements for concealed carry, be allowed this same privilege? Why are police given the right to protect themselves and their families 24/7 and we are not? How are we supposed to protect ourselves from the criminals who will kill people for a few dollars, from the gangbangers protecting their turf for the drug dollar, or from the next mass-killing wacko? Lots of questions but only one legitimate and logical answer.
Raise retirement age
In a recent Sound-off a retired teacher complained about Illinois' inability to meet their commitments to retired teachers. This person taught for 34 years, which would suggest he retired in his mid 50s, not his mid 60s like the majority of Americans. So instead of paying into the retirement system for an additional 10 years, this person and others like him are taking from the program. Real reform of the Illinois teachers' pension program will begin when the retirement age of teachers is set at 44 or more years of service, just like everyone else in today's society.
Teachers want it all
I read the Sound-off all the time and I am aggravated that the teachers think they are entitled to so much. Normal people go to work, contribute to their 401(k), their health insurance, pensions and savings accounts. Why do the teachers think that the taxpayers should fork out money for them? They only work nine months out of the year. They should wake up. It's not a free world.
Nepotism lives on
It's the same old song in District 189 in East St. Louis with the same old political hiring. We have a new superintendent and he's bringing in people who are bringing in their relatives. One new hire is the nephew of the new human resources director and when he got hired he brought in his wife. It's the same game, just different people.
Just say no to Rice
No matter how honorable Larry Rice's mission may be, the fact is that his behavior is one of constant attempts to appropriate public money and assets to further his goal. When St. Louis was trying to build a new Rams stadium, he protested against it. He constantly tries to get the funding directed toward his causes, not the causes that will do the best for the most people. His attempt to get the old YMCA in Belleville should be resisted at all costs. It's not only wrong, it's a dangerous precedent. I also strongly feel that it's unconstitutional for a city to give assets or public funds to a religious organization to further its religious missions.
Turn over the old Y
Let's give the Rev. Larry Rice the old Turner Hall building in Belleville and let him finance the repairs. He is a very wealthy individual and he has many corporations that he does business through so he can raise the money from his own pockets to keep it going. Let's get it done.
Regarding the proposed tax increase for the Grant-Illini School District, it's ridiculous that St. Clair County has 32 school districts. Has anyone looked into consolidating them to save money? Grant-Illini has only two schools and has its own superintendent. How much would we save by cutting out his job and his staff and consolidating with other schools?
Paycheck takes a hit
My paycheck was less last Friday, Congress got a pay increase and now I see that our tax refunds will be delayed. Is that because Congress had to have a pay increase for doing nothing?
Baseball got it right
Kudos to the Baseball Writers Association of America who voted not to allow Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Allowing these three or any others who cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs to enter the Hall of Fame would have been a disgrace to major league baseball and to players who already have been inducted. To put them in the same category with men like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial and Ted Williams would have been a travesty. If Pete Rose can't get into the Hall of Fame then neither should Bonds, Clemens or Sosa.
Chaos in Caseyville
Caseyville received its annual audit last month and it wasn't very good. The general fund had a deficit of more than $200,000, which is $50,000 higher than the previous year. The mayor and his finance chairman haven't figured out that you can't spend more money than you have coming in. Also, the auditors stated that the famous dock project was not bid out as required. It was also pointed out that the hotel/motel tax funds were not used in accordance with the state statute and should be repaid as soon as possible. These are just a few of the problems stated in the audit. In April, the voters of Caseyville have a chance to elect a new administration before we go even further into the hole.
Next job for Eckert
It seems like Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert will always have a keen interest in real estate development. Next election, the voters should help relieve him of his present duties so he can pursue these endeavors full time. Let's all see how well he does using his own dime instead of the taxpayers'.
Can't afford licenses
So Gov. Pat Quinn is giving illegal aliens a temporary visitor driver's license. According to a news article there are 250,000 unlicensed illegal immigrants in Illinois and it will cost the broke state $800,000 the first year and $250,000 every year thereafter. My question to Quinn, Reps. Eddie Lee Jackson and Scott Penny, Sen. James Clayborne and the rest of them who voted for this: Why don't you all cut your pay in half to pay for this rather than give our money away?
Follow the money
Much has been printed on the pension deficit that we have in Illinois, but I would like to remind the state workers and teachers that they know what happened to their pension money. It was spent by the legislature, the governor and House Speaker Michael Madigan. Yet the voters keep electing the same people into the same positions so they have no one to blame but themselves.
Too late to stop guns
I cannot help but notice the frenzy associated with gun control. San Antonio, Texas, and Portland, Ore., were both favorably affected by concealed carry. Yet there was not a word anywhere in the news. Had guns never been invented, people would not be killed by them. But that horse was out of the barn long ago and the crooks will always have them.
No sale, quit calling
To all solicitors: I do not want your call in the first place and my name is Mrs. So and So and I do not appreciate you using my first name like I am your long lost friend. You will get no response from me.