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[ Forum: Lewis not the answer ]]>

A Karen Lewis run for mayor would the biggest mistake since the Chicago fire. She has no knowledge how to run a government office. She’s a teacher and union leader who can hardly handle those jobs, so forget this idea. Let Rahm Emanuel finish cleaning up the mess that was left him, which didn’t happen overnight. Lonnie Mendoza Calumet City Obama the buck passer Recently, President Barack Obama made a one-day trip to Minnesota to give one of his standard speeches where he blames everyone else but himself for all the woes he’s facing back in Washington, D.C. He said … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:15:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Protected bike lanes needed ]]>

I like the idea of bicycling, especially within manageable distances. Bike commuting allows people to get outside, exercise and reduce their carbon footprint while still getting from point A to point B. With the price of gas, it’s much more realistic to ride a bike short distances than sit in traffic. Bike lanes and bike sharing options such as Chicago’s Divvy bike system encourage bicycle commuting, but bike lanes are not as safe as they could be. White lines on the side of the road do not provide enough protection for bicyclists. Creating protected bike lanes is necessary because they … ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:13:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Ryan still in denial ]]>

Former Gov. George Ryan is free to talk now that he is out of prison and off probation, and not surprisingly again he has put his foot in his mouth. He was Illinois secretary of state when the Willis family van drove over a piece of steel that had fallen onto Interstate 94 off a truck driven by a man who got a commercial driver’s license through a rigged testing program. In the accident, Scott and Janice Willis lost six of their children. Ryan, albeit sympathetic to the Willis family, refuses to accept  any accountability for this tragedy. Had the … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:13:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Supports voter ID system ]]>

I am very much in favor of implementing a voter ID system in Illinois. It greatly reduces the opportunity for voter fraud. If you don’t have a picture ID today, you can’t even pick up your prescription or buy smokes. I really can’t understand why there are so many Democrats elected in our country, when most all Democrat-governed states are broke or nearly bankrupt and Republican states operate for the most part in the black. Businesses are moving to states such as Texas in droves. Businesses bring jobs and prosperity. With six years now under a Democratic administration, we have … ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:49:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Main cause of Chicago’s violence ignored ]]>

“Chiraq” is the word invented by an oppressed, inner-city people suffering unspeakable and unrelenting violence in Chicago. They feel like they live in Iraq, but they fail to correctly identify the primary cause of the unnecessary violence — drug prohibition. Meanwhile, the powerful pols, the local preachers and the pundits scrupulously avoid addressing the need for drug enforcement reform. Incredibly, some of these so-called community leaders collect civic awards despite their oblivion, intransigence and uselessness in confronting the main cause of Chicago’s epidemic of street violence. James Gierach Palos Park Secure the phone boxes Has anyone else noticed that suburbs … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:12:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Big tax bills don’t mean better education ]]>

The school board in Homer Township District 33C has agreed to a 3.2 percent pay raise for teachers and other staff members. The board members need to understand that paying higher salaries is not sustainable. The certified employees have received a total 33.6 percent pay increase over the past seven years. Meanwhile, home values have dropped 35 percent to 40 percent and disposable income is decreasing, especially in non-government jobs. Eventually, taxpayers won’t be able to pay enough to fund public-sector employees and their pensions. The burden of yearly property tax increases pushes those on fixed incomes out of their … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:16:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]>

There he goes again Columnist Scott Reeder is at it again. In the past, he has proposed eliminating the state income tax without suggesting how state government would be able to run and state licensing regulations without suggesting how consumers would be protected. Now, he wants Illinois to become a “right-to-work” state. The name is a misnomer in that these laws do not guarantee anyone’s right to work. They’re designed to destroy unions, something that the people, i.e. Big Business, who pay his salary would like more than ever. Plants do not close because of unions, they close because the … ]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:16:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Smoke-and-mirrors budget ]]>

