Tony Brown For Sheriff In Primary Election

Dear Editor:

    Macon County Democrats have two outstanding candidates to be the next sheriff and I will support either one in November. That said, I back Tony Brown for the nomination.  While serving five years on the county board, I got to watch both candidates in their interactions with board members and the public.  Both conducted themselves with professionalism and courtesy.  Lt. Brown, however, brings another element to the position -- as a visible symbol to the youth of Macon County. I believe he will help inspire our young people to believe that the American promise still works and that they can achieve anything within their ability to reach for it.

Gary Minich


City Has Not Kept Promise Of Repaving Crumbling Parking Lot At Library

Dear Editor
    I have lived in Decatur since 1966. I have witnessed the ineptitude and incompetence of the city administra-tion and city council.
    A few years ago the library had an agreement with the planning commission for the entire extra library space and annex to be occupied by the County of Macon. 
    This would have permitted the former county office space to be used and taxed as commercial property. Very late in the agreement the city council acting on the recommendation of the city administration would not approve the agreement and asserted their own right to the same agreement.
    In 2016 one of the central promises of the City was to repave the crumbling parking lot. A promise made and not kept. I invite anyone to drive or walk through the parking lot. If you make it without a sprained ankle or a need for a frontend alignment I would be surprised.

Garry E. Davis

Thanks For Stirring Memories Of

The Interurban Of Yesteryear

Dear Mr. Osborne:
    I just read your article on the interurban trains of yesteryear. Like you, our family lived on Packard, but closer to Van Dyke than you. We lived at 884, just before you came to Van Dyke. Van Cahill and I used to sit on the corner and watch all the action going on at the station, with the trains coming and going. It sure was easy getting a cheap thrill back in those days!
    My mother took my older sister and I on that last run on June 11, 1955. I don’t remember how far we went before we turned around and came back. It was really exciting, and I’ll never forget it. My mother knew this was a moment in history that we could participate and we did. Thank you so much for bringing these memories back.
    Keep up the good work and God bless my great hometown, Decatur, Illinois.

Tom Huff
 Colorado Springs, CO    

Simple Solution To Outside Money

Flooding Into Area Campaigns

Dear Editor:
    I have a simple solution to outside money flooding into the area campaigns.  
    Make it illegal to give money to a candidate you can't vote for, and for a candidate to accept money from someone who can't vote for him.  This means PACs, unions, companies, etc.  A registered voter in his district only.
     I can predict when this will happen -- the second week of Pig Flying Season.  Right along with term limits.

John Harvey

Truth No Longer Matters In Today’s Atmosphere

Dear Editor:
    Demonizing your opponent with no basis in fact is now the weapon of choice for the entire Republican Party and their billionaire clientele. Crooked Hillary, lying Ted, Benghazi, Hillary’s e-mails, and all those criminal acts.         The truth, no laws were broken. It was all lies! Major media, Fox News and far less than half the voters bought the bait. 
    The result: absolute chaos and a threat to our democracy.
    In Illinois, they demonize Demo-cratic leader Mike Madigan. He’s corrupt, engaged in pay to play, caters to special interests [union workers] and the lies never end. TV ads funded by outside special interests, a union busting Governor and editorial boards who put revenue above public interests, mounted an all-out assault.  
    Truth, Madigan is skillfully representing the majority of Illinoisans; workers and their families. He’s keeps democrats focused on ideals that benefit people. 
    Democrats have stood against ‘’right to work for less”, union free zones and for the legal right to join a union. The AFL-CIO represents all Illinois working families. It was unions that brought up the standard of living for all American workers and  is the genesis of the middle class.
    These values are under attack by Rauner and his billionaire greed heads, ALEC, the National Chamber of Commerce and all its affiliates, every corporate association, and the Republican Party. 
    They’ve used voter suppression and roll purges to destroy our democracy. They hide behind social issues they don’t believe in to divide us, but their only goal is to tear down responsible government and install a corporate fascism where only they rule.
    Most Illinoisans elected a party that represents “we the people” We need to strengthen that resolve this election cycle. 
    Thank you Michael Madigan for decades of real leadership.

Mike Griffin 

Supports Caulkins For State Representative

Dear Editor:
    I am supporting Dan Caulkins in the Republican primary for state representative.
    As a lifelong Decatur native, I have seen the storm clouds of financial mismanagement and economic decline over the state. When I went to college there were 96,000 people in Decatur and 65,000 in Las Vegas. In recent decades the decisions made in Springfield by leaders of both parties have been both short sighted and venal and now we have a state that is a fiscal wreck and people are fleeing.
    I’ve known Dan for 40 years. We’ve talked often as things have deteriorated and his business acumen, curiosity, and grasp of the issues has always impressed me. As Henry Kissinger once said, public office consumes intellectual capital so you better know what you are doing going into office. I know that Dan will hit the ground running, when he takes his seat in Springfield. There is too much at stake to take a chance on anyone else.
Ed Bachrach

Anderson Is Choice 
For Circuit Judge

Dear Editor:
     The 6th Judicial Circuit is lucky to have Sami Anderson, a top notch attorney blessed with empathy and a keen sense of justice, running for Circuit Judge. 
    I have been practicing law in the courthouses of central Illinois for many years.  I know a good judge or potential judge when I see one.  A good judge isn't necessarily one who rules in my favor, rather it is a judge who listens to both sides and makes a fair decision grounded in the facts, the law and common sense.  That's the kind of judge Sami will be. 
     Sami wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth.  She worked her way through law school, which was interrupted when her husband lost his arm fighting in Iraq.  She had to take off to help him recover.  He did!  Sami then finished law school and built a successful law practice in Champaign in a variety of areas, but focusing on family law--divorce, custody/visitation, child support, and paternity.  That's the single biggest category of cases in state court. 
    Sami has received numerous awards for providing free legal services to our veterans as well as military members deployed to combat zones...drafting powers of attorney and wills. 
     A vote for Sami Anderson is a vote for a judge with integrity, who will give everyone a fair shake. 

Sam Cahnman

Heavily-Tinted Vehicle Windows:

What Does This Have To Do With Race?

Dear Editor,
    Having just received the February 28th issue of the Tribune today (March 6th) I'm a little behind times.   Between local, state, and federal politics as well as 32 plus years in Law Enforcement I thought I'd either heard it all or seen it all.  That was until I began digesting this issue of the Tribune.
    I was drawn to a letter to the editor titled "Editor's Column Against Heavily-Tinted Windows Is Border-line Racial Profiling" submitted by a Mr. Dennis R. Cooper.  
    I found myself agreeing with only one sentence in Mr. Cooper's letter.  It read "The majority of people with tinted windows are not trying to hide anything". 
    As one who has dealt with "heavily-tinted" windows it's not those people police officers worry about. It's those few who scramble behind those tinted windows to switch drivers, (Yes, that happens) to hide illicit drugs or paraphernalia, hide fruits of a crime just committed, or at worst, kill a police officer.      
    My question to the writer is "What does this have to do with Race?"  Evil comes in all Races and some of that evil hides behind "heavily-tinted" windows.   
    I've been retired 20 years now and thank my Maker every day that I made it through my career with a few close calls but was never seriously injured. And I ask my Maker every day to look out for those out there doing the job today.  
    In 2014 a target was put on every police officer in this country and so far this year 17 have been killed in the line of duty.  
    To borrow from Mr. Cooper's line, it's my humble opinion that "The majority of people wouldn't mind a lesser window tint" if it saves a police officer’s life.

Brad Collins

Vote For Judge Randy Rosenbaum In

Primary Election March 20

To the Editor:
    Judge Randy Rosenbaum is running in the primary election on March 20, and I hope that all Republican voters will join me in supporting him.
    Judge Rosenbaum was chosen by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a vacancy in Champaign County, but his is an “at large” seat, so voters in Macon County and the other counties of the Sixth Judicial Circuit will have the opportunity to cast their vote for him.
    Unlike his opponent, Judge Rosenbaum enjoys the overwhelming support of his peers, as proven in a recent poll by the Illinois State Bar Association of area lawyers. He was the only candidate to be recommended for office in his race.    As an attorney, I know the value of Judge Rosenbaum’s experience, temperament, and commitment to the fair and courteous treatment of all who come into his courtroom.
    We need to keep Judge Randy Rosenbaum on the bench in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Carol D. Craig

Sami Anderson Has Senator's Vote

Dear Editor,
    I am writing on behalf of my friend Sami Anderson - who is a candidate for Circuit Judge in next week's Republican Primary.  I have known Sami for almost a decade and can attest to her compassion for those she serves in her current capacity as a family law attorney.  Please consider the following about the content and character of Sami Anderson:
  *Sami Anderson chairs her home county Bar Association's Family Law Section Council. 
  *She started Wills for Soldiers to provide free legal assistance to locally deploying service members.
  *She received the prestigious Minuteman award, the Highest Civilian award granted by the National Guard for Volunteer Service.
  *Sami has deep roots in our area.  Her family is from the Moultrie-Douglas area and her husband, Garrett, is from the DeWitt-Piatt area.
  *She was recognized by the Illinois Bar Journal in 2011 for her work on behalf of our service members.
  *Sami Anderson was named a 2015 Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation – Elizabeth Dole is the wife of former Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole.
   Moreover, Sami Anderson understands that our judges are bound by the United States Constitution - first and foremost.  As Republicans we are lucky to have a great candidate like Sami - who has dedicated her life to serving those who serve others.  On Tuesday March 20th, Sami Anderson has my vote, and I would, respectfully, ask that you consider her favorably with your vote as well.

