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Where are our priorities?

Updated: May 28, 2013 7:53PM

The city is broke and struggling with a pension crisis. So what do our aldermen do about it? Talk about raising the legal age for smoking to 21.

Michael T. Malone, Garfield Ridge

Condemn terror forcefully

Kudos to Steve Huntley on his Wednesday column. Burying our heads in the sand will not make “West-bashing” go away. It is time for Muslim clerics, Middle East leaders and our own home-grown liberals to stand up against the use of a religion and a God (Allah) as a reason to kill and maim. They must forcefully condemn groups and people who spew and sanction these types of beliefs.

They can no longer ignore the fact that Islam is being used out of context as a tool to wreak havoc and destruction around the world.

Steve Babyk, Humboldt Park

Fight guns, not cigarettes

If the Chicago City Council is truly concerned about safeguarding the health of young people under the age of 21 by prohibiting them from buying cigarettes, they may want to consider an even better course of action in this matter.

Young people in Chicago are dying at an alarming rate from gun violence, not cigarettes. Gun violence is usually the result of gang wars and drug wars.

It’s time to explore a way to prohibit the existence of gangs and drugs in Chicago. This is not an easy task, and undoubtedly will take a lot of time, effort and energy. Stop wasting time on issues that are best controlled by parents and families.

Rosemary Cannon, West Elsdon

Obama makes Bush look good

Neil Steinberg wonders what happened to cause President George W. Bush’s favorable rating to go to 47 percent from just 33 percent. It’s obvious to me that the more we see of what President Barack Obama does, the more we appreciate Bush. Amen?

Donald Nauyokas, Brighton Park

Support for Poison Center

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the 60 Illinois General Assembly members, including the 36 members from Cook County, for honoring the Illinois Poison Center’s 60th anniversary by supporting funding for our state’s only poison center. The IPC, the nation’s oldest poison center, handled nearly 82,000 poison-related cases from throughout Illinois in 2012 alone — nearly 49 percent of them involving children age 5 and under. In 2012, the IPC received more than 25,000 calls from Cook County alone.

The IPC serves as a first responder for Illinoisans facing poisoning emergencies. The pharmacists, nurses, doctors and poison experts who staff the IPC provide timely poison prevention and treatment services for our children, seniors and families through a free, confidential hotline.

Funding for the IPC not only protects and saves lives, but it is also a wise and important investment. The IPC receives approximately $1.3 million in state funding each year and its work saves Illinois taxpayers more than $50 million annually unnecessary medical costs and 35,000 unnecessary trips to an emergency department each year. It is estimated that for every $1 invested in the IPC, there is a $13 savings in reduced health care and lost productivity costs.

Dr. Michael Wahl, medical director,

Illinois Poison Center

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