Sound Off: Stop criticizing the arch

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

Stop criticizing the arch
I parked at City Hall and crossed over the river on the footbridge, approaching [the] River Street farmers market. My mood was tranquil, with an underlying excitement. My eyes were misty. River Street is wonderful. The arch is so compatible with my feelings of Batavia – strong, understated and harmonious. Let's stop criticizing our town and be blessed by its beauty.

The arch is a joke
What a joke that arch in Batavia is. It is the most hideous-looking piece of junk, and we have got to be the laughingstock of Kane County. Thanks, board members, City Council. That money could have been better used for the food pantry.

Where is the respect?
I'm seeking a Christian church where there is a sense of reverence and worship when one enters the sanctuary of the church. As the prelude is being played, people sit quietly and prepare for worship by praying to themselves or contemplating their walk with God. Are there any churches out there still like that? Nowadays, in churches I have attended, the sanctuary is a big, noisy place, with people talking and laughing as if it were a party. There is no attitude of reverence or respect for where they are. There might be a brief prelude played, but it is difficult to hear in the noisy atmosphere. And the manner of dress for some people is inappropriate for church. Would they wear the same outfit for a wedding or a funeral of a dear friend or relative? I don't think so. Outward preparation to meet God symbolizes the inward consecration that God requires. Let's begin to live that way.

Enjoyable experience
A couple of weeks ago, there was an article that Applebee's was closing. It's a Saturday, and we just went there. It was almost empty, but our meal was the best meal we've ever had there. It was so good. The Applebee's is not closed yet. Everybody should go and visit it.

Immediate tax revenue
I'd like to propose two immediate tax revenue subjects for the Tri-Cities. No. 1, strict enforcement of the littering laws, more specifically around retention ponds and strip malls that have litter that [goes] into the retention ponds and thus [creates] just an unsightly mess. No. 2, ticket businesses and homeowners that shoot their grass clippings out onto curbed areas, where it drains into the sewer system, thus costing the city more to maintain the sewer system. These two proposals, if enforced, could add some revenue to the cities.

It's a choice
For the sake of our children, I am happy that gay marriage did not pass in Illinois. As a doctor friend stated, if being gay is a gene, the gene would have died off years ago. The gay movement involves a choice that changes the fabric of society. It is not a simple choice, but neither is adultery or a life of celibacy or a life as a thief or a life as a saint. We can and should control our behavior to promote the beauty of the natural in our world.

Pension reform?
First, a history lesson. In past years, Illinois used state funds allocated for pensions for other "pet" projects. The state promised to pay back the money. To ensure that this would happen, the state constitution was amended to include the wording a pension could not be "diminished or impaired." In spite of the promise to pay back the money, the state did not follow through, causing this to be a pension theft. The state government violated its fiduciary responsibilities and should be held accountable. The already-retired employees should not be included in any pension reform. They made a decision to retire based on written retirement benefits. If there is to be any pension reform, then negotiations should occur among non-retired employees, unions and the state. Retired employees are not [necessarily] represented by unions. Any change to their pension benefits will go to court. Does the state have the money or time to fight this? It is interesting that there is no proposal to include retired judges, who are also state employees, in a reduction of pensions. Is this "buying" votes? A solution may include a higher tax on luxury items, along with a graduated income tax. Thirty-four other states have a graduated tax, and this is what the legislature needs to consider. I would rather have ethical representatives in Springfield and a governor who will uphold the state constitution, instead of a group pretending the reformation of the pension system is the solution of the state's financial woes.

Get rid of the tracks
The railroad tracks before Route 64 and Dean Street on Randall Road are getting really rough. Please, whomever is responsible, they need to be taken up. They aren't in use anymore. We don't need them on Randall. Help.

A for-profit operation
Whatever else it might be, K-12 (a company that would run a virtual school), is not a nonprofit. Virtual Learning Solutions was formed in February 2013 to sell its product, K-12 Virtual School System. The K-12 is most definitely a for-profit operation. After Gov. Quinn and the assembly voted a one-year moratorium on virtual schools and put the issue on hold, the [board] president of Virtual Learning Solutions resigned, and her place is now held by the secretary. Can one serve two masters – children and families of our school district and the shareholders of K-12? Where one's treasure lies, there will be the heart. I give the children and the community to be the heart of the school board. As for K-12, we citizens get to pay the fees to the them, and they have no building cost (computer learning done at home), no transportation (ditto), no community of students and teachers and no requirement to hire certified teachers. They only get to enjoy their trip to the bank. If we did contract with them down the road, we would have virtually (pun?) no control over what they do. ...

Sad to see Coultrap destroyed
It's a sad time to see a beautiful place like Coultrap destroyed. Are the trees next? God said we are fools, and he is so, so right. More cement, I think. A parking lot?

We've had enough
I agree with "Throwing money away," for the schools next year to have hot lunches. Can't the parents make something extra so the students have something for lunch? When I was in school, we did not go to public school, and I'm a baby boomer, but money was tight. Things are different. We're going to pay for hot lunches? We're paying for iPads, and we're paying for their schooling. But they throw garbage on the street; they are not well-behaved kids and the teachers have to put up with them. I think it's enough. Have them teach reading, math and science. That's it. Any extra activities? My parents had to pay for piano and choir and everything else. Let the parents pay the bill. Taxpayers, we've had enough.

Defending Mark Kirk
I'm getting very irritated about people saying Mark Kirk is not representing his constituents. In fact, he is the only senator in the state of Illinois who is representing his constituents. The fact of the matter is, Dick Durbin is only interested in what the illegal immigrants want in Chicago, and he has been demonstrating that consistently for many years now. He has promoted illegal immigration, he has protected people who have gone afoul of the law – he and Luis Guitierrez and Mayor Daley and Gov. Quinn. Mark Kirk has a lot of courage. I'm glad he's standing up. I have read the entire 844-page bill, plus all of the amendments, and I can tell you it is a giveaway program to all illegal immigrants of our country. I am going to write a whole editorial about specific points in this immigration bill. I'm not opposed to fixing the immigration system. I agree it's broken. But we can't have a giveaway program that is a detriment to this country and our country's security, which is what this bill is. It is a terrible, terrible bill. Thank you, Mr. Kirk, for thinking about the real, law-abiding American citizens. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I vote for the person who will do the best job.

• 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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