Chapin Rose


Josh Tanner Is Best Candidate To Replace

Steve Bean As Macon County Clerk

Dear Editor:

       Mr. Josh Tanner is clearly the best qualified candidate to replace Mr. Bean for our next Macon County Clerk. He started his career serving in the U.S. Air force with a tour in Korea. He has a professional background serving in Macon County where he currently works as Supervisor of Assessments. Prior to that he learned the ropes in the Property Tax Division of the Illinois Depart. of Revenue. His Batchelor’s degree has trained him well to assume new responsibilities in administration and leadership. This is demonstrated by his election to the office of President of the state-wide County Assessment Officer’s Association. Josh spent most of his life in Mt. Zion where he graduated from MZHS in 1993.

     A vote for Josh will do all of us in Macon County a big favor. You’ll be glad you did!

Bob Kimmons


Brown Is Best Choice For Macon County Sheriff

Dear Editor:
    As the Macon County Sheriff’s election grows nearer, I am writing in support of Tony ‘Chubby’ Brown.  He has graciously served over 27 years with the Sheriff’s Department.  Starting in 1990 as a correctional officer, Tony has served in nearly every capacity within the Department. 
     Tony is a genuine man who truly loves his community.  He is more than willing at any time, to sit down and listen to concerns of others and do what it takes to help solve the issue at hand.  He is compassionate in his line of work, both inside and outside of the office.  Tony serves on multiple local boards and can be found out in the community at any time volunteering and helping others.
    The 27 years of leadership coupled with over 110 years of law enforcement backing, are just a few of the reasons Tony ‘Chubby’ Brown is the man for the job.  I will be checking Chubby on March 20th, and I hope you join me in doing so.
Jaime West
Macon County

Above Letters Posted 3/14/18

Support Dan Caulkins For State Representative

Dear Editor,
    I’m writing today in support of Dan Caulkins for the Illinois House in the 101st district. I’ve known Dan for twenty years. He was a supporter of our office when I served as Superintendent of the Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education. Dan has been a champion of education and is committed to properly funding our schools. No one has a greater interest in or concern for providing excellence in education than Dan. He has always been willing to listen and learn about issues and then work to solve problems.
    Dan’s motivation for wanting to become our next representative is the opportunity to serve! He has stated that when elected he will not accept a salary nor a pension. This ensures that service to the district and state is the main goal of his campaign. This desire to serve coupled with his experience in governance as an Eastern Illinois University Trustee and a Councilman on the Decatur City Council make Dan the best candidate.
    Dan is a leader and will work for the common good of the 101st district and Illinois. I encourage you to join me in voting for Dan Caulkins to be our next State Representative.

Charles Shonkwiler

Jeanne Ives for Governor

Dear Editor:
    Please support Jeanne Ives for Governor of the state of Illinois. Representative Ives graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and went on to serve in the US Army. Jeanne is in her third term as a state representative. Rep Ives debated Gov Rauner and totally destroyed him in front of the Chicago Tribune editorial board; afterwards Trib reporter John Kass wrote; Ives Crushes Rauner in Debate. Cowardly Governor Rauner refuses to debate her again, he obviously fears the best choice for Governor. 
    Filthy rich Rauner is using his mega wealth to send out truth-less flyers in the mail and placing those fake news TV ads you see during the dinner hour; not a grain of truth in any of it.  Greg Hinz, Political Columnist for Crain’s Chicago Business, took Rauner to task for it when he penned a column stating in part “The governor is in full Pinocchio mode…”.  
    Even republican state legislators called on republican Gov. Rauner to end his “shameful distortions and fabrications of republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives’ record.”          

    Governor Rauner is scared of Jeanne Ives and for good reason, she is far more skilled and prepared to be Governor of Illinois.  
    I encourage everyone to vote for Jeannne Ives on March 20th for GOP candidate for governor. Let’s make her the first woman governor of the state of Illinois! 
    The men in the Governor’s office sure haven't shown me much, it’s time we have a can do woman governor in Springfield.

Roger German

Randy Keith Has Qualities Of Leadership That Are Needed By State Representative

Dear Editor:
    I am writing to voice my support of Randy Keith, Republican candidate for the office of 101st State Representative.  
    Randy has served on the Piatt County Board for the last 8 years, and I have had the privilege of working with him for the last 3 years. 
    During that time Randy has held the position of Chairman of the Piatt County Board. I have been most impressed by Randy’s integrity and commitment.  When faced with problems large and small, I cannot count the times I have heard him weigh what is “best for the folks”, and remind those in attendance of that test.             Randy’s real-world experiences as a factory worker, business owner, parent, grandparent, veteran and public servant give him the ability to look at multiple sides of an issue, empathize with those involved, and come to a fair, balanced conclusion.  
    I have watched Randy handle difficult, contentious situations with kindness and aplomb on numerous occasions. Randy possesses an uncanny ability to bring people of different groups, opinions and goals together to accomplish a task. 
    We need selfless leadership with integrity in Springfield if our state is to weather these difficult times. Randy Keith embodies the qualities of the leadership we need. His character and integrity will not fail the people of the 101st. 
    Please join me in supporting Randy Keith for the 101st in the March 20 primary. 

Keri Nusbaum 
Farmer City

Bob Daiber Is A Candidate For Governor

Who Is For All Of Illinois

Dear Editor:
    A candidate for all of Illinois.
    The time is now to get behind a candidate for governor who truly is for all Illinois. Voters continually complain that it is politics as usual, the politicians are corrupt, that Chicago runs the state, that the state is in a mess, and the list goes on. For the first time in 20 years, the voters in Illinois can nominate someone who is not from Chicago and who will be a voice for all of Illinois. Voters can nominate an individual who is well-respected, hard-working, honest, and fair-minded — someone who epitomizes the middle class, is civic-minded, does not participate in pay-to-play politics, and a person you can trust.
    That individual is Bob Daiber.
    I have known Bob for many years. Bob has always been a true friend to educators, farmers, and union workers. Now is the time to elect someone we can trust to right the wrongs of this state. He is a man of integrity and uses common sense solutions to solve complex problems. While you may not totally agree with him, be assured that he will work diligently to restore financial stability to this state. Bob is talking about putting the state back on solid financial footing while his opponent are promising free health care, free education, etc. I ask you who is going to pay for all these grandiose programs?
    To learn more about Bob, I urge you to visit the website - - - - or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
    Let’s nominate Bob Daiber on March 20, or in November our only choice will be — a candidate from Chicago or a candidate from Chicago.

Jennifer Hobbs-Zahn
Marine, IL

Dan Caulkins Is A Caring Man With Integrity

Dear Editor:
    We are writing in support of Dan Caulkins for State Representative. We have known Dan for over 15 years. He is a smart, caring man with integrity. Always willing to lend a helping hand. We need our politicians to be people we can trust and we trust Dan Caulkins. 
    Please vote for Dan Caulkins on March 20th!

Dr. and Mrs. John and Cerella Di Mondo

Candidates For Governor Should

Back Up Words With Action

Dear Editor:
    For almost 11 months, the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) has been with without a contract, having been locked in frustrating negotiations with the university administration, which has refused to compromise on essential aspects of the union’s contract, such as compensation, healthcare, and--most importantly--tuition waivers. 
    This past Monday, February 26, the GEO went on strike. 
    In short, the university administration’s intentions to decrease protections for graduate employees is an attack on not only education but also labor in Illinois. 
    Rescinding protections of the aforementioned stipulations will make graduate school unaffordable for the majority of current and future graduate students, many of whom are already struggling with large sums of debt from their undergraduate education. Failing to protect the accessibility of higher education will yield detrimental results in our state’s educational reputation and ability to prevent ambitious young people from studying--and ultimately living--in other states.
    Furthermore, as the foremost state institution in Illinois, the way the UIUC administration treats its workforce sets a precedent for employers throughout the state. By ruling that the GEO cannot strike over tuition waivers, the Illinois Labor Relations Board has reflected the anti-union philosophy of the Rauner administration in its efforts to weaken the position of labor in its right to collectively bargain. 
    In this primary season, the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates have unceasingly argued that they are each unwavering proponents of organized labor. Pritzker has aired several commercials highlighting his union endorsements and ability to walk around a factory in a hardhat. JB himself has said, “The fact is, the labor movement is key to restoring the middle class in Illinois, and I’m committed to working together to protect our families.” 
    Biss has publicly come out in support of the unionization of graduate students throughout several universities in Illinois, wore a GEO pin on his most recent visit to the UIUC campus, and did recently endorse the GEO over Twitter.
    Kennedy claims to have a history of preferring to hire the labor of unionized businesses, and has expressed desires to make the Illinois Governor’s office more friendly to organized labor and appropriately funded pensions. Having been the Chairman for the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees, Kennedy should be intimately knowledgeable of the inner workings of the university. 
    Regardless of each candidate’s history and stance on unionism, the fact is that so far few have used their unique positions of power, influence, and media attention to pressure the university administration to bargain with the GEO in good faith. 
    Each claim to be vanguards of unionism and protectors of the middle class, but at the present moment most have failed to act on an opportunity to stand up for organized labor in a case that has the potential of exemplarily resisting the encroaching right-to-work ideology. 
    As potential governors it is essential that they put they turn their words into action in order to win the sincere trust of Illinoisans. 
    That is why we call on each Democratic gubernatorial candidate who claims to support labor to endorse the GEO in their fight to win a #FairContractNow, and to demonstrate their wholehearted support by speaking at a GEO rally. 

