Letter Policy

Letters Policy


taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines:


  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
  • Letters must be submitted electronically in Word doc or text format; no hand-written letters are accepted.
  • If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue.
  • All letters become property of Miller Communications, Inc., and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
  • All letters must be e-mail'ed to editorial@randyradio.com to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.

                                                                   We look forward to hearing from you.

Letters Archives for 2020-05

Station Editorial: Welcome to Phase 3...and Shop LOCAL


Posted May 29, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  Well, we're into Governor Pritzker's Phase 3 of his "Restore Illinois" plan following the coronavirus outbreak.


Businesses except restaurants and bars are now open, as long as they use the CDC and state guidelines for capacity, social distancing, and require customers to wear masks.


I gotta tell you, it's been a LONG time coming to get to this point.  Our region flattened the curve weeks ago and should have re-opened, but that's now water under the bridge.


I'd like to point out a couple of things.


First, states all around Illinois have opened restaurants and bars, again with guidelines for capacity, social distancing, and having all employees wear masks.  Cleaning is extensive and frequent.  I know all this, because May 23rd, my wife and I dined at a restaurant in St. Peter, Missouri, which opened to dine-in in mid-May.  And, on Memorial Day, we traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana, and dined-in at a restaurant there.  


In both cases, half the tables were blocked from being used, all employees were wearing masks, and extensive cleaning was taking place.  In both restaurants, my wife and I felt comfortable.  Our restaurants in our listening areas could do the same thing...if allowed to.   Otherwise, as I've shared in past editorials, many of our local restaurants and bars will never re-open.


My 2nd point is one I hope you'll follow.  With our local businesses re-opening, you and I need to patronize them to help them get back to normal.  Most have lost money, a lot of money, and to keep them in our communities, we need to SHOP LOCAL.  Remember, the money you spend locally turns over multiple times in our local economy, and that helps everyone.


We're calling this re-opening "The Greatest Comeback of All Time" to encourage YOU to shop LOCAL, and to encourage our local businesses that we have their back.  Let's show them how much we value and appreciate them by spending money LOCALLY.   That will help keep our small town way of life going for you, and for the next generation.


Shop LOCAL, and let's help our local businesses make "The Greatest Comeback of All Time."


That's our opinion....we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Station Editorial On Lockdown, Moving to Phase 3


Posted May 27, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  Well, the countdown is on to this Friday, when Governor Pritzker's Phase 3 of his "Restore Illinois" plan after the coronavirus outbreak re-opens pretty much everything except restaurants and bars.  Social distancing and masks will be required, but it'll be the first step in our state getting back to normal.


Some random thoughts as we look to Friday and the days thereafter.  


A study by JP Morgan Chase, an investment firm which isn't liberal or conservative, has come out stating that lockdowns nationwide likely failed to alter the course of the pandemic.  


They added infection rates continued to decline virtually everywhere once familiar routines were resumed which indicates the disease's spread may have been diminished by factors as increased hand-washing and sanitizing, the arrival of warmer weather in the northern hemisphere and the fact that the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 had already contracted it.


They added that lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself. 


Apply that to what Illinois is going thru right now, and it doesn't take you long to figure out that, based on our region flattening the curve weeks ago, we could move to Phase 4 or even Phase 5 using common sense.


Let's get back to moving to Phase 3 on Friday.  We're calling the re-opening of businesses in our small communities "The Greatest Comeback of All Time" to encourage YOU to shop our local businesses, AND to show how much confidence we have IN our local businesses.  Let's re-start our small town economies together by shopping LOCAL!  


That's our opinion....we welcome yours!  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Station Editorial on Allowing Local Governments to Re-Open Downstate


Posted May 17, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


You may remember in my last editorial I wrote May 10th, I proposed that Governor Pritzker allow counties, cities or other local units of government, to follow his 5-phase re-opening plan NOW rather than waiting for the Executive Order to expire May 30th.    


Since that time, numerous downstate counties and cities have passed resolutions allowing those in their juristiction to open, or have gotten assurances their state's attorney won't prosecute those going against the Governor's Executive Order.  And many downstate businesses, have gone ahead and re-opened.


While all this has been going on, the Governor, when asked what he will do with these entities, threatened to withhold any federal or state funds going to local governments that defy his Order, and any business licensed by the state defying his Order, will have their license revoked.


As I have stated several times, downstate counties flattened the curve weeks ago, and the further south you go in the state, the more they've flattened the curve.


Not allowing our small town way of life to resume in the communities we serve, threatens the economic viability of continuing that way of life.  Many of our local small businesses have closed, and will never re-open.  Others are literally on life support.


The Governor had an opportunity to get ahead of this and show some leadership.  He didn't, and as a result, many local governments and businesses downstate are doing it on their own, despite the Governor's threats.


This does not have a happy ending for anyone.  Keeping things closed doesn't work. Had the Governor told downstate local governments to follow the 5-phase protocol NOW, would have been the right thing to do.  He didn't.  So, now you have countless counties, cities and towns re-opening on their own with their own plans, despite his threats.  This isn't leadership.


