I wonder if all school districts or just Whiteside require cash- only payments at the end of the year? All fees, activities, lunches, summer camps, etc., have to be paid in cash after April 1 because of too many returned checks. I have problems with this on many levels: Students walking around with sometimes $50 in cash, punishing all parents for the poor money handling of a few, the fact very few people operate on cash anymore, and who wants to pay extra fees for using a bank card? Why do they want the liability of all of that cash lying around and the responsibility of such stringent bookkeeping? I think this is very poor judgment by Whiteside administration.
No TV time for Fido
I was watching a TV news broadcast and they were interviewing a woman walking her dog in a local city park. She didn't have a bag in her hand to take care of the dog's waste. All of the parks have notices to pick up after your pets. I don't think the media should cover stories that demonstrate this lack of responsibility.
Of youths and crime
I read the article about the violence in East St. Louis. Montez Moore said the violence is happening largely among young people. Arturio Miller said his brother was shot in both legs following a basketball game and that it could have been prevented if the youths had more things to do between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. I don't know what they consider to be youths, but in my opinion it's below 16 or 17 and I think a good place for this person to be is home in bed at those hours. I thought East St. Louis had a curfew but apparently it's not being enforced.
Vote of no confidence
I feel compelled to respond to your story about Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Chief Regina Hays. Speaking for the officers, I wish to thank the BND for the laughs the story generated. If we wouldn't be fired from our jobs, we would have submitted a no- confidence vote many years ago.
Great story on giving
What a wonderful story about Earl and Anita Johnson donating their mother's home to a military family. That really is above and beyond, especially in this day and age. I congratulate them, I congratulate the News-Democrat for putting such an uplifting story on the front page of the paper, and I congratulate the military couple and hope that his health improves and they have a long, wonderful life in Collinsville.
Just sitting ducks
Crime is already a problem in and around the MetroLink trains, station platforms and parking lots. If concealed carry is denied on public transportation, riders will be attractive targets. Robbers and crazies always prefer unarmed victims. I am reminded of the scores of shooting victims on the Long Island railroad commuter train disaster a number of years ago.
Bridge names solved
A note to Congress: I'm sure that Bernard F. Dickman was one heck of a mayor because a bridge was named after him but everyone calls it the Poplar Street. After World War II and the Korean War, we told veterans we would never forget them by naming the other bridge the Veterans Memorial Bridge. They took that name away with little regard for the vets. Why don't they just name the Bernard Dickman Bridge after Stan Musial since it goes right to Busch Stadium. Name the new bridge the Veterans Memorial Bridge and everyone will be happy except the Dickman family.
Eckert isn't alone
You said in Our View that Mayor Mark Eckert may wish he had lost the election because his loyal allies weren't elected to treasurer and city clerk. Don't worry, he still has unelected official, Geri Boyer, helping him run the show.
Terrorism as lifestyle
What the residents of Boston went through recently is just a taste of what the entire population of Israel has endured for decades. I hope those who don't care about Israel realize that those people live with the threat of terrorist attacks every minute of every day. We got a small taste of it in one city while Israel lives under that threat all the time.
Beyond a life of crime
People like the person who called Sound-off to complain about the positive incentive program at the St. Clair County Jail cause criminals to become more incorrigible. If you take away a person's pride and give him no chance to do better, can you expect him to do better anyway? I don't think so. The jail's programs encourage people to try another way rather than to just keep doing the same things over and over.
Reward in store?
I believe that if Phil Elmore hadn't run for mayor of Belleville, Joe Hayden would have won. Hayden would have saved the city a lot of money because he would have cut positions that Mayor Mark Eckert put in such as assistants to assistants. I'm interested to see what job Elmore gets with the city for helping Eckert get in.
This is a reminder to all government employees that their paychecks come from taxpayers. I am a single man who pays dearly for schools, fire protection, national defense, etc., without a choice and I'm not complaining. If any of the workers feel bitter about the cutbacks, furloughs and wage freezes but didn't spend the fruits of their labor wisely, I don't feel sorry for them. Puzzled? They should walk out into their garage or driveway. If they see a foreign-made car, they made an unwise choice for their own welfare. People should buy American when the have the choice.
