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Smokeless property unrealistic, incorrect

In regards to your opinion ("Health-care properties should be smoke free") in your Dec. 22 edition, I find this to be unrealistic and incorrect for the following reasons:

1. Lost productivity for smoking breaks and company costs of smoking related issues: I have been supervising 25-plus employees for 30-plus years. I know which of my employees are smokers and which are not. I find that the majority of the time lost from work is not due to smoking-related issues: it is for ill children or illness passed from the child to the parent.

Everyone is entitled to a break but there is often times productivity lost due to the employee talking with their children on the phone. We do not want to stop hiring people because they have children in the home do we?

2. Healthcare workers should be role models: This indicates that people in all areas of the industry should be the epitome of health regardless if the employee is in administration, housekeeping and so on.

Would you propose the next requirement in the healthcare industry be that all employees be thin? Following this reasoning, all employees in banks should be rich and all teachers should have children and all newspaper employees should be logical.

Perhaps the most unrealistic part of the reasoning is the cost to implement and maintain such an idea.

People complain about the cost of healthcare. Every time there is another regulation put upon tiny industry, the cost has to go up. Who would you expect to pay for the signs at all entrances to the campus? Who would pay for smoking police to maintain a non-smoking; campus'?

I find it unrealistic that we all enjoy the taxes gleaned by the sale of legal cigarettes but we don't want the cigarettes to be lit.

Jimmi Evans


Ample room to accept beliefs of others

I'd like to put my two-cents in about the "Happy Holidays" and "Leave Christ in Christmas" brouhaha.

I think this is a totally ridiculous fight. This is America. We're a melting pot of cultures and religions. Our country was founded on giving a home to those with an alternative way of thinking.

I don't believe anyone has the intention of taking away anyone's right to believe in Christ or taking away Christmas. But our country has grown and expanded and there are many celebrations at this time of year including Yule, Chanukah and Kwanzaa.

Our retail stores and casual acquaintances cover the whole religious experience by being able to wish us all a Happy Holiday. So why is it that a few people are not willing to share the joy of others' religious beliefs?

Technically, scholars have found that Christ was not born on Dec. 25 anyway. General belief is that he was born sometime in the spring. That's when the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks as written in the Bible.

The early Catholic church, in order to convert the Roman pagans to their way of thinking, took their holiday of Saturnalia - the celebration of the coming of the sun - and made it the birth of their Messiah. The Romans also had the first "Christmas" trees and exchanged gifts on Saturnalia and that was also taken over by the early church.

So if you want to holler and scream about Christmas being taken over by other religions, I think you should look back into your own religion first.

Because I respect all religions and their beliefs, I would like to wish everyone in Central Illinois a very happy and safe Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah/Yule/Holiday.

Take care people and love your fellow Central Illinoisans.

Melissa Bevins


McLean County sheriff

On March 21 there is an important election for sheriff of McLean County. I support Mike Emery, who has been endorsed by over 70 law enforcement members.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike for some time now. I have helped my father run his small convenience store for some time and Mike would come in late at night to check up to see that there was nothing strange going on or anything to report. That's the "going the extra mile" that we need in a sheriff and the type of lead by example that makes a difference in the day to day operation of a sheriff's department.

Mike's community leadership is unsurpassed. He has been an active member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in McLean County for many years. He was vice president of MADD from 2000-2003 and has been president since 2003. In 2002 he received the state of Illinois MADD Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.

Leadership like this has garnered Mike Emery the endorsement of former five-time Sheriff Steve Brienen. I recommend you put Emery in your memory and vote for him in the March primary.

Mark W. Johnson


McLean County sheriff

We have two men named Mike who are running for sheriff. Mike Emery is the only candidate who has been in the armed services. He is the only candidate to graduate from the FBI National Academy and was chosen to attend on the first time he applied.

Mike Emery is also the only candidate with a college degree as he has a B.S. in criminal justice from Illinois State University.

Mike has received eight commendations from both the current sheriff and the former one, Steve Brienen. He has been a lieutenant since 1995, while his opponent just reached that level last year.

Mike has received awards for life saving from the VFW and the Red Cross for reviving a neighbor's young child and in 2002 was the Illinois MADD Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award winner.

Because of his military experience, education and job experience, I am supporting Mike Emery to be our next McLean County sheriff.

Mike Emery will be listed first on the Republican ballot for sheriff. Join me in supporting Mike Emery. –;

Tracey Woodward


Durbin abortion position flip-flopped

When I read the letter by Sen. Durbin in the Dec. 12 paper, ("Sen. Durbin thinks editorial is misleading," YourViews), I thought it time to expose him to his true beliefs.

First in the letter (he said) "We solved the Social Security problem." He apparently did a poor job as it needs fixing again.

Second, his record on abortion. In 1982, his record was pro-life and he acted as master of ceremonies at a banquet on pro-life in Springfield. Then he changed his position in favor of abortion in 1989.

Then he changed again on whether abortion was constitutional, which he held before when he was pro-life.

Why the changes? He thought there were more votes on the other side.

The same was true of Dick Gephardt and Bill Clinton.

Durbin is now going to question Judge Alito on his position on abortion when he can't be true to his own position.

After being questioned if one of his family wanted an abortion, he would try to discourage them. Good enough for the little people but not his family.

The next generation on this subject is, "Where is the Catholic church on this position?"

Opening the paper on Dec. 17, there appeared two liberal senators up to their old tricks. Durbin voted against the Patriot Act (extension). I guess we know who to blame if ever there is another terrorist act in the United States.

Democrats want us to lose the war in Iraq so they can get into office.

Why is it we can win a war but lose the peace?

Glenn Ingle

Rural Chenoa

Cuba should be part of baseball classic

It is very disappointing to learn that the Bush administration won't allow the country of Cuba to participate in the "World Baseball Classic." Efforts are under way to reverse this decision, and I hope they are successful.

Baseball should, and does, bridge all gaps society places on itself regarding race and–;ethnocentricity. The World Baseball Classic is meant to be a celebration of the best players in the western hemisphere, if not the world. The administration wishes to exercise its political influence to see that doesn't happen.–;Political pranks such as this, further erode America's place in this world - if of course that is any more–;possible.

The United States is a part of a global community. It is not the community.

It is time for America to stop trying to be the big bully. I'm sure no one respects that stance. Whether we like it or not, there is a Cuba. I personally don't care what their politics are, I want them to be able to play baseball, and compete against everyone else. It's the "World Baseball Classic", not the USA decides who plays, "Baseball Classic."

–;Mike Franks


McLean County sheriff

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mike Emery, Republican candidate for McLean County sheriff. I was greatly impressed by his sincere demeanor and genuine interest in serving the people of our community.

–;Given the significance of the sheriff's office to the safety and security of our families, I believe it is important for the voters to know that Mike Emery is the only candidate who is a veteran - Marine Corps.

Lt. Emery has also been active in the community as a three-time president of our local Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter and was Illinois MADD Volunteer of the Year. He also received two life-saving awards from the Red Cross and VFW. Lt. Emery has the education, experience and dedication to serve the citizens of McLean County well.

–;Please join me in supporting Mike Emery for sheriff. He will be listed first on the March primary ballot.–;

Matthew A Giordano



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