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Sound Off: True kindness

Published: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 7:20 a.m. CDT

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

True kindness I am calling to thank the two Dillonfield-area men who helped my son when his pickup slid into the snow on the icy roads. One man gave my son a ride home. The other pulled the truck out with his four-wheel-drive pickup and refused to accept money for it. Our family truly appreciate these men's kindness. You guys are the best.

Shovel for pedestrians I'm calling about the snow on the sidewalk. Why can't people shovel their sidewalk? I walk a dog in the residential area, and a lot of times, I have to walk in the street. It's too difficult to walk on the sidewalk. Even some of these big places, they don't shovel the sidewalk. It would really be nice if people would just shovel their walks for the pedestrians.

Whine, whine, whine Calling in about common sense. How does that person call up and whine and complain that the Oswego School District was holding an institute day Jan. 6. Nature caused school closures because of extreme temperatures. Noone to blame about common sense, and how he or she, the retired principal of 30 years, would have planned a better school calendar. Well, now you can blame Mother Nature. Whine, whine, whine.

It looks weird Recently, in St. Charles, I had the pleasure of meeting two young, likable people in their 20s who had one thing in common – both had tongue piercings. We must stress to the younger crowd that other tongue piercers have experienced infections, eroded gums, chipped teeth and hepatitis. Is a tongue piercing an indication of a stupid body mutilation? I'm sorry to say, but I think so. And it looks weird to see something on a person's tongue.

You'll have a ghost town I think Batavia might as well give up on age-related housing, especially since the majority of us who are over 55 can't afford to stay here. We're all looking to sell our homes because the school taxes and the city taxes and the park district taxes and the library taxes have taken up all of our income. You've got to have some balance around sometimes, and it appears that the Batavia School District is only interested in spend, spend, spend, and tax, tax, tax. It never wants to give the taxpayers a break. So, take your senior housing or your age-restricted housing and stick it in your ear. Most all of us are going to be leaving Batavia, and you'll have a ghost town.

It's not right Here we go again, more tax dollars from the citizens to fund big business. Mainly, Aliano's in Batavia has big plans, and they want financing from the city, which means financing from the taxpayers. Isn't it wonderful that we can't get a break from the school district, the city, the park district or anybody else, but these businesses, who have a lot more money than we have, can get any kind of money they want from us? It's not right. It's not fair. They ought to be able to sink or swim on their own. We haven't gotten any payback from any of that TIF district downtown. It's not right.

Can we skate? Once again, I am dismayed by the Batavia Park District's less-than-stellar performance in maintaining the Depot Pond for ice skating. In years past, it seemed that there were numerous occasions when skating should have been allowed, but the red flag was posted. It gave the impression they didn't want to be bothered. Last Saturday, it was open for skating. This was the day before the extreme cold set in, which should have hardened the ice all the more. The snow just prior to the extreme cold might have acted as an insulator, but it seems to me that the ice would not have suddenly become unsafe. But it's Thursday, and the red flag is up, and it's 19 degrees outside. I called the park district, and I was told that the ice was unsafe, due to water pockets. It was fine last Saturday. How did it become unsafe during this recent cold record spell? I don't understand. If the park district finds maintaining this ice skating to be more trouble than it's worth, please post a sign saying "no skating," and be done with it.

Not the good change Happy new year, everyone. With the new year brings – which we had last year – same-sex marriages. I'm a baby boomer. I don't believe in it. But it seems like anything goes in this world of ours. Pot in Colorado? What about the drivers who are using pot? There will be more accidents. Did the officials even consider that? And another thing is carrying guns – more crime. Do you really think that the person who wants to do harm is going to read the sign in St. Charles not to carry firearms? I guess anything goes in our world. With the president we have, anything goes. And I see higher, higher, higher prices for the average working people. I'm just getting used to my touch-tone smartphone. To me, that's enough change. I think we've had enough change already, and not the good change that we need.

Testing for drugs This is about the drug problem in America. We would have less of a problem if companies started administering drug tests for their employees when they first get hired, and then on a randomly selected basis. If we would start testing people, we would eliminate the need for drugs.

Low-flush health care As the holidays come to an end, here I stand with my favorite plumber's helper, firmly in hand. And as I hear what sounds like waves gently crashing against a rock, I look up at my nephew, with a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face. Right then, cousin Eddie chimes in, "I swear, we've been feeding him enough fiber." I responded with no, it's not his fault. It's the low-flush toilet, who knows where they came from. Just then, uncle Cletus said, "They were brought to us by the same people who are bringing us health care now." Happy new year, everybody.

The most precious gift Christians around the world celebrated the birth of Christ. Many adorned their homes with lights, sang songs about snow, sleigh rides, a playful snowman and a saint, who morphed into a jolly old elf. Many exchanged gifts. Some were expensive. Some were not. Some were overjoyed. Some were disappointed, especially the children who received a used gift or nothing at all. Somehow, in all this frenzy of gift buying and giving, we have mostly lost the true meaning of Christmas, which is the celebration of the birth of Christ. On that occasion, only the Wise Men brought gifts, and the angels sang peace on earth, goodwill to men. It was pretty low-key by comparison about what happens around Christmas and dominates our time and thinking today. If we scaled back our compassion of making Christmas a Bacchanalia, we might take a different view of what scriptures says and the six words the angels sang on that night. This, more than anything we can buy, is the most precious gift we can give to our children and to each other.

The old ways are the best All of my Christmas gifts were purchased, brought home, wrapped and put under the tree for Christmas Day. Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways.

• 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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