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Forum: Supports Manhattan-Elwood Library tax hike

Updated: November 20, 2012 11:15AM



My mom tells me that when I was about two years old, I sat myself down, an open, upside down book on my lap and announced that everyone needed to be quiet because I was reading. My whole life, I have sat down and read whenever possible, only now I hold the book right side up and I don’t need quiet.

I have always loved books and the local library is one of my favorite places. Every time I moved, once the boxes were off the truck, I hightailed it to the library and applied for my library card, one of my most prized possessions.

Libraries are much more than books, of course. DVDs, CDs and video games are available. Reading programs, movie nights and preschool programs are offered. There are computers, ereaders and textbooks, too. Librarians help teenagers finish their term papers, read to toddlers and offer assistance to adults learning computer skills.

I know that the approximately $40 per year (for a home valued at $200,000) that the Manhattan-Elwood Library tax rate increase will cost is significant for many of us. Every penny counts. But stop and think. Maybe your family rents one movie from Redbox a week. You’re spending more than $40 a year on movies that you can check out free from the library (and their selection is much larger). Using a library card can save you much more than $40 a year.

Please consider visiting the library if you haven’t been there for a while. Apply for a library card or use the one you have. See how many wonderful services it provides and the wide range of people who enjoy them. Please vote “yes” on Nov. 6 in the Manhattan-Elwood Library referendum.

Penny Perdue

Manhattan

Making of a gang member

It does not take rocket science to figure out how and why gangs are able to recruit new members. When young males grow up and see the gang as the dominant force in the neighborhood rather than the family, the church, the school or the police, the results are almost inevitable.

This situation is like an incubator — turning out an endless supply of new recruits who, instead of growing up to be law-abiding citizens, become callous, anti-social and dangerous. Dangerous because of the easy access to guns. It takes great effort for a young male to escape the lure and influence of the gang in this environment.

Measures must be taken to strengthen the family. Deadbeat dads must be held responsible for their offspring. More resources for neighborhood schools and after-school programs must be provided. However, these measures coupled with plentiful jobs and tougher gun laws are years away.

Meanwhile, society must protect itself against street gangs. Pressure from the police has had a negligible impact, otherwise the gangs would not have proliferated.

Police must be more of a dominant force in a neighborhood, which will require an all-out war against the gangs. Making it uncomfortable, unsafe, unlawful and miserable to be in a gang must be the order of the day

Ned L. McCray

Tinley Park



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