Great article about birds and wildlife habitat (“What do the birds tell us?” Jeanne Townsend Handy, Feb. 6). Thank you for sharing!

I have a question about a bird sound that has me stumped. It is a bird that is heard in the background in many movies. In particular, in the movie Shawshank Redemption, you could hear it when Morgan Freeman was in the field digging up a box planted there by his recently escaped prison friend. This bird is used frequently but I can’t identify it. Perhaps you can help.

All the very best and keep up the great work.

Graham and Ednita Murdock


I found James Krohe’s column about jury service disappointing and inaccurate (“Trial by jury,” Jan. 30). Jury service is embedded in our country’s history and fundamental to a truly democratic society. As a trial judge for 17 years, I found most jurors very willing to serve. A small number made it clear, initially, they were not happy to be summoned, but, to the person, every juror who actually served on a trial reported they found the experience rewarding and recognized the importance of jury service.

It is not true jurors “gauge the inclinations of others” and then vote for the verdict that will get them out of the room the fastest. I have found jurors who deliberate the fate of a fellow citizen take their role very seriously. They discuss the evidence responsibly and weigh the views of fellow jurors so as to reach a just verdict.

Do jurors make a sacrifice to serve? Of course they do, but when members of our military are called away from home and loved ones to protect our freedoms, is it too much to ask our citizens to commit a couple of days to jury service to preserve the democracy we all enjoy? I believe most people would answer that question with a resounding “no.”

Carol Pope, justice
Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District


Thanks again Tom Irwin for your consistent support of local music, most recently expressed in your article praising open mics (“The open mics are open,” Feb. 6). There are some of us who consider open mics with their homey, simplistic sound and fast paced variety to be the “major league” of local entertainment rather than the “minors.” I see open mics as the people’s music, with never a dull moment, fast paced, with eclectic selections from different styles and artists. I know there are many music snobs who disrespect music other than slick, polished “professionals.”

My first exposure to live performance music was hearing the fat lady sing at church and I developed a love for simplistic music of different styles and talent levels. Famous performer Bob Dylan comes to mind as a mediocre singer who had an extremely successful career beginning with open mics in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village, New York.

I would like to see the open mics expand to all ages and nonalcoholic venues here in Springfield. Open mics are a win-win deal for businesses – free entertainment, built-in paying customer base, and some even charge covers to the performers, as well as the patrons.

Michael J. Hart

Illinois Times has provided readers with independent journalism for more than 40 years, from news and politics to arts and culture.

Now more than ever, we’re asking for your support to continue providing our community with real news that everyone can access, free of charge.

We’re also offering a home delivery option as an added convenience for friends of the paper.

Click here to subscribe, or simply show your support for Illinois Times.

Got something to say?
Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment