Wake up, Local 6270 union members. Your contract negotiations team at Southwestern Illinois College has delayed any pay raises you should have received since August. The college is being reasonable and willing to work out a fair pay increase for the adjunct faculty; however, the negotiating team is holding up the process for a limited few part-time teaching positions to get health care, paid personal days and sick days off. These few are depriving the rest of us of our well-deserved pay raise. We are teaching because the vast majority of the adjunct instructors want to teach and earn a decent wage, which the college pays. Get the contract settled so we can get this behind us.
I see the St. Clair County 911 dispatchers want to seek arbitration with the county for more pay. I have a better idea. Let's consolidate all dispatchers in the county, reduce the answering points to three, and use the money saved through consolidation to standardize dispatcher pay. I guess that would make too much sense.
Liberal views prevail
After reading the article about Chick-Fil-A at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, it makes me very sad that our young people want to ban a business because it opposes same-sex marriage. I guess it's because of all the liberal propaganda fed to them and they believe it. If Chick-Fil-A supported homosexual causes and abortion, I suppose they would support the restaurant. I feel for the future of this nation as it moves further away from God.
I enjoyed your coverage of the Martin Luther King Day observances, especially the one held at St. Luke's AME Church, which I attended. Your pictures showed the beauty of the church, certainly one of the most magnificent churches in Southern Illinois. The music was inspirational, the boy's recitation and the messages were significant for all the right reasons. The 600 people attending enjoyed the event and it was an excellent report of an awesome program.
Cartoon is a disgrace
Glenn McCoy's cartoon on Jan. 22 about the Bible bursting into flames as President Obama took his oath is a disgrace. How racist can you get? Please give us a break. We know that he hates Obama and that he hates blacks but can he please do just one thing that is in good taste? It is disgusting.
The way Glenn McCoy hid the skull and crossbones in the smoke in the cartoon showing the Bible bursting into flames when President Obama placed his hand on it for the inauguration was brilliant. I bet very few people noticed it; he disguised it beautifully. There's a lot of truth to it, though.
Don't cook gold goose
If you think the unemployment rate in St. Clair County is a problem now, let them continue to fight to get taxes from federal land at the cost of losing Scott Air Force Base. Then you will see unemployment like you haven't seen in your lifetime. This is an outrage and total stupidity. I don't care what other states do. Illinois does not tax federal land and they certainly can't get away with it without repercussions. If we lose Scott, it won't only be because it lacks the facilities for the new tankers, it will be because the county administration would rather kill the goose that laid the golden egg instead of getting along. What else is new?
Riding on our dime
A large part of any public transportation system's revenue should come from fares. However, less than one penny out of each dollar of the St. Clair County Transit District's revenue comes from fares. More than 99 percent is subsidized by the taxpayers. It is an example of the taxpayers being taken for a ride.
What about Obama?
Letter writer Jim Walters was correct in going after Mitt Romney for buying a German SUV, which was a slap in the face to the American auto worker. But the American auto worker didn't support him. What Walters said about Romney was fair but let's see him turn his lens on President Obama and write something about him and his hypocrisy. I doubt he will.
Buying of America
This election cycle has saddened me because the America I loved has died. Our last two presidents bought off the electorate to win. Yes, both sides have done this. We've been hoodwinked by all politicians. President Bush was re-elected because he gave free or cheap drugs to seniors. Could we afford this? No. President Obama's failures include giving 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Obama got a 2 percent cut in the Social Security tax in the last two years just so he could get re-elected. Now I don't see him fighting for the middle class at all. One party is not to blame. It's both.
Keep up the watch
I'm calling to thank the Belleville News-Democrat for the great job in pursuing wrongs that are being done in our state.
Speak up for yourself
I'm responding to the Sound-off caller who asked when the BND was going to speak up for East St. Louis. It's not up to the News-Democrat to speak up; it's up to the citizens. If they are displeased with the new leadership in School District 189, they need to go to the meetings and discuss. They didn't have anything to say when the old leadership was handing out millions of contracts to family and friends. Now they want to criticize the new leaders who are trying to make some sense of all the craziness going on.
Why did the schools all hold school on Veterans' Day rather than honoring veterans? The schools were closed to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe he was a hero but weren't the veterans heroes, too? What makes King so much better than a veteran who fought for our freedom and may have lost his life or limb doing it?