To those not able to feed their families, and local businesses struggling to exist, this isn't about phases.  This is about survival RIGHT NOW.


That our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Letter to the Editor Asking Public to Help Taylorville Food Pantry


Posted May 15, 2020


Dear Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club. For many years our club has been providing support for children from our community as well as the community itself. As we continue to address the complications that are being presented by the COVID-19 virus the Taylorville Food Pantry has seen a substantial increase in those in need.


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a Drive-Thru Food Drive to assist in providing for those in need. To help make this effort a great success we are asking for help from businesses and the citizens of Taylorville. We hope to assist with the needs of families in our community at this difficult time. Whether it be a donation of collected food items or a monetary donation, any amount will be appreciated.


The Drive-Thru Food Drive takes place every Saturday during the month of May from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Your donation can be dropped off during these hours at the Miller Media Group Studios parking lot located at 918 East Park Street in Taylorville. If this time is not convenient, a Kiwanis member can pick up your donation.


Any support will be greatly appreciated by the Kiwanis Club and those who depend on the Taylorville Food Pantry. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a pick up please call (217) 827-5342. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Thank you,

Martin Vota, secretary
Taylorville Kiwanis Club

Station Editorial on Allowing Local Governments to Re-Open Downstate


Posted May 10, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president. 


Since Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker released his plan called "Restore Illinois" on May 5th to re-open the state in 5 phases after the coronavirus outbreak, we've heard him tout this plan a lot in his daily news conferences.  That day, and every day since, he has continued to say that data, science, and public health experts, determine when each of the 4 health regions he designated across the state, will open. 


While he threw downstate legislators and residents a bone with his "Restore Illinois" regional approach to re-opening the state, what's concerning to us is the bar he set for each region to open, is so high, that some regions may not open for weeks or months. 


And, in Regional Radio listening area, he included several metro areas including Springfield, Decatur, and Champaign, that have seen larger numbers of cases and deaths, making our region's data more challenging to hit the Restore Illinois benchmark before re-opening. 


The thing I have YET to hear from the Governor in all his daily grandstanding, is WHEN he will allow a more local approach to re-opening our counties' economies.  There is no better government in our estimation, than LOCAL government.  


Why not let our rural counties, cities and towns, use the "Restore Illinois" 5-phase plan on a LOCAL basis, again using common sense and data from each of those local areas.  Who knows better what's going on with the health and well being of local residents, than governments in counties, cities, and villages? 


In the counties we serve, we've already lost some small businesses that will never re-open, and we're doing major harm to those that hanging on.   Our rural counties flattened the curve weeks ago.  Let those that know their residents the best on the local level, determine when and how our communities will re-open. 


How much longer will we inflect irreparable harm on our small town way of life? 


The clock is ticking. 


That's our opinion....we welcome yours. 


Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Letter to the Editor on Coronavirus and Washington


Posted May 8, 2020


Dear Editor:


Lee Atwater, the late political consultant, had a talent coveted by George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign team: he directed negative attention away from Bush. In 1988, George Bush Sr., a thoughtful writer of handwritten letters, was deemed too decent a person to suggest that Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was responsible for felon Willie Horton committing rape while furloughed from prison. Bush was just too nice, but Atwater? No problem.

During the 1988 presidential campaign Dukakis, commenting on Reagan White House scandals said, ”There’s an old Greek saying: ‘The fish rots from the head first. It starts at the top.” President Reagan shrugged it off, but Atwater, with righteous indignation, lashed out in an interview as if the quote was directed at him personally.  It was pure theater that would have made the current White House team proud.

Mark Twain reputedly said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Enter campaign 2020.

George Bush Sr., a reluctant mudslinger himself, had just enough conscience flexibility to hire those with fewer qualms: Karl Rove, John Sununu, and Atwater. There’s too much difference between George Bush Sr. and President Trump to suggest history is repeating itself, but I think I found a figurative rhyme with Lee Atwater: Peter Navarro.

After a recent coronavirus meeting, Navarro, current trade negotiator, had an argument with immunologist Anthony Fauci over a drug. Why would a trade negotiator be involved in such a discussion? Doesn’t matter. He’s a good lightning rod.

After the 2018 G7 meeting, Navarro said of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader who engages in bad faith…” Lee Atwater would be impressed.

Will Navarro eventually transition to Trump’s 2020 campaign manager? Stranger things have happened.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Il 60143


Station Editorial On Governor's "Restore Illinois" Does Nothing for Downstate Small Businesses


May 6, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker on May 5th, after continuing pressure from downstate legislators and residents, announced a plan he's calling "Restore Illinois" to open up the state by region, based on 6 phases.  Each region earning the right to open based on a set of data-based criteria.


While on the surface, it sounds great, his "Restore Illinois" plan has these problems:


Problem 1--he designed only 4 regions in the entire state--northeast, north central, central, and southern.  These are HUGE regions with not only LOTS of small communities, but several METRO areas where covid-19 has been more prevelent.  This will make it more difficult for such a huge region to open soon.