With the alacrity of a street hustler’s smarts our legislators have fashioned a smoke-and-mirrors state budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year that starts July 1. Trying to locate and follow the various sources of revenue and fund shifts in the new budget is almost as difficult as locating that pea under the moving walnut shells. Now you see it, now you don’t. Illinois keeps kicking the can down the road. Public services cost money. If we want to educate our kids, ensure the safety of our citizens or support our children who need extra aid, we must be willing to … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]> Lead story image

After a trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, what is next? We won the battle but are losing the nation-building war in Iraq from poor governance, lack of inclusion and corruption. After living large on foreign aid, will the Iraqi military hold the Iraqi capital and oil centers? A highly motivated insurgency is sweeping south and will seize more and more Iraqi military hardware, getting stronger, thus controlling the oil fields and causing the collapse of the Iraqi state. There will be an even greater exodus of refugees to the surrounding countries of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:42:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Reeder wrong on right-to-work ]]>

Once again, columnist Scott Reeder chooses to use facts and statistics that may back his contentions but disingenuously turns a blind eye toward anything that refutes those contentions. He claims that Illinois has been losing jobs and factories to right-to-work states like Iowa and Indiana, but doesn’t mention that Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio,and California, all states without right-to-work laws, all have benefited from moves made by those same companies. The statistics he uses to demonstrate migration to right-to-work states demonstrates no proof that that migration is due to right-to-work laws. Most such states are in the south and west, … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:39:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: BAPA tramps on First Amendment ]]>

The SouthtownStar recently had a story about the controversy over the organizers of the Beverly area Memorial Day parade excluding this year Southsiders for Peace, a social justice organization that includes many veterans among its members. We have marched in the parade for the past 10 years. We rarely hear any negative comments. But this year, Matt Walsh, the director of the Beverly Area Planning Association, told me that our group was being prohibited form marching in the parade beause of complaints that BAPA received in past years regarding our message. Walsh also stated that the parade organizers wanted to … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:35:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: No more Bushes, Clintons ]]>

Why all the hysteria involving the next presidential election on all the TV channels? It’s still three years down the road, and like it or not, we are stuck with the guy we have sitting with his feet on the desk in the Oval Office. Democrats seem to prefer Hillary Clinton, and Republicans favor Jeb Bush. Neither is a viable candidate because they both carry way too much negative baggage. We have had it with the Bushes and Clintons. It seems as if the United States likes monarchs. We can surely find other well-qualified candidates. The Republican candidates already are … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:10:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Parents play role in OLCSH forgery scheme ]]>

Kids will be kids. That said, where were the parents for the four years these Oak Lawn High School students had to complete their community service? Is parenting out of fashion? These still are children and have acted as such. It is the obligation of parents to see that their child has learned to be responsible and to have pride in accomplishing tasks and goals. Have the parents of the children involved in the community service “scandal” ever asked their children if their homework is finished? Have you cleaned your room, thanked someone for a gift? So why didn’t the … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:26:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Ex-mayor backs prayer at public meetings ]]>

I was pleased by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of reciting a prayer at the beginning of public meetings. I encouraged this practice at various times during my tenure (1995-2003) as mayor of Chicago Heights. At the outset of each city council meeting, I asked a member of the public to give a brief voluntary prayer. Despite some opposition from a few (more of our residents supported rather than objected to the prayer), I always believed it was entirely permissible and appropriate. I reasoned that prayer is permitted at the opening of every session of Congress, … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 10:05:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: ‘Temporary’ tax hike a sham ]]>

Our governor assured us two years ago that the higher 5 percent state income tax rate was temporary. Anyone with knowledge of politics knew that was a blatant fib and that the tax would become permanent. As per the plan, the governor has recommended the higher tax be made permanent. Now comes the news that the state wants to add 4 cents a gallon to the gasoline tax to bring in more money for road construction. The current gas tax is 39 cents a gallon. Lucky us. We will get to pay even more. And for what? Easy answer. The … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:36:12 -0500