The following is what our readers sounded off about this week:
Too much of a good thing Chicagoland, along with a large portion of the rest of the country, is experiencing a barbaric winter. Television and newspapers are reporting the panic due to dwindling stockpiles of road salt. Horrors! How long are those supplies supposed to last when within minutes of the first sighting of a snowflake fleets of trucks are out and overspreading? Two flakes, and the plows are put down for some all-out pavement abuse. Along with this, municipalities want the people who live there to clear sidewalks and fire hydrants, which I do, but even my large snowblower doesn't do well with the salt-laden snow. Did any of the people in charge of such operations ever hear of too much of a good thing?
Thank you for your service So sorry to read about Mr. James Wyllie's passing in [the Jan. 30 edition of the] paper. I did handyman work for him at his house in Aurora. He was softspoken, and a very nice person to me. Little did I know that this man had four Purple Hearts. So I would like to say, with due respect, God bless you Mr. Wiley, and thank you for your service to this great country.
A real hero So everybody is going to be watching their Super Bowl heroes. A real hero has passed in the Fox Valley area. His name was James Bill Wyllie – not a million-dollar hero on TV, but one who had something that no money could ever buy. Not one, two, three but four Purple Hearts. This man was a true hero. Thank you, sir, for your service. My flag will be lowered in your honor.
Way to go Congratulations to the Geneva High School dance team on taking home a state title. I'm so very proud of them. It was beautiful. Thank you to the Chronicle for the very nice article on the girls' win. It might have been nice to see a picture of them, with their trophy, instead of the St. Charles East cheer team, though. Way to go, girls.
Is there hope for me? I am a conservative, middle-aged person. I work full-time, pay my bills and try to live with good moral standards. Is there any hope for someone like me in the United States?
Put Americans first We have been cautioned, over and over again, about identity theft. We have been told not to give out our Social Security numbers. We have been told not to give people any information, and yet, the Social Security gives Medicare cards with our Social Security numbers. Then we go to places like Target and Nieman Marcus, and all of the sudden, all of our financial information is compromised. So, when we go to check on information about bills that have different addresses on them than they normally have, which is one of the scams that they pull, we find out that the company we do business with … it's a mortgage company, and they farm out all of their loan servicing to India. We have these bankers and mortgage brokers sending our business overseas, and they all demand our Social Security numbers. Isn't that wild? Isn't it great how the government of the United States protects the people of the United States from these scammers. We can't even pay a bill without talking to somebody from another country. This is the United States of America. Wouldn't it be wonderful to put Americans first?
Dig out those hydrants Here it is, Groundhog Day, and another 5 inches of snow fell this weekend. The groundhog saw his shadow, which means another six weeks of winter. I'm calling to talk about the fun people in the Timbers. We have a group of guys who love to pull pranks on each other throughout the year. Most recently, they collected Christmas trees that were out to be recycled, and put them all around one house. It was easy for garbage pickup and fun for the neighborhood to see. I have a suggestion for these men, and others. Please have a neighborhood party and dig out fire hydrants before someone in this fun neighborhood loses a home or a loved one because a fire hydrant was buried under 4 feet of snow. You don't have to live in the Timbers to do this. St. Charles is a fun town. Everyone, go out and dig out those fire hydrants and have a drink on me.
Shrinking opportunity It's Saturday, Feb. 1, and there was a Sound Off about people calling with mean-spirited call ins to the Sound Off. I would like to comment on that. I'd have to say stand by for a broadside. I recently asked a school teacher, what do you like about being a teacher? And they said, June, July and August. So I think you get the point. When you have first-grade teachers, and we have three in our district, making over $100,000 a year before benefits, and you have two retired superintendents both taking in over $200,000 retired, I don't know why this caller can't understand the unhappiness of taxpayers with teachers. You heard the term about raising the bar, but the only bar the teachers and administrators have raised is benefits, pay, retirement, etc. I think they should stand by for more broadside and more criticism. Opportunity for middle class is shrinking in America.
They can't find a job I, for one, am not nasty about the teachers and government employees. They do a good job. I guess the concern is, on teachers, they are off three months for the summer. I am not hateful, nasty or sarcastic, but look at today's times. How many people are not working? To go to another field? Of what. I know people who went to school to be a teacher, and they are working as a waitress. They can't find a job. I know people who have a master's degree, and they are working at Kohl's.
Paid to watch a movie My son attends high school in St. Charles. Close to Christmas and summer vacation, teachers often have the students watch a movie. Instead of a movie with Hollywood's interpretation of history, why don't teachers read to students from Charles Dickens or Mark Twain? Listening will force students to use their imagination. Teachers are making it easier for themselves. Why are taxpayers paying teachers to put movies in a DVD player? Instead of movies, why not teach much-needed table manners for two hours, or ask the students to read silently and then discuss what they have read? Do something productive, since taxpayers are paying you to teach. Wish my job allowed me to watch a movie and get paid. Teachers have the summers off, but yet have the audacity to use a movie to pass the time before yet another vacation starts.
Brighter lights A River Street sign could be made 100 percent more readable if a narrow, thin sheet of translucent, white plastic was put on the back side of the letters. This would make it more readable during the day, and especially the night, when the lights are shining on it.
Why are we paying for that? Can anybody tell me … I'm a senior citizen … why the kids need iPads at the grammar schools? Why can't the parents buy iPads? With all of this technology going on, this is ridiculous. The kids all have cellphones, and they text. The cellphones should not be allowed in school. There should be no texting. I can see having a child having a cellphone in school, but I can't see why taxpayers, especially senior citizens, have to pay for this.
Don't be lazy All this bashing of Republicans on Obamacare, and I have to stress, I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I vote for the person who is going to do the best job, in my opinion and based on my research. But this Obamacare business, all these people leaving the workforce so they can work fewer hours and get subsidies from the government. Don't you people understand that subsidies are paid for by full-time workers and taxpayers? Don't you understand that? When these workers leave the workforce – voluntarily or involuntarily – the burden goes on those of us who are willing to work long hours to make up for that lost in revenue to the Internal Revenue Service, to Obamacare, to the health profession, to businesses – everywhere. The people who work hard pay the most. This isn't right. People can't afford to be lazy. They should work full-time jobs, and there shouldn't be subsidies for people who aren't willing to work. That's the bottom line. No food stamps, nothing. If you don't work, you don't eat.
A lot safer? Attention, felons and all others who illegally possess a firearm, whether stolen or illegally purchased. Be sure to register your weapon and avoid going to all restricted establishments, as legally trained and registered gun owners are required to abide. That's why you'll be a lot safer. Or you may be able to wreak all the havoc you want, should you decide to disobey the law, which you probably will.
• You can sound off, as well, by calling our Sound Off line at 630-845-5240 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Calls must be limited to 1 minute or less.