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Alton Telegraph Newspaper Archives Dec 9 1999, Page 4

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 9, 1999, Alton, Illinois The fittest place for a Man to die is where he Dies for Elijah p. Lovejoy 1802-1837 the talk it it Iii ii founded Jan. 15,1836 a journal Register company publisher. James e. Shrader managing editor Dan Brannan controller. John Gowin opinions Page a4 a thursday december 9,1999 hotel Loans must be recovered advertising director. Todd f. F Rantz production director Dave Sweetman classified manager Karen Mellenthin How Many of us having borrowed $100,000 from the Bank for a Home mortgage could get away with paying Back Only $25,000? not one of us could find a financial institution so willing to help a customer that it would Gin Grant him a Ipin Gigantic break olm Lloil on the payback. Of his loan. In comparative situations we d either face bankruptcy or property forfeiture. However the Story becomes a different one when you throw judicial Law and politics into the mix. More than a dozen years after two development groups borrowed state Money to finance hotels in Collinsville and Springfield the ramifications of their inability to repay the Cash Are still being Felt. Last week Madison county chief associate judge Randall Bono ruled that the state must live up to an agreement calling for the developers to repay Only $10 million of the More than $40 million in Loans and interest used to build the Collinsville Holiday inn and the Springfield Renaissance hotel. Bono had no part in the original agreement he merely ruled on an Issue brought before him. In 1995, then new state treasurer Judy Barr Topinka proposed a $10 million settlement on the Loans which she said would allow the hotel developers to keep the properties and give taxpayers the Best Chance of recovering at least a portion of what was owed. Developers had been in default on the Loans from almost the beginning. Topinka was overruled in the venture by the state attorney general who said she did not have the authority to make such a Deal. Public response convinced Topinka to backtrack and pursue the full repayment. Seeing this the developers quickly sued to get the $10 million Deal approved by the courts. That 1995 lawsuit led to Bono s action last thursday. Now an Appeal seems the Only Avenue remaining for the state and even with that there is no guarantee that the state will Ever see full repayment of the Loans. This sorry business dates Back to a state loan program pushed by gov. James Thompson and former state treasurer Jerome Cosentino in the Early 1980s. Critics charged that the program was for helping political cronies and indeed the two main men in the hotel partnerships a Gary fears of Collinsville and William Cellini of Springfield a were fund raisers connected to politicians throughout Illinois. No matter the outcome there is a principle involved Here. Topinka made a terrific Blunder by proposing the $10 million settlement. Her subsequent reversal was Correct. Now she has no Choice but to fight this matter for As Long As necessary. These hotels Are built on a foundation of Public Money and every attempt must be taken to recover the full amount. Letters to the Miter Congress receiving big Bucks from polluters the polluter fat cat contributors be a total of $146 million to All congressional candidates from january 1993 to december 1998, in part to help protect nearly $41 billion in polluter subsidies including $8.4 billion in increased payments by Consumers to the sugar Industry. Burning Coal is the largest Industrial source for pollutants like soot Mercury and Carbon dioxide. Asthma rates have increased 75 percent since 1980 and people die every year from soot related pollution. According to the american lung association at least 117 million people live where it is unsafe to breathe the air. Mercury pollution is so prevalent that health officials have issued warnings not to eat the fish in 50,000 lakes and streams because of Mercury contamination that can cause severe neurological damage in humans. On july 23, 1997, sen. Durbin d-ill., offered an amendment to the fiscal year 1998 Senate agriculture appropriations Bill s-1033 to end Federal crop insurance support for the tobacco Indus % % try. The amendment which would have saved taxpayers $34 million a year was Defeated 47 to 53. Tobacco related packs poured nearly $7.4 million into congressional Campaign coffers and tobacco companies contributed More than $14.5 million in soft Money to political parties from january 1993 through december 1998. Total tobacco a fat cat contributions were thus nearly $22 million which were Given in part to protect $501 million in subsidies. The top House recipient of tobacco Pac contributions was House Commerce committee chairman Tom Bliley r-va., who announced that there would be no More tobacco hearings in his committee when he became chairman. He received $81,325. House members voting to support the tobacco subsidy received on average $15,633 members voting to Cut the program received $2,964. Only four of the top 20 Senate tobacco Pac recipients voted to end the tobacco subsidy. Senators voting to end the tobacco subsidy received on average $16,673. Taxpayers spend approximately $83.5 