Sound-off 10/21

October 21, 2013 

We finally caught a politician who votes as he believes. not as a party hack. Keep it up, U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart; stick to your guns. How refreshing.

Get with the times

It seems our fine congressional representative, Bill Enyart, doesn't have a clue to know what he's talking about. First off we shouldn't be using corn to make ethanol. The Navy is already switching to switch grass biomass fuel to power its jets. It's a renewable resource; you don't have to plant, it doesn't deplete the soil and it saves on greenhouse gas emissions.

Left without a lane

Here's an example of poor planning. The industrial park off Green Mount Road in Belleville does not have a left turn lane. Now every morning and after noon, traffic is backed up because there is no left turn lane. To the planners who allowed that: Way to go.

Report rest of story

Several weeks ago an elderly couple was struck by a car while crossing Highway 50 in O'Fallon, The woman died and the man was hospitalized with major injuries. Nothing has ever been reported on who the driver was, the cause or if the driver was charged. Why has the BND not covered the story?

Frivolous use of taxes

Attention, taxpayers. Did you know that your tax dollars are being spent to fund a library, a bowling alley and a golf course at Scott Air Force Base? What a waste. Write your representative and tell him no more funding of these perks.

Confused by cartoon

I'm a big fan of the Flying McCoys cartoons that appear in the BND. I have to admit that I didn't really get the one that appeared in your Oct. 13 edition. It depicts a rather portly and out-of-breath police officer chasing a thief down a running trail in a park. It must not be a federal park because those were all closed at the time. What's the intended punch line?

Top cops right here

People often laugh at small-town cops. I would put the police officers of Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville and O'Fallon up against any New York City or Los Angles cop. They did a great job tracking down and capturing the suspect who has allegedly robbed the bank in O'Fallon. Hours of police work went into this and our police officers are to be congratulated. Great work to the local police departments.

No way to treat a cat

I found a dead kitten on the side of Witte Road just outside O'Fallon. The kitty was unceremoniously wrapped in a yellow plastic bag. Without benefit of a CSI-like autopsy, I don't know if it was dead before it was dropped off or if it died as a result of being thrown from a moving vehicle. Either way, those responsible ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Hard to handle tolls

I wish the BND would do a story on the Chicago toll road and the difficulty in knowing where the toll locations are and how easy it is to miss them, then try to go online to pay the tolls within the seven-day period. It's a nightmare because you have to know the name of the toll location. If you didn't know a toll was even there, how would you know the name of the location? The system is a scam and the state needs to fix it.

No depth to story

A half column on the front page and two full page columns on the second page of the Oct. 13 BND were dedicated to asserting that politicians are politicians. In this case, poor Rep. Bill Enyart is being attacked by those evil Republicans again. In this fine example of journalism, Enyart is allowed to read his Democratic National Committee-supplied talking points without the reporter challenging or verifying any of what is said. In the end, we're told that all our woes are due to some Republicans who are just doing what their voters want. Is that not exactly what Enyart is doing? Does that make him a Republican?

Stop shielding Scott

Why does the Belleville News-Democrat always try to protect Scott Air Force Base? There was no mention that Justin Vangilder, the man found with the pipe bombs in his place, was a senior airman at Scott. This was reported on television on channels 2,4 and 5, but no mention of this in the BND.

Debt's the problem

Let's get real. The federal deficit was not the cause of the U.S. being downgraded by the Standard & Poor's. We were downgraded because we spend too much money. They downgraded our debt because we are raising the debt limit. That means the chance of paying it in the future is getting less and less. The Republicans' attempt to hold down the debt limit actually helped our credit rating. Ask anyone who has gone through debt counseling. Regardless of what President Obama tells us, not all of us are that stupid.

Not the county way

Perhaps the headline last Monday should have read: "County employee suspends employee without pay" instead of, "County suspends employee without pay." Debra Moore, St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department Director, acted on her own without regard to county guidelines. I'm afraid this matter will be swept under the rug while well-intentioned county employees are being punished for actually doing what they are supposed to do. They will be gone and probably more of Moore's stooges will be hired to take their place and the problems will continue.

Keep tabs on grant

I know school textbooks are expensive, but given the disappearing money problems that East. Louis School District 189 has had in the past, if I were Monsanto I would want a penny for penny accounting for the $90,000 grant it gave to District 189.

