click to enlarge Letters to the editor 08-05-21
The city of Springfield plans to use a portion of its federal CARES Act dollars to help fund the Southtown Construction Training Program that will not only provide students with job skills, but will also renovate houses owned by the city, rather than paying to demolish them.

If civic organizations can keep the pressure on the city council to stay on track and keep this program funded for the long haul ("Constructive learning: Job-training program to improve lives and blight," July 29), this will be a wonderful opportunity for young people in our community to learn a well-paying trade without debt and improve blighted areas of the city.

Jen Rock

I live in Jacksonville, and the city partnered with i3 Broadband to bring network access to every household and business in the city ("City surveys residents to determine internet needs," July 29). The network will be complete by the end of this year. That includes the northeast side of the city and other low-income areas. The lowest-priced package is $50 a month for 200 Mbps down, 50 Mbps up. If you get public assistance in any form, such as WIC or free school lunches, you can get the same service for about half price.

My connection is stable and service has been impeccable. The city of Jacksonville used funds from gaming terminals to partner with i3 Broadband to build the full network. Otherwise, the company probably would have just cherry-picked the wealthier areas where it could be assured of getting back its investment.

Maybe the city of Springfield can do the same, or work with CWLP to build a fiber network that any company could lease to provide service to homeowners? Jacksonville's population is going to make the city's investment back in 2-5 years, versus the cost of doing nothing and paying higher bills to legacy providers for slower speeds and less service.

There are lots of options, and I encourage Springfield to make sure all areas of the city have good choices for internet service.

Steve Warmowski

The pandemic work-from-home trend, which may be permanent when cost savings come into play, probably does not bode well for Springfield's downtown buildings ("Will state workers come back to offices?," July 29). Previously, it seemed at least in our city, one could always depend on a vacant building becoming a state office, such as the old Sears in White Oaks Mall.

Jeff Pasquini

I find it very sad the Festival of Trees is moving from a single venue to multiple sites downtown ("Festival of Trees moving downtown," July 22). I and my family will not be traipsing all over to look at the beautiful trees, dragging a wheelchair and stroller through the cold, and possibly snow, from store to store, fighting for space in a confined area surrounded by merchandise my child will be reaching for at every turn. Will there be seating available when the handicapped get tired and a bathroom when a toddler needs to go? Parking will be a nightmare.

This is a poor decision. Put the trees downtown afterwards, but leave the Festival of Trees at the fairgrounds. We really looked forward to it after this last year of confinement.

Sandy Lee

A letter in the July 29 edition, "Do away with DSI," accidentally omitted the name of the letter writer, Paul Barker.

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