Juliana Reschke
U of I Student

Above letters posted 3/6/18

Samantha Murray Is Clear Choice For County Clerk

Dear Editor:
    In this year’s election for Macon County Clerk, there is only one clear choice. Samantha Murray is the most qualified candidate and the only candidate proposing to bring real change and innovation to the role of County Clerk. She understands the important role of this office and will work hard for the people of Macon County.
    I know Samantha has the necessary experience to lead the County Clerk’s office. As someone who has worked at every level of government, she knows how important it is for government to be efficient. She also gained invaluable insight into the daily operations of local government during her time working under the Champaign County Clerk. She has a diligent work ethic that I’m confident she will bring to the job.
    I have no doubt that she will follow through with her goal to lead the office into the twenty-first century. Through increased early voting, expansion of online services, and options for the online purchasing of vital records, Samantha is determined to make government work for families here in Macon County.
    For all these reasons I am proud to support Samantha Murray for Macon County Clerk. 

Helen Albert
Blue Mound

Dan Caulkins Is The 
Right Choice For State Representative

Dear Editor,
    I have recently read comments written by supporters of Dan Caulkins. I thought my experiences with Dan Caulkins were unique; but I have come to the realization that they are not.  Dan has impacted many lives in our community.  Dan and I live in the same neighborhood.  
    When my wife and son moved to Decatur from Aurora, IL, three years ago, Dan welcomed them with love.  As an act of kindness that year, Dan and his wife Jo hosted a final four event and made sure my son was in attendance due to his love for basketball.  This is one of many genuine displays of neighborly love they have shown to us.  
    I have had many conversations with Dan over the years and I know his heart.  He is a good man with authentic conservative principles, who wants to see our district and state move forward.  He is the kind of leader we need representing us in Springfield.  Dan has already agreed to term limit himself to six years, not receive a paycheck, pension or healthcare.  
    If the constituents of the 101st district want our voices heard in Springfield; then we have no choice but to vote for Dan Caulkins!

Travis Jones

Randy Keith Cares Deeply About

People In The 101st District

Dear Editor:
    Being the former County Clerk of Piatt County, I worked very closely with the County Board Chairman Randy Keith.    Randy is a problem solver which is desperately needed in Springfield. He is also a money watch dog, keeping track of any monies spent at the County level and making sure monies are being spent wisely. I am confident that if Randy is elected, he will continue this practice in Springfield.
    Randy was a factory worker, as well as a business owner, which gives him a different perspective to bring to Springfield, more of the common sense rather than career politician.    
    Last and probably most important, he has always been accessible to his constituents. He cares deeply about the counties in the 101st District and the State of Illinois and will do an excellent job.
    Please join me in voting for Randy Keith for Representative in the 101st District on March 20, 2018.

Colleen Kidd

Dan Caulkins Will Live 
Up To His Bold Promises

Dear Editor:
    I am writing in support of Dan Caulkins for Representative for the House 101st District.  If you are fed up with "'politics" as usual I hope you will support and vote for Dan as well.  He says he will limit himself to 6 years of service, and will not take a paycheck, pension, or healthcare.  
    These are bold promises and I believe Dan will live up to them.  I know Dan and I know he has the tenacity and an intense desire to see that downstate Illinois receives the best possible representation.  
    I am tired of seeing people pack up and move from our area and out of our State.  We are fortunate to have someone like Dan Caulkins willing to go to Springfield and give us the voice we so desperately need.  
    Please take the time to vote in the Primary on March 20th.

Carla Brinkoetter

Caulkins Will Turn 
Illinois Around

Dear Voters,
    I am writing this letter today with the hope that the voters will support Dan Caulkins in his quest to turn Illinois around and give us all a chance at a better life. A man who is not your typical politician looking for a career, power, or money but a very dedicated and patriotic individual that loves his people and land. 
    I have known he and his wife Jo Clark Caulkins for the better part of almost 30 years, and his honesty is only surpassed by his empathy and desire to help us all as a whole.
    As the time to exercise our rights to vote nears, I urge you all to please place your trust in the man who can get the job done! With our support and his knowledge and experience, Dan will be the WORKHORSE  we need to succeed in making the changes that for so long have been put on the back burner. 
    Thank you!

Jane Dobrinsky

​Editor’s Column Against Heavily-Tinted

Windows Is Borderline Racial Profiling

Dear Mr. Osborne,
    I am writing in response to the City Beat column you wrote in the Wednesday, February 14, 2018 Decatur Tribune addition. You indicated that you have been harping for years regarding the dangers to law enforcement officers who approach such vehicles and do not have the ability to see through heavily tinted windows. You indicated that the driver of the vehicle could have a gun pointed at the head of the officer and the officer would not even know it. You referenced that you conclude that only reason a non-medical need for tinted windows, that person with tinted windows must have something going on in the vehicle that they don’t want the public to see.
    I am a subscriber to your paper and also am a retired person of 32 years having worked in the Criminal Justice Field including law enforcement. I generally respect your paper and your views, however, I was extremely disappointed in your position regarding tinted windows. It has come across as very subjective and borderline racial profiling. 
    Just because a law abiding citizen has tinted windows does not mean they must be trying to hide anything. I have never committed any type of crime other than traffic violations and I have tinted windows in line with the current laws on window tints. I tint my windows because it makes the vehicle look nicer and it cuts down on the sunlight and heat in summer months when sun is shining. 
    I’m aware that police are not in any more danger of approaching a vehicle with tinted windows then they are of non-tinted windows if that driver or passenger is intending to do harm of that officer. I haven’t seen any statistics that show a higher percentage of assault on officers of the law by those with non-tinted windows as opposed to those with tinted windows. I would even say that there is higher number of citizens who have no criminal cases that have vehicles with tinted windows than those who have criminal records with tinted windows who have posed a threat to law enforcement. With the right to carry, a person with non-tinted windows could be just a threat to shoot a officer just the same as a person with tinted windows with a gun or weapon in their lap. I would say that the majority of people with tinted windows are not trying to hide anything.
    I thank you for taking time to read my letter and hope the opposing view be considered to be printed for those of us citizens who have tinted windows and respect the law.

Dennis R. Cooper

Thanks For Publishing ‘Constitutional Rights’

Article By Dr. Pease

To the Editor;
    I salute you, Paul, and the Decatur Tribune for publishing the article headlined “Do Premature Citizens Have Constitutional Rights?” by Dr. Harold Pease in the Feb. 7 issued.
    As he so cogently observes: “When we finally get justices who use the Constitution as framed, it will protect even the babies. Then the darkness of killing those not fully born will be exposed and removed and Planned Parenthood will not be secretly selling body parts.” Amen.

Mary Olson

Ads Against Jeanne Ives 
Are Nasty, Downright Lies

Dear Editor:
    The Republican Primary race for governor is certainly getting hot in Illinois.  Despicable campaign ads created by Bruce Rauner against Jeanne Ives are not just nasty, but outright lies. 
    Republican voters are deeply troubled to learn that Rauner supports tax-funded abortions, sanctuary state legislation, transgender birth certificates, a pension bailout for Chicago Public Schools, and even banned speech for professional therapists. Rauner signed these tyrannical bills into law.
    This is all part of the public record. 
    The campaign lies filling mailboxes show the depths he is willing to go to defeat Jeanne Ives, a West Point graduate, Army veteran, mother of five and an amazing woman of integrity who has been endorsed by all the pro-family, pro-life groups and Taxpayers United of America.
    It is easy to see how Rauner earned the dubious distinction of “Worst Republican Governor” from National Review a few months ago.

Kathy Valente
Tinley Park, IL

Vote For Dan Caulkins

Dear Editor
    Dan Caulkins has been a friend for decades. He is a strong personality who works hard to help others, a good listener and very honest. Jo Caulkins has worked with us on many community projects throughout the years. They are a great team. 
    We also know that Dan will listen to the issues and needs of Lyme patients, an important issue in our lives. For fiscal responsibility and honest representation, consider Dan Caulkins for Illinois State Represen-tative.

Linda and Mike Kehart

​Impressed With Randy Keith’s Leadership Ability

To the Editor:
    I am pleased to write in support of Randy Keith's candidacy for State Representative in the 101st District. I have observed Mr. Keith in his role as chairman while serving with him on the Piatt County Board. 
    I am most impressed by his leadership ability. Mr. Keith has a talent for assessing a situation and moving forward decisively with what is best for the people we are elected to serve. Tough decisions must be made, and a good leader focuses on what needs to be accomplished while making sure those with differing points of view are included and given a voice. 
    He is a Republican with conservative core values. Mr. Keith is extremely attentive to others' opinions, yet decisive when embarking on a course of action. He is never vindictive toward those opposed to his ideas and is always looking ahead. This skill set will serve him well in Springfield where he will reach across the aisle to achieve consensus on issues that currently divide the legislature. 
    As an individual who genuinely likes people, Mr. Keith will serve all residents. During this campaign, he has tirelessly worked to meet as many voters as he can. If elected, he will continue to interact with individuals and small groups of constituents to make sure their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed. 
    Piatt County's loss of a valued county board chairman will be the 101st District's gain. It is refreshing that Randy has pledged to serve just two terms and then return home. During those four years, he will make a difference in changing "business as usual" in Springfield. 
    I hope voters in the 101st District will join me in voting for Randy Keith on Tuesday, March 20.

