Easy Fix for Illinois Map Mess

Article excerpt

Easy fix for Illinois map mess

The new Illinois congressional remap, devised by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, looks like cutouts prepared and pasted into place by kindergarten children. Its so bizarre, its comical. That is, if it werent so pathetic.

How could Illinois law permit the controlling political party to redraw congressional districts with the specific purpose of derailing the opponent partys train? Hey, General Assembly, youve got a job on your hands: Rewrite the remap statute so that every 10 years the new districts are redrawn fairly and intelligently.

The solution is so simple. Require the new districts to be redrawn according to existing township boundaries. Merely add or subtract intact townships in the remap process.

Take DuPage County for example. There are nine townships nicely drawn in an almost checkerboard pattern. How easy it would be to redraw such a map. And one more thing: Require a bipartisan committee to add or subtract townships to fit redraw requirements.

No more allowing a controlling party to gerrymander voting districts with the sinister purpose of tossing monkey wrenches into the other partys election machinery.

Joe Schrantz

Villa Park

Thanks for help with rail training

On behalf of Milton Township and Milton Township CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team), we would like to thank all of the first responders who participated in this years Metra rail training exercise at the Union Pacific rail facility in West Chicago earlier this month.

More than 14 firefighters, fire chiefs and emergency management agents volunteered their time on a Saturday to train over 100 Milton Township CERT members in rail safety and rail disasters. These selfless volunteers trained us aboard a live train to size up, transport, triage, treat, collar/board and incident command procedures in the event of a real rail emergency. The busiest passenger and freight rail lines in the country run right through Milton Township.

The instructors included: West Chicago Fire Protection Fire Chief Bob Hodge; Winfield Fire Protection District Lt. Pete Daily; Wheaton Fire Department Deputy Bill Schultz, and Warrenville Fire District paramedic chief Martin Nelson. PACE donated four buses and Ken Grist, their safety director, arranged the transport of over 100 volunteers to the various sites.

Metras Tom Donegan, chief safety officer, lectured us for two hours and then Union Pacific Railroads Tom Cote provided a live operational passenger train to make this a realistic training experience. West Chicago Police Department Sgt. Chris Woodill provided CERT coordination and security for the event.

Milton Township CERT will continue to train the next 600 citizens, as major volunteer resources are needed for first responders in any emergency. We thank the DuPage County Sheriffs Department and DuPage facilities management, and the Boy Scouts of America that have additionally given their time and resources to help train township volunteers.

Ralph Hinkle

Executive director

Milton Township CERT

Easier immigration isnt that easy

Letter writer Valerie Carrions Nov. 23 letter ("Easier immigration solution is needed") raised several issues to be better defined. Yes, our government and John Q. Public did notice the sudden diversity in our population. This phenomena resulted from President Reagans one-time amnesty plan which in turn encouraged millions more of illegal immigrants. …