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Emails for October

Opinion on the well


I think you have misrepresented our position on the new well that the city needs. Our main concern was and still is that the well did not go into the corn field south of West Fourth Street. We didn't want the residential area to become a street. It would not be in alignment with any current street and therefore would cause safety problems in traffic flow. My wife and I have voluntarily been the caretaker of said lot for more than 35 years. Ten years of which we did garden in the lot. Other than those ten years, the lot has been lawn, which we mowed and fertilized at our own expense. This year is the first time the current owner of the lot has offered to reimburse us for our expenses of maintaining the lot. We said that wasn't necessary and we would continue to care for the lot as we always have. The owner has previously said if he ever was to sell the lot that we would have the first opportunity to purchase it. In our opinion, if the corn field is to be developed, it should be opened up by bringing Second and Third streets, with side streets in from First street, through to your development and out to Route 251. The developer should pay for his own street. Why should the city (and all of us taxpayers) pay for said street? The street directly benefits the developer and should be his expense.

Larry and Dorathea Stith

Editor's reply: Larry; I am glad you made your position more clear since most of us are unaware of what goes on behind the scene. My main concern is that the city should have taken more time to find a site more suitable than the city park itself. There was really only 2 choices, the park or the lot next to your property. It was pushed thru too fast. This kind of discussion should have taken place in city hall with all residents voicing their concerns. The city council didn't give the residents enough say one way or the other on this matter. I also agree that the developer should pay for the street costs. I didn't mean to imply that you didn't have a reason for not wanting the street to go through the property. I just didn't know what the reason was. Now I know. Thanks for your letter.

City council is insensitive

I agree with your editorial, Dave, on all points. It's sad when any government is run by a few elected officials who don't care what the people think. Who do they think they are! This is America!!!!! Democracy and freedom and all that stuff.

I hope, if you leave your park to the city, that someone doesn't somehow get controll of it and then sell the property and use the money for something else that is going to ultimately cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to build and maintain. It has happened you know.

Also, I agree with Keith Paris's comment in his e-mail when he wrote, " I don't understand why they don't take care of the park they have and they want another one?????"

Ruth Ann Meierhofer

Make Westside Park a nature preserve


I am opposed to placing the well in west side park. However, I have an idea? Whether it makes sense or is feasible I don't know. Here it is.

Streator used to always have carnival in they're city park. They don't do this anymore, It seems that I read or heard that the park was made a nature preserve because of the trees. Being a nature preserve they could not have the carnival in it anymore. Maybe this is worth looking into??? Just my thoughts.

Keith Paris

P.S. I don't understand why they don't take care of the park they have and they want another one ?????

Has happy memories of Westside Park

Oh no...I cannot believe my favorite place in all the world completely destroyed....as a child what fun was had with all my friends who gathered in the west side park..our first home when we moved to Minonk from Chicago was just across from the park, we watched the play quipment go up ...the slide for one and after a winter of bad weather we had saved our Sally Ann bread wrappers so we could sit on them and wear them out on the sliding board to get a new slick finish..and got the speed up we needed to jump off at the bottom..and then the two benches we carefully placed on each side of the trapeeze bar to see how we could jump catch the bar and never touch the ground..and when we missed out came the ungentine at home for our skinned knees...roller skating on the sidewalk that was on an angle through the park where we could get a drink from the fountain and what joy we had when we saw Red Dishinger start up the wading pool with the water spray in the middle....my first beginning of tennis began on the two courts...sitting on the steps of the band stand discussing everything kids talk about..loved those light pillars a great place for a photo..and the many poses we came up with...then came the benches and picnic tables...Oh where have you gone to "West side Park"....I remember all of those beautiful moon lit nights where we all played "break the penny-run sheep run" or sat on the beautiful green grass in the summer..those days are gone forever where we played from sun up into twilight...taking time only to eat and lots of times mom brought our lunch and we all ate in the park,,when our cousins came from Chicago we even shared our west side park with them...now the old gray cloud of gloom and doom hangs over it...too bad I say.

Joan (Johnson) Schneider Sun Lakes,Az.

Upset with decision to put well in park

Hi Dave,

We are also very upset and here�s our response. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is how we currently feel. Feel free to post this out in your email section. Usually we�re quiet, not no more.

Let�s take away from the beauty of Westside Park. That is the decision our council has made without proper residential knowledge!!!! Why were we not notified via mail of what I would consider an important matter (oh, wait, that costs money)? Something should have been sent to ALL Minonk residents. Why do they decide to do this BEHIND OUR BACKS and without our views?

We were visited recently regarding the site selection for the fourth well. My thoughts are now confirmed that Minonk�s representatives DO NOT have our children�s safety as a concern. We happen to live across the street from the park and already witness small children playing on the cover to the treatment facility as well as playing inside the portable restrooms. Our opinion that all wells and treatment facilities be moved outside of town like most cities. No, Minonk decides to place them in town at a PARK!! There is already a deficit in regards to activities for our children, why decrease it even more? This �wonderful city� of ours only cares about the pocket book, not the well being of our families as well as the beauty of the west side of Minonk.

Unfortunately we residents are partly at fault for making poor choices when we voted (if we voted, We admit it, we didn�t) for who will represent our city and makes our decisions. We are currently suffering from those who only care about their districts, not the city as a whole. Is the city�s next decision to tear down the park completely? Should we put a well in Sutton Park? Veterans Park? Then why Westside Park?

