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Sound Off: Don't block the river

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The following is what our readers sounded off about this week:

Don't block the river I agree that the area along the Fox River in St. Charles on South First Street should become an open park, not a multi-storied building blocking the river view. A beautiful park with benches, fountains, landscaped walkways and, perhaps, acoustic music on a summer night would be an asset to the downtown and whole community. We need to keep our treasured river view open to all.

Impressive at Otter Cove I wanted to take a moment and call out how impressed I am by the staff at Otter Cove in the St. Charles Park District. I don't think that I've ever seen a more engaged, attentive group of lifeguards in one place. The pool itself is always busy, with a significant number of small children in and out of the pool, with varied skill level of swimming and parental supervision. These guards seem to approach their role with the seriousness that it demands. Having watched a guard rescue a distressed swimmer first hand, I was amazed by how quickly the guard whistled the distress call and was in the pool, emerging seconds later with a very scared – but now safe – young girl. As the guard and the rescued swimmer climbed out of the pool, at least four staff members were waiting there with a backboard and other rescue gear, not needed in this case, but apparently well practiced.

Just show up at church This is in response to the Sound Off, "Show some respect." I would just like to say that I think God would actually prefer for His children to show up in church. It doesn't really matter whether they are dressed formally or not.

Conflict of interest In Wednesday's Chronicle, there is a story about an ordinance to allow a person who sells liquor to run for City Council. While I applaud Mr. Olesen's attempt to serve the city in that capacity, it doesn't take much thought to see a possible conflict of interest, even if he can't vote on the issues. I've come to the conclusion that, living in Illinois, if you don't voice your opinion and vote, you get the government you deserve.

Send a questionnaire Why doesn't St. Charles send a questionnaire to its residents for input on the future of the Charlestowne Mall and the types of stores they would patronize there? Many residents have suggestions for the mall but are unable to attend city meetings.

Don't tax seniors It's really sad that Illinois is in such a sad financial situation. Quinn's not doing much to help it. The best thing he could probably do is take a flat 10 percent off of everybody's budget, including schools. That would help things out. He can't take away from the seniors. Those are the ones who helped get everybody where they are at right now. They need everything the most. And it's really sad to take away their programs.

Thanks, Apple My iPod broke, and I was sad because I knew I would have to pay to get it fixed. My dad said I would have to take the money out of my savings account to get it fixed. We made an appointment, and they said for $99 they will replace the one I have. I was so ecstatic because I thought I would have to pay $199, but I only paid $100 less than what I expected. Thanks Apple, and I will be much more careful with it now.

Stop talking There are many things I don't understand. Why do people require the availability of a telephone at all times? The use of cellphones while driving is against the law in most states, but some folks still do it. It's one of the reasons that many nice people have lost their lives. Why is it that so many of us feel it necessary to always be in constant touch with someone or other? Has it become impossible for us to be alone with our thoughts? Of course, if you do work that has to do with emergencies, fine. But most of us aren't police, fire or other emergency workers. But most of the ones we are dealing with here aren't. Because they are often laughing and having a good old time on their telephones as I try to pass them to let them weave back and forth on the highway behind me instead of in front. Why is it that they must always be connected? Have they forgotten how to be alone? Once all of the personal news has been exchanged, I find little pleasure in small talk merely to stay connected. I don't understand those who stay on the phone long enough to observe summer change to winter. What can anybody talk about for over an hour? I guess it's called socializing. Am I anti-social, a loner? Good heavens, what will become of me? Incidentally, I also don't understand why we have no qualms about wearing dungarees, sweats and the like to places of worship now. But that's for another time. There's so much I don't understand.

Clean up the park North Aurora park needs to get rid of all the foliage along the river banks. They hired animal control to chase the ducks away, but they just come right back. The high weeds and fallen trees and limbs are good hiding places from their predators. All that foliage also draws mosquitoes and bugs, which also are a health concern to picnickers and children who come to the playground. I live along the Fox River, and I have seen all sorts of behavior, and the park district needs to clean it up so it's safer for the public and not so attractive to animals and the homeless.

Nothing is free Barack Obama has given millions of women special free health care for birth control and some other women's issue. And the emphasis that has been placed on it is F-R-E-E. I have news for all of you women out there, and all of you men and all of you taxpayers. There is absolutely nothing that is free from the government. You pay through your tax dollars for anything that any government does, regardless of whether it's state, local, federal or municipal. We, the people, pay for everything that every government does through our tax dollars and through our sales taxes. There is nothing free. If you want your taxes lowered, then stop government spending.

Mall security is good In today's paper, someone called in about the St. Charles mall. They don't know what they are talking about. They said that security was bad, but that's the only thing that has stayed secure and doing what they are supposed to do. Everything else, the stores are closing and the ... people who bought it aren't interested and never come look at it. The city isn't doing anything. The security is the only thing that's going right. What's wrong with that person?

Talking a good game The GOP-controlled House passed the extension of the current tax rates, which will affect [about] 99 percent of the taxpayers. Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate will not even bring the extension of the current tax rates to vote because they want the missing 1 percent. The 1 percent that the Democrats do not like, just like themselves, are wealthy and educated individuals who can think on their feet and use private money to start and expand business and design things like software and buildings, defend the poor in court, purchase homes and other hard goods that also employ people. And these 1 percent also send their children to higher education. Democrats talk a good game about being interested in the 99 percent, but only if they become dependent on the federal government, and dislike the 1 percent because they do not.

• You can sound off, as well, by calling our Sound Off line at 630-845-5240 or by sending an e-mail to soundoff@kcchronicle.com. Calls must be limited to 1 minute or less.

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