Rolling in laughter
I'm calling in regard to the Answer Man's column on Jan. 20 concerning the direction the toilet paper is supposed to face. I found the article to be fantastically amusing and a beautiful tongue-in-cheek approach to a question that has no answer. Roger Schlueter did an outstanding job. I appreciate his efforts and urge him to keep up the good work.
For better bathrooms
To the East St. Louis Park Board: I am not a resident of East St. Louis but I do attend and support community events at Lincoln Park such as the firemen's picnic and Memorial Day programs. But the bathroom and portable toilets are the worst I have ever seen at any community events. The park district's budget may be tight but clean toilets when special events are going on is just common sense and the situation could become a health issue. Clean up the toilets, Park Board.
Crime on upswing
Residential burglaries and armed robberies are at an all-time high. There are residential burglaries that are not put in the newspapers, the police cannot be everywhere, and retail stores need a police presence at night. It's getting so bad you can't leave your house during the day.
Odd spot for church
It's nice for Columbia to have a new Catholic church. But since it is way out in the country, how are old people who are unable to drive going to get there?
Look beyond facts
As usual, the editorial in the Jan. 23 BND was factually correct. However, keeping watch on sales of guns from dealers and gun shows will not significantly reduce crime for the following reasons: Bats, ice picks, knives, hammers, tire irons, bombs and strangling all dwarf guns as killers in this country; criminals do not purchase firearms from gun dealers where the purchaser's name and serial numbers are recorded and maintained. Criminals buy hot or throwaway guns on the street that may come from the burglaries of the homes of law-abiding gun owners or from underground dealers. If the high crime rate in our area is to be reduced, restricting FOID issuance is clearly barking up the wrong tree and a distraction from barking up the right tree.
The occupancy permits should be abolished. Our government has no need or right to know the number or names of people living in houses or apartments. What comes next? What will be our next liberty taken away?
A bridge for veterans
The new bridge across the Mississippi River should be named in honor of veterans and should be called the Veterans Memorial Bridge. In respect to Jerry Costello, Lacy Clay, Jay Hoffman, Frank Watson and others who worked on the project, a plaque could be placed on the bridge recognizing their accomplishments. In 1951 we built a Veterans Bridge but in 1968 political forces changed the name to the Martin Luther King Bridge. Veterans deserve to have their bridge; they are the ones who made this country free.
Wasted tax dollars
I urge anyone who has time to drive the 17th Street extension in Belleville which goes past the new park. People will see the construction of a bridge that costs more than $100,000 and is totally unneeded. This is a real boondoggle. Many city streets need improvement but we're spending this money on an unnecessary bridge in a park.
Too light on crime
Two armed men robbed a man at gunpoint near his home and they were captured. Let me guess how much time they will serve in prison before being released into the public to rob again. Maybe two years? No chance of them getting 15 years? Locking up criminals who use guns would help solve the problem of gun violence. The death sentence for murderers would help even more.
Supply, price separate
Isn't it interesting that now that we don't import most of our oil from Saudi Arabia and there's actually a glut on the market due to new oil finds in the United States, the price of gas remains above $3 a gallon and bounces back and forth between $3.19 and $3.39? As soon as they realize that we will pay regardless of the supply, they will keep the prices high. This slows down the entire economy.
Jobs cost too much
While it may be good for the employees of North Bay Produce and Boeing at MidAmerica Airport, it is not so for the taxpayers of St. Clair County. A loss of more than $8 million for 100-plus jobs does not equate to a successful enterprise. Just think what that money would have done if given back to the taxpayers and spent locally. Until this airport can maintain itself without subsidies, it is a failure of the administrators who continue its use.
Skeletons left behind
In a recent letter, John "Skip" Kernan elected to use false logic to claim that St. Clair Township Supervisor Tim Buchanan is responsible for the sewer dispute between Swansea and the township because Buchanan was chairman of the village's Environmental Committee during construction of the new sewer plant. Then the voters must be told that, as chairman of the village's Personnel Committee, Kernan gave himself a 50 percent pay raise and a retirement benefit. Trivia question: Who is the only elected official in Swansea who is eligible for a pension? It's none other than Kernan.
Test the teachers
The Illinois State Board Of Education is raising the performance levels of ISAT tests for students. While the board is at it, some testing should be be required of teachers to ensure they are meeting standards. Those found to be below the standards would be penalized financially.