Letters to the Editors 1-9-14

  • Written by Rebecca Lanning

Christmas Without Cancer still going strong

Dear Editor:

Before the Christmas ornaments are tucked away in boxes and stored in crawl spaces, allow us at Christmas Without Cancer to share with you readers the magical blessings you — and our new partners — extended to those staring down cancer during these past months.

Your financial support over the last decade has helped hundreds of families and, miraculously, this year, your efforts caught the attention of our newest neighbor and partner, Binny’s Beverage Depot in Evergreen Park.

With the star power of Da Coach, Mike Ditka, Binny’s hosted a fundraising event and penned a check for $10,000.

The magnitude of such generosity is relative in nature to what you have done over the last 10 years. The fine people of Binny’s were the first to point that out when they approached us. Binny’s wasn’t attempting to grab the spotlight as much as stand shoulder to shoulder with a caring community — you.

We are partners and it showed in the totals raised to directly help families. A tally of 186 Ditka signatures on personal items generated another $4,650 while random walk-up gifts in the store brought in $483.

Every penny from this outpouring of support is earmarked directly for families in need. Support from you has brought steady growth and the privilege to help families throughout the year in Beverly, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park.

The Christmas Without Cancer mission has always been brilliant in its simplicity: Identify need and provide gifts and basic necessities to Chicagoland families with members stricken with cancer, so as to allow the beauty of Christmas to shine through while family members find comfort in their devotion to one another.

Allow us to share with you the sights and sounds we volunteers encountered during our family visits this past season:

  • A young mother has found shelter in her parents’ Oak Lawn home while she struggles with radiation and chemotherapy. Her three pre-school children only see their mother’s smile under the collared scarf that covers her baldness. Your donations allowed our volunteers to enter the living room and place gift-wrapped boxes under the tree where there were none. We watched Christmas come alive through the eyes of the children as they tore away the pretty paper to embrace the simple toys that meant so much.
  • Elsewhere, a young adult son and daughter grieve. Their mother was diagnosed with brain cancer in October. She died Christmas Eve. All of their resources were spent on expensive oral chemotherapy medicines to alleviate discomfort. Your donations entitled Christmas Without Cancer to write a check for the children’s last wish — a dignified memorial service for their mother.
  • A young dad in his Hospice deathbed reading softly to his 4-year old daughter. His four-year battle with colon cancer was coming to a close.
  • A proud grandfather shaken at the recent loss of his daughter and our arrival with gifts for the missing mom’s children. When the youngest announced “we have an angel in heaven,” our throats tightened and our eyes welled with tears.

The concept from the first list of family names scribbled on my kitchen table in 2003 has flourished into Christmas Without Cancer. If not for your generosity, it would be a discarded scrap of paper. In 2013 we helped more families than ever before.

You write checks; drop off gift cards; attend our fundraisers; help us identify those in need; and share with us your humanity by giving to those faced with the prospects of death.

I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 10 years and even prouder to know you are my neighbors, my friends and my fellow humanitarians.

