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.
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  • 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.


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Letters Archives for 2020-06

Letter to the Editor: Wind Farms Important to Economic Recovery

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted June 27, 2020

 

Dear Editor:

 

As Illinois’ reopening advances to Phase 4, we’re all understandably focused on the chance to get out and enjoy our favorite restaurant. It’s easy for the source of the food on those tables to be forgotten. But COVID-19 has been especially tough on our ag economy. Farm communities have endured a financial beating from trade disputes already. Just as relief was in sight, the virus arrived.

 

In a matter of weeks, dining habits changed the world over. Futures prices for farmers declined across the board in response. The closing of schools added to the shock for dairy in particular, with demand from cafeterias gone.

Less driving combined with an oil price war wreaked havoc on corn-based ethanol markets, offsetting the benefits of cheaper fuel. Even the good news seems bad.

 

But I’m upbeat. In times of uncertainty, farmers innovate. I’ve seen this across Illinois from our work on community-owned grocery stores and new, alternative crop production programs.

 

One of the most substantial opportunities on the horizon for rural innovation is quite literally already in sight for many of us. Illinois was the third-fastest growing state in the country for new wind energy last year. And that growth is continuing with at least 30 wind projects proposed or under construction in Illinois today.

 

Illinois’ leadership in winning investment from the wind industry provides a huge private stimulus opportunity for rural recovery in the wake of COVID.

 

In addition to construction jobs and career opportunities, wind farms support growth throughout the communities where they operate. New private spending on roads by wind operators improves our infrastructure. Additional tax revenue for county governments, and for schools in particular, funds needed improvements in our communities while reducing property tax burden on residents.

 

Wind farms are providing benefits statewide, too. Wind and solar are now the cheapest source of energy in the majority of Illinois counties. Innovative companies like Microsoft and Amazon are purchasing Illinois wind power and locating new projects here thanks to our diverse energy supply. Our tradition of manufacturing and engineering excellence has led to a strong supply chain supporting the industry, too. We build everything from the wind towers themselves to the construction equipment needed to erect them — powering Illinois to third in the country for wind-related employment.

 

The benefits wind is providing are more than a promise. They already exist.

 

Communities with established wind investment are better prepared for the current downturn. Giving landowners greater security to weather uncertainty, providing communities a tax base to maintain essential services, and schools the revenue they need to buy laptops and other tech that is easing the pressure of online learning.

 

We must not take this success for granted. Public hearings and basic government approvals have suffered as much through this shutdown as our restaurants and shops. To maintain our leadership in capturing growth from wind energy here, local governments must act decisively in adopting proven standards and providing timely reviews and permitting for wind farms.

 

In maintaining our national leadership on wind and renewable innovation, Illinois can secure its own economic future for our communities. And capture a new era of energy leadership for Illinois.

 

Sean Park

Program Manager, Value Added Sustainable Development Center at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455

 

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Station Editorial on Moving to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois

STATION EDITORIAL

Posted June 26, 2020

 

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

Well, the state of Illinois has moved to Phase 4 of Governor J-B Pritzker’s 5 phases established to re-open the state following the coronavirus outbreak.

I have a compliment and a complaint for the Governor.

My compliment is that COVID-19 cases across the state are far less right now, than other populous states in the country that are seeing a spike, and for that, we’re grateful.

My complaint is that when he established 4 regions of the state on May First, saying he would allow each region to move to the next phase depending on the data, it never happened.  He treated the state as one.

A WCIA-TV Freedom of Information Act request for data, proves the point.  Their investigation said based on data it obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health, our region should have moved thru phases sooner because Central Illinois never got above the positive testing rate of 20 percent which was the I-D-P-H benchmark for a region to move.  Data showed our region never got above 8 percent, and that was on April 2nd.

That investigation further shows that even as Chicagoland area hospitals saw the state’s largest surge in Coronavirus-related admissions, once the Governor issued his Stay-at-Home order, the medical facilities there remained above the 14 percent threshold of available ICU beds, medical and surgery beds and ventilators throughout the last several months.

The WCIA-TV investigation further shows downstate hospitals never came close to hitting the 14 percent low-water mark, being well above 30 percent availability for ventilators and beds since late March.

