KROHE OFF TRACK
Your readers are a forgiving lot, overlooking occasional flights from fact to fancy in your pages. This attitude stems in part from readers’ belief that Illinois Times inspires its community to commune with those better angels of our nature, to borrow from a local phrasemaker of note. So it is particularly sad when you fail so utterly at this hallowed task.
Three years ago, your Mr. Krohe cluck-clucked at local protestors after a joint announcement from Union Pacific and the state proclaimed train traffic along Third Street would multiply several fold. With his knee-slapping, railroad-imagery punch line, he wrote: “ … the effort to slow or modify the UP’s plan to boost freight on the line is a train that will never leave the station.”
Despite your confident columnist telling citizens they were silly, folks did all the things Krohe specifically deemed folly, from hiring lawyers to staging hearings. At track crossings in Springfield, these same folks appeared week after week to decry whatever disruption would ride those many new trains through our city’s heart. And those citizens from neighborhood associations and other local groups were worlds ahead of cautious and squeamish elected officials and Chamber-of-Commerce voices, though their later assistance strengthened the people’s movement.
The result? Moving Union Pacific off Third Street is all but a done deal. Krohe was wrong (or on the wrong track, to borrow his weak humor) and he accomplished exactly the opposite of your paper’s best possible service to its hometown.
Is this surprising of Krohe? Hardly. In rightly eulogizing the sad passing of Shadid’s Book Mart in downtown Springfield some years back, he opined, “…it was the only bookstore for the serious reader.” I suppose that means I and all the volunteers who were selling Krohe’s early work a few blocks away at Spoon River Book and Craft Co-op were just more of Springfield’s silly citizens.
GOODWILL’S GOOD FOOD
Your next Best of Springfield issue should definitely take a look at Edgar’s Coffee Shop (inside the Goodwill store on Wabash Ave.) as a potential best place for breakfast or lunch. The soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts and breakfast items are all of excellent quality and very reasonably priced. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. Of course, the ambience is overflowing with “goodwill.” What more could we ask? Buy local. Shop at Goodwill. Eat at Edgar’s.
Regardless of all the evidence disproving their stand on gun control, Illinois politicians openly show their colors by disregarding the other 49 states and appoint a career politician and anti-gun legislator like Barbara Flynn Currie to chair the Rules Committee with a 3-2 Democrat majority. This insults my intelligence and should upset most.
Couldn’t someone stand up and insist the Rules Committee be filled only with people who have experience with firearms? Then at least they would know what they are talking about.
I also am upset at the attorney general and governor, spending my tax money fighting an insane, wrongheaded battle upon my rights. I strongly disagree with these self-serving pseudo-intellectuals thinking they know what is best for the rest of us.
NORWAY’S SMART WAY
Pam Solo’s and Grant Smith’s article on energy independence [see “GUESTWORK: The myth of energy independence,” Jan. 17] rings true in many respects. We, as Americans, have ownership and responsibility for our environment and natural resources. They belong to all of us, not just the multinational companies that profit by their extraction. On a recent trip to Norway, I learned that the Norwegian government determined, years ago, that their natural resources belong to Norway, and passed laws that in essence gave the government control of their natural resources. While there are contracts with international companies for the extraction of natural resources, a significant percentage of the gross income derived from those leases belongs to the Norwegian government, and they, in turn, bank that income. Only a small percentage of that income is used for public improvement projects. The remainder is kept in trust for future use during emergencies or times of crisis. This may be a novel idea for us, but worth considering when our own natural resources are in question.
Enrique J. Unanue