Ray C. Spencer
White Heath, IL

Samantha Murray Is Choice For County Clerk

Dear Editor,
    I choose Samantha Murray as a candidate for the office of County Clerk. Samantha acquired a great deal of experience dealing with local, county, and state legislation when she served in Champaign County Clerk’s office and as an intricate member of state government. In these positions, Mrs. Murray gained respect from the public as well as the lawmakers and government officials.
    Mrs. Murray, a long-time Macon County resident, graduated from Cerro Gordo High School and attended the University of Illinois. She and her husband live in the Village of Harristown. Both are well liked and respected in their community, where they are members of American Legion Post 72. 
    I most admire Samantha Murray for her selfless service and work ethic. I acquired respect and admiration for her generosity, intelligence, and dedication in serving her community. She put many hours into going above and beyond in assisting her fellow citizens in need. Samantha is optimistic about our future because she encourages selfless service in our community.
    With proud enthusiasm, I support Samantha Murray as our party's candidate for Macon County Clerk.

Patricia Fryman

Cast Of ‘For The Love Of It’ Cabaret Thanks Community For Support

Dear Editor:
    The cast of the “For the Love of It” Cabaret would like to thank the Decatur community for its support.  Over 300 people attended performances at the Decatur Club in early February.  
    Proceeds from ticket sales and donations resulted in over $6,800 being raised for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  
    Once again, the audience had an overwhelmingly positive response to the innovative format, awesome entertainment and delicious food offered at the performances.  
    Most importantly, the people of Decatur should be acknowledged for their willingness to support important causes, even through something as simple as purchasing a ticket to a show!  
    We hope people will plan to join us next year on Friday, February 8, 2019 or Saturday, February 9, 2019 as we present the ninth annual “For the Love of It” Cabaret Dinner Theater and continue to raise money in order to support the advancement and progress being made in cancer research.  To date, the FTLOI family has raised over $46,000 and we look forward to watching that number grow in 2019. 
Beth Creighton, Aaron Largent, 
Keith Creighton, Tim Gorski, 
Cayla Hittmeier, Ted Hesse, 
Michael Holder, Amy Jedlicka, 
Leslie Lewis, John Musick, 
Shelley Tulo, Chelsea Waller

Jon Butts Is Most Qualified Candidate For Sheriff

Dear Editor:
    I have attended several different events involving the three candidates for Macon County Sheriff, Jon Butts, Tony Brown and Jim Root. All of the candidates have been employed by the Sheriff’s Department for over 20 years and have many of the qualifications needed to be elected Sheriff.
    When examining the resumes of the candidates I discovered that Jon Butts’ education is far above the other two candidates. Jon is a college graduate, also graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2014, and has a B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University. Jon also will receive his M.A. in Organizational Leadership this spring from Lincoln Christian University.
    Jon has 28 years of service in the Macon County Sheriff’s office, working in every department and is currently serving Sheriff Buffett as the Administrative Lieutenant and Chief of Investigations.
    The main difference in the candidates for Sheriff is Jon Butts’ “Superior Education”. I have already voted for “Butts for Sheriff”.

Jim Peck, Sr.

Above Letters Posted 2/21/18

* * * *

Is Candidate Who Raises Most Money The Best One?

Dear Editor:
    Paul Osborne’s article regarding Dan Caulkins campaign spending in the 101st district begs the question. Is a candidate who raises the most money, with a big portion being donated from an ally out of Chicago, the best candidate for my district? 
    The answer? NO. 
    In fact, when Dan Caulkins stated, “I’ve organized and run my campaign with one goal in mind – winning the primary on March 20th and the general election in November. The 101st district cover all or parts of 5 counties and stretches from Decatur to Arrowsmith. The voters in our district deserve to know who they are voting for and why one candidate better represents their views. That’s why I’m out in the district every day of the week meeting voters who are concerned about the problems we are facing.”  
    This tells me his one goal is to win.
    My opinion, briefly:
    I am going to support a candidate who runs his/her campaign with one goal in mind – representing the people of the 101st district. Yes, we deserve to know who we are voting for – and a candidate who is primarily funded by Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles Political Action Committee does not better represent the views of this district’s constituency. It is not about simply winning. It is about representing and advocating change on behalf of the people – not a Chicago PAC. 

Connie Walsh
Registered voter 
of the 101st district

Jon Butts Is The Model For Law Enforcement Officer

To the Editor:
    I have been asked, “Why are you supporting Jon Butts for Macon County Sheriff?”
    My answer to that is because I feel Jon Butts is the model for a law enforcement officer by showing integrity, accountability and compassion. He also support the “3 F’s” of life - Faith, Family and Friends!
    I am proud to call him a friend!

David D. Wilhour

The Salvation Army Meets 2017 Christmas Goal

Dear Editor:
    With the help and support of the Decatur Community, we are so proud to announce that The Salvation Army in Decatur met its overall Christmas Campaign Fundraising Goal of $470,000 raising a total of $482,060 through giving to the Red Kettles, mail appeals, and events.  
    “We thought that the national hurricanes during 2017 and the generous response of the Macon County community to them might have been something that would affect us during our Christmas months raising money for local support of year round programming,” said Major Wes Dalberg, Executive Director of The Salvation Army in Decatur, “but the Decatur community and its support helped us meet this year’s goal.”  
    The Salvation Army extends a heart of gratitude to the community members who gave of their time and dollars this past Christmas.
    The generosity of the Decatur Community helps many Macon County residents that are in need of food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs. Donations to this annual drive each Christmas (along with other donations during the year) helps The Salvation Army provide these and other vital services and programs in our community during Christmas and all year long.  
    We are so thankful that we had so many groups, individuals, businesses, schools, churches, and other organizations help in a variety of ways to help make our goal.  

Kyle Karsten 
Salvation Army 
Director of Development & Community Relations 

Above letters posted 2/14/18

​* * * *

Illinois Lawmakers Are Ready To Legalize 
And Tax Marijuana

Deat Editor:
    With absolutely no regard for solid facts or evidence from other states, lawmakers are set to legalize and tax marijuana. They are actually willing to put our children’s future at great risk for an insignificant amount of revenue. In Colorado, pot brings in 0.08% of their annual budget. Have we really sunk this low?
     Recreational marijuana has affected every part of society in states that have legalized it.
     The increase in adolescent and teen use is staggering. In Colorado, it’s the #1 problem in schools. Medical research has found that youth who use regularly risk losing 8 IQ points or more.
     In states with recreational marijuana, employers are having difficulty finding employees who aren’t high. Traffic fatalities have doubled. Homeless populations have skyrocketed. Marijuana-related hospitalizations and calls to poison control centers have escalated through the roof.
     Will this be Illinois’ future?
     On the March 20th primary ballot in Cook County and most likely for the entire state in November, voters will be asked whether marijuana should be legal. If these referendums pass, lawmakers will be emboldened and Illinois’ future and the future of our children will go up in smoke.
Kathy Valente
Tinley Park, IL

An Open Letter To The Cleveland Indians

    I would like to personally commend and thank The Cleveland Indians for your courageous decision to remove "Chief Wahoo," the bright red caricature of a Native American the team uses as a logo, from players’ caps and uniforms starting in 2019. The Cleveland baseball team has rightly recognized that Native Americans do not deserve to be denigrated as cartoon mascots.
    The team has chosen DIGNITY over DEGRADATION.
    I also applaud the commitment of Major League Baseball Commission-er, Mr. Rob Manfred, who has shared with me a genuine desire to accomplish the goal of diversity and inclusion within his sport. Commissioner Manfred’s great sense of integrity and leadership has influenced the Cleveland ballclub to embrace the reality that its logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball.
    This image and other divisive sports symbols have been publicly protested as being outdated, offensive and racist. Several college teams have adjusted their logos and nicknames in order to remove the stigma of ignorance and disrespect. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and I would hope and encourage the Washington NFL team would soon follow in similar fashion and revamp its name and logo to present an appropriate image of honor and respect for Native people.
    It is our sincere desire – and mission – that our entire nation will take these cues from the sports world and move forward with a greater sense of unity, humility and kindness toward our fellow humans of all races, creeds, backgrounds and ethnicities. Our country is always at its best when we survive together and not struggle apart, working, serving and living harmoniously as One Nation under God.
    Again, we extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball for this powerful statement of progress and humanity. 
    Together, we will continue to Keep Hope Alive.

