Letters to the Editor

BND readers sound off on mayor praying, taxes, calling students ‘slave’

Praying for change

When will Mayor Eckert and other local elected officials start respecting the U.S. Constitution and end the blatantly sectarian practice of the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast”? This open endorsement of religion by a public official using their title and office is an affront to the non-religious in our community. It is also a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Our elected representatives can pray on their own time. Get off of your knees and get to work doing the people’s business.

Business loans

Belleville and now Swansea: why should any private business be able to use my tax dollars to succeed? If you want to open a business, let them borrow from a bank like most other businesses did.

Labeling details

Regardless of context, calling elementary students “slaves” is a very bad choice of words. In the reported situation at Joseph Arthur Middle School, the teacher called two mixed-race students “Slave 1” and a “Slave 4.” Was there also a “Slave 2,” “Slave 3,” or more, and were they also minorities? What was the context of this whole labeling process as it occurred in a student council meeting? Inquiring minds want to know.

Independent voter

It’s shameful Hal Patton has been disqualified from running for office because of a politically-motivated, idiotic law. I won’t discuss the fact that a Democratic-owned, Cook County judge made the ruling. Evidently, it’s illegal to sign a nominating petition for a Democrat and then vote Republican. I always vote for who I think is the best qualified individual running for a political office, unlike the those who vote a straight party ticket. That means I will never be able to run for office in Illinois because I’ve backed both Republicans and Democrats in the past. Just another reason why Illinois is such a sorry state.

Fee for all

St. Clair County is hiring a consultant for $30,000 to determine which fees in St. Clair County need to be raised. I bet Kern already gave the consultant a list of fees that needed to be raised. However, when the consultant proposes raising fees, it will give Kern and his clowns cover. They can say, “The consultant made us do it.” Wonder what would happen if the consultant says not to waste $10 million a year on a dead airport?

J.B.’s health plan

In his TV ad, J.B. Pritzker claims he will give everyone in Illinois health care insurance. Sounds like Obama claiming you can keep your doctor and Obamacare will save you $2,000. How well did that work? I went to Pritzker’s website to read his plan. Not much of plan, except he will allow anyone to buy Illinois Medicaid insurance. It costs Illinois approximately $4,000 per individual ($333 per month) now for Medicaid. Pritzker pointed out costs would go up if more people signed on. One small thing Pritzker forgot to mention, Illinois is broke and can’t pay its Medicaid bills now. Pritzker has no solution to solve the $130 billion debt problem. Pritzker is taking a page from the Obama play book using the John Grubber approach to voters.

Bridge work

Just a couple months ago, the Illinois 15 bridge over the railroad tracks was finally reopened after about four years. I read in the paper that the Richland Creek bridge is deficient. It’s about 150 feet down the road from the railroad bridge. Why wasn’t it replaced at the same time? Apparently, nobody at IDOT lives in Freeburg.

Strange brew

Isn’t it interesting the Kellers chose to include St. Louis in the name the Hofbräuhaus? How deceitful. First, Hofbräuhaus is not in St. Louis. Second, I didn’t see St. Louis hand over millions of dollars in TIF money to the Kellers. What a slap in the face to the men and women who work and pay taxes in Belleville.

Nein, dummkopf!

The BND erroneously titled a recent sound off submission in regards to the new German restaurant located in Belleville and named “Hofbräuhaus-St. Louis.” They called it “Fahrvergnügen.” For those not Volkswagen enthusiasts or German-literate the word means “driving enjoyment.” The drive from downtown St. Louis on Interstate 64 is anything but. A driver has to navigate the perpetual construction on the Poplar Street Bridge, drive through East St. Louis and its war zone facade, and pass Washington Park with its strip clubs to get to the restaurant. That ought to really whet diners’ appetites.

Are they high?

How disheartening to find out Illinois Democratic politicians want to replace taxes lost by restricting cigarette sales by legalizing recreational marijuana. Democrats want to jeopardize the health and well-being of your children so they can have more taxes to waste on out-of-control spending. I don’t understand how any voter could possibly vote for these pathetic excuses we have running this state.

Safe bet

It just keeps getting better. East St. Louis Township Supervisor Alvin Parks is kicked of the March 20 Democratic primary ballot because he owes $125,000 in unpaid fines. There should be a quest to find an honest politician in East St. Louis with $20,000 going to the first one found. Don’t worry people, your money is safe. Just more evidence that East St. Louis really is run by corrupt and incompetent Democrats.

