Ex-offender bill offers solutions, casino doesn’t

I’m a prison chaplain and run a reentry program [Ex-offender law aims local, Robert Felton, Dec. 13]. After 9 years of working with inmates, I am greatly encouraged to see Congress supporting this legislation. It is a good example of the government seeing that getting tough on crime has created another set of problems. This bill shows us, finally, getting smart on crime.

Kendall Hughes
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No easy answers on energy

Electricity and gas deregulation are very complex issues [Residents flock to MXC for utility assistance, Micah Maidenberg, Dec. 13]. Prior to deregulation, there were cross-class subsidies, but now with deregulation the subsidies are gone. And while the solution, overall, is a beginning step to ensuring reliable power in the future, there is going to be collateral damage. No solution will fit every need. But the manner in which natural gas was deregulated was far more reasoned than for electricity. Electricity deregulation is intriguingly complex. I have studied the situation, and the “real time” pricing option is going to provide the lowest cost long-term. It no doubt will have the occasional hiccup, but my assessment is that everyone, including businesses, should move in that direction, particularly in any month except July and August.

Greg Karr
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Austin needs food stores, not casinos

Arlene, I know you mean well, but a Casino for Austin is not a bright idea, and it will not help the community. What the former Brach site needs is a major food store, such as Dominicks or Jewel. Some areas of the South Side have two Jewel and Dominick stores. When is Austin going to follow suit?

Erica R. Hutcherson
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Chicago casino a bad idea

Surely you jest [Help politicians bring a casino to the Brach site, Arlene Jones, Dec.6]? If you think gambling is economic development that will help black, white, Latino, Asian or anyone else, you are wrong.

Mayor Daley speaks of a casino like in London or Monte Carlo. Understand, it’s going to be a slot machine heaven instead. In Illinois, there are 1c and 2c slots to attract the poorest people to the casino. In September of 2007, the average player at the nine boats in Illinois lost $117 on each visit. This is not economic development, but just another rip off by the man.

Doug Dobmeyer, spokesperson for Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago

Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

West Side casino makes sense

Well said Arlene. This is a location most people haven’t thought about. A casino on the West Side of the city would change that area dramatically. Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

Clay Champlin
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‘Hula Hoop’ instructor an inspiration

I have seen Ms. [Paula] Hand do her thing, and it is amazing[A Hula Hoop a day can keep diabetes at bay, Robert Felton, Nov. 29]. It seems like an activity for kids, but after a few minutes, the adults are into it as well. It really is a great workout-I have the abs to prove it. This article is well-written, and it should be noted that she is the pioneer of hoop aerobics.

Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Uplifting story should be shared

I loved the story about PKay-it’s very encouraging. She looks very healthy. You wouldn’t think she has diabetes. I have a friend with diabetes and I will definitely have her go to her website to learn more about what she does, or what can be done to decrease the affects of the disease. Her hula hooping looks like fun. Thanks for the great story.

Debra Richardson
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Ald. Smith shouldn’t bring up ‘integrity’

HOW DARE HE!?! [Ed Smith to challenge Moore in 2008, Robert Felton, Sept. 20] I find it incredible and utterly offensive that Ed Smith would even use the words “integrity” and “public official” in the same sentence. I thought I was imagining things last year when I read that he called Mayor Dale “corrupt.” Really? I don’t think putting Ed Smith in charge of the deed recording process would be a good idea.

Louise Davenport
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Nothing new about declining businesses

Same old story, different date [Sustaining growth in Garfield Park, Satta Sarmah/Medill, Nov. 22]. I have heard it for the last 40 plus years. Same people doing the same old unsuccessful thing, and expecting a different outcome.

George G. Wilson
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

A friend forever

You go girl! Keep pushing forward in spite of the challenges. I’m glad I know you, and thanks for your friendship throughout the years. Love, prayers, and God’s blessings to you.

Milton Clark
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