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I enjoyed and passed on the Guestwork by Carly Hinkle ("A nurse's plea: Help us fight this war," Oct. 21). It was very relevant to our family. My sister-in-law got COVID last month from her adult son and his family after they returned from a four-day trip to Oklahoma. She died of a COVID-induced stroke and her husband was hospitalized for two days, despite both being fully vaccinated last spring.
Thank you for publishing Illinois Times, which I look forward to reading every week. I do appreciate it's a luxury and I don't take it for granted.
PUNISHED LONG ENOUGH
I read with interest the letter from John E. Sanders, who is revoked for at least four DUI convictions and may only apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) for the rest of his life ("Not the same person," Nov. 4). He makes the valid point that people do change.
He can thank Tim Johnson, the former state representative from Champaign (and later a U.S. representative). To score cheap political points, Johnson created this law. Initially, people in Mr. Sanders' position were barred from requesting any driving relief for the rest of their lives.
As an attorney, the heartbreak of having to tell a 28-year-old client that he can never drive again is seared in my mind. Because of federal regulations, drivers could not even escape this Draconian law by relocating to an adjoining state.
Through a multiyear effort of the Illinois State Bar Association, the law was changed. As of Jan. 1, 2016, individuals revoked for life are eligible to request an RDP. Ten years following their most recent conviction, they can apply for a license in another state upon receiving clearance from Illinois through an administrative hearing.
It's a start, but I agree with Mr. Sanders that people do change. I have faith that Secretary of State Jesse White has a system in place that has the ability to sort out the legitimate claimants from the fraudsters if the law would allow him to do his job. Decades of restricted driving is over the top.
To the torch and pitchfork crowd that wants to hang every DUI offender from the highest tree, I say that four decades of zero tolerance hysteria is enough.
A CLASS ACT
Randy Witter has always been a class act ("The making of a respectable lobbyist," Nov. 4). He and Bruce Kinnett helped guide me through the legislative "adventure" during my 30 years as an executive for Illinois Movers' and Warehousemen's Association and succeeded in helping me defeat an ill-conceived bill and replace it with good legislation about warehousing in our state. I was always proud to describe each of them as a friend and an honest lobbyist. Randy's background in association management is definitely a plus, and we had more than one engaging conversation about it. Congratulations to Randy on your retirement.
GET RID OF BAD COPS
This just goes to show that the "Blue Line" is bull ("Serious allegations: Parents of 14-year-old say their daughter's alleged abuser got special treatment from SPD," Nov. 4). There are good cops and there are bad cops. And when good cops cover for bad cops, they are all guilty. Root them all out and start over.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank Scott Reeder and Illinois Times for the article and recognition you gave me in your Best of Springfield 2021 edition. I appreciated it. I wish Scott and the paper the best.
Fr. Jeff Grant
Blessed Sacrament Parish