Gerri Neylon and the Christmas Without Cancer team, Evergreen Park

Letter to the Editor from 1-2-14

A long goodbye from Grabowski
Dear Editor:
  To the many friends, acquaintances and accomplices I have made here in Illinois over the past 47 years:
  I want to take this opportunity to say goodbye.
  For those who don’t already know, I have accepted a position with a company in Conroe, TX, about 20 miles north of Houston, and will begin my 2014 year there. I will be working with Hydraulic Systems, Inc., a hydraulics company that manufactures, fabricates and services oil rig moving and raising equipment in the oil extraction industry.
  I’m sort of saddened to leave Illinois, but the future is much brighter just up ahead.
  I was born and raised, and have lived most of my 47 years of life, on the south side of the city of Chicago and in the nearby southwest suburbs. In all my years here, I never would have imagined the extent of the damage and the demise of this once great Midwestern state that I grew to like. To see what’s happening socially and economically, right under our noses and occurring in mine and my children’s lifetime, to our state now seemingly like a dead carcass run over several times being picked apart and devoured by the political vultures and the policies they’ve created that caused our state’s current brutal demise.
  The state of the economy here in Illinois is heartbreaking. And it is perpetuated by the droves of politically influenced and government benefit driven low information voters who believe like sheep what their ‘leaders’ tell them, like the children following the tune of the Pied Piper, wearing their blinders 24/7/365 throughout the state. I can’t see this disasterous situation getting better here any time soon.
  Businesses have been leaving Illinois at an alarming rate for the past five years now. It is not any longer, and leaders refuse to maintain this as a business friendly state. Each business that closes its doors and moves to another state takes with it on average between 50 — 100 jobs that will never return.
  With a realistic unemployment rate of 16% in northeastern Illinois currently, and an outflow of jobs to other states, the deck is stacked against my kids finding gainful employment and moving out on their own by the age of 30. I have four teenagers who will soon be competing with 30, 40 and 50 year olds for even a simple McDonalds jobs right out of high school. I feel I have an obligation to my kids, in the very least, to put them in a thriving economic area where their talents, abilities and education will quickly and easily take them to where they will want and need to go to become successful. Remaining in Illinois did not provide that as a viable option to me.
  The Texas economy is and has been thriving, while many other states are still looking for this so called ‘recovery’, with an average unemployment rate of only 3.7%, not because of the failed federal government level policies that have crushed many other states, but because of the policies of smart state leaders who refuse to let their citizens down with power grabs, intrusive and prohibitive tax schemes, not trampling on their rights, freedom and liberties.
  The top two cities growing by leaps and bounds economically in the United States are from the same growing and thriving state, Houston, TX is number one, and the Dallas / Fort Worth area is number two. During the economic crash at the end of 2008 through 2009, Texas businesses produced 33% of all NEW JOBS throughout the entire country as a whole. Texas is a very business friendly state, welcoming businesses that are weary from existence in economically crumbling states like Illinois, which also translates to more jobs available by far than here in Illinois. Did I also mention that there is no state sales tax in the great state of Texas, as they don’t see a need to have a large, cumbersome and intrusive state government? Yahoo!!
  I have made many friends here and will remember you all for years to come. I will keep in touch.
  Thank you for a great 47 years.
Richard L. Grabowski

Letters to the Editor from 10-24-13


Tyranny is causing American angst
Dear Editor:
  Today, we Americans are an unhappy lot. It’s because the man in the White House treats us with disdain, and our Constitution as being irrelevant. When he ran for this office he promised to “transform America.” Some thought of it as a positive while others were suspicious of the term.
  The biggest thing right now is Obamacare which was passed in the middle of the night at Christmas time. It is 2,000 pages long and not one Republican voted for it. How oppressive is all that? Not only is it a government held insurance policy but we are forced to buy it or pay a penalty! What happened to our choice of private companies who would meet our specific needs and the costs thereof?

  This is tyranny and a severe blow to our personal liberty. But why are we surprised? When he was an Illinois Senator, Obama’s voting record revealed he voted “present” on most bills instead of “yes” or “no” which would reveal his political philosophy. He was educated by “left wing” professors who cared less about the American Experiment in “self-government”. So he is a socialist and some members of the American Communist Party are his advisers.
  Yes, we are pessimistic because even when any one of our brave politicians protest this abuse of power they are trashed by our other politicians!
  Yes, liberty is a fragile thing and must be strengthened by every generation for the next one, or we will no longer be a country where personal dreams of accomplishment can happen.
  I wonder how many of us Americans remember from our history books that those men who signed that Declaration of Independence from England knew from the start that their lives and fortunes were at risk, and that many did suffer such tragedies?
  And do most of us really appreciate the genius of the Constitution that they wrote eleven years later? One person did — the King of Spain — who at that time observed:” that pigmy of a nation will one day be a colossus.”
  It is time for the schools to teach it well and adults to bone up.
Mildred L. Para
Evergreen Park

WMO a step in the right direction
Dear Editor:
  Recently the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO). The WMO was adopted with an effective date of May 1, 2014.

