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If you have a comment, question, suggestion, etc., you can call SPEAK OUT any time of the day or night. Call SPEAK OUT but do not leave your name or identify yourself in any way. If your comment or question concerns a particular town, please start your comment with “Lombard - I would like to know,” or “Villa Park - whose job is it to.” Please limit your call to one (1) minute. SPEAK OUT is a community service of the LOMBARDIAN/VILLA PARK REVIEW newspapers. When at all possible, we try to contact public officials to obtain the answers to questions that concern them, and residents are also encouraged to contact public officials with their inquiries. Due to space limitations, it may not be possible to print all calls. We reserve the right to edit calls for length, clarity and subject matter. Please remember SPEAKā€ˆOUT callers are expressing their opinion as they see it and may not be factual. For verification purposes, cite your sources when quoting individuals or statistics.


The Village of Lombard is going to reduce Westmore-Meyers Road, from Roosevelt Road to St. Charles Road, down to one lane each direction with a center turn lane so that they can put bike lanes on the roadway? This makes no sense; they just spent millions to redo Westmore-Meyers Road. Now they will do it again for a couple of bicycles? Where are the public hearing and the transparency for seemingly messing up the traffic? What about morning and evening rush hour, the school traffic, etc.? This sounds like a silly plan.

    Village officials responded: "A similar question was asked of the village via SPEAK OUT to which we responded, and it was printed in February. To reiterate, a potential road-diet project has been identified in order to improve safety for the motoring public, as well as greater accommodation for all users on Westmore-Meyers Road. A road diet is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as, 'the conversion of a four-lane undivided road to a three-lane undivided road made up of two through lanes and a center two-way-left-turn-lane.' (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/info_guide/rdig.pdf).
    "Additionally, the FHWA states that benefits of a road diet may include overall crash reductions, reductions of rear-end and left-turn crashes through the use of a dedicated left-turn lane, fewer lanes for pedestrians to cross and an opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, and the opportunity to install bicycle lanes when the cross-section width is reallocated.
"With over 200 accident-related incidents on the Westmore-Meyers corridor in the last three years, the area has been identified as a potential location for a road diet. A majority of these incidents involve rear end collisions due to turning movements. Based upon data and case studies of road diets on similarly configured roadways, a reduction of over 25 percent is expected if the road-diet were to be implemented.    
    "If constructed, the project would also connect the two regional trails that run through the village. After receiving a federal grant, the village is beginning phase I engineering for the project to determine whether the road-diet is feasible. The village has retained Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. to perform the traffic volume feasibility study. The results of the feasibility study will be presented to the various standing committees of the village board for review and consideration.
    "The findings for the feasibility study and the recommendations from the various committees will determine the next steps the village will take in regard to the proposed project, however, a final decision on whether or not the project will be constructed has not been made as of this time.     "There will absolutely be public meetings to present the findings of the traffic study results and to receive additional input before proceeding.
    "For more information, please visit www.villageoflombard.org/roaddiet."                   –JAC