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Founder and President
Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Most Fines Are Legal Theft And

Don’t Serve To Correct Behavior

Dear Editor:
    Reference to The Decatur Tribune documents the many dozens of people circulating in and out of our criminal law system, often as repeat offenders - from traffic to misdemeanor to felony columns. These are in many cases the poor people among us. 
    Not all money-related crimes are theft. Lots of them are identified as lost licenses by people who, of necessity, drive anyway. No insurance? No current tags? Unpaid parking or traffic citations? 
    Result - a need to post bail - if they can when in truth a notice to appear is all which is necessary. The rest represents the authorities levying taxes to support their payrolls. How different this is from old style debtors prison? I say hardly any difference.    
    Our society creates a world where money is essential for a passable life and punishes those who can’t get at least the bare amount needed to live that life.
    Most fines are legal theft. They don’t serve to correct behavior. They serve to corrupt those who levy them. A start to reform abuses is to allow notices to appear to be issued to all who are in custody for all non-violent offenses and who have central Illinois home addresses.    
    Now what? Dear Christian or other religious organizations I suggest, gratuitously, find one lawyer per congregation who will give you a cut rate. Have he or she take one defendant off the hands of the legal aid office and handle his or her case to conclusion - then take on another case until your spirit of charity is exhausted - and hope others take up the challenge.         Would this amount to the practice of a good religious life?
    Dear editor, what do you think?

John E. Fick

Letters Above Posted 2/6/18

* * * *  

So Much For The ‘High Traffic Volume’ Theory

Dear Editor:
    Last Friday evening I was eating dinner at the Cracker Barrel restaurant. I was in the middle dining room and noticed as far as I could see there wasn’t an empty table in the place. 
    When I left to pay the bill, people were waiting for tables to open up. As I went to the full parking lot, I thought, this restaurant is nearly at the end of a two lane dead end street, approximately one-half mile from a busy highway. It is also not convenient to any part of the City of Decatur, nor is there any “Big Box Store” to provide overflow traffic.
    I also thought about Bennegins and Ruby Tuesday, both now closed, that were located on four lane busy highways near a “Big Box Store”. So much for the “High Traffic Volume” theory. 
    Oh, and by the way, the temperature Friday at the time was 4 degrees above zero.

Fred LaBree

Collaboration Shows Commitment To

Serve Youth Of Our Community

Dear Editor:
    The primary mission of service organizations in Decatur is to serve the youth of our community.
    Nowhere is that more evident than in a collaboration between the Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club and the Millikin University School of Theater and Dance.  
    Five years ago, the Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club took responsibility for the project after the Breakfast Optimist Club had done so for the past twenty years.
    The project is to produce and present a play, written, directed, and performed specifically for the youth of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois.  This play offers kids an opportunity to see a stage performance, by students from Millikin University’s School of Theater and Dance, written just for them. Some of the plays have been written by faculty and students at Millikin.  The plays are not only entertaining but also have a message appropriate for youth.
    Millikin students and faculty have an opportunity to direct, perform, and provide all technical requirements for a very different type audience.  Technical support includes set design, props, lighting, and costumes, among others.  The play is typically presented on a Saturday and Sunday in October or November.  Special performances have also been offered for autistic children and for a specific elementary class.
    The plays are normally performed on the Millikin University campus but have been taken to local secondary schools.  Attendance at each performance ranges from 120 to 200.  The Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club sells tickets for each performance.  Tickets are also given to kids who might not otherwise be able to attend.  Those tickets are distributed to organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Good Samaritan Inn, etc. No child is turned away for inability to pay.
    So, when was the last time you took your child or grandchild to a live play written and produced just for them?  A play that was both entertaining and one with a message, such as self-esteem or tolerance?  A play attended by others their age, accompanied by their parents or grandparents?  The play for this coming fall is in the planning stages as we speak.  Make your plans now to provide your child or grandchild an experience they will not soon forget.

Charles Smith
Decatur Golden K 
Kiwanis Club

Turn To God For Repentance, Forgiveness And Help

Dear Editor,
    The world, including our own country, has relinquished its Godly heritage and is now marching to the unrelenting beat of the satanic fifes and drums leading billions of people to an eternity of unspeakable torture and total separation from God.  
    It seems the divine nature and spark that was created in all of us has been incessantly damaged over the years, setting our feet upon a path of certain destruction.  
    Our divine essence is fading away, becoming diluted with too much of our worldly, sinful nature.  Our malignant humanness has gotten the upper hand and is now totally unsuitable to a civilized people, and in many cases, we have become vicious, brutal and evil.      Those who have an “eye to see” know we are losing our civil and moral standards and we’ve lost the greatest and most precious gifts bestowed on any person or country.  But, to those who have no eye to see the truth, all still appears to be glorious and blessed to them, even at this very time when our cities and government are filled with unrighteous avarice, power, greed and arrogance.  
    God may be giving us this one last chance to turn ourselves around and become the people He has intended us to be.  Do not be mistaken and misled by the untruths coming from the media. If we do not return to God, be prepared for warfare in the world and on our city streets as we slip more and more into anarchy. 
    We either turn back to God and the Bible or we will be in massive trouble when the God of the universe takes corrective action against us.  Woe to those who will feel the wrath of God!      There are only two options open to us now:  One, keep on going as we are, digging the pit of despair and death deeper and deeper, or two, turn to God for repentance, forgiveness and help.

Steve McGuire 

Lt. Tony Brown Would 
Be Outstanding Sheriff

Dear Editor,
    I have had the pleasure of working with Lt. Tony Brown on a number of projects and consistently found him to be a man of character who is deeply committed to our community. It takes everyone working together to build the kind of community people will want to live and raise their children in. It takes energy, effort, and action, not just words. 
    Lt. Brown has worked tirelessly for all of us for his entire career, living his commitment to Macon County every day. He sees projects through to the end. And when he says he will be there for you, you can count on it. 
    Lt. Tony Brown is a superb human being and would be an outstanding Sheriff for Macon County.

Francie Johnson

Above Letters Posted 1/31/18

* * * *

Appalled By Lack Of Respect For Funeral Processions

Dear Editor:
    There used to be a time when people would have respect for a funeral procession. But recently, that has gone out the window.  I am appalled by how terrible this city has gotten about the funeral processions. Especially recently when the weather and roads have not been that favorable. Allow me to explain.
    I am a roadside tech for the Macon county area. I also come from a long line of family members in every branch of the military and public service, and understand the sacrifices and hurt involved.  So my habit is to respect the funeral procession and pull over with flashers and my safety lights on, until the last car of a funeral procession passes my position, and I don't pass the procession going the same direction, on the right hand side of a four lane road. 
    Recently i was stopped on the side of Route 36, watching a procession going the other way when I saw the most disrespectful actions I have seen in a long time. Three different vehicles, one which is supposed to know the laws and rules concerning everything department of transportation related, violated these rules in such a manor that they almost caused a crash. 
    A procession had come off of 22nd street south bound and turned onto Route 36 east bound. The lead car and hearse had time to go through the light at the 23rd street intersection. I was pulled to the shoulder of Route 36 near between 23rd and 24th streets, and watched the whole thing unfold. 
    After several cars had cleared the intersection, the light changed. The procession cars kept going, like they are suppose to do, with flashers and headlights on, and a magnet on the car, so I knew they were still cars left in the procession.         Suddenly a Dodge ram came south on 23rd, and forced its way through the procession. It almost hit a couple of cars in the process. Immediately following the truck was a Nissan, that almost hit a 2nd car in the procession. 
    NOW comes the kicker. The last three cars had just cleared 22nd street and were headed to 23rd when a City Bus proceeded into the intersection, laying on its horn, and pushed its way through the middle of the procession. Now I know there are a lot of young, unknowing drivers out there now a days, with the kids of the 2000 generation that have very little clue as to what to do during a procession. 
    So I found an article to help, in Springfield's State Journal Register from July 2009. It states: 
    " Here’s what you can and cannot do when dealing with funeral processions.In Springfield, funeral processions have the right-of-way at intersections (except, for example, an ambulance on the way to an emergency).
    Vehicles in the procession must have their headlights on. A bill has been introduced into the Illinois General Assembly that also would require procession drivers to turn on their hazard lights because many newer cars have headlights that automatically light up. 
    The lead car in the procession must obey stop signs and stoplights. But once the lead vehicle goes through the intersection with a green light, the rest of the cars in the procession can go through even if the light turns red.
    Unless a police officer directs you to join or cut through the funeral procession, you can’t drive in it or through it. And you can’t join it once it’s started just so you can cut through red lights. You will face a fine of between $25 and $500 if you violate funeral procession ordinances.
    If you won’t create a safety hazard, break any laws or get in the procession’s way, Springfield ordinances and Illinois statutes allow you to pass a funeral procession going the same direction as you — if there is a passing lane (you might not have enough room to pass an entire procession on a two-lane highway, however).
— Sources: “Illinois Rules of the Road,” Springfield Municipal Code, Illinois state statutes"
    So with that said, I must say that it’s a disappointment that people have so much disrespect for the law and the procession and the mourners in the procession. You never know if the family that you are now disrespecting is mourning the lost loved one who was part of our military. The military processions may not have the escorts that fire and police do, so their procession may look just like your parents or grandparents procession. Keep that in mind next time you see a procession headed your way. It takes about 30-45 seconds out of your day to show a little respect for the lost loved one. And you never know, it may be a family member of someone that you deal with on a regular basses. 