Problem 2--while the Governor left it up to the Illinois Department of Public Health to "officially" open a region based on a set of data they'll be posting on their web site, he apparently feels that this is his way of avoiding blame for not opening up the state sooner than later.


Problem 3--and this one is the most troubling.  He claims that, despite the phase criteria, the soonest any region can open is May 29th, which is one day before his most recent Executive Order expires.


While the Governor threw small businesses a bone on May First by allowing retail businesses to take orders and have customers pickup outside their door, or have the product delivered, it does NOTHING to provide real relief to the thousands of small businesses that either remain closed, or can't sustain their business by taking orders and having customers do pickup.


We've received reports of some small businesses around the state going ahead and opening, taking safety measures like masks, gloves, and social distancing, because they're saying if they don't open now, their families won't eat and otherwise they'll lose everything and close for good.


As I've been saying for weeks, our rural counties have "flattened the curve" and need to re-open NOW.  


So, Governor, while your "Restore Illinois" plan sounds good, it doesn't provide ANY relief to rural counties where small businesses are in DIRE need to re-open in a responsible manner.


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Station Editorial on Governor Pritzker's Phases to Open State By Region


Posted May 5, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


Thanks to a combination of efforts from downstate legislators and the public, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker on May 5th during his daily news conference, outlined a plan to re-open the entire state after the coronavirus outbreak caused the Governor to issue a Stay at Home order on March 20, that remains in effect thru May 30th.


His "Restore Illinois" plan calls for the state to be re-opened based on dividing the state into eleven regions, then monitoring the deaths, cases, and hospital beds used in each of those regions.  As those numbers go down, a specific region will then move to the next phase.


You can find the "Restore Illinois" plan to re-open the state, by clicking that icon at taylorvilledailynews.com or dewittdailynews.com.


The Governor also authorized the Illinois Department of Public Health, to make decisions on what regions can go to which phases.  We're told their web site will show the curves of each region, so residents can see how close or how far away they are from moving to the next phase.


While this can be construed as wanting to avoid blame for not opening regions too soon or not soon enough, it at least gives Illinois residents a path to open their region when certain criteria are met.


With the entire state in Phase 2 of his "Restore Illinois" plan, it won't take much for the 2 regions that our counties represent, to move to Phase 3, which opens retail, barber shops, salons, offices, and manufacturing with capacity and other limits and precautions.  Gatherings of no more than 10 are also allowed, and face coverings and social distancing will be the norm.


We CAN get our regions opened, if we do 2 things:  First, continue to follow the C-D-C guidelines on limiting contact with others as much as possible, to continue to flatten the curve in our 2 regions.  Secondly, continue to put pressure on the Governor, making him realize that many regions and counties had few cases and few or no deaths, asking WHY those areas can't move to Phase 3 NOW.


Listeners, it's up to us to help flatten the curve, AND to keep the heat on the Governor.  Our future is in OUR hands.


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Letter to the Editor: Kudos to Taylorville High School Seniors In Getting ISBE To Change Policy on Drive-Thru Graduation


Posted May 5, 2020


Dear Editor: 

Like many Central Illinois families, I was deeply disappointed by the rigid guidance recently issued by the Illinois State Board of Education for school districts regarding high school graduation, which permitted only virtual ceremonies.


Let’s be honest, if “virtual” graduation was the only option, thousands of high school seniors would have no graduation at all. Too many parts of Illinois are not connected and too many students would have been left behind.


I made my position clear to ISBE: no graduate should be left behind.  In addition, I was well aware of work that was ongoing by local school districts to carefully and meticulously plan something special for their graduates balancing public health needs with the necessity to celebrate individual achievement. 


While I was contacting the governor and ISBE to express my concern and urge them to reconsider the narrow rules, so were a group of Taylorville High School graduating seniors. Led by Molly Smith, they took swift action, issuing a well-articulated letter to Governor Pritzker making a strong case for allowing drive-thru graduation ceremonies that maintain social distancing guidelines.


The result was that one day later, ISBE issued revised guidance that permitted drive-thru graduations, as suggested in the students’ letter.


Thanks in part to their advocacy and advocacy of students across Illinois, Taylorville High School’s drive-thru ceremony will go on as planned after weeks of careful preparation. While traditional ceremonies won’t take place, thousands of high school seniors across the state will be able to celebrate their achievements at unique in-person ceremonies, planned by each local school district in the coming weeks.


To Molly, Eric, Tawney, Ashlee, Abby, Talia, Hailey, Myles, and Rylee, and the Class of 2020, I am truly sorry that this pandemic is impacting you in such a profound manner.  At the same time, though, I want to publicly thank you for standing up on behalf of school districts and fellow graduating seniors in Illinois. 


I am certain this won’t be the last time you effect change by speaking up to advocate for what you believe in.


State Senator Andy Manar



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