million each year administering the tobacco program instead of leaving those costs to the tobacco companies. Only one House member representative Chris Shays r-conn., consistently voted to Cut polluter pork programs. Only eight senators consistently voted to Cut polluter pork programs. Anyone can get the reports dated september 1999 sneak attack and subsidies for Sale 202 546-9707. Of course there not free Only the Sun shines free. . Gutierrez Alton sound off leaving class a the poor have not disappeared Molly Ivins Austin Texas a the poor Are still with us. Just thought id Point that out in Case you were under the impression that All was tickets boo Here in the land of mild and Honey. In fact there Are More of them than Ever As a consequence of an Economy that has entirely bypassed those at the Bottom. Even Given the Peculiar Way our government defines poverty the current poverty rate of 13 percent is still higher than it was 30 years ago. We re having yet another debate about How to define poverty with the usual result if we make the Standard More realistic Well have to list millions More americans As poor. A the poor is such a dehumanizing abstraction. There san old Woody Guthrie song about a crash that killed two dozen people described on the radio As a just the chorus a goodbye my Juan goodbye my Juan goodbye Rosalita. Adios mis Amigos Jesus y Maria a the Point being that they had names. Because this society is increasingly stratified by class it gets harder and harder for those who live in affluent suburbs to think of a the poor by name. A everyone Here is so Selloff a a visitor said of the Texas Hill country during thanksgiving weekend. I laughed. The shacks the trailers the maids the yardman the Cedar choppers the peach pickers the Stone workers the Fence builders the laundry workers the Day labourers a All so curiously invisible. In Rural areas ifs still possible to know poor folks by name the kids who show up for school dressed in clothes from St. Vincent de Paul the folks Down the Road struggling to hang onto the family farm. In big cities too a the poor Are hard to miss a sleeping on Park benches begging at the bus station clustered around the salvation army. But in the a burbs land of shopping malls and commutes and suburbans and expeditions where do you see the famous hypothetical family of four living on less than $17,000 a year and often on a lot less. Perhaps the most bizarre recent response to the poor among us in that of Rudy Giuliani mayor of new York City who has decided to arrest the homeless. Living on the streets you re busted. Which would be so funny if the same Rudy Giuliani Hadnot just said in october that he would Start booting people out of homeless shelters if they refused to work. Entire families Are being kicked out of shelters for incomplete paperwork or failing to show up for a Job interview that might be Miles away and to which they have no transportation. The new York Post quoted one Man a a in a not on crack. In a not mentally ill. I just could not afford to pay but a the crisis in Low income housing is another one of those bloodless abstractions that have nothing to do with Juan Rosalita Jesus or Maria. According to the new York times As we move into the Advance stages of welfare deform a heretofore undiagnosed problem has emerged. We always knew we could move about a third of the people on welfare off fairly easily. That a the same third that always moved on after a Brief period under the old system. And the theory was that we could move another third off the Rolls if the labor Market got tight enough which is also happening. But there was always that last third people with multiple problems mental physical Lack of education no training a not to mention the problems of transportation child care health care and housing. What is emerging a particularly in Wisconsin where welfare Reform is both far advanced and being done fairly Well by most measures a is the extraordinarily High number of single mothers on welfare who were sexually abused As children. There Are More technical terms for this but the Bottom line is that these women have a hard time getting it together. They go to the motivational classes and the Job training classes they want to work they get jobs a but then they fail to show up once twice then for a week or More. They can to keep it up. Every Little setback is a crisis to them unkindness or fear immobilized them. Depression Low self esteem and hopelessness All Combine to make them exceptionally fragile. Supporting two kids on the minimum wage $11,752 a year requires a lot of togetherness not to mention sheer stamina. Fighting ones Way through the welfare bureaucracy to get the help to which one is entitled is a Challenge for someone with a College degree and a lot of self Confidence try doing it after an eight hour workday with no transportation especially if your English Isnit Good and you Are terrified of authority. Offices open 9 to 5, with Long waiting periods endless forms and proof of income and assets required �?ocatch-22�?