Letters to the Editor

BND readers sound off on Althoff bullying, Illinois decline, primary campaign

Just teasing?

Am I supposed to believe that a male student carrying scissors in the hallway at Althoff was just teasing around when he cut off a huge chunk of a girl's long hair?

Nipped in bud

In reference to the Althoff bully story, the Illinois State Board of Education outlined four things that should be done when your child is bullied. It should have been nipped in the bud right away with the school principal. You shouldn't have to go through three additional steps to get something done when your child is bullied.

Volunteerism dies

Sad epitaph for those who volunteered to serve organizations like the Knights of Columbus and South Side Improvement Association. Volunteering helps build a stronger community as well as developing friendships with others. Bill Graves of the Cahokia Knights of Columbus was spot on by saying, “I just don’t think we get the volunteerism that we did a generation or two ago.” Younger generations, or the “me too” generations, would rather sit at home looking at Facebook or tweeting to people instead of having a face-to-face conversation with friends.

Scary neighbor

I was thinking, after the Florida school shooting this week, is there a number in St. Clair County government where residents could call and leave anonymous tips about neighbors they believe are dangerous? I know someone who I'm afraid is going to lose his temper and hurt somebody. This worries me. But I don't know who to tell or who to call. He'll take retribution on me because they will share my identity. If there is such an anonymous number, publish it please.

Wrong establishment

The Sound-off claiming the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is wrong. The clause reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The framers intended to prohibit the establishment of a state church to avoid religious oppression generally, and for fear that a religious test could be required as a qualification to hold public office. A government official holding a private banquet of a religious nature falls pitifully short of realizing those outcomes, particularly where the prayer is not explicitly directed at any one religion.

Social city

Take a walk through City Hall. The employees can't look up to see who needs help because they are texting or Facebooking. The City Council raised the levy for the taxpayers to contribute more for pensions. If there is not enough work perhaps clean house before you vote to raise taxes. Aldermen, do your job.

BlagoPritzker

Where's the Democratic outrage below the hill about J.B. Pritzker? Or is that not politically correct.

Goodbye, Illinois

BND reports Illinois public universities struggle with declining enrollment and 46 percent of high school graduates enrolled in an out-of-state university. As sad as that statistic is, the number of Illinois students graduating from an out-of-state university, don’t come back to Illinois. Don’t blame them. If you want to keep more of your money, work in a state with lower taxes. We all know SIUC is a financial disaster. Then they hire a new administrator, who employs his family members at SIUC even though SIUC is $80 million in the hole.

Slushy

Have we ever found out which of our federal legislators took money from the slush fund to pay off their sexual harassment claims?

Hometown

Dick Durbin is from East St. Louis and so is his entire family. They've been politically connected since the 1940s. How come you don't still live in East St. Louis, Dick Durbin? Maybe you should go back there and get a feel for how things really are now.

It's relative

Belleville landlords have found a loophole to the crime-free housing rules of only allowing three unrelated adults in a home. They instruct their new tenants to tell housing they are all related because housing doesn't check. Doesn't say much for our housing department. The bad landlords continue to be bad and the good landlords continue to be punished.

Oil on the side

In the east end of Belleville, city workers didn't put down enough oil and the rock they spread on the streets isn't going to stick. It's just going to go into the sewers and your yard. Look at the piles along the edge of the road. That isn't going anywhere; it's going to stay there. Try walking on it. It's slick. Taxpayers paid for that and we're going to pay for it again because there wasn't enough oil used.

Church charity

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, took issue with the President Trump's budget proposal’s “deep cuts to vital parts of government, including underfunding programs that serve the poor, diplomacy, and environmental stewardship.” Maybe the untaxed Church should step up their work with the poor instead of relying on taxpayers.

Hayden justice

How in any way, shape or form can you call the Tim Hayden case "justice." Premeditated first-degree murder and he gets 55 years and gets out in 28. What happened to the death penalty for this crime? Even though the governor eliminated the death penalty in Illinois, he should have served life. That would have been more like justice.

Party charges?

Whatever happened to the Lindenwood University students who got in trouble with the police because they were partying on the street? A follow-up story would be nice.

High on tax

I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana as a recreational drug. Medical purposes, yes. There have been sufficient studies showing recreational marijuana use causes problems in society. I got a kick out of Jay Hoffman’s response about pot, when he said there needs to be more studies. As soon as Madigan can legally pass a bill allowing the sale of recreational pot, his lackey Jay Hoffman will vote for it. Democrats are desperate for another revenue source so they don’t have to raise your taxes next year. Tens of millions in pot taxes is like a head light in a deer’s eyes.

Back to basics

If you equate high teacher pay and excessive superintendent compensation with student achievement, Illinois students should be smarter than every other state. Instead, Illinois is suffering from give-me-more-money union teachers and an over abundance of useless three-figure salary superintendents. Now the state board of education wants a PARCC test that makes dumb students look smart. East St. Louis is giving underachieving high school students competency tests for graduation, even though they can’t read or write. Maybe it’s time to fire a few overpaid union teachers and get back to providing our children with an education in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Low income?

The BND should do an in-depth article about the new low-income housing for seniors that is being constructed in Swansea. It's $10.9 million for 62 units. Some of these are single one-bedroom and some are double, but that would be $175,000 per unit. This is for low-income seniors.

Fee farce

Kern hired a good Democratic friend, Fiscal Choice Consulting, to evaluate whether St. Clair Country should raise fees. Don’t waste the $30,000, Kern, we already know the answers. County Administrator Debra Moore even suggested fees may be decreased. Has anyone ever seen fees decrease in a government entity? Especially when Democrats are involved. Higher fees might stop Kern from raising your TIF taxes. Someone tell Belleville’s leaders to raise fees instead of your property taxes. Remember, the jobs being evaluated are patronage jobs. Most of the people in these jobs aren’t qualified to hold the position or perform at an efficient level.

Training injuries

Think how much money there would be for wounded warriors if disabled veterans with basic training injuries weren't eligible for disability.

Trust Charlie

Don Moore is already not being honest in his ads. This the harbinger of what he will be as a legislator, just another Springfield hack advocating for himself and his cronies. Rep. Charlie Meier did not vote for the present tax bill we are under. Yes, he voted for the first one, and then when the Democrats added and did not remove items that would not benefit his constituents he voted no. I am already tired of the lying, and distorting of truth by Don Moore. After years of working with Springfield and politicians, Rep. Meier is the only legislator I trust. Honesty is a value that is very important to Southern Illinois rural citizens.

Pelosi's support

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke for eight hours and seven minutes on behalf of “dreamers.” I suggest she and her wealthy husband sponsor all of them so the taxpayer will not be burdened with their support when they fail to find employment. Many don't speak English well and most haven't graduated from high school or college. Taxpayers shouldn't be made to pay for the failure of politicians to secure the border as they promised nor pay when their elected representatives fail to represent the best interests of their constituents, approximately 75 percent of whom do not support amnesty for illegals.

Madigan mouthpiece

State Rep. Katie Stuart has a response for Gov. Rauner’s budget. This is the same Katie Stuart, when running for office, said she didn’t understand budgets and wanted an audit to explain things for her. Madigan must have spent the year educating her. Obviously, Madigan wrote Stewart’s statement for her.

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