The following is what our readers sounded off about this week:
Look for the good
To "Is there hope for me?" – yes, of course there is hope for you, as long as your conservancy doesn't make you intolerant. Your lifestyle is healthy, and you always give your best effort. Look for the good in people; they nearly always want to do their best as well. It will bring out the best in all of us and the United States.
I would like to thank the person who, last Wednesday afternoon, saw that I was nearly finished shoveling the driveway but was contemplating the last 3 feet to go. There was 3 feet of driveway near the road where the plows had pushed the road snow onto the driveway, and the snow was at least 1 – and in some places 2 – feet deep. He stopped his pickup truck and, without asking, pulled a snowblower from the back and finished the worst part of the job for me. As an added bonus, he cleared the sidewalks. He will never know how much I appreciated his random act of kindness. He refused payment for his time and gas. But he saved me so much time, so I could run an errand for my in-laws and still go and pick up my son from school on time. Thank you, anonymous person.
Feeding the robins
I've seen small flocks of robins here, and I'm wondering whether anyone knows if there is anything we can feed them to help them survive in frigid weather. They seem to be frantic for food.
Separate the crops
I appreciate the forum provided by Sound Off. Your Feb. 1 editorial from The Washington Post on the farm bill deserves comment. The real missed opportunity by the president and Congress was the potential to stay the course that was already started and separate the crop program, primarily crop insurance, from the nutritional and food stamp program. You may or may not favor these programs in their current form, but what is clear and obvious is that they do not belong in the same piece of legislation. These totally different issues were reunited by Congress with support of the White House because our elected officials felt it was easier, politically expedient or reduced their exposure to voter criticism. This had zero logic in my estimation. Sen. Kirk has addressed the sugar subsidy part of the crop support. But this is just a small part, as the real need is to separate crops from nutritional programs.
Respect for teachers
I'm calling about comments made in the Sound Off about teachers. I don't know what teacher would say, what do you like most about teaching – June, July and August. That's ridiculous. Honestly, what we like about teaching is the love of children and watching them with the a-ha on their face. During the day, we are with these children longer than their parents are. Do you know how many times I've been accidentally called mom? Then I'm a nurse; I'm a psychiatrist; I'm a social worker; and I'm the best friend. I'm not being paid to be all of that. What about the work I have to take home? Most people leave it at the job and go back the next day and complete it. Maybe you think those three months we're off, we're really off? Some of us are taking classes to become better teachers. And we do not get paid those three months. We get a salary divided up in 12 months. It's just a salary, and they divide it in 12 months. So what's the difference? You get paid the same amount of work for the same amount of job, including the fact that you put in a lot of extra time. Plus, you spend your own money on supplies.
Teaching is not easy
Every person makes a career choice. Everyone who complains about teachers having summers off, they had that option as well. I would place a bet that if you picked one school and asked every teacher what they do in the summer, the majority would be furthering their career in education or working part-time somewhere. Teaching is not an easy job. Every one of you had the option to pick that career. They need to stop whining. Teachers do not have an easy job. And I am not a teacher.
Our teachers have failed
This morning, I spoke to a neighbor who is a middle school student in St. Charles. She started her sentence with, "me and my friends." Our teachers have failed. I work with a young group of people who start their sentences the same way. I know a teacher who starts her sentence with "him and his girlfriend." Many young adults use went, when they should use gone. "I should have went to the store." When I hear this, I cringe. I am embarrassed for the person. I thank the nuns who forced proper grammar on us years ago. Where are the public school teachers who allow kids to graduate from high school with such poor grammar. Hopefully, those teachers are fired. If not, our standards are sinking. Teachers are cheating their students when they do not insist on proper grammar.
Missing the indoor malls
When my kids grew up, we'd be cooped up because of the weather. Sometimes, just to get out, we'd go to the mall. Maybe we'd even stop at a store or two. We wouldn't even think about doing that at the Commons. It's been a lot of years, but I still don't understand what happened there. I sure miss the inside malls.
Forcing us out
I know that Geneva School District 304 and the Geneva School Board have once again done something that the taxpayers cannot really afford. They have indicated that they will have kindergarten all day, which sounds to me like a baby-sitting service. … It seems that the school board and the school district are doing everything they can to force people who have lived in Geneva for years and years, and live on fixed incomes, out of town.
Tired of taxes
I heard that some people in Geneva want to have a new library built. I cannot see it. How many more real estate taxes do we need to keep paying? If you want a bigger library, move to Chicago. They have such a big one there. I cannot see it. With all these Kindles that people have, computers that they can read a book on, watch TV on a computer, I can't see why a bigger library is needed. If you don't like the Geneva library, go find a bigger one. But I am tired of paying more taxes. If you want to pay taxes, why don't you increase how much you pay per year? Do us a favor.
Enforce the snow routes
About snow routes in St. Charles, if St. Charles isn't going to enforce the snow routes, maybe they should just take the signs down. In every storm, I have seen vehicles parked on snow routes. They are still there after the snow is done. The plows have to keep plowing around them, and when they do move, you have piles of snow left. In the past, they used to be ticketed and towed. I know it's been cold, but maybe police should get out of their warm cars and take care of these vehicles.
Don't pile snow
For the past two winters, St. Charles has really dropped the ball on snow removal. In the past, people used to commend St. Charles for the high level that was placed in the snow program. Lately, I think they should talk to Geneva and find out how to remove snow. Geneva seems to have it figured out. They always seem to be slow to get the trucks on the road, but they have no problem having the trucks out driving up and down the streets that have already been plowed. Maybe they could learn how to not pile snow across the sidewalks and at the corners, especially around the schools. I guess the key for St. Charles to look good is to not have it snow.
Imagine an individual enrolling in a driver's education course involving classroom and on-the-road training. Then they would be given both a written and a road test. If both of these are passed, they would be issued a license allowing them to drive on any highway. Sounds logical, doesn't it? Now picture an individual applying for a concealed-carry permit. They would be taught in a classroom and on a shooting range, by a state-licensed instructor, about the laws and the proper method of safely handling a firearm. If they pass all these tests, they are fingerprinted and investigated by the Illinois State Police. The prints are also sent to the FBI for further investigation. If the applicant clears all these checks, they may be issued a concealed-carry permit. Sounds logical, doesn't it? Then why are properly licensed people being banned from carrying in so many establishments? That sounds totally illogical. In today's environment, I would feel much safer knowing that some folks around me are legally carrying a firearm. Now that's logical.
Thanks a lot, CVS
Thank you, CVS. I will never spend another penny of my money at any of your stores. Pretty soon, it will be easier to buy marijuana than it is to buy tobacco cigarettes.
• 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.