click to enlarge Letters to the editor 10/6/22
PHOTO COURTESY OF SANGAMON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Michael L. Hoyle pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in connection to a 2021 incident when he pointed a handgun at state Sen. Elgie Sims as the two were driving separate vehicles in Springfield.

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EQUAL TREATMENT?

One article in the Aug. 25 issue reports an IDOT study found Black people in our community are disproportionately pulled over for traffic stops ("Driving while Black"). Another article in the same paper reports a white man essentially got a slap on the wrist for using a gun to threaten and chase an elected official who is a Black man ("A mysterious motive).

I'm hopeful we can work toward a future where neither of these things happen, but it's disturbing to hear Michael Hoyle say through his attorney he wants to "look forward rather than reflect on what caused this to occur." If he has no desire for personal reflection and growth, then as a community we need to know his motivation for the crime; he'll get his guns back in nine short months, and how else might we surmise which one of us might be his next target?

The juxtaposition of these two articles leaves a lot to question about equality in our community.

Amanda Ginther
Springfield

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DON'T BLAME VICTIMS

I just read the letter you published this week from Tyre Rees ("Mishandled case," Sept. 29). Victim blaming and shaming are at the center of his opinions about the case. His comments succinctly demonstrate why there is a such a low rate of prosecution and conviction for sexual assaults in Springfield, the state of Illinois, and the U.S. The burden of proof lies with the victim, and victims are blamed for their choices. Until our culture stops victim shaming and blaming, I don't expect any real change. But kudos to IT for calling out the issue and making sure the story saw the light of day.

Roseann Davis
Springfield

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MISSING INFO

The article Jim Nowlan wrote, "Labor seeks to tighten control over Illinois," is full of incorrect information and also left out a few important things (Sept. 15). When discussing the right-to-work legislation, only a biased or ill-informed journalist would leave out the story of the right-to-work movement in Illinois. Did Nowlan forget the entire Janus vs. AFSCME fiasco, where former governor Bruce Rauner had Mark Janus fight the union for him?

As a result of that case, union members do not have to pay to be a part of the union, but still get the same benefits as a paying union member. This was done as a way to try to pit union members against each other and weaken the strength of the union. As a union steward, I can tell you this has not worked, and AFSCME continues to go to the table for all of its workers, even now with less dues to help fund the work.

Suggesting that employees stopped paying dues to AFSCME because it is a "corrupt or ineffective union" shows that Nowlan wasn't paying attention when the Illinois Policy Institute was sending out postcards telling union members they could opt out of dues, save money and still get the union benefits. 

Furthermore, Nowlan incorrectly claimed that it is "almost impossible" for a person off the street to get a state job. This is not how the hiring process works through CMS, and any qualified candidate will be considered for an interview, regardless of if they are already a state employee. 

Before printing any more of Nowlan's work, please fact-check him, because you either have a journalist with an ax to grind, or one who doesn't do the proper research for his job. 

Kristin Barnett
Springfield

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