click to enlarge Letters to the editor 11/10/22
PHOTO BY STACIE LEWIS
Taurance Thomas plans to open a clothing store, Urban Vines, at 2701 Rochester Road using start-up funds he was awarded recently through Springfield’s Business Assistance Cannabis Grant Program, along with additional tax-increment financing funds

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VERY DESERVING

I loved to see the article on the city cannabis grant program and the recent release of $622,000 in grant funds, plus another $400,000 or so in TIF money to 22 businesses, most of which are in Ward 2 ("Cannabis grants help fund businesses," Oct. 13). For me as a cosponsor, along with state Sen. Doris Turner, we created what is a historic ordinance to not only allocate this funding but really put focus on the areas hurt worst by the war on drugs, as state law allows.

History has taught us that many Black-owned businesses were torched to the ground (during the Race Riots of 1908) by hate, all off a lie, which brings even more of a special addition to this program.

Some of the businesses have been in our community over 20 years and are very deserving of this thoughtful and well-placed grant. Policy and programs like this allow a generational change to areas neglected for a long time. We are very proud of this program, and as it grows, it will provide even more opportunity to do what we all know is long overdue.

Shawn Gregory
Ward 2 Alderman

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THE REAL THREAT

The Christian County opponents of the Navigator CO2 pipeline worry about the effect the project will have on the quality of their water, soil and atmosphere ("Pipeline protests," Oct. 13).  They are trying to protect them, which is their right and responsibility. However, the biggest threat to the environment is not carbon capture, but climate change, the very thing that carbon capture is attempting to alleviate.

Sarah Thomas
Springfield

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SAY NO TO PIPELINE

It saddens me to hear yet another pipeline is in the works. On the cusp of environmental catastrophe, our government continues to promote and condone decisions that only further jeopardize the life on our fragile planet. Some folks insist on business-as-usual methods, although we have had safer, renewable energy sources for decades now. This really speaks to the sorry shape our world and government is in. It seems that those who lust for power are still operating under a scarcity mindset at the expense of lives. As long as big business runs the government, the people will never know peace.

However, it is reassuring to see farmers and community members fighting back in an attempt to protect their livelihoods and cities. Time and time again, farmers have been put in the middle of government greed. It is difficult not to respect some of the hardest-working people in our country, unless you are a politician.

Our government continues to snub its nose at the people and declines to do what is in our best interest. Even though the people have spoken, our government refuses to listen. Most likely, this will result in one of hundreds of instances where our government has victimized its own people. Thank you for shedding light on this social issue.

Nicole Caruso
Champaign

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NOT THE CASE

Sorry, but your race-baiting is tiresome ("Getting into the spirit of Halloween," Oct. 27). I grew up in a rural subdivision of a small town that was 15 miles away from the closest Black person. My mom did not like people from other neighborhoods driving their kids into our subdivision. All of those kids were white. And of course, we did not live in a "hoity-toity neighborhood," another unfounded generalization.

Ted Harvatin
Springfield

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