Letters to the Editor

Sound-off 6/1/15

Cook and criticism

Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook should learn how to take some criticism. He needs to learn how to listen to his constituents, whether he agrees with the constituents or not, not criticize them.

Critic is off base

How would Rose Wilson, who recentlly criticized Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook, know anything about the clerk’s office unless she was hiding in the closet? I believe Cook is an upstanding clerk and I believe she has been put up to ruin Cook’s reputation.

Hypocritical on TIF

So Belleville Alderman Mike Buettner thinks it’s OK for him to get a TIF but not the project at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows? He is a total hypocrite. He doesn't know how to do anything except ride the taxpayer gravy train. He was a longtime St. Clair County political appointee with a large salary. Now he is receiving a large pension plus his aldermanic salary/benefits plus TIF plus the taxpayer money he got in a lawsuit against the city. When will it be enough?

Typical of Haine

State Sen. Bill Haine is at it again. Of course he’s against lawsuit reform in Illinois. He is also the one who says every time he runs for election that he takes on the Chicago machine. The Chicago machine is Democratic, what is Haine?

Win worth photos

Why are there no pictures of the state championship track team? Winning the state championship is like winning the World Series, but no pictures. Is there something going on with the BND? Did your favorites not win? Or are you just being selective about the communities you serve?

TIF complaint

After reading the editorial about supporting the TIF financing for the development at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, it’s becoming ever so clear that the BND is a podium for the local Catholic diocese. And I, for one, am getting tired of our tax money being used to support the diocese. Tax money should not be going to any religious affiliation.

News judgment stinks

I have to say I don’t think the front-page headline about an invasion of stink bugs would make the front page of any other newspaper of this size in the U.S. There must be something more important than stink bugs.

Proof, please

I’ve been reading the BND for 80 years. I still cringe at the typos. Why can’t you employ one living, breathing, literate proofreader? The caption above the midshipmen throwing their caps into the air has the name of the longtime U.S, Navy anthem as “Anchors Away.” It should be spelled “Aweigh.” Doesn’t that embarrass anyone? It should.

Captain distraction

I was surprised to see BND’s photo of a costumed “Captain America” escorting a Korean War veteran at Belleville’s Memorial Day ceremony. I wondered what the vet thought since the fictional character was a comic book superhero when he was fighting in Korea. Captain America’s appearance was actually counterproductive since it detracted from the real focus of the event: those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Poor photo choices

Just as punishment should fit the crime, BND photos should fit the event. The designated photo picker for the Tuesday BND could have done better. The reuse of the Captain America photo for a letter on saluting our military was off target. The photo of President Obama waving, which accompanied an article on the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery, also had poor linkage. Read the article then pick a photo. How hard is that?

Mixed up priorities

The family of a soldier missing in action for more than 40 years recently had to go to Vietnam to find his remains. The U.S. government said they had done everything they could. Evidently not. Finding dead heroes had to take a back seat to far more important things such as gay marriage, killing unborn babies and increasing the number of people on welfare. Those who gave their lives can just wait to be found.

Question for McCall

Here it is a month after the Cahokia mayoral election. A lot of the voters are still asking new Mayor Curtis McCall: Where’s this $250,000 home that ex-mayor Gary Cornwell supposedly owns? I’ve asked several of the people who worked on McCall’s campaign and they don’t even know where it is. How about it? Is it Columbia or Waterloo? Cornwell would love to know where that house is, too.

Limit religious breaks

This property tax situation is ridiculous. There should be a law passed to stop religious organizations and churches from having an exemption on real estate taxes on any building except their actual church and parsonage. Any extraneous buildings and property outside of this should be taxed. If everyone would pay their fair share, I bet our real estate taxes would be cut in half.

Puzzled by prices

All of the angst and explanations over why gas prices are so high does not answer the questions as to why it is primarily a problem in Belleville. In Chester, same stations and ownership, the price is 35 cents to 40 cents less than it is in Belleville. Gas in Coulterville is no higher than $2.35 a gallon. Certainly the transportation cost has to be greater to get the product to Coulterville than from our local refineries to Belleville or from the riverfront to Belleville. Please investigate.

Control population

It seems you can hardly pick up a paper and not read about cars, trucks, planes, trains and power plants causing pollution that, according to many articles, leads to global warming. There seems to be no mention of the deforestation, clearing and prairie grass destruction, all of which also causes global warming. The real cause of the environment’s destruction is too many people. We as a nation need to start taxing those people who want to have six or more children.

