Here's what our readers had to say in our weekly Sound-off:
MetroLink, the new school bus from East St. Louis to the Belleville high schools. They should paint a car yellow for "school train." How can school officials miss the large group of students who board the train at Fifth & Missouri and Washington Park every morning? My tax dollars at work again.
Stop the bullying
How far does bullying go in the local high schools before actions are taken ? Children bully each other directly and indirectly, causing the child being bullied to lose focus at school, contemplate suicide or drop out. Nothing ever seems to be resolved and I need to know why. And why is it so hard for the parents of these children to address the issues without proclaiming that their child is totally innocent and would never hurt a fly? As parents it is our responsibility to explain the consequences of bullying. I don't care how many days a week a child attends church or if he is an honor roll student. Something must be done in Belleville High School District 201 before it's too late.
Plenty of distractions
Do the legislators in Springfield actually feel that they have done their job by passing an unenforceable law against talking on a cell phone while driving? I am thoroughly against texting, and it is much more obvious than talking on a cell phone. If they are going to outlaw talking on a cell phone because it is distracting, they had better also pass a law against Big Gulps, Big Macs and various other distractions.
Stop playing favorites
How can Washington Park Mayor Angie Rodgers allow Trustee Willie Mcintosh to dictate what precincts be cleaned up? The street supervisor has been asked to clean up and cut grass for months in other precincts but he said he can only cut grass and clean up in certain areas or he will lose his job. McIntosh and Rodgers are the only ones whose precincts are being taking care of, now how corrupt is that?
An SOS for SWIC
Southwestern Illinois College under Georgia Costello equals wasteful, D.C.-style spending as this student sees it. Develop the quad? Another monument to Georgia while classrooms age and fall apart and study centers combine and are noisy. Construction costs cannot be under budget - evidence is the fancy logo in the LAC building lobby floor. Taxpayers, tour the main building and see what's going on. It's disgraceful. Help.
I read that former governor George Ryan went to Springfield after he got out of prison. It must have been a strange place to him because he never spent any time there when he was governor. As a matter of fact, all Illinois governors in the last 20 years have proclaimed Chicago the state capitol. Gov. Pat Quinn doesn't even know there is an Illinois south of Chicago.
Speed and semis
It's not the cars hurtling down the interstate at 80 miles per hour that bothers me near as much as those big semis. With thousands more big trucks on the interstate nowadays, you take your life in your hands every time you get on the highway with them. They should be going slower, not faster.
I was shocked at the hypocrisy of David Clohessy concerning various matters in the Belleville Catholic Diocese. If only SNAP were as transparent about its personnel and financial matters as it demands everyone else to be. Where does SNAP gets it money from and how much is Clohessy, the director, paid? How does he explain that in a recent tax report, with reported income of $473,232, SNAP spent only $593 on "survivor support"? For information regarding SNAP, go to www.themedia-report.com and read the article, "SNAP Uncovered: Shocking facts about the media's favorite church-bashing group."
With the new state law going into effect soon about talking on cell phones while you drive, I really hope that the cities, counties and state follow that law also. You drive by a police officer and a cell phone is stuck in his ear. That's what happened when the state cop lost control of his patrol car and killed those two girls a few years back. I hope the police pay attention and don't do the same thing that idiot did.
Profiting off politics
How much money does Jerry Costello and his family need? Costello goes to Congress and comes home a millionaire. He's drawing a fat pension off of all of us. His wife is making in excess of $100,000 a year at Southwestern Illinois College, he's got a kid in the state legislature, and God only knows about other family members tucked away in other places. How much longer do we have to keep paying this guy and how greedy is he?
No consultant needed
Why is Belleville paying a St. Louis consulting firm to tell them something they already know? The city Police Department has been shoe-horned in the same location since I was in grade school and I'm 61 years old. Give me a fraction of that money and I'll find a suitable location and help the police move. Come on, city leaders, wake up and stop wasting our tax dollars.
Don't force charity
I'm calling about the story in the Aug. 26 BND, "Training for nation's new health law," Sam and Taylor's story. What you forgot to mention is that Sam and Taylor don't pay; everybody else, all other working people, have to pay the difference for them. If I want to give to charity, I want it to be my choice, not my federal government's choice. Obamacare is wrong.
