Sound-off 9/23

September 22, 2013 

I don't know about Belleville, but in Swansea it's not the renters who bring down the value of the homes. Property owners put more boats and trucks in residential front yards along with garbage cans, etc. This is what brings down property values. I have seen overstuffed couches on front porches, bicycles and junk in Belleville. My family owns a nice bungalow that is kept beautifully on the east end of Belleville. Who wants to buy a home with this stuff visible from the street in Belleville or Swansea? When people can't sell their homes, they rent. The government also is responsible for this mess by saying everyone deserves to own their own home and giving them $8,000 to do it.

Unfair to renters

Watch out, Belleville. Some people won't be allowed to rent a home. I guess we will find them in doorways like years ago. If felons have paid their debt to society, they should be allowed to rent. I think people buying a home should go through a background check also. After all, the government gives $8,000 to people to buy a home because everyone deserves to own their own home whether they can afford it or not.

Crime-free limitations

Regarding Belleville's new crime-free housing ordinance and Alderwoman Melinda Hult's guest view: We have to start some place and the ordinance is a step in the right direction. I am one of the homeowners she referred to in her column. The mayor has told me that if my neighbor were a renter, the city could get the landlord to evict him because of the problems in the neighborhood. I get no response from the Belleville Police Department now as far as helping. Residents have no voice in Belleville.

Crime gets worse

I think it's scary the amount of crime in Belleville. Now law enforcement officials have to have an armed robbery task force to deal with it all. What's happening to our community?

Costly road show

While the message behind the first lady's effort to increase water consumption in America is admirable, I find her kick-off plan very disheartening. Couldn't she have made her grand announcement in the friendly confines of the White House's Rose Garden as opposed to taking her show on the road to Watertown, Wis.? Was the time and expense of taking her whole entourage on the road really worth the trip? I think not.

Censored by the BND

I see the BND has once again figured out a way to censor people's opinions. They used to let you voice your opinion online anonymously but now the only anonymous option is to call Monday's Sound-Off. This just means you will lose even more customers because you've taken away our right to express our opinion unless we tell you who we are. There are some people in St. Clair County who need anonymity because we've been harassed. Shame on you, BND.

A break for politicians

If I were St. Clair Board Chairman Mark Kern, Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert or any other politician, I'd be really ecstatic that the BND has changed its commenting policy and you now have to be a Facebook member. We know that people will be scared to do these things. It would be helpful if you would consider more Sound-off days. Obviously it would be easier to read those than letters to the editor that go nowhere.

Sorry state of school

I lived out of state for quite a few years and recently I toured my old school, Cahokia High School. I graduated in the early 1960s and from what I saw, every school board member and administrator for the last 15 to 20 years should be criminally charged. That was a fantastic school at one time. As one administrator said, "Well, it is over 60 years old." I reminded him that Dupo High School was built in 1929 and it doesn't look anything like this. I am ashamed and I never thought I would be.

Put news on A1

Evidently someone at the BND doesn't understand that sports stories belong on the sports page. Once again the front page was plastered with sports pictures and scores, only to be repeated in the sports section. The front page should be news that is of importance, such as the historic floods devastating Colorado, or the Syrian situation, which is not settled and could lead to another war. No, let's put these stories back on pages 5 and 7 and keep sports on the front page.

Nose pollution

I think it was funny that people complained in the paper about the stock car races, but nobody ever complained about the smell of the sewer plant. The stock car races are three, four times a month at the most; the sewer plant stinks every night. I was at an auction, the auctioneer even apologized about the smell but he said he could do nothing about it. Maybe one of these days the city will get that remedied.

Stop the vandalism

I see that the closed Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in East St. Louis is already being vandalized. Can't the city prevent people from breaking out the windows of a building right next to the federal courthouse?

Help is on its way

In regard to Belleville's new crime-free housing ordinance: Thank you and it's about time. Let's take back our country and bring it back to the good old days.

Let down by courts

One of the biggest drawbacks in Belleville's crime free housing ordinance is not going to be the implementation but its enforcement through the courts. The courts are notoriously sympathetic to renters. In many cases, judges have allowed unruly tenants to remain in their rental unit for an unspecified time until they can get their finances in order or find another unit. If the judges had been doing their jobs, we may not of had as many crime problems in rental units.