Jonathon Tish
Reliable Roadside

Perfect Example Of D.C. Swamp Dwellers

That Need To Be Drained 

Dear Editor:
     I just watched the new director of the Department of Homeland Security Lady, Ms. Nielsen, in a hearing where Illinois senator Dick Durbin and Vermont senator Patrick Leahy try to bully Ms. Nielsen. It was almost comical the way she handled these two liberal geniuses. These two guys are a perfect example of the swamp dwellers that need to be drained out of D. C.
     For years now my opinion of Durbin has been lower than a snake’s belly, due to the way he and Leahy turned a blind eye to the way our veterans have died due to corruption and incompetence in our veterans hospitals. 
    I didn't think it possible for my opinion of Durbin to sink even lower, but it has, as it becomes more obvious that he, along with Nancy Pelosi and Chucky Shumer, along with at least 90% of the Democrats in Congress, and R I N O's like Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake and John McCain, would let this country fail rather than see our president succeed. 
    Every one of these despicable people, which I consider traitors to our country, stood idly by for eight years while Obama did what he could to weaken our military by underfunding, incited race riots like Ferguson, Mo. and others, did little to stop ISIS, sold us out to Iran, ignored what North Korea was doing, or, oh wait, maybe Obama had his own personal reasons for doing these things. 
    None of which bode well for the United States.
     Trump might be rude and crude at times, but he is darn sure causing Durbin and his ilk  to show their true colors and just how bad they hate this country, and how truly incompetent they are.
      Their latest lies are about, what Trump may or may not have said about certain third world countries. 
    Durbin and most of the other lying kings, are trying to turn it into a racist remark. This is being blown completely out of proportion. 
    Yes the swamp truly needs drained!
 Robert Jenkins

Above letters posted 1/23/18

* * * *

Remembers Ice Storm 
Of 1978 In Area

Dear Editor:
    I remember the ice storm of 1978.  It started on March 24th, which is my birthday. 
    Mark Heinkel and I, along with a buyer from Cambell's GMC, were on our way back from Chicago bobtailing a couple of semi trucks.  We made it as far as Kankakee and could no longer keep the trucks on the road.  We had to pull over and park the trucks at a truck stop.  
    The buyer let us ride back to Decatur in his truck.  It took 8 hours to get home from Kankakee.  The worst part was the road from Bloomington, it was the old two lane Route 51, which was full of hills and curves.  Somehow we made it home.  Just so happened my friends back home were throwing a birthday party for me.  Guess who wasn't there?  Me!
    As a retired truck driver, the big difference between the 1978 and 2006 ice storm is there were no cell phones back then and no way to communicate a huge storm.  This would drive people crazy now days --  no texting, batteries dying on their phones, and no Facebook.  OMG!

Steve Brazle

Family Members Suffered Through

The Winter Of The Deep Snow

Dear Mr. Osborne: 
    I certainly enjoyed the article concerning the winter of 1830 -1831, remembered as the winter of the deep snow. This subject is near and dear to me as my family members of the Hanks family suffered through this terrible ordeal along with their blood relatives of the Lincoln family. 
    As I have explained to you previously the Hanks family came to this area during the 1820s and were instrumental in convincing the Lincoln family to come this area. When the Lincoln family arrived here in 1830 my gggg uncle John Hanks allowed them to settle on land that he had previously homesteaded, now known as The Lincoln Trail Homestead  State Park. 
    I belong To The Friends Of The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park Association and hope the ongoing effort to attain national status for the park eventually meets with success. This area is very important in the history of Abraham Lincoln and deserves national recognition, as this was the first home in Illinois for our 16th president. This was the beginning, the spark on the prairie if you will that would fan the flame of Abraham Lincoln's history into the blazing state and national stories that we know today. 
    Without the spark you cannot have the flame and the trials and tribulations that Abraham experienced in his short time here I'm  sure were a major impetus in his burning ambition to achieve that which he did in his lifetime. There has been talk of rebuilding the cabin and surrounding it with a tourist center for protection. One can only hope that if a national position of the park comes to be that this also comes into fruition.     You have often spoken of our historical jewels that we possess and how so may have slipped into oblivion.       

    How then can we allow this area, one of our greatest of historical treasures to suffer the neglect that so many before have experienced? 

Tom Hanks

Not Too Surprised By 
Vote Of City Council

Dear Editor:
    I guess I should not be too surprised that the majority of the city council was more interested in the money than they were with the citizens that they were suppose to be representing when they voted to rezone the property up on Ash Ave.

James J. Madell

Lobsters And Crabs 
Value Their Lives

Dear Editor,
     The Swiss government has banned the common practice of plunging fully conscious lobsters into pots of boiling water, ruling that the crustaceans must be stunned first.
     Last June, Italy’s highest court ruled that restaurant kitchens must not keep live lobsters on ice because it causes the animals to suffer unjustifiably.
     Lawmakers are beginning to recognize what science is showing us (and what common sense has told us all along): Lobsters and other crustaceans are not unfeeling automatons. Recent research has shown that crabs are capable of learning and remembering information, just like other animals. If left alone, lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. They use complicated signals to establish social relationships and can recognize individuals.
     From observations of shore crabs who changed their behavior to avoid electric shocks and hermit crabs who rubbed at their own injuries, science has confirmed that these animals also feel pain. In 2005, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that crustaceans are capable of experiencing pain and distress and recommended that steps be taken to lessen their suffering when possible.
     We live in a changing world, one in which animals are afforded considerations that they might have been denied in the past. Like us, lobsters and crabs value their lives and do not want to die. And the only way to make sure that we’re not contributing to their suffering is to stop eating them.
Paula Moore
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk, VA 

Above letters posted 1/16/2018

* * * *

Macon County Chapter 
Of Vietnow Has Ceased Operations

Dear Editor:
    Macon County Chapter of Vietnow regretfully announces that it has ceased operations and dissolved as of December 31, 2017. 
    It has been a tremendous 28 years aiding and assisting veterans and their families. It was all made possible by the love and acceptance of the generous people of Macon County and Central Illinois.
    Our national organization ran into legal problems because of activities of its hired telemarketer. As a result, Vietnow lost its 501c19 charity status and went into state receivership. The local chapters never were involved with the telemarketer and received no financial benefit from his services. Each chapter was independently chartered but the the receiver recommended that all chapters no longer use the name Vietnow and apply for their own 501c19 status.
    Macon County decided, because of declining membership and participation, just to cease operations and apply our efforts elsewhere.
    All our members belong to other veterans groups. We thank the publicfor their support over the years. God bless you all. God bless the USA and God bless our veterans.

Glenn Portwood
Macon County Vietnow

National High Speed 
Train Safety Measures 
Are Not In Place

To the Editor:
    Last week’s tragic news was the December 19, 2017 high speed Amtrak train derailment in Washington State which killed 3 people and seriously injured 100. Reports confirm national high speed train safety measures are not in place.
    Does it concern anyone else that IDOT is spending millions of dollars to renovate train depots for Illinois high speed train service while our crumbling highways remain unsafe? Lincoln, IL just celebrated their renovated train depot which cost $4.1 million. Funding was called “Federal High Speed Rail Initiative Grant” administered by IDOT. Depots at Dwight, Pontiac and Alton have been facelifted. The Lincoln renovation included landscaping, parking lots, sidewalks, lighting. More depot improvements are coming. How much will be spent on those train rails?
    One article quoted IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn saying “approximately 22,000 visitors per year will use the Lincoln station.” 22,000 people a year? Another article said “450,000 travel through the Lincoln area yearly.” Do they stop and use that depot?
    Where are IDOT and politician priorities? Highway U.S. 121 from exit 138 off I72 to Decatur is terrible. Potholes and crumbling shoulders on U.S. 51 North from Decatur to Clinton makes driving risky. Terrible roads and unsafe bridges are everywhere. The real danger is our highway infrastructure while politicians use our tax dollars for high speed rail depots and other projects.    Who will ride those scary high speed trains? Not me! It’s scary enough to drive on our roads and bridges. Add another reason people are moving away from Illinois.

Judy Gandy

Reader Offended By Stephenson’s

Comment ‘Women Go To Shop’ 

Dear Paul,
    I am writing to take offense to Rich Stephenson’s column. His editorial states that women go to shop. He didn’t say some women or many women. He said “women go to shop.”
    So, by his generalization, I’m lumped into the “shop" category. He should ask my husband George if this is true. I’m not a shopper per se. I’m one of those folks that I research the product both through Consumer Reports and online. I read what I can about it and then I want to go look at it before we buy it. 
    For example, I wanted a new electrical kettle last year. Consumer Reports had their report on the best for the least money. I watched the ads, checked it out, and then my husband bought the one I cut the ad out for me for Christmas. I don’t go to the mall or the department stores to look around to see what I might like. Most of the time I go to a specific store with a specific purpose in mind. And if I leave empty handed it is because I was dissatisfied with the product and/or the price or the store didn’t have the product. 
    So, Mr. Stephenson, I take exception to your column. I also wonder if you are the man who shops when going to one of those stores looking to, as you say, “checking out washers, bolts, cordless drills, etc.” Uh huh. 
    Of course, I’m sure my bleak argument is nothing compared to what he got after his wife read his editorial. Now that would make a great column! :)

Debbie Roberts

(Paul — I’m not really upset. Just thought I’d liven things up. I am not really a shopper. I do exactly what I say I do in the letter. I figure he can take a joke.)

Caution: Nasty Flu 
Season Is Here!

    The flu season hits its nasty peak between now and the end of February and this year’s strain, experts tell us, is “baaad." 
    There are warnings about the effectiveness of vaccinations to protect against influenza this year. Regardless, you should get vaccinated and here are some things you can also do as a precaution:
    • Avoid contact with someone who is sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean your hands.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    Thanks and Happy New Year from the Illinois State Medical Society.

