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Opinion

Suburban Life Sound Off: Feb. 19-25

Mental health services should be part of addressing gun violence

The tragedy in Florida does indicate that gun control laws need improvement. To place the blame solely on Republicans and the NRA is wrong and stupid. A significant portion of the blame for many mass shootings must rest on the lousy mental health system and American attitudes towards mental health treatment. ... Families of children and adults must get treatment for those needing help and not worry that seeing a mental health professional will create gossip or social stigmas. By the same token, the U.S. needs more mental health professionals and facilities. ... If authorities are warned about a person who makes disturbing comments or whose behavior creates genuine concern for the safety of others, that person should get immediate professional help, regardless of what health insurance he has or how much his parents, family or friends protest. Finally, perhaps an annual physical should include a mental health component. A person may have normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol levels and normal reflexes. However, if depression, bi-polar disorder, neurosis or even simple phobias aren't diagnosed, that person can't be considered healthy.

Calculating Downers Grove stormwater tax

Upon reading the recent article titled “Village of Downers Grove considers ‘more restrictive’ stormwater management regulations," I have a suggestion: While the Village Council members are reviewing the stormwater runoff issue, perhaps they should also consider a new way of assessing the homeowners’ stormwater tax. It appears that much of the increased rainwater runoff in the village is due to the trend of building ever-larger houses on smaller land parcels. Therefore, I believe the fairest way to assess the stormwater tax would be to calculate the ratio of a home’s footprint (in square feet) to the square footage of the lot, multiplied by a base stormwater fee. Therefore, large houses on smaller lots that have little land to absorb rainwater runoff would pay more stormwater tax versus a house on a larger lot that provides more land for rainwater absorption. The required information for this improved taxation method is on public record. It simply requires a decision by the village officials to implement this proposal.

Work together after snowfall

Just a note about the person complaining they should be able to put the snow back in the street “where it came from." It doesn’t make economic, or common, sense to keep pushing the snow back and forth. Do your neighbors (and yourself) a favor and put it in a pile where it can melt when the sun comes out. It is hazardous for everyone to push it into the street. That is why the plows push it off the street in the first place. Public safety, not your convenience. Let's all work together instead of pushing the blame on someone else. One snowplow idea would be to not push big piles of snow onto the crosswalk. No one should have to clear 3 feet of heavy snow from the crosswalk when it would have been just as easy for the plow to put the pile 3 feet to the right or left.

Downers Grove cul-de-sacs need more attention from plows

Nobody is asking Downers Grove to give priority plowing to the cul-de-sacs. And please note that I am not a Downers Grove resident, but an appalled visitor. The cul-de-sacs were not plowed hours and hours and hours after a 4-inch snowfall. I do understand that cul-de-sacs are last on the plowing priority list, but they still should be plowed within a reasonable time. The notion that a cul-de-sac is an extension to a driveway is misguided. There are 12 homes affected by the lousy plowing service on this one cul-de-sac, and I know there are plenty more cul-de-sacs in that neighborhood. When the subdivision was built, I’ll bet the developer was trying to maximize the number of lots, and the village was happy to allow [him or her] to build the cul-de-sacs rather than through-streets, which require more real estate. After all, more homes would mean more tax income for the village, wouldn’t it?

In response

First, shoveling the snow, put it on your lawn like a normal person. Don't hit Jeeps driving down the street! Second, snow removal? Cul-de-sacs should be ignored? You suggested a tax break? Well, when we get a tax break, then we will relent. "Put snow back where it came from." How about throwing the snow back into the sky, not the street! After all, it is the place snow came from. And, "no more excuses" – hate to tell you. People kill people. Guns do not. Tell me and show me a gun with a mind on killing. Sorry, guns do not go out killing people. People go out killing people. Time to think on using the gun laws that everyone seems to ignore. These laws are there but overlooked. New laws would be ignored as well. NRA and the Republicans are being victimized by ignorance. Want to quash the violence? Get rid of the violent video games and violent movies that these kids "and many adults" play/watch. I'll bet the farm that this is a major part of our problem.

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