Jail stay will cost you

Did you know that prisoners in the St. Clair County Jail have to buy their own toothpaste and deodorant? For them to have money to do that, relatives or friends have to pay $3 on any amount they enter. There is a reverse ATM machine that families can put money into, and it charges you $3 to give them money so they can buy personal needs. Quite the system. Did you know that they have to pay $25 to be able to make phone calls? Interesting system.

A rocky issue

Another typical day behind a rock truck that is overloaded, not covered and dropping rocks on the road. Yet if the rocks hit my car or break my windshield, I'm responsible. I guess the thing to do is have a camera mounted in your vehicle so if a rock falls out of the back of a truck, you can prove that it came from that truck and make that company pay. I'm sick and tired of my car insurance paying for damage to my vehicle that I didn't cause.

Garbage, then grass

I'm just curious who takes care of the grass cutting along the levees and in unincorporated areas. Shouldn't this person have a crew pick up the garbage rather than have the grass cutting people run over it? There was a time when the County Board and its members and the workers actually cared about where they lived and the job they do. It's apparent that's been thrown right out the window.

Don't forget Cahokia

Do you think the St. Clair County Board could come to Cahokia and tear down some derelict houses? I've got six on my street that need to be torn down. They've been burnt for almost seven or eight years now. Two other buildings are falling in on themselves. Nothing's done. That's typical St. Clair County work.

Gamble with locals

If you are going to support video gambling, support local family businesses, not a group of Chicago investors running video gambling parlors. Keep the money in the area.

Headed for a lawsuit

Who thought up that roundabout on Illinois 162 between Illinois 159 and the interstate? It is a death trap waiting to happen. It's not at a corner, just in the middle of the road for some unknown reason. I hope when somebody gets killed there, the person's family sues the heck out of the county.

Useful to women

Glenn McCoy's cartoon on Aug. 28 hit a nerve. I agree pet rocks and the Illinois lieutenant governor's position are useless. But sorry, guys, ear lobes serve a very useful purpose. We get to wear beautiful earrings that compliment our faces and our clothes.

Where are the police?

Why do the Belleville Police not enforce children being buckled in their cars? It's impossible to sit at any stoplight in the city and not see a child standing up in the back seat or looking out the back window. It's very obvious that they aren't wearing seat belts. Yet I never see anybody pulled over. So why don't the police help those who can't help themselves?

Donate elsewhere

O'Fallon residents, do not donate to save the clock. Give your money to charity. The city owns the building. With all the money squandered on parks and completely wasted on the horrible roundabouts, I think they might have $24,000 to fix the clock, which by the way, cannot be restored. It has not looked like the original clock since it was refurbished in the 1970s.

Help in a crisis

I would like to thank St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville. The people there have helped me out so much in my life. Just to live again, to live clean and sober. They have a program on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. that is for whatever people need.

Why didn't pool open?

Summer is over and the East St. Louis Board dropped the ball again. The board got public funds to open the Lincoln Park Swimming Pool; the pool was repaired, workers hired, water put in the pool. But the pool never opened again for the youth of East St. Louis, Washington Park, Centreville and Alorton. Another hot summer with no public swimming pool. The park board is funded by our St. Clair County property taxes and public grants. Can you get an explanation and put it in the BND?

Check before writing

Your real estate writer provides near constant entertainment with her mal-apropisms and use of language. It's not "trolley- motor," it's "trolling motor." Not "dental molding," but "dentil molding." And, although we all feel like shooting our laundry sometimes, it is not "laundry shoot" but "chute." Finally, please review (or refrain from) the use of the word "adorn." It's "granite countertops adorn the kitchen," not "the kitchen adorns granite countertops." Don't the copy editors know any better either?

Trash pickup needed

The weeds and liter along Illinois 15 are awful. Why can't St. Clair County Jail inmates pick up trash once a month, rain or shine? It would also make sense to pick up trash before mowing is done.

Purge won't work

How stupid does St. Clair County think residents are? We don't believe for one minute that the mailed cards will unearth the numerous dead or moved voters to remove them from the registry.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service