Above Letters Posted 1/3/18

Keep Neighborhoods Safe From Developers

Dear Editor,
    It is understandable that Decatur is in need of finding new ways to bring in sales tax revenue.  We fully support and appreciate companies that utilize Decatur as a place to do business.  
    What we do not support is a proposal to rezone, demolish, and reconfigure an established neighborhood to achieve more revenue.  
    The proposal to rezone the corner of Ash Avenue and US 51 is short-sighted and short on facts.  Your readers have already been informed through letters to the editor about the inordinate amount of fast-moving traffic on that thoroughfare between Ash Avenue and MacArthur Road.  
    According to the real estate developers at a November meeting, the entrance to the new development site would be only on Ash Avenue.  Anyone who has waited at the eastbound light on Ash Avenue knows how congested that corner can be.  Imagine adding a turn lane and expecting clients of the new businesses to cross the eastbound lane and enter the parking lot.  In addition, the traffic consultant affiliated with the development group insists that Ash Avenue would not be widened to accommodate the turn lane.  That would make a current traffic headache a new traffic nightmare.
    Finding new places to develop in Decatur is respectable, and there are surely other options for developers.   To our councilpersons and to the mayor:  Please do not support this rezoning proposal.   Help these companies find other locations in our city to develop:  Locations that are already zoned for business and ones that will not result in money and clients being taken away from hard-working family businesses.          
    Let’s keep neighborhoods safe from developers who are not from or familiar with Decatur and are only looking to add to their bottom line. 

Jarred and Lori Leeper

City Taxpayers Need To Know More About Financial Projection For Ash Avenue Project

Dear Editor:
    I believe the City taxpaying public needs to know the financial projection for the project development slated for Ash Ave. What is the estimated cost for the City including any incentives and street modifications? What is the lost real estate revenue for the homes that will be removed? 
    What is the projected revenue from the proposed restaurant being built and what revenue will be lost from existing Mexican food restaurants that most likely will lose customers. I doubted that the additional restaurant in that area will attract an appreciable number first time eating out, customers. Maybe Bill Faber, City Councilman who truly represents his constituents, can bring this up at the next council meeting.

William Blazier

America Needs To 
Repent Before God

Dear Editor: 
    America needs to bow our heads in shame and repent, before God Almighty sends His wrath upon us.   
    Congress needs to recognize and invoke God’s Supreme Laws instead of passing laws which go against them.  Same goes for the Supreme Court and the President.
    The White House should not be applauding the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  Accepting the murder of 98.7% of humans aborted, as a first step, to reducing the mass murder of innocent unborn human beings, is nothing to be proud of.      
    Protecting the innocent unborn must be a 100% goal, because we must obey God.   
    According to God’s Word, we humans, are to live by every word which came out of His mouth,  including when God said, “Thou shall not kill,” and he was referring to the innocent, not the murderers.
    Those who take money to perform abortions are cursed by God (Read Deuteronomy 27:25).
    God’s Word tells us Christ will come to Jerusalem, and that his angels will put the sheep on his right, and the goats on the left.  To the sheep on the right, He will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom.” 
    To the goats on the left, Christ will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”  
    Without repentance and obedience to God, it’s the everlasting fire.      

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.  
Coalgate, OK

Veteran Expresses View 
On Respecting The American Flag

Mr. Osborne,
    After reading an OP/ED in our Wednesday, December 6th Edition, I wanted to respond and comment regarding that person’s opinions. Like the author of that OP/ED, I too am a veteran.
    I believe that when the American Flag is displayed and our Nation’s Anthem is being sung, every American citizen should stand, face the Flag, and remain respectful during that tribute. While I certainly understand that under our constitution everyone has the right not to do so, I think everyone should consider that the tribute itself is meant to honor the men and women who serve and those who have served in our armed forces.
    For me personally it is a few seconds that I not only pay homage to our Nation and the men and women who protect it, but also I reflect on the Marines and Corpsmen that I served and spent time with at Dong Ha, Cam Lo, Con Thien, Gio Lin, Camp Carroll, LZ Stud, and the Cua Viet River, in 1968 and 1969.
    I also think the author is mistaken when he writes “I am sure the majority of Americans do not even know all the words to the first verse of the Anthem.” He would do well to not sell Americans short on anything, including knowing the words of the National Anthem.
    The author suggests that people should educate themselves by reading books that describe how America is socially unjust and by doing so they will “then understand the plight of others” and understand “the injustice police and legal system perpetrate upon minorities.” I would suggest to the author that there are other means to educate. One is by participation, as one would get by working in law enforcement for 30 years.
    Having done so, I can tell you that it was my experience that criminals are the ones who want to project that there is wide spread social injustice. It was the arrestee that cried the loudest that he or she was being arrested only for being a certain race or being of a certain social class. Think about this… In 30 years I never once heard the attorney defend his client by stating to the court that the client had only been arrested because of their skin color or their social status. Not one time. 
    Why was that? Because (I think) it is not true. Criminals are arrested by police officers when probable cause exists to believe the defendant’s actions violated law or statute. Of course there most likely have been situations where officers have abused their authority and acted inappropriately, but it was my experience that those instances were far and not wide spread as the author and others infer.
    The author writes that the President of the United States is seeking to divide our Nation. I don’t believe that is true. It seems to me that it is the author and people like-minded that are trying to undermine the government. That includes, in my opinion, some biased news media.
    From my perspective the QB who started the kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, was out of line. He said that he did so because “police murder black men.” To be sure there have been instances where police officers had murdered black men. Again it is a rarity and when it does happen it should be and has been dealt with through our criminal justice system, not through looting, rioting and causing personal injuries to others, all under the guise of a protest.
    As for the young men who are privileged to play in the NFL, I would hope that they would be respectful of those countless men and women who have served our nation’s military in times of peace and war, and have done so with dignity. To do otherwise seems to be misguided.

Robert A. Pittenger

Vote No On Rezoning 
Ash And Route 51

Dear Editor:
    The rezoning of Ash and 51. Just like the Aldis project. Looking for revenue and creating new jobs. They were only transferring jobs from one store to the new one. You are not creating new jobs. Same with the new project. You are taking from one restaurant to another and not making any revenue. Nothing has changed from the traffic problems from two years ago when Aldis tried this location. If anything traffic has gotten worse.
    They want to take away parking spaces on Ash to make another lane, more traffic. The parking lot for this project has no barriers for protection from any accident that could happen on 51 or Ash that could end up in their parking lot causing damage to the parked vehicles or human life.    This project will increase more traffic at this intersection and Ash.
    I was always taught Safety First. Does this not apply here?
    The whole east side of my house and the rest of my property will butt up to this project. The spot where you place your order for the drive-up, speaker is right across from my living area. The sounds and sights of the vehicles traveling up and down this drive. Trees and shrubs will not help no matter how much barrier you apply. I can still see and hear from my property. They say they want to be neighborhood friendly. Well, they are starting out on the wrong foot when they start taking away from neighbors.    I cannot see anyone wanting to live right next door, practically in your backyard, to a retail and restaurant stores. I have been told that I have options. Why should I have options? Why should I move or have my house moved? If anything these developers have more options than I do.
    If and when this corner is taken, what other special corner in this town would developers be interested in? Is this the end of developers interested in Decatur? I just can’t believe this is the only high traffic location for Decatur. 
    So I urge the city council to vote No for this project or any other projects that comes about. Not a residential area.

Pam Ambeau

Thanks For Donating To Operation 
Enduring Support

Dear Editor:
    To the Decatur and durrounding communities, Operation Enduring Support appreciates the donations you have provided this year for our Deployed Military.
    Through your generosity 142 Christmas Care Packages were mailed to troops stationed in Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many undisclosed locations.      These packages are shared between many at these bases.  
    For 2017 a total of 274 packages were mailed.
    We recently received a “Thank You” from a unit in Kuwait that said “Thank You for thinking of us”  
    They also mentioned how much they appreciated the children’s letters.
This reflects the thoughts of many receiving these packages, all because you have supported these men and women serving in foreign countries.
    Bless you for caring.

             Ann Irwin, OES Director

Candidate Thanks Residents For Signing Petition

Dear Editor,
    I would like to publicly thank the hundreds of Macon County residents that signed my petition to be placed on the ballot for the Republican nomination for Macon County Clerk. I am grateful of the words of encouragement and well wishes as I walked the neighborhoods of Macon County.
    As I continue to meet the citizens of Macon County, I express my desire to reduce costs with an eye towards the future.  Elections are continually evolving and technology must keep pace.  By focusing on innovative solutions, the county will save money, improve the voter experience, and speed up the election process. The work our clerk’s office does is crucial to our democracy and protecting the sanctity of our electoral process as well as providing more efficient access to vital records.
    We all know election administration is complex, exciting, and definitely can be stressful. Yet there are people who make a career of it love it. Most of them, however, didn’t receive any formal training to prepare them for the challenges the job has. That's why I'm so blessed to have an opportunity to have the additional tools and resources to offer Macon County as County Clerk.
    I have the knowledge and experience to know what it takes to run an innovative and less burdensome government.  From my time working in the Champaign County Clerk’s Office, to my continued education completing the Election Administration graduate certificate program with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Samantha Murray

Stop Watching NFL Games Until They Start

Showing Respect For Our Flag 

Dear Mr. Osborne:
    Thought you might be interested in an article from the VFW in Ocala, FL. We live in Decatur, IL but spend the winter in the Ocala area. We agree fully with the VFW’s view point and urge all VFW’s, American Legions, DAV’s and all veteran organizations to follow the Ocala VFW club in all states to stop watching the NFL until they start respecting our flag that many men and women have died so our country would be free.
    We need to stand by our young men and women who are serving our country - many who are losing not only their lives but body parts and still say that they would gladly defend America again. 
    All I can say if I had a son or daughter on a sport’s team that disrespected our wonderful flag I would as a parent go out on the field and take them right out of the game. 
    Many of my relatives died protecting our country and helping those NFL players get the big bucks they make. 
    I hope the parents of the NFL players are embarrassed by their children’s actions and I urge every American to stop supporting not only the NFL but Millikin University football, too.

