click to enlarge Letters to the editor 9/15/22
A federal jury recently fined the city of Springfield $293,000 for discriminating against people with disabilities. The city attempted to prevent three men with developmental disabilities from living in this single-family home on Noble Avenue. Five unrelated people without disabilities are permitted to reside together anywhere in a single-family zoning district.

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I am writing in response to the article "City fined for housing discrimination" (Sept. 1). I would think the individuals voting against it should be ashamed of themselves. What thought processes contributed to a fear of what could happen when adults are housed together to increase their opportunity to experience being adults? My guess is they did not have to look any of them in the eye when they made this decision. It seems a cowardly way to bully others, making decisions this way. 

And then there was the other article about Calvin Christian and the money Springfield taxpayers had to pay him ("Calvin Christian III headed to prison," Sept. 1). It looks like the individuals who have committed to guiding the city are wasting taxpayer money left and right. If something is public record and someone asks for those records, they should be immediately given them. What they might use them for is really not the issue.

We can't pick and choose which laws we obey. If I get stopped for a traffic violation and the police issue me a ticket, can I just ignore it?  Can I stonewall and pretend like I wasn't given the ticket? And I am not saying that I think this person is an above-board individual, but it seems that our city officials believe themselves above the law. I think it's time to vote differently.

Patricia Fehr



I want to share my thoughts about the city's handling of the discrimination case against the three men that have disabilities and their families. I served as a juror for the case.

One of the attorneys that represented the city suggested to the jury that we should award the plaintiffs a monetary amount for pain and suffering. His words were something like, "nothing too outrageous, I think giving each of them $2,000 would be sufficient." Myself and every single juror could not believe the city attorney admitted they discriminated (which of course had already been decided in a previous trial), and then gave us such a low amount to award them. Mind you, the city ordinance that was found to be discriminatory is still on the books.

At the end of our deliberation, we awarded each victim substantially more than the pathetic amount suggested by the city. I hope the city learns from this and stops imposing zoning rules that discriminate. Unfortunately, I am not sure they will.

Hayley Lane



Given the bike lane, a white stripe down the sides of Second Street, is used as a parking lane, a path to downtown for bike riders would be safer ("Replacing the trains," Sept. 8). Large metropolitan cities make it easier to navigate than Springfield. Now we'll hear from drivers whose heat from their exhaust can be felt as they drive as close to cyclists as possible, while yelling, "Get on the sidewalk!"

Alan Friedman



An elevated viewing area to see what? Empty buildings? Make the town more business-friendly, for starters, which means not taxing the bejesus out of them and having to obtain a permit for every little thing.

Perry Zubeck

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