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End family dynasty politics in Illinois

10-31-08 OEMC Office Emergency Communications. 1411 W. MadisStreet. Chicago Illinois. City officals discuss safety initiatives for Electinight. Here Executive Director

10-31-08 OEMC, Office of Emergency Communications. 1411 W. Madison Street. Chicago, Illinois. City officals discuss safety initiatives for Election night. Here Executive Director of OEMC Ray Orozco (forground) along with other Fire Commissioner John Brooks (background) and other key city officals discuss security initiatives surrounding election night events. Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

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Updated: July 13, 2013 6:29AM

While I’m sure Mr. William Daley would make an intelligent and qualified candidate for governor, I reacted to the news of his plans [to run for governor] with a sigh of dejection. Haven’t we had enough of political families and machines: the Daleys, the Madigans, the Strogers, the Jacksons?

Recently, the Republicans held a talent contest, of sorts, to identify and develop new candidates for state office. While I believe that experience and seniority should always trump youthful inexperience, I also believe that it’s time to wipe the political slate clean and start over with fresh faces and voices. Look at the current condition of local, state and federal governments. Do we really need more of the same?

John Vukmirovich,
the East Side

Fire chief deserves pension

I met Ray Orozco in 1978 when he was attending Illinois Benedictine College. Our paths didn’t cross much until some point in the mid 1990s when I was on the first engine to a fire. By the time we had the hose line to the door of the involved apartment, a “figure” came out of the black pea-soup smoke pulling a lifeless person across the floor. The visibility on the landing was minimal and the apartment itself had zero visibility. After the fire, I asked who had made it in that apartment without the protection of the hose line. Ray responded, “Yea, I grabbed him.” Not a single hint of bravado.

I have learned not to believe everything I read. I do not know anything about [former Chicago Fire Commissioner] Ray Orozco’s pension [“Editorial: A pretend fire chief,” June 9]. But I do know that he did his job, whatever that job may have been, at different periods of his career, and he probably ruffled a lot of feathers. Those people with feathers ruffled are probably recipients of a government pension themselves. The media can, and should, expose abuses in our government. However, it would be an injustice to portray Ray as a greedy “bureaucrat.” He did a fantastic job protecting the Chicago Fire Dept. from the real bureaucrats in our government, the ones who created this pension crisis through their own action or inaction.

Thomas P. Ruane,
Mount Greenwood

Look out for bikers

In my retirement years I’ve taken to biking for exercise, mini chores and relaxation in Chicago’s parks and neighborhoods. Today I was driving in a bicycle lane when the car next to me cut me off as the driver moved into my lane preparing for a right turn. There was no room for my bike or body between the moving car and a parked car on my right. The driver was on a cellphone, totally oblivious of forcing me to stop to avoid being crunched. It seems to me that drivers with the added distraction of talking on the phone, or multi-tasking any number of other things besides driving, can probably sense other major objects, like a car or truck, but are less likely to see the pedestrian, the biker, the dog on a leash. It seems to me there is a message here.

Martin Deppe, Albany Park

Snowden, a hero

Only in a country with little to no respect for the basic principles of freedom would a hero like Edward Snowden have to flee the country for exposing the truth about government surveillance. Those who have the courage to stand up to oppression should be lauded and not cast as traitors. Indicative of the well-functioning propaganda system that is our government, those people who speak truth to power whether they be Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers or Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden must be crushed and demonized in order that the system and not the American people be served.

Ed Juillard, Morgan Park or West Beverly

Toward cleaner streets

My hat is off to Ald. Howard Brookins for his great idea of impounding the vehicles of those who are so egregious in dumping garbage out their car windows either while driving or parked at the curb. As I drive down the various side streets of my neighborhood I see unwanted McDonald’s bags, empty water bottles and who knows what else. Not only does it make our city look like a dump, but the food left in those bags attracts rats! Let’s get that ordinance passed and in the meantime those students going through “driver’s education” courses should be cautioned that the current fines can range from $50 to $150.

Raymond P. Toczek, Portage Park

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