  The MWRD held five public meetings this summer throughout the district, offering the public the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding the proposed WMO. We listened to the public, and incorporated many of the suggestion received into our final draft.
  The purpose of the WMO is to establish uniform stormwater management regulations for Cook County, in order to prevent future commercial, municipal, and residential development and redevelopment projects from exacerbating flooding. Paved roads, parking lots, walkways, and buildings make the city and the suburbs livable, but they also reduce the amount of land that rainwater can properly and efficiently be absorbed. This leads to increased flooding without sufficient regulation. The WMO ensures that commercial and residential development will continue, but in a responsible manner that will help curb residential flooding.
  Thank you to our staff, the technical committee, and to members of the community who worked so very hard to bring the WMO to our Board for approval. The WMO was truly the result of the collaboration of many different ideas and best practices we aim to deliver to the citizens of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Kathleen Therese Meany, President
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

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Letters to the Editor fro 9-12-13

Kill more Syrians to save Syrians?
Dear Editor:
  President Obama has disgraced the Nobel Peace Prize in his quest to out-war George Bush by attacking another Mideast country.
  Syrians are killing Syrians. So, we need to kill more Syrians to make sure Syrians don’t kill Syrians? If you understand that, you belong under the same butterfly net as our war-mongering leaders. John McCain wants war because hearings provide him a chance to catch up on his iPod poker!
  In Syria, we have a bad guy and worse guys, so why get involved? We never became involved in Rwanda when 700,000 Hutus and Tutsis slaughtered one another, so why Syria? We refused to support our own American troops who cried for help in Benghazi, but we’ll fight Syrians? The entire world thinks we are crazy and the UN refuses to support this insanity.
  Turns out the senators who voted for war received 83 percent more contributions from defense contractors than those who voted against the war. John Kerry even suggested the emirs, princes and royal families of Saudi Arabia, et. al. were willing to help pay for us to fight their war against Syria. All we need to supply is the blood of our young men and women!
  Russia is warning us to keep hands off of their ally. China is sending ships to the area, and President Obama and Sen. McCain insist on helping the flesh-eating Syrian rebels. Bet they never showed you the video of the rebel who tore out the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier for dinner. Good night!
  Forget the phony merits of this war, the American people know better. We need Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents, to unite. We must challenge officials who sell their souls for dirty lucre, in exchange for the blood our families. Let’s insure those Republicans and Democrats, who vote for war, never return to office.
  It’s up to the American people to be the grownups. Our republic is in need of economic healing, not never-ending wars! Please put homemade signs in your homes and vehicles and call your leaders. Send Obama, Kerry and McCain to Syria! Get out and demonstrate. We must stop this insanity now.
Dee Woods

Another country with problems
Dear Editor:
  The world seems to be upset over the atrocities in Syria, rightfully so, and expect the U.S to do something. There is another country with a tyrannical government, hardly reported.
  A country where trouble makers and whistle blowers, meet with strange “accidents”, “disappearances” and “suicides”. Where T.V. programs watched and e-mails and phone conversations are monitored. Where private citizen general aviation pilots, flying their families to a vacation or going to a restaurant, are stopped at local airports by armed U.S. Customs Border Patrol teams to have their “papers checked”.
  Where chemical and drug companies are allowed by government to introduce pesticides and growth hormones into food. Where the federal emergency agency is allowed to amass billions of round of ammunition, (more than the military) and purchase, as many have reported, millions of plastic coffins. For what purpose?
  Where electrical usage, (part of the new energy efficient smart grid), is starting to be monitored by “smart meters”, receiving data from new appliances containing transmitting smart chips, so “they” know where you are and what you are doing 24 hours a day.
  Where school students are starting to receive R.F. I.D cards with G.P.S. locators for 24-hour monitoring. Where weather control experiments are in use, and chemical spraying of nano-particles of aluminum oxide and barium into the upper atmosphere are in use to “cool down” global warming, and other devious uses. Where federal agencies allow drug companies to push questionable disease “preventative” drugs.
  You got it. It’s the good old U.S.A. So here is my question: Why is it that North Korea, China, Russia, and other concerned countries, do not request the world community and the United Nations to militarily attack the United States to save us? And where are the concerned citizens of this glorious free country? Maybe they are in line waiting for the new iPhone to come out. God bless the U.S.A.
Paul Kristofek
Hickory Hills