I don�t know if anyone�s thought about this, but our children are Minonk�s future. If these decisions are continued to be made without proper notification to the residents, Minonk will become a ghost town. My daughter, son and many other children play at this park daily.

We used to enjoy living here. That enjoyment has gone away. We�ve kept it inside until now. We now only have disgust. Now we fear that we won�t get crap out of our house when we sell it, not with the �wonderful� view of well rigs out the front window. Property values are low enough already. This city showed promise and hope when we moved here three years ago. We feel those were false promises just to make us happy. In the three years, we�ve seen the closing of True Value and Greentree Pharmacy. We�re still waiting for this downtown revitalization. There is no place to shop. We always end up going to Bloomington to shop. We might as well move there since most of our money is spent there as there�s no where to spend it here.

We encourage those that care about the beauty and history of Minonk to sign the petition that is going around and to attend the Council Meeting Monday evening. I�m hoping for a full house. We also encourage the council to take a hard look at Westside Park decision and what will be taken away if the well is dug, not to mention a population decrease.

Michael & Sherry Willis
403 Washington Street

New city well should not be in Westside Park

Dear Dave,

I am compelled to impart my opinion of the West Side Park controversy, as I feel somewhat responsible for the sudden interest in Sutton's Park. For years, that ground has stood unused, until a local resident cleared much of the brush from that area. It made that neighborhood much more attractive and created another area for public use.

During this year's Fourth of July set-up I was involved in some major logistics issues relative to the placement of carnival rides. We had used the southwest corner of Veterans Park for some time, and had planned to do so again. However this year we were surprised to find that some items had been placed in an area which greatly restricted the space necessary to operate some of the larger equipment. (Those items were added in the spirit of enthusiasm, and I am sure were not intended to be a problem.) The carnival company wished to compensate for the lost space by placing some rides on the football field. I felt at the time (and still do today) that too much time, energy, and money had been spent improving the football field area, and that it would be imprudent to place large pieces of equipment on the grass. Thus, with some negotiating, we were able to find enough space to place the rides in 2001. It was made quite clear, however, that another site would have to be selected for 2002, as the carnival company hoped to bring additional equipment in the coming years. Joyce and I spent a morning with the owners of the carnival company touring Minonk. We reviewed every parcel of property in town that may have the necessary space required to support this popular event. To my surprise, Sutton's Park was chosen. The Fourth of July committee met, and after a lengthy discussion, it was decided that the event would be moved to Sutton's Park, provided that the necessary utilities would be in place. As I am head of the Midway/Carnival Committee, I was charged with making the necessary arrangements with the city in order to establish the infrastructure required to support the event. In addressing the council, I asked that the city attempt to create a "long-term" plan for that park, so that all future needs would be considered and met where possible. It was never my intention to undermine the efforts and resources of the West Side Park.

At the same time, Joyce and I volunteered to be part of the West Side Park Committee. We see the value in beautification projects, and providing places for citizens to meet, relax, and enjoy recreational activities. This is especially true in a small town, where those opportunities may be a little more limited than larger cities. Joyce and I think that El Paso has done a fine job in this area, as they have no less than five public parks.

I too, believe that the city should take another look at the placement of the new well. Although the Cunningham property may have more of an initial expense, it appears as if it could pay dividends in the long run. If houses are constructed in that area, additional taxes will be realized by the city. I don't fault our Public Works department for their position, as they have had to be frugal for a very long time, and have had to make due with inferior equipment for years. They have been conditioned to look at projects from a matter of economics, and as I tax payer, appreciate that they do. I do think, however, that there are times when the city decision-makers must not react to what is easy and cheap. They need to look at what the effect of their actions will be 10, 20, and even 50 years from now. A long-term plan for Minonk will endure the constant changes of leadership resulting from our election process.

I will do my part to encourage our city leaders to reconsider this difficult decision, and will support whatever decision they make.

I start my day by reading your web-site, and thank you for providing a place for such discussions to take place.

Joe Limbaugh
Minonk, IL

Today's music not isolative


I am Amanda Hatfield from Minonk, and I'm a Senior at Fieldcrest. As a huge music enthusiast, I enjoyed your editorial on the music of the past, but the end of your article bothered me a little. You said how music these days isolates people and I don't think that is true at all. The problem is that you, (most likely) don't listen to today's music all that much. You probably don't pay that much attention to the music or the good parts about it. As most adults do, you may think that the music of today has no point to it, or is a "bunch of junk" as my grandpa calls it. But if you would really pay attention, you would notice that much of todays music has a lot of influence on people from all around.

I personally listen to hard rock and alternative bands the most, but I also listen to some country and "pop" music. I think that music still brings people together because people that like the same type of music, go to concerts, have a great time together and meet new friends. And trust me, kids still get together in basements and listen to music for hours on end. Kids normally listen to their own portable stereos because the adults complain about the loud noise!

Okay, don't get me wrong, I love to listen to a lot of old music, but you have to give the newcomers a chance. Don't judge those hard bands that look like they broke out of jail as bad influences, they may very well have a good message. So give everything a chance-and don't judge a book by its cover.

Thanks for your time, and I really did like your editorial. I just wanted to add my thoughts about the topic.

Amanda Hatfield

Editor's reply: I think every generation thinks their music is the best and you certainly have every right to feel that your music gives you what you need in the same way that I felt that music of my generation satisfied me. I am glad to hear that kids do get together and listen to music and have dance parties like my generation. Thanks for your letter.