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: Make medical pot easily accessible ]]>

You would think that medical marijuana was contagious to hear Chicago aldermen talk about an appropriate zoning district for the location of its dispensaries. Instead of thinking so hard about where medical marijuana should not be available, aldermen should swallow hard, forget the foolish historic prohibition of marijuana and allow medical marijuana to be sold anywhere that other medicines are sold. Sick people are not benefited by making it inconvenient, if not difficult, to visit a business that will sell a substance that helps people suffering from cancer, chemotherapy, AIDS and other serious illnesses. After all, Mother Nature allows marijuana … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Congressional vacation undeserved ]]>

Why are both houses of Congress so divisively partisan and totally dysfunctional, getting absolutely none of our nation’s problems solved yet going on a five-week “paid vacation?” Vacations should be a reward for a job well done. This hiatus is totally unearned, and both the House and Senate must be called back to work on the business of our country instead of working on the November elections and fundraising. Bob Pritchard Homer Glen Keep CPS standards for top schools I read that certain Chicago aldermen are demanding that some of the elite Chicago public schools “modify” the admission standards to … ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:16:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Rauner channels Sgt. Schultz ]]>

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says he had no knowledge of the illegal activities by two former executives of the private equity giant GTCR when Rauner was its chairman. He says he was unaware of problems at a bankrupt nursing home, hit by an array of lawsuits alleging patient neglect, once owned by GTCR. Two executives of ConvergEx, which GTCR partly owned, were found guilty of defrauding clients, and its former head trader was found guilty of wire fraud and securities fraud. Rauner’s response to these financial scandals? He said “behavior inside large organizations, unfortunately, is not always perfect” and … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:54:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: A comic genius will be missed ]]>

I remember watching Robin Williams once on the David Letterman show, and hilarious, high-energy, comic chaos ensued. It was bedlam. Even Letterman, who can enter into comic verbal sparring with anyone, just sat back, smiling, and let Robin riff. It seemed like Robin’s mind could fly from one funny idea to the other, making brilliant connections and launching into characters and voices instantaneously. His gift truly was rare. Years ago, a friend told me he had seen Robin in a club in the early 1980s. He had the audience cracking up, of course, but it also was in awe as … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:13:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Need new plans to stop violence ]]>

It is so disconcerting to witness the escalating gun violence that is plaguing Chicago. This violence is not the fault of Rahm Emanuel, Garry McCarthy or Barack Obama. It’s the fault of the perpetrators and their families or lack thereof. Guns do not kill people. People kill people. If we blame guns for killing people, then should we blame pencils for spelling mistakes? The problem is the large number of babies born into broken homes with no intact family unit, no role models, no career aspirations, no money, no hope for the future and no respect for human life. When … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:33:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Quinn wastes public money on airport ]]>

Gov. Pat Quinn again is spending taxpayer money in an effort to buy votes for re-election. Using an old ploy, he’s claiming that an airport near Peotone will bring economic development to the Southland. To make this illusion look real, Quinn authorized the state to spent $47 million during the past year to buy land for the South Suburban Airport — even though the Federal Aviation Administration has not given final approval to the project, there is no funding, no support from airlines and no adequate surrounding infrastructure. Quinn went to the Peotone area last week to tout the states’ … ]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 02:17:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Raising minimum wage benefits all ]]>

Imagine going to work every day, sometimes to two jobs, never knowing what your schedule will be from day to day. Imagine doing everything society asks of you to work hard, be a responsible citizen and a good parent, and yet the amount of money you make is not nearly enough to support your family, no matter how hard you work. Thousands upon thousands of working mothers in the Chicago area do not have to imagine this gut-wrenching reality. They live it every day. Illinois’ minimum wage is far too low. Gov. Pat Quinn is working to increase it, but … ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 02:12:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Forum: Homer Glen mayor rushing on Woodbine ]]>

In a recent SouthtownStar article, Homer Glen’s mayor criticized village trustees, and specifically me, for our support for keeping Woodbine Golf Course open for another year to allow the village more time to plan for the public park and new village hall that will be established there. The mayor was quoted as saying, “They do not want to see something great happen on my watch.” The mayor has resisted making the future use of Woodbine an open, public discussion. We owe it to residents to include everyone in the planning. As for extending the golf course lease for a year, … ]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 02:11:32 -0500 <![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 … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:48:43 -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 … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:48:51 -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 … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:54:53 -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 … ]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:35:55 -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 … ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:09:26 -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 … ]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:10:30 -0500