How encouraging to read the ideas presented in “Food as Medicine” by Peter Glatz (Illinois Times, Aug. 30)! Realizing that proper nutritious food can be used to reverse chronic degenerative disease is a relatively new breakthrough for mainstream news, although medical health journals have made the connection for decades.

The Springfield Vegetarian Association (SVA) also promotes this connection at the grassroots level in the area. The SVA also recommends excluding animal products from one’s diet, which has significant additional benefits to the environment.

Gloria Ferguson
Bob Westberg
Springfield Vegetarian Association

Fletcher Farrar’s article last week on the closing of Pleasant Hill Village nursing was excellent. The closing is a big loss for the Girard and Virden communities – both as a final refuge for our elderly and infirm and as a place of employment. It will affect many families in a variety of ways. Fletcher Farrar captured this sense of loss and placed it in its unique historical setting. He also laid bare how the mismanagement of the state finances impacts people’s lives. Only he could have written that article.

George Rishel

Kathy Valente is correct when she states in her Aug. 23 letter that marijuana is harmful to teen brains, and that is a very large reason to legalize it. Under present law, it’s easier for a teenager to obtain pot than it is for an adult.

Illegal dope dealers know that the 14-year-old isn’t a cop, but the 30-year-old? He’s dangerous. I have a friend who has her teenage son buy pot for her because it’s the easiest way to get it. When my daughters were in high school, they told me kids were selling it in school.

You can’t buy beer in high school. Unlike marijuana, it’s very difficult for a teenager to obtain alcohol. When pot is legalized for adults, adults are going to stop buying from dope dealers and instead buy from dispensaries, where they know the pot hasn’t been contaminated with heroin, cocaine or other dangerous substances. The illegal sales will go away.

As to her assertion that teens think it is safe “because it’s medicine,” I’m flabbergasted that she can’t remember being a teenager. I’m 66 and I remember being a teenager. Teens don’t care one whit about safety!

I believe I’ve answered her “million dollar question.” Think the Illinois Family Institute will pay up?

Steve McGrew

According to the Census Bureau, as of July 2017, the population of Springfield was 114,868, with 63.8 percent in the labor force – that makes Springfield’s labor force 73,286. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total non-farm Springfield area workforce is around 114,000, which means around 61,885 people who don’t live in Springfield work in Springfield.

This means they don’t have to pay Springfield property taxes or pay the extra tax we Springfield residents must pay when we buy a car outside of the city of Springfield. Chances are they don’t buy their gas or groceries in Springfield either, so forget any notion they contribute to a Springfield sales tax, unless they buy lunch.

Who knows what other taxes and fees they avoid by not living in Springfield? I don’t, but they come here and use Springfield’s infrastructure and resources and take our jobs. Who knows how much they strain our waste, utilities and electricity.

I think we should do away with any residential requirements for local government employment so people can live anywhere they want, but anyone working in Springfield who doesn’t live here should take a Springfield Outsider Payroll Deduction to offset maintenance to our infrastructure and resources costs.

Fred Slocombe

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