� is not a trite phrase for poor americans a ifs a Way of life. We be gotten this far with welfare Reform because of the sustained economic Boom which As Jamie Galbraith of the University of Texas Points out is built largely on the explosion of private household debt. A and with Banks consolidating and diversifying and Congress preparing punitive new bankruptcy provisions while the fed inches interest rates upward one can see the reckoning in the works a Galbraith wrote in a new York times oped piece. Now there san abstraction for you a the fed has increased interest rates three times this year despite the Lack of a single symptom of inflation with or without such fiscal Folly the Boom will end because that a what booms do. Middle class american which has gained Only marginally from this Boom will be left with a Mountain of debt it can to write off. But Juan Rosalita Jesus and Maria a last hired first fired Day labor no unemployment no welfare a will be left to the tender mercies of those whose idea of government action for the poor is to arrest the homeless. Molly Ivins is a columnist for the fort Worth Star Telegram and a syndicated political writer. You can write to her at creators Syndicate 5777 w. Century blvd., 0700, los Angeles Ca 90045. I am enrolled in three classes at Lewis and Clark Community College. In All three classes part Way through the class several people just get up and leave. They Tell the teacher something. I am wondering if the people who stay and Complete the entire class will get a better Grade they should get something. I done to want to stay either but i do. Listening to Limbaugh i see in sound off that some of the democratic liberals Are listening to Rush Limbaugh and getting their minds improved. How Nice. My my my that is great. Just listen to Rush Limbaugh and you will get your minds improved As to what has been happening to you and your Money. Dropping off children this is in response to the drop off time in sound off. I am a Parent of a child that goes to Brighton North and do not feel comfortable with teachers or aides who Are making comments. If they have a problem with the parents dropping off their children Early they should be directing that to parents versus making comments in sound off. Academic needs my child does not have workbooks this year due to the districts Lack of Money. I wonder How Many workbooks could be purchased with just the postage that has been used to Send letters to students and alumni i am a Parent and an alumnus from southwestern and will be keeping my $50. I am very disappointed that southwestern school District is More concerned with our children a recreational needs versus their academic needs. Bethalto Golf course i hear Bethalto just purchased some ground to build a Golf course. I think Bethalto needs something besides a Golf course. Maybe a Nice Park for the kids to have something to do. They Are always saying the kids done to have anything to do. The population of Bethalto is Only a Little More than 9,000 people do you really think we need a Golf course i think not. Do something else with my tax dollars. Judge Judy most people who appear on the a judge Judy show have a lot in common with those who Are seen on the a Jerry Springer Public Aid clients when people on Public Aid Are told to get out and do Community work when they Are put off of the Public Aid Rolls they Are put into Community work anywhere. You Are not going to believe where they a to voice your opinion Call from Alton 463-2523 from Edwardsville 656-7434 Are going. If you Are worried about what your bus Driver used to do worry about the new volunteers at the preschools the head Start. All they have to have is a physical and a to shot. No drug testing. All of these people Are going out there to do Volunteer work and work with your children i am not comfortable with this. Public Aid has All kinds of clients. They done to know which ones Are the Good ones or the bad ones and neither do we. So think about that one. Get an education schools Over in St. Louis Are hollering about trying to figure out some program to keep kids in school because a lot of them Are dropping out when they turn 16 because it is Legal. First thing to do is to make it illegal to drop out of school when you Are 16. Second thing to do is if you do not have a High school diploma you do not get a Drivers License. Third if you done to have a High school diploma you can to get a Job. So you better stay in school. Fourth make no Public Aid for anyone who sits there and does not go to school. You should get it by at least 25. Then if you do not want to get a High school diploma you cannot get your Public Aid social Security or anything else like that. So they will be living Down by the River fishing for your food. No Public Aid no social Security and no food giveaways to help you because you do not have a High school diploma. That is How you get kids to stay in school and Tell them you better make a passing Grade. People have graduated from High school and can to read or write. Why thanks for help recently i was on in work and i hit a Buick South of the Junction Highway 67. Three r stopped to help and i wanted let them know j much i appreciated to thank you very much. Talk to department this is for the person Hartford complaining at old St. Louis Road be torn up. The mayor die order your Street to be i up. You need to talk to Man Over the str department. He has b tearing up a lot of Thi lately

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