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Speak Out for Oct. 1, 2012

Heather Murphy (from left) Becky Heft ZeldZerkel Morris Mary Zerkel streceive Service DedicatiAward honor late Joanne Zerkel Abby FoundatiWomen Together

Heather Murphy (from left), Becky Heft, Zelda Zerkel Morris and Mary Zerkel stand to receive the Service Dedication Award in honor of the late Joanne Zerkel at the Abby Foundation Women Together luncheon. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 2, 2012 6:06AM



Special days without our loved ones can be so hard, but hopefully the family of former Star Newspapers features editor Joanne Zerkel knows that the Abby Foundation and many others are thinking of her.

Regarding the negative comments about organized labor: I find this disturbing. The U.S. labor force now has only a small percentage that is unionized. Organized labor fought for better wages, working conditions, benefits and job security. No, labor unions are not perfect and they suffer from some of the problems that are in our government and corporations. But since organized labor has been on the decline in this country, jobs are outsourced and there are lower wages, poorer working conditions and little or no benefits. I blame the lack of organized labor for the labor problems we have now.

Mike from Oak Lawn

Soon after Phil Kadner pens an excellent column asking U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to show that he can make decisions for himself, because it appears as if his wife is making all of the decisions for him, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson is out in public speaking for him. This coincidence is so funny that it is a tragedy, and by tragedy I mean a play typically ending with the downfall of a character.

It recently was announced by the Obama administration that Afghanistan is a non-NATO ally. It’s time for the Obama administration to wake up and look at the real world. Afghanistan has no use for us. I believe they kill and maim our people who go there to help them. We have to get out of that war. Let those people do their own business. Afghanistan will become like Iraq. They will go back to shooting and killing each other again. We cannot be involved with that.

Edward from Frankfort

Get ready my fellow sheep. Our wonderful politicians are about to shear us again. We are going to be stuck paying for the teachers’ pensions. I believe the politicians have lied to the unions so they can get their vote, and the politicians have made unkeepable promises. They have taken money from the pension fund for years and have not returned it besides not contributing their share. Mark my words. Nothing will be done until after the November elections. Lame ducks will pass these increases. Is it possible to just say no?

There are a lot of comments in Speak Out about Link cards and the merits and especially the abuses. I wonder if anyone is aware of the abuses to the Lifeline program. Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides discounts on phone service for low-income consumers. But some people are getting two or three cell phones through the program and selling them. They are giving them to other people just to talk. It used to be a good program for poor people to have a landline phone. That’s our government for you.

I believe the practice of some of these towns giving tax breaks to new businesses should be ended. For one thing, it pits one town against another town. They are giving businesses tax breaks and passing the extra cost onto the homeowners. A luxury car dealership recently asked Orland Park for financial help. But a lot of the time when a business’s tax break expires, they pack up and move. They do this to small towns all across the United States.

I spent several weeks with the help desks of a wireless service provider. I wanted an early release from a contract. All of the persons I spoke with were where English was not the first language. It is wonderful that foreigners are able to learn another language, but it took outrageous amounts of time to help them understand my calls. They weren’t comfortable communicating in English. I wasn’t happy with the difficulty in communicating my complaints. It is obviously a cost savings for companies to hire overseas help, but it isn’t helpful if customers cannot be understood or communicated with.

I find it deeply appalling that the SouthtownStar wasted valuable time, reporting and space on a convicted felon and drug dealer like John Cappas. What he did will never be forgiven here.

Mount Greenwood

Your past always comes back to haunt you. It was stated that President Clinton should not have spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Maybe so if you are referring to his past. But he proudly had a 69 percent approval rating going into the convention.

To Bill from Oak Forest: Thanks for the invite to a Chicago White Sox game, but I think most Chicago Cubs fans will pass. The team fighting for first place with a Jumbotron, gourmet food and free fireworks draws 24,000 in the stands. Meanwhile, the fifth-place Cubs are averaging more than 35,000 fans a game. I remember a recent weak Sox team drawing crowds with much less people. As the saying goes, “My country, right or wrong.” So it’s my team, win or lose. We’d rather be true-blue than fair-weather Sox fans. Good luck, Sox and Cubs. Don’t knock loyalty.

DP from Crete

Women received the right to vote 92 years ago, but it seems like men are voting on the laws when it comes to women’s rights and bodies. If this isn’t a war on women, I don’t know what it is.

We moved to Orland Park 25 years ago and have enjoyed it all: beautiful library, Sportsplex, pool, malls, good schools, places of worship, restaurants and recreation for everyone. Some complain about our taxes. Orland Park receives only a small percentage of our tax bill. My tax bill was $6,700 and only $700 went to Orland Park. Many people don’t realize the Orland Fire Protection District and Orland Township are separate from the village. Mayor Dan McLaughlin and the trustees have kept our taxes lower than surrounding communities. I look forward to many more years in Orland.

Mary F. from Orland Park



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