Waiting on Obama
We'll see if President Obama acts on the chemical attack on Syrian people. Remember, chemical weapons are what the Germans used on the Jews in World War II. No different except it's random instead of organized. So come, President Obama, let's see what you are going to do.
Stop and listen
I saw St. Clair County cars in Cahokia on Doris Avenue and Paris by the high school. I hope they don't plan on changing the speed limit or removing stop signs. I live on Doris Avenue and that street is a racetrack. Years ago the state, county or city removed the stop signs and it became 10 times worse. If the state, county or city plan on doing that, I really wish they would talk to the residents because it is horrible. I wish the police would come and start ticketing for speeding and running stop signs. There is nothing like taking your life in your hands when you try to back out or pull into your driveway.
State, church lines
Infamous letter writer Jim Walters strikes again. Anyone who refers to the Bible as a "holy comic book" loses all credibility in my view. This nation was founded by men and women of faith and continues to be led by those who draw strength from their faith, but know well enough to not impose their beliefs upon "the state."
Funeral home defense
I live in Sparta and I read the article about the McDaniel and Lee Family Funeral Home. I think there are a really good funeral home. My family has always gone to them. I don't care for the article. They have served our community for more than 30 years. I think the article was harsh. The article has tainted and made our community look bad.
It's just business
I am calling about the article in the BND about McDaniel and Lee Family Funeral Home, about Nathan Lee holding ashes of people that didn't pay their bill. Funeral homes are like any other business: you sign a contract. I don't see what is wrong with that. If the funeral directors do everything free, there is not going to be and funeral homes to bury us. I do believe Nathan Lee, the funeral home as been very good forever. I'll probably use it only once, but they've done right by a lot of people.
Addition for cartoon
I saw Glenn McCoy's cartoon Aug. 28 in the BND talking about things that no longer serve a useful purpose. Three items were listed; ear lobes, pet rocks and the Illinois lieutenant governor. If he would have included a fourth one, a self-portrait, it would have been perfect.
Limit rental property
I think Belleville should strictly limit the total number of apartments in the city. Apartments are detrimental to the long-term wellness of the city. Any plan for additional rental housing on West Boulevard or in that vicinity should be discontinued immediately. That is the least desirable place to have rental property, next to a high school. I think every regulation possible should be enforced to encourage people to own the property, not to rent the property.
Tough to be a renter
I would sure hate to be a landlord or worse yet, a renter in Belleville. One mistake and they want to kick you out of town. It is part of the proposed crime-free housing ordinance.
$15 an hour? Really?
McDonald's workers need a reality check. They think they are going to get $15 an hour, double the wage they are getting now. I'm a union worker and get $18 an hour and I've been driving a truck for more than 20 years. They think that McDonald's is going to give them $15 a hour. Wow, if that's the case, I'm going to put an application to be a janitor and just push a broom around. That way I don't have to worry about a CDL license or drug tests.
Cartoons to be drawn
Why doesn't BND cartoonist Glenn McCoy draw cartoons about the war criminals George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and their cohorts? He only draws cartoons about one thing, something to make him popular: racist cartoons about the president.
Of the mayor's making
All of this wrangling over the hole in downtown Belleville was brought on by the city. The mayor decided to knock down the structure without state approval. He also decided to remove debris and asbestos without IEPA permission. He should have followed the rules and regulations that everyone else has to follow.
Going nowhere again
Not to be outdone, St. Clair County will trump IDOT's "road to nowhere" with its own "exit to nowhere" as it proceeds with their planned Rieder Road interchange off Interstate 64. The almost $1 million dead-end road project pales when compared to the $40 million price tag for the interchange.
Put the victims first
You printed an interesting column from Attorney General Holder wanting more tax dollars to defend criminals, but he is forgetting one thing. There's been a saying around for years: If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. How about: If you can't pay for a lawyer, don't do the crime? When is Holder going to start thinking about the victims?
Just be one of us
If retired congressman Jerry Costello gets $7,000 a month for promoting the Madison County Transit District, he doesn't need to be on the government retirement plan and health insurance, he needs to go to the exchanges and buy his health insurance like the rest of us people are going to be forced to do.