Angel Karl
Decatur and Silver Springs, FL

Above letters posted 12/13/17

* * * *

Disagrees With Opinion On NFL Players Taking A Knee

Dear Mr. Osborne,
    As a veteran, I disagree with your opinion about NFL players who take a knee, I believe they have every right as Americans under the First Amendment to express their frustration about the injustices that people of color experience in all aspects of their lives and especially within the justice system. 
    I am sure that the majority of Americans do not even know all of the words to first verse of the anthem, let alone the words to the 3rd verse which historians agree enshrines the legacy of black slavery in its lyrics.
    We learn by seeking to understand the plight of others through learning. Matt Taibbi has written two books that demonstrate the injustice police and the legal system perpetrate upon minorities: “The Divide” and “I Can’t Breathe”. Also, the New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander: "The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead: and one of the top 10 books of 2017, Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me”; A book written by former policeman, Serpico expresses the same viewpoint as do others whose names escape me.
    If only one person attempts to read and understand the issue, I will be fulfilled. It boggles my mind to know that the president of the United States seeks to divide this country along racial and ethnic lines, disparaging players mothers by his comments. Surely, he must think “that there are many fine people” in the NFL just as he does in White Supremacist groups.
I was not born in Decatur, but my father was and he saves the Tribune for me to read when I visit Greensboro, NC. BTW, my father is a Korean combat veteran and encouraged me to write this letter.

Dan Fisher
Monroe, NC

Tribune Brings Back Many Memories Of The Past

Dear Editor:
    My wife and I really enjoy the Decatur Tribune, and read it from cover to cover every week.
    Your paper has been the vehicle to bring back many memories of the past and also of individuals that have been a part of some of those memories.  
    In the paper dated November 15, 2017, I noticed the Santa house on the front page.  It brought a smile to my face and as I turned to pages 4 and 5, many thoughts of my childhood filled my mind.
    My Mother was the owner of Roberta’s Beauty Salon in Decatur, from the age of 17 until in her 80’s.  In the 1940’s I was in grade school.  Around the first or second week of November my Mother received a box at her place of business.  The box contained a beautiful snow-white wig and beard.  My Mother had been asked to prepare them for the arrival of  ‘you know who’.   
    My Mother took me to her beauty shop in the evenings.  When Mother worked on young customers, she put a board across the arms of her chair.   
    I crawled up on that board and she put the wig and beard on me.  Even though they were a little big, she worked with what she had.  She curled the wig and beard with a hot iron (not electric) that had to be heated several times.  I always felt special being involved in that special time with my Mom and helping with that service for Santa.
    On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Decatur held its Christmas Parade.  I was in the front row watching with excitement when finally, there came Santa in my sight.  I knew that my hopes and dreams would be fulfilled on Christmas morning.  
    God created each of us with gifts and talents to serve each other.  Paul, you have found yours which is very obvious.  It is my prayer that you continue the service that has blessed so many.
    Thanks again,

Richard Streibich

Thanks To All Who Donated To The

Help 4 Heroes Fund For Veterans

Dear Editor:
    I wish to extend my heartfelt thank you for ALL that donated to our Help 4 Heroes fund. It is a huge understatement to say we are overwhelmed with the generosity generated from our community with the matching grant (times 5) from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
    Brian Byers & WSOY stepped up to assist us in providing the necessities for our Macon County Veterans daily.  We also thank Howard Buffett, Lindsay Romano, Jeff Daly, Debbie Bogle, Chad Woollen, Kevin Breheny, Tom Schneider, David Freyling, Rainstorm Car Wash and Texas Roadhouse.
    The Veteran’s Assistance Com-mission is excited to start 2018 knowing it can provide bus passes, emergency meal cards, warm clothing, school books and so much more for our Veterans.  In one year, our fund has touched the lives of nearly 400 Macon County Veterans including providing nearly 5,000 bus rides. 
    If you, your business or organization would like to “adopt” a Veteran for the Christmas Season or donate to the fund email Help4heroesmc@ 
    Thank you from our Veterans in need.

Ayn Owens
Help 4 Heroes

Millions Of Dollars Poured Into Illinois

For Legislators To Legalize Marijuana

Dear Editor:
     While Big Marijuana pours millions into Illinois to legalize marijuana, Leftist lawmakers, giddy about a tiny new revenue source to aide their insatiable spending, ignore the unmistakable damage legalization is causing in Colorado. 
    Those nasty facts are hard to escape.
     Colorado now ranks #1 in the entire nation for marijuana use among teens, scoring 55 percent above the national average, so says the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
     Colorado High School drug violations have increased 71 percent and suspensions for drugs have increased 45 percent since legalization.
     Based on alarming research by the Denver Post, drivers in fatal car crashes who tested positive doubled since legalization.
     Residential neighborhoods reek of marijuana as do warehouse growing operations along major freeways.  As if that isn’t enough, the Colorado homelessness growth rate now ranks among the highest in the country.
     The bottom line is this: Does Illinois want more drugged drivers on our roads, more buzzed employees on job sites, and more stoned students in our homes and schools?
     If the answer is no, don’t remain silent. Tell your state representative and senator to oppose legalization efforts before it is too late.
Kathy Valente
Tinley Park, IL

Solution For Those Who Have  Heavily-Tinted Vehicle Windows Because Of Sensitivity To Light

Dear Editor,
    Regarding your City Beat column in the November 29, 2017 edition, for those who want to hide behind heavily-tinted windows and endanger citizens and law enforcement officers, and claim some medical necessity because of extreme sensitivity to light, I have a remarkable solution, one that will not only protect their eyes within the confines of the vehicle, but also protect their eyes when they inevitably step out of their vehicle into the light.
    Stop the charade by these posers and ban tinted windows.

Gary G. Gray, Jr., O.D.
Decatur Vision Source

Thanks For Support Of Church’s Annual

Cookie Walk And Bazaar

Dear Editor:
    Thanks to everyone who supported our annual Cookie Walk and Bazaar at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church. 
    The Ladies Guild was once again blessed beyond belief. 
    The money we raise will go to support many projects to share the Word of Christ!
Debbie Roberts

Decatur Needs To Get Control Of Tree Program

Dear Editor:
    Decatur needs to get control of its tree removal program.   The first step of course is for the city and park district to find out who owns what.          The next step is for the city, not the loggers, to have control over which ones are to be removed.  
    What is in the best interest of the city should prevail.  Trees that are dead or dying, and ones left mangled when the power company trims them should be the ones removed.  With the stipulation they be removed at ground level,  all branches are to be taken and all mess cleaned up.  Even giving them to the loggers would be better than the current policy, reminiscent of the Woody Allen movie, "Take The Money And Run"  -- "Take The Good Lumber And Run".  
    The loggers take the good trees, the city is left with the mess.

Bill Steenblock

Question About What Was In Downtown

Store During Christmas Days In 1951

Dear Paul,
    I have a question for you or possibly for your readers. In December, 1951, Christmas was soon approaching. I was in first grade at Hammond at that time. At that period of time my biggest love was railroad, steam and diesel locomotives. Equally that was my passion for farm tractors and livestock.
    I remember going into Decatur in December of 1951, Christmas shopping with my mother and dad, aunt and uncle, Ruby and Tommy Troy. 
    I vividly remember Uncle Tommy taking me to a store. I can’t remember the name, possibly Penney’s or Sears & Roebuck. Located on the second or third floor, they had a “model” steam engine, it seemed like “full size”. You walked up to the coal tender, then entered the rear end of the cab going through a curtain. I remember the steam and water valves, the throttle and other apparatus of a locomotive.         The attendant had me to sit in the engineer’s seat and I wasn’t big enough to reach the throttle. Uncle Tommy did that for me. 
    Looking out of the cab and looking directly ahead was a movie picture screen. The audio portion also made sounds of a real steam locomotive moving and working. Possibly a road foreman or superintendent was portrayed, both gentlemen being well dressed, and lovingly talking about railroad work. After witnessing this, I felt like I had been to heaven.
    Also on this floor was a reindeer with a red nose that you could ride. I am pretty sure that cost a dime. Anyway my uncle let me ride the reindeer again. I didn’t have the option with the locomotive as it was costlier than the reindeer.
    As Christmas 1952 neared, I wondered if the train would  be available again. An attendant at the store told both mom and I that the train was not available, but a horse (mechanical) was available.
    As I am now 72 years old, I still have thoughts about this every year at Christmas time, especially the last 66 years. If you or any of your readers can remember this, please give me a call or write. I am still in the phone book.

Sam Mahannah


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