Alienated by left

Universities admit DACA-approved illegal students graduate college at one fourth the rate of Americans. Data shows “dreamer” age illegals commit crimes at twice the rate of American citizens. Roughly one fourth of “dreamers” are unable to speak English, and most work in blue-collar jobs where their high numbers lower the wages paid to Americans. Harry Reid once opposed birthright citizenship, saying “no sane country” would reward illegal aliens with U.S. citizenship for their children, introducing a bill that would have ended citizenship for “anchor babies.” Sen. Diane Feinstein once derided people who were here illegally and were on Medicaid, arguing the United States could no longer be the welfare system for Mexico. In 1995, President Bill Clinton warned about the problems illegal immigration caused for the country. In 2006, Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer voted for a border wall. American citizens have now been abandoned by leftist Democrats.

Hospital rounds

It is disappointing the local hospitals have to hire hospitalists to provide care that was once provided for no additional costs from the community doctors. Five years ago, 60 or more community doctors saw their own patients in the hospitals. The insurance companies have lowered reimbursements to a point that many doctors decided to quit going to the local hospitals. My doctor cares first about his patients and not about the almighty dollar. I’m glad my doctor still goes to the local hospitals.

Hospital change

Kudos to HSHS for recognizing quality physicians and keeping doctors in Illinois. Many of the CEP doctors have provided care here for five years or longer. Many of them have houses and families locally. Big Barnes hospital wanted to save money and brought in their own Barnes group hospitalists from St. Louis. They also went with a cheaper ER group from Tennessee. The new ER and hospitalist providers at the Memorial Hospitals do not know the community doctors and likely will have a less than smooth transition.

Universal news

East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson Hicks released a statement concerning Blair Garber’s comment about East St. Louis being the “shithole of the universe.” Emeka said Garber painted a negative vision of East St. Louis. I’ve spent 60 years watching East St. Louis deteriorate and crime increase. Emeka, we got news for you — East St. Louis is just as Garber described. How did you get elected, when you are too blind to see what’s around you?

Durbin’s rot

Dick Durbin says “shithole” statement about East St. Louis was “disgusting.” Durbin is a disgusting politician, who relies on the voters of East St. Louis to stay in power. If only we could get Durbin to resign based on his ineffectiveness as a politician, epitomized in losing NGA to St. Louis. Or for his complete ignorance, when it comes to voting against middle-class tax breaks. Durbin says he’s doing everything he can to get East St. Louis back on its feet. Dicky, East St. Louis has been rotting away for as long as you have been a senator.

Ad to debt

I am so sick of the ads and millions they are spending on the next Illinois governor’s election. It is a sin to spend all that money when our state is billions in debt. Just makes me sick every time I see them and it is quite often.

Rude Democrats

I watched Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez humiliate himself by storming out of the State of the Union speech. My question is: what country does Gutierrez want to live in? Obviously, Gutierrez doesn’t like America. But he does like living off the taxpayer’s dime. Gutierrez is an embarrassment for Illinois, and an embarrassment to the nation. Illinois voters don’t show themselves to be particularly smart when they elect an uncouth embarrassment like Gutierrez. You can lump Durbin and Duckworth with Gutierrez. Seems the Democratic politicians were for DACA, the wall, and immigration revision several years ago. Now Democrats are for themselves, not for the American people.

Unsafe at school

My children attend Whiteside Middle School so I was very interested in the report about the bullying of a student at the school. I watched the fight on YouTube. I am so glad someone had the presence of mind to film it. Now the administrators and school board can’t hide. The administrators turn a blind eye because they are afraid to do anything. My husband and I have decided that we will not send our children to an unsafe school so we are enrolling them in a private school. I encourage other parents to consider this option. This is why we need a voucher system. We could choose where to send our children. It is so sad that we can no longer trust school officials to keep our children safe.

Ben’s interest

Even after Belleville provided financial aid to Ben’s, downtown Belleville’s biggest store, Ben’s owner, John Conkright, wants to sell two parts of the store for $450K. Conkright said it would be in the best interest of Belleville if he could sell part of the building. Having a large empty store front on East Main isn’t a good look for Belleville. Wonder if John has thought about opening a couple of thrift shops in the store areas he wants to sell?