click to enlarge Letters to the editor 7/21/22
From left, Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, County Board Vice Chairwoman Lori Williams and County Administrator Brian McFadden stand outside the western edge of the new Sangamon Mass Transit District transfer station near the county building in Springfield. The transfer station, which will be connected to the rest of a new $111.7 million transportation center by an enclosed pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks, is part of $127 million worth of work scheduled inside and near the county building to improve transportation services and make government services more convenient and efficient.

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Your piece on Ninth Street and The Hub was very informative ("A new look for Ninth Street," July 7). I am looking forward to integration with Amtrak, Springfield Mass Transit District and Sangamon County. I think this will make Springfield an excellent destination choice for both tourists as well as business and convention travelers – even more reason to not get rid of hotel rooms at the Wyndham. 

But Ninth Street itself needs some improvements.  The traffic lights are a joke. When driving between Carpenter Street and Capitol Avenue, you wait for your traffic light to change to green, only to see the next light change to red. I have spoken to Springfield Public Works Director Nate Bottom and city traffic engineer TJ Heaviside about this issue. The answer I get is, "Ninth Street is controlled by IDOT," or "The traffic control systems are very out of date." 

This is the reason I avoid Ninth Street at all costs.  Springfield is the state capital.  Why can't we get better cooperation with IDOT?

Bob Immel



Scott Reeder made a good point, if Republicans had control in Illinois they would be stacking the deck in their favor, as seems to be the case currently ("When Illinois politicians choose their voters," July 7).

To anyone upset by this, all I have to say is: Doesn't it suck to have people in power who you don't feel represent you, or aren't interested in representing what matters to you? Now you know a little bit how women, children, the LGBTQ community, people of color, the unhoused and poor feel every day.

They ask for human rights and to be treated as equals, while the Republican Party is upset that they aren't able to put laws in effect to ensure those liberties are kept from anyone who isn't a white, straight male, or married to one.

Kristin Barnett



This is the biggest step our community has ever taken to proactively address homelessness ("Supportive housing project to break ground," July 14). Housing First (which is the foundation of this program) has the absolute best outcomes and makes a huge difference in the communities in which it has been implemented.

This project will double Helping Hands of Springfield's current capacity and make an enormous jump forward in helping our unhoused neighbors.

Gordon Davis



I appreciated Scott Reeder's article regarding higher education opportunities in prison ("Prose and cons," July 7). While I believe that offering such opportunities to incarcerated individuals is merited, it is worth mentioning that many inmates do not have the literacy skills to access these programs. A 2000 study of Texas prisoners indicated that over half of the prisoners were dyslexic. A 2014 study of incarcerated people demonstrated that a third cannot find basic information in a simple text.

Currently, the majority of local school districts do not provide evidence-based intervention for students diagnosed with dyslexia. This is a true shame as most people with reading disabilities can learn to read with proper intervention. Of course, there are literacy programs in prisons; however, one should not have to go to prison to learn how to read.

Melissa Hostetter
District 186 teacher, certified dyslexia practitioner

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