Hindsight is always 20-20, but the last 4 months from my perspective was nothing more than a power grab by the Governor.  And, with any politician, once they’ve got power, it’s difficult for them to let go.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Leadership from the Governor is Lacking

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted June 25, 2020

 

Dear Editor:

 

In Illinois, we are three months into governance by Executive Order.  

40 Executive Orders are already on the books since the beginning of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak.

One-person rule has a poor track record throughout history.  Unfortunately, we’ve been living under a one-size-fits-all approach to the Coronavirus, and it’s led to  economic, social and educational harm.

According to the Governor’s schedule, Illinois gets to move into Phase 4 of his reopening plans and permissions on June 26:

“Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.”

I got news for the Governor, even while we were under his Phase 3 plans (gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed), southern Illinois has been getting together in larger numbers, WITHOUT his permission. 

We are frustrated.  We don’t want a new normal.  We want the old normal, and that should have happened at a much faster pace for downstate Illinois.  

Our State Fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin are cancelled, as well as the Grand American World Trapshooting competition in Sparta.  

I note these particular events because downstate Illinois never experienced the COVID-19 outbreak that impacted Chicago.  We should have been farther along on the reopening process.

Wirepoints, an independent online resource for economic research and commentary about Illinois’ government, publishes numerous articles about the Coronavirus’ impact on our state.

In a recent story, Wirepoints claims downstate should have reopened weeks ago even using the Governor’s own data-driven metrics:
 
“Case positivity rates downstate have collapsed for nearly two straight months…Per capita hospital admissions have also been just a fraction of those in the Northeast region. And there was never the risk of running short of hospital resources downstate like there was in Chicago.”

The Wirepoints article includes a graph showing 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths occurred in northeast Illinois, the Chicago region.

The Governor’s failure to take regionalization into consideration is one of the biggest criticism of his decision-making.  

People I talk to are skeptical of what they’re being told about the impact of the Coronavirus, and who can blame them.  For example, a Chicago Sun-Times story about virus deaths in nursing homes in April, included an admission by the Governor’s spokesman that a “definitional error” resulted in “cases being counted twice.”

At one news conference, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health admitted that Illinoisans who died with the virus were counted as the same as those who died because of the virus:

“I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. The case definition is very simplistic. It means, at the time of death it was a COVID positive diagnosis, so that means that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID that would be counted as a COVID death. 

It means that if technically even if you died of clear alternate cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it's still listed as a COVID death. Everyone who is listed as a COVID death, doesn't mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

There are other concerns too.

Rules for Illinois daycare facilities under the governor's lockdown Executive Orders were delayed for weeks before any set of guidelines were released.  The delay caused a lot of economic pain for these businesses, and I fear that some may not be coming back, unable to survive the lockdown orders.

Our schools have only now (as of June 23) received information about reopening.  

Will our teachers and administrators have a chance to provide input moving forward?  Again, can a one-size-fits-all and top-down approach work for both Louisville and Chicago?  What if the schools determine the guidelines to be impractical and unworkable; what happens next?  The Governor previously talked about a combination of in-school and remote learning, but many students won’t get the same level of instruction and guidance if they are out of the classroom.

The lockdown orders have also had a devastating impact on the state economy.  Sadly, there will be businesses that will never come back.

A recent academic study indicates 100,000 businesses across the country permanently collapsed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  That conclusion was reached more than a month ago.  The University of Illinois participated in the research. Here’s an important quote: 

“A team of researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard University, Harvard Business School and University of Chicago discovered at least 2 percent of the nation’s small businesses are now gone after conducting a representative survey of more than 5,800 enterprises between May 9-11.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health released a related report on June 1 about the immediate and lasting impact of the Coronavirus on the state economy.  The report predicts a loss of more than 550,000 jobs by March of 2021: 

“The report says it is likely that somewhere between 1 million and 1.5 million Illinois jobs may be affected overall.”

One person rule doesn’t work fairly and equitably anywhere it’s tried, and neither does one party rule.  One party rule of Illinois contributed mightily to the current fiscal failure of state government.  The state’s public debt is beyond the ability of us mere mortal taxpayers to pay off, yet the most recent budget passed by the majority spends more than ever before in a single year: $43 billion ($43,000,000,000)!

These same people passed two major state income tax increases with promises of better times.  It never happened.  Instead, they are constantly looking to raise taxes, and are proposing to radically change the way state income taxes are imposed – all designed to siphon more money out of the pockets of hardworking Illinoisans.

It’s long past time for “all hands on deck.”  Leadership is about bringing people together, marshalling the forces to meet challenges head on, clearly mapping out a plan and then executing it, but always remaining flexible to adjust and alter it as you move forward.  Illinoisans need confidence in its government and a Governor and the Legislature working together rather than one person’s one-size-fits-all approach, which is a one-size-disservice to all.

 

Submitted by

State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia)

 

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Station Editorial With Some Observations

STATION EDITORIAL

Posted June 10, 2020

 

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

 

As we endure the remaining days of being in the Restore Illinois "Phase 3" recovery following the coronavirus outbreak, here are some random observations.

 

Observation # 1:  All the numbers I've been hearing and seeing about our Central Illinois region that Governor Pritzker designated, show that we should have moved to "Phase 4" weeks ago.  While he announced May First that the state would be broken into 4 regions to observe data and then follow the 5 phases he outlined, apparently minutes after his announcement he forgot about it.  The only reason he broke the state into 4 regions was to appease downstaters and Republicans.

 

Observation # 2:  As of June 10th, the statewide recovery rate from the Illinois Department of Public Health web site, is 92-percent.  That's 92-percent.  We shut down the entire Illinois economy despite a 92-percent statewide recovery rate.

 

Observation # 3:  Based on many other states that have re-opened, it appears that their economies are rebounding and getting back to normal.  I've told a lot of people recently that I don't want us to get to a "new normal."  I want our communities to get back to normal.  And, it IS possible.

 

Finally, observation # 4: I want to THANK the hundreds of you that are patronizing our local businesses--the car dealers, furniture stores, restaurants offering carry-out or drive-thru food, and other businesses that were allowed to re-open May 28th.  We're encouraging our local businesses to lead the GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL TIME, and YOU can help make that happen.  The survival of our local businesses in our small towns, depends on ALL of us to spend money LOCALLY where it counts...many times over! 

 

Let's all look ahead to the coming days, weeks, and months, with a sense of anticipation and excitement, as we together work to keep our small town way of life.

 

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

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Letter to the Editor: Let's Vote By Mail

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted June 9, 2020

 

Dear Editor:

 

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in it's entirety.  The two
institutions that can definitely be trusted is the County Board of Elections
and the United States Postal Service. 

 

The money saved by eliminating the
need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes
used to vote by mail.  The person voting would also have more time to
consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours
of the polling place.  It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and
churches from anyone trying to harm someone.   

 

In addition the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature
into their hand.   

 

The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service
and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online.
Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe
passage of the ballots to the County Board of Elections.

 

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, OH 44109
 

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Letter to the Editor on Returning to Church Buildings

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted June 8, 2020

 

Dear Editor:
 

Matthew 18:20 in the Bible states,” When two or three are gathered together in my (Jesus’) name, I am there in the midst of them.” The verse also advises how to deal with disagreeable people in the church, but let’s concentrate on Jesus being ”in the midst of them.”

 

If Christians truly believe the above excerpt from Matthew 18:20, why is there such hand-wringing over when people can return to church during the lockdown? Could it be politics?

 

Between sanctimonious White House posturing and a sometimes-pious public at large, there’s a lot more heat-than-light Bible thumping going on. This has been evident since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned praying for President Trump, and his subsequent questioning the Speaker’s sincerity.

 

Holier-than-thou-ism isn’t confined to the President or Speaker Pelosi. A piety virus appears to some degree anytime someone anoints a tragedy as “biblical” in nature.

 

When Mother Teresa died a few days after Princess Diana of Wales, you could sense the frantic rush of journalists scrambling to give equal reverence to the Catholic missionary as they did to Princess Diana.

 

Following Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s death in 1996, Chicago media almost fell over themselves trying to out-profound each other with glowing tributes to Bernardin.

 

I was reminded during a recent online church service that the church isn’t a building. It’s the people within it.

 

A New Yorker magazine cartoon once showed God and an angel looking down on earth with God saying, “I’m starting to prefer the ones who don’t believe in me.”

 

I can’t speak for God, but I imagine him saying “For heaven’s sake, people. You’re overthinking this.  Just worship online.”

 

Jim Newton

Itasca, Il 60143

 

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