Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Unlocking Easter’s special mystery ]]>

Rauner’s wealth  a nonissue Right on cue, the first thing out of Gov. Pat Quinn’s mouth after the March primary election was reference to Bruce Rauner’s wealth. The class war is on because the Democrats haven’t anything positive to run on. Rauner is a venture capitalist. Private equity and venture capitalists take risks investing in companies, and if the risk pans out, they make a profit and create thousands of jobs. The dignity of a job is what Illinois, and America, needs above all to restore the economy. For perverted reasons, Democrats prefer people to be serfs depending on Big … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum ]]> Lead story image

Stunned by Reeder I had to pick myself up off the floor after reading conservative Scott Reeder’s column in which he said that John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is one of his favorite books. Perhaps Scott did not read the parts about how the lack of union organization, along with the lack of government regulation of business nor protections for workers and consumers, exasperated the problems of the working poor of the 1930s. Scott seems more concerned about today’s affluent, whom he laments are migrating to other states due to the high taxes in states where they reside. Using … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:21:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Raise tollway speed limits ]]>

Interstate highway speed limits that are too low are dangerous, and the speed limits on Chicago-area tollways such as I-88, I-294 and I-355 fit this description. Transportation engineers worldwide almost unanimously advocate posting speed limits based on what’s known as the free-flowing, 85th-percentile speed — the speed below which 85 percent of vehicles actually travel when not impeded by traffic or heavy visible enforcement. The Institute of Transportation Engineers says, “drivers traveling significantly faster or slower than the 85th percentile speed are at a greater risk of being in a crash.” The free-flowing 85th percentile speed on Chicago-area interstates is … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:17:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Redistricting reform needed ]]> Lead story image

In his Jan. 30 column (“A way for you to reform Illinois”), Phil Kadner wrote about the extensive gerrymandering of legislative districts that occurs every decde in Illinois and a way to change it. When one party controls the Legislature as the Democrats do now, the legislative leaders can virtually guarantee their candidates’ re-election, by realigning the boundaries of House and Senate districts. The districts typically have no discernible geometric shape, formed to make the Democratic candidate more electable. In 2012, incumbents in the House won re-election in 97 percent of the districts, and two-thirds of them did not face … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:10:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Retirees thrown under bus ]]>

Thrown under the bus. Thrown overboard. Pick your metaphor, but that’s what has happened to Medicare-eligible, retired state workers in Illinois, all of whom by definition are senior citizens. Earlier this year, retirees who receive state pensions heard that they would be paying more for their health insurance. Most accepted this as a reality, even though they were promised free health care upon retirement. The new cost to retirees is 1 percent of their pension through June 30 and 2 percent after that. What is really difficult to accept is that last fall the retirees were told that their previous … ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:12:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]>

Prohibited heroin  is a killer Prohibited heroin is deadly because it is unregulated and the user never knows the strength or purity of the injected mix. Case in point: actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2013, 46 people died of heroin overdose in affluent DuPage County. Every one of those was made more likely because of the unknowns involved with illegal heroin. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an “opioid antagonist” — used to counter the effects of morphine and heroin overdose. It can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly or with a nasal atomizer, reversing heroin’s deadly effects within as little time … ]]> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 02:10:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Protect your property ]]>

Imagine waking up one day to learn that you’ve lost your home, and it had nothing to do with a fire or burglary. It all started with a piece of paper and a devious criminal. Most people are not aware that it’s easier to steal a house than a car. Enterprising thieves can go online, find information on properties and in a few minutes in Photoshop can create a fake deed and go to one of our offices to record it. When that fake document is filed, the fraudster owns the property until a judge rules the document fraudulent. The … ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:13:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: No reason to omit judges from pension reform ]]>

Judges are not included in the pension reform law. When asked on the House floor why judges were excluded from the bill, Speaker Michael Madigan said the “intent was to eliminate the possibility of a judicial conflict during the adjudication of this matter through the court system.” Madigan’s response is nonsense. As a lawyer, he knows better. Though infrequent, judges do decide cases where there is a “conflict of interest” — especially those involving laws that affect state officers (including judges), employees and retirees as a class — because somebody must decide the case. This legal principle is the “Rule … ]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 02:14:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]>

Check judicial ratings before voting On Tuesday, Illinois voters will cast their ballots in the primary election for national, state and local offices. Sadly, voters often overlook the many candidates running for retention or election as judges. This is unfortunate, because judges make critical decisions that directly affect our daily lives. Learning about the qualifications of judicial candidates and voting for those who are most qualified will help to ensure that we have a quality judiciary. As a way to help inform and educate Cook County voters, the Illinois State Bar Association has conducted comprehensive peer review evaluations of all … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:43:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]>

End gerrymandering Our two political parties cannot agree on what is best for our country, right down to state, county and town. Politicians measure with extremely odd yardsticks. I prefer those who believe in God rather than those who believe they are God. Everyone complains about politicians, especiall those who keep getting elected despite doing little or nothing of merit. I propose a solution, but it will require much intestinal fortitude by both parties — eliminate gerrymandering in every district nationwide. Gerrymandering is the process of manipulating political district boundaries to protect incumbents, keep a dominant party in power or … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:20:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]> Lead story image

Bicycles much worse than horses It’s a shame that Chicago wants to stop the horse carriage rides. If our mayor wants to beautify the city, he should get rid of those awful bicycle lanes and Divvy bikes. The carriage rides add a touch of class and old country. The bike lanes do nothing but take away space from taxpaying vehicles. Toni Pavela Chicago No fairness R.J. Vanecko, former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew, gets 60 days in jail for involuntary manslaughter. Then there are the guys who get a year in jail for a DUI. Real fair. Donald Drapinski Matteson … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:52:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Follow CVS example ]]>

Kudos to CVS Caremark for making the right decision to end the sale of tobacco products. Cigarettes sharing shelf space with medicine, especially with a retail health clinic in the next aisle, sends a mixed message. As a physician I witness daily the harmful health effects of tobacco use in my patients, and smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The Illinois State Medical Society encourages all chain and independent pharmacies to follow CVS’ lead. Tobacco products have no place in any establishment associated with health care. Eldon A. Trame, M.D. President, Illinois State Medical … ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:28:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: On personal responsibility ]]>

In a culture in which there is an increasingly likely tendency for people to blame others, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not the responsibility of someone else to make my life easy for me. It is my responsibility to work hard, be diligent and conscientious and do the best I can with the gifts I have been given. I occasionally find myself wondering, “How is it possible that concepts like responsibility, diligence, industriousness and conscientiousness would be bothersome or controversial?” Nevertheless, it seems these values are disrespected and scorned. You cannot read tone of voice when it comes to … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 06:52:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Spend more on pre-K education ]]>

We applaud the ambitious birth-to-5 initiative unveiled by Gov. Quinn in his State of the State address. There is no doubt that high-quality, early childhood programs can reap huge long-term dividends. At Voices for Illinois Children, we have been advocating for early childhood investments for many years. Unfortunately, Illinois was hit hard by the recession, and recovery has been slow. Education programs have been hit hard by state budget cuts. And budget shortfalls will only get worse this year when current income tax rates expire and Illinois faces a revenue collapse. Such massive revenue losses would require enormous budget cuts. … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:59:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Remembering the good of Al Filan ]]>

Al Filan, the Brother Rice High School business teacher who solicited a prostitute from a website, is no longer among the living due to a tragic mistake. We have all made mistakes in our lives, some of which we deeply regret. Many of us have overcome our mistakes to go on and do great and wonderful things. This was the case with Al Filan, an educator extraordinaire who accomplished many great things in his life. I have read comments from his students, soccer players and peers who are quick to point out that he had compassion and understanding for those … ]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 06:37:41 -0500