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    I think Lombard needs to have unmarked patrol officers spending more time cruising Main Street for cell phone users/texters who aren't hands-free. I drive that street every day to and from work, and while stopped at the lights, I see people talking on their phones even when the light turns green, or when checking my clearance when changing lanes, I see it while drivers are in motion. We need people to know they risk getting a ticket. Word spreads when there's a "speed trap," so why not have a "cell phone/text" trap?
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    Congress is again in recess and my congressman, Peter Roskam, refuses to hold an in-person town hall meeting. Since he has last been home, he helped create a law that removes our right to privacy on the Internet by allowing our browser history to be bought, and he has voted for a bill that would strip 24 million Americans of health insurance so that the wealthiest 1 percent of the nation can receive huge tax breaks. Time that someone starts running a primary challenge for his office.
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    Peter Roskam has apparently betrayed us in voting for Trumpcare. Obamacare is a flawed system, but Trumpcare does nothing to fix it for the majority of Americans. While it is true that young and healthy people are likely to see insurance premiums fall, those with preexisting conditions will be priced out of plans. Nonpartisan organizations like the American Medical Association and AARP have released clear and forceful statements that if the bill were to become law, everyday Americans will suffer and Medicare will run out of money faster. The clearest winners in all this will be the top 1 percent of earners who will see a $30,000 tax break. Do people earning over $800,000 need that more than the rest of us need insurance? It's outrageous that the latest attempt at health care reform was rushed through the House so quickly, with no period for public comment, testimony by experts or updated CBO Score. I understand a lot of people hate Obama, but health care is literally an issue of life and death, not something to score political points with. It was disgusting to see House members celebrating after their vote to drastically increase the number of uninsured Americans. By voting with his party and not with his constituents, Roskam has shown who he cares about.
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    This may be a touchy subject, but I wonder if it bothers anyone else who regularly reads the obituaries. World War II ended in 1945. That's 72 years ago. If someone who just died this year at the age of 87, for example, was described as a World War II veteran, that might raise some suspicion. Could someone have served in the waning months of the war at the age of 15? I know it's possible, but it's rather unlikely. I have seen many, many questionable obituaries in the local papers in the last five years. The ages just don't match up. I know there were exceptions, but I don't believe there were too many 16- and 17-year-olds actively serving the military overseas in 1945. When I see these obituaries with questionable ages of people listed as World War II veterans, I wonder, is the military service being embellished? Or maybe the person who died had been misrepresenting his age for decades. I'm not sure, but some of the ages in the obituaries don't logically add up.
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    Hi. I think the way to solve the debt in Illinois is to stop these teacher, fire and police pensions. Also, can someone share the Web site where we can see the teacher salaries within our own districts in Illinois? Thank you very much.
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    Hi, this is for Peter Roskam to congratulate him for voting on a health care bill that will really fulfill the needs of all Americans and to the person who was speaking against Mr. Roskam and said shame on you, what would you have done with the Obama bill, which it was going to implode in a year, and you would have no health insurance? So, at least at this time you will have health insurance. Thank you, Peter Roskam, once again for serving America. Thank you.
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    Hi. I just wanted to thank you for putting in the call about the junkyard over on Grace Street north of North Avenue. I've called and filed numerous complaints with DuPage County, and every time I've called to follow up, they told me I'd have to file a FOIA request, which I think is pretty absurd, seeing as how any time you would file a complaint you would think they would have to follow up with you to let you know what they're doing. That had been going on for a year-and-a-half, so thank you so much. Hopefully we can get this person to clean out the garbage, especially seeing as how we're all on well water and there could be things leaching into the ground affecting everybody's water. Concerned citizen who unfortunately lives on the block behind this person.

    Editor's note: In response to that initial call, SPEAK OUT included a standard response about contacting the Village of Lombard when a code violation is suspected. The village informed us that since the location in question is in unincorporated Lombard, it is not within the village’s jurisdiction, but DuPage County's.                    –JAC
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    Hi, Lombard calling. To those people who think the library at the Lombard Common is a good idea, what about all the flooding all the time when it rains? I don't think that's a good idea to move a library, even books and electronic resources, over to a place that floods all the time. Not a good idea. Park board and library, work together to build it where it belongs, next to Lilacia. Thanks.
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    I would like to address everyone in the town first by saying, I've seen my tax hike, am I happy about it? No. But do we need a better library? Yes. I am a graduate student, lecturer and published writer. I frequent the library a lot looking for reference books, research or books I would like to teach in my classes. If you have been to the library in the past six months or longer you will have noticed that the plans for the library, along with full details of renovation, were prominently displayed. Also as a Villa Park resident I received a lot of literature from the library on how this would potentially affect our taxes but also how badly the library needed those renovations. The Villa Park Library is a staple of our community and should be treated as such. It hosts summer reading programs to promote literacy and interest in literature for kids, teens, and adults. It holds résumé and career building workshops. They have more classes and opportunities to learn than I can even list in this note. A building that offers that much to our community deserves to be functional, up to code, and have the funds to get more books. So, yes our taxes went up, but they are going to a good cause. A better library leads to better literacy rates, better community involvement, and more opportunities to learn and grow. This is an investment in our town's future. So for all those who posted quips about the tax hike, would you rather our money go toward the bettering of our community, or see our town's center of public knowledge and opportunity waste away."
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    I had the good fortune to see an interview with Sen. (Joe) Manchin, from West Virginia, a Democrat. Paraphrasing him, he said he was sent to Congress by his constituents. Furthermore, he is in Washington representing the people of West Virginia, not his ideology or the Democratic Party. His ultimate aim is the betterment of West Virginia and the United States. I can only say, what a great senator. I only wish there were more senators like him. What a difference that would be.
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    Donald Trump is not draining the swamp. Donald Trump is the swamp.