Tired of TIFs

Glenn McCoy’s recent editorial cartoon could not have explained TIF any better: TIF’s are everywhere in Belleville. When are the taxpayers going to revolt?

Sad times in Illinois

I just traveled through eight states. The price of gas out West was between $2.29 and $2.58 a gallon. When I crossed into Illinois it was $2.89. All the other states had no trash on the highways; everything was immaculate. Then I reached my home state and it was a mess.

Finish the job on 15

After the approval of TIF for the development at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, one Belleville alderman commented that the project will be the catalyst to spark development along Illinois 15. Really? Illinois 15 is practically a dead-end road terminating on the back streets of East St. Louis. If you can navigate the branch of streets, you can make your way across the Poplar Street Bridge to Missouri. For Illinois 15 to prosper, Belleville’s leadership needs to push for Illinois 15 to be directly connected to the bridge by a four-lane, limited access highway. That is exactly what the Illinois Department of Transportation had planned when the bridge complex was built 50 years ago. I know, I worked on it.

Reaction to McCarter

Did anyone read the recent News-Democrat article on what Republican state Sen. Kyle McCarter said about Illinois’ problems? He said Illinois taxes are driving people out of the state. Is this something we don’t already know? Also, he thinks the state should not provide welfare programs; the churches and private organizations should care for the needy. What does he think the churches are doing now? Also, he thinks the rest stops should be shut down. (How would he feel if, when he is on his many trips, there would not be a rest stop?) Also, he thinks the driver’s license operations could be done on the Internet. There are many people who cannot afford a computer. He said Indiana shut down rest areas for a year and is stopping service at driver’s license facilities. What about the people who have jobs at these facilities?

Watch that mouth

I read your profanity-laced interview with former St. Louis Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog in the May 24 BND. In a previous era of excellence in journalism, such language would have been removed out of respect for the reader. Now I guess nobody cares. I know Whitey was considered a good manager based on the number of team wins. But what a shame that a man who was a leader of young athletes is unable to control his own mouth and speak decently. Thankfully the Cardinals now have a manger who is a gentleman and conducts himself respectfully.

Two sets of rules

Can someone tell me why you’ll get a ticket if you live in a house in Belleville without an occupancy permit, but if you live in Cahokia those rules don’t matter? Not only don’t you need an occupancy permit to live in Cahokia, the election judges will also give you a right to vote. That’s St. Clair County for you, where the rules don’t apply to everyone.

Penalize lawmakers

For every Illinois legislator who voted for taking money out of the state employees’ pension fund or not funding the pension fund to support non-pension projects, cut their pensions by 50 percent. Everybody has to be responsible for their own actions. Put the blame where it belongs.

Short on sympathy

I hate to be catty but I watched a woman on the TV news who couldn’t pay her light bill. I noticed she had her hair colored and fixed. I don’t dye my hair or go to the beauty shop; I can’t afford it. She had a cell phone and I’m willing to bet she has cable. And she had a cat. You don’t keep animals for free. If she had paid the power company $10 per month, it would have shown good faith. I don’t have sympathy for these people. They have their priorities confused as far as I’m concerned. I do without a lot of stuff to stay out of trouble like that.

Whose problem is it?

Do people not take responsibility for anything anymore? First it was the traffic tickets; people said they have too many and can’t afford to pay them. If they obeyed the law they wouldn’t have traffic tickets. Next they said the banks are charging too much for overdraft fees. If they don’t have the money in the bank and don’t write the checks, they won’t have fees.

Backing Fredbird

After a photo of Fredbird holding up a sign saying “police lives matter,” some people are saying Fredbird is a racist. How can that be considered racist? When the St. Louis Rams football players came out holding their hands in the air, the football team backed their players. Now the Cardinals are backing into a hole, saying Fredbird didn’t know what was printed on the sign. Do people have to throw the race card at everything anymore?

Ethanol makes jobs

In response to a BND letter writer’s claim that corn to ethanol creates more than 5,000 jobs: He failed to mention those jobs are for mechanics, small engine repairmen and factory worker building chainsaws, weedeaters, lawn mowers, etc. – jobs to repair or replace equipment that ethanol ruins every year. Illinois won't let us buy pure gasoline anymore.