No more freebies
I have a simple solution to the immigration problem. Stop giving illegal immigrants free stuff. If we stopped the free health care, education, food stamps and welfare. there would be no reason for them to come here unless they are hard working. If they are they can go through the process to become citizens and we will be glad to have them. Studies show that more than half of the illegal immigrants that come here are on our public dole. The fact is we don't need any new laws; we just need to stop giving away free things to not only illegals but our own citizens. This country would be much better off if we did that.
Skip the tough stuff
Your April 25 editorial stated that federal Judge David Herndon told the victims of Fred Bathon's rip-off in Madison County that they must eat the losses. The math is too tough for him so the ignorance will be passed down as will the laziness. The judge is used to hard criminal cases but he is out of his league on white-collar crimes. Stay tuned for more of his brilliant rulings.
I was pleased when Wagner Motor Co. sold its business to the Oliver C. Joseph dealership. Both have been strong businesses for Belleville and this seemed to be a beneficial arrangement to them and the city. I was pleased when the BND reported that all of the employees would keep their jobs. But after the steak dinner and the limelight, such was not the case. I learned from a friend that several of the former Wagner employees have been let go. There is almost no place for these folks to find new jobs. The public should be aware of this disappointing news.
Get by easy card
If you commit a crime in Madison County that is complex and involves thousands of people and millions of dollars, you will probably get away with not having to pay back the victims. The Bathon case is an injustice to the victims and the taxpayers because prosecutors are lazy and could possibly be part of the corrupt system. Now I know where to go if I want to commit a com- plex crime Madison County.
Bellevillians, do you have streets with potholes, broken curbs or other problems? Don't call City Hall; stop by the old YMCA. The TIF-assisted new owner seems to have a lot of influence with Mayor Mark Eckert. Maybe he will put in a good word for you.
Voters asked for it
It takes a lot of hard bark for this useless governor and the useless Democrats in the Illinois House and Senate to berate Texas Gov. Rick Perry for coming to Illinois and offering businesses a different plan. I'd like to know what plan these miserable Illinois politicians have offered anybody. We're sitting here with some of the highest taxes in the country, the most corrupt state, and Democrats are in charge of everything from Chicago on down. This state is failing fast. It's nobody's fault but the people's because they keep sending the same idiots back to office time after time.
Principal gets blamed
Regarding the Millstadt school district, I believe the problems stem from the internal office staff at the Primary Center. I like Principal Kevin Juhas, whose contract won't be renewed. I thought he was great.
Same old Democrat
St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney tries to set himself up as an independent outsider who is on the side of everyone. Well, knowing that he's from a long-time, entrenched St. Clair County Democratic family, I've always been suspect. Now it comes out that he tried to ignore the Ace Hart absentee voting situation and that exhibits his true colors. He's not the normal St. Clair County politician who shoves it right at you. He tries to come in the back door with that nice guy stuff. He has been exposed for the hard-core party activist he is; he will let nothing get in the way of getting his buddies elected.
Get tough on traitors
I would like to know why traitors who side with the enemies of our country are allowed to stay here. Why don't they get a life outside of this country if they are so discontented with us? My family members fought in wars for this country. How many more of our boys have to shed blood for America while traitors are allowed to live here?
U.S. shows weakness
North Korea, Iran and Egypt all want to kill us now more than ever because they know the leader of the free world, President Obama, is weak. He promised transparency but this is a most secretive, underhanded president with the intent to fulfill his agenda of socialism. He is leaving our country vulnerable for destruction.
Let's require helmets
Your paper carried a story on the funeral of a father and his daughter who were killed in a motorcycle accident. An earlier report indicated that neither of them was wearing a helmet. I think it's high time that Illinois gets enough backbone to at least require that minor children wear helmets. It has been proven that helmets save lives. I further would recommend that the legislature increase the motorcycle license fee. The drivers should be responsible for their fair share of medical costs incurred by the behavior of those who refuse to wear helmets.
Trees spell trouble
Something that has bothered me since Highland completed the Broadway street improvements east of the roundabout: Why would the city plant trees under power wires? We all know power outages and wires down during storms are usually caused by tree branches falling on the wires. While I understand having trees is an environmentally good thing, planting them under power wires does not seem like a good idea. Are they trying to keep the tree trimmers in business or just keep more people on the public payroll?