Push for major change

I'm ready to vote all Republicans out of office. They caved into the president and got nothing in return for it. President Obama got almost another $1 trillion to spend on his pet projects and the Republicans didn't even get a guarantee that he will negotiate as he said he would. Is jobs or the economy No. 1 on Obama's agenda? No, he wants to do immigration reform and spend more money. Jobs and the economy are at the top of my agenda. He's had five years and the economy is no better now than when he took office. Because the Republicans weren't able to rein in spending, the Republicans didn't do their job. We need to change the way we do business in government.

Not his father's car

I was all set to buy a new car. What a disappointment. Who wants a car with a remote keyless entry? All a criminal lurking in a dark parking lot has to do is jump in your car before you get there. Also, it is rather difficult to drive a car if you can't see over the dashboard. Who is designing these cars?

Swansea's out of step

Why is there no occupancy inspections required in Swansea? Every other community -- Belleville, Fairview Heights, O'Fallon, Shiloh -- requires it. The properties require a lot of work and are not being kept up because of this. Why not Swansea?

Detour to trouble

I feel bad for the people in businesses on the South Belt and Centreville Avenue in Belleville because they are going to have their business destroyed by the most incompetent but never underfunded Illinois Department of Transportation. The unmarked detours extend over to Union and St. Clair avenues and the whole neighborhood is full of people who have no idea where to go. Sometimes they come to a dead end and look puzzled. This is just another result of their poor planning, design and care for the public. The detours should have been coordinated with other projects and people in the neighborhood should have been advised in advance of what the problem would be.

Get ready to register

I encourage everyone in St. Clair County who is not registered to vote to please do so regardless of their political affiliation. We need to band together and vote out every incumbent at all levels of government. This gridlock has got to stop now.

Happy holidays?

I'm wondering if again this Christmas season the O'Fallon public schools will announce the dates of their "winter vacation" and the "winter party" on the marquees. Political correctness is out of control. O'Fallon is a small town and most of the people are Christian. The whole thing is disgusting. Call the school board members.

Step up the tours

I read in Saturday's BND that public tours of the White House, the people's house, will not resume until Nov. 5 and then only on a limited basis. The self-guided tours will now be limited to three days a week, down from the previous five. The article didn't state the reason for the re-opening delay or schedule change. The closure was blamed on mandatory budget cuts in March. Now the government is advertised as fully up running again but the White House doesn't seem to have gotten the word. Maybe if the Obamas would trim their royalty-like travel budget just a tad, that could be used to optimize public visits.

Garden isn't so green

I heard on the radio that because of the government shutdown, the White House vegetable garden had gone unattended and the vegetables were in various stages of rot. I guess the first lady is one of those fair weather farmers and only likes to tend the garden when the cameras are rolling. No real surprise.

Too light a sentence

How can these tax buyers in Madison County, who just pleaded guilty to hooking up with the crook former county Treasurer Fred Bathon, only get 10 to 16 months in prison? They should be fined at least twice the dollar amount of their gains.Watch what Bathon gets. He will be laughing all the way to his Florida home to retire with the money he stole from taxpayers.

Needed: road crews

My wife called the Madison County Highway Department to come pick up a dead animal. The county told her that if it was a small animal, they would not pick it up. T his county has become an absolute joke, So I called and the guy asked what kind of animal is it. Wow, there is road kill all up and down Troy-O'Fallon Road. The Sheriff's Department cannot control speeding on the road, so I am not walking onto their highway to measure the animal's size or pick it up, that is for sure. The only thing the county seems to have time for is property tax increases.

Bad time for big raise;

In today's weak economy, the Stookey Township Board voted for a 6 percent increase for its workers. I am frustrated that when I go in and pay my sewer bills at the township office, I have to wait until one of the employees stops playing solitaire on the computer, and now she gets a big increase. The supervisor is never at the township office to oversee the day-to-day operations. I am frustrated about Trustee Ryan Stookey, who voted in favor of this increase even though he claims to be a fiscal conservative. Get a copy of the township minutes and remember to vote these people out of office.

About that location

Why is the East St. Louis NAACP branch holding its banquet in a hotel in St. Louis? Are the members afraid to have the banquet in East St. Louis? Just asking.

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