Updated 2/5/2018 11:23 AM

The fiasco on pre-paying property taxes

Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you have to marvel at our government in action. You would like to think after knowing several months beforehand that the 2018 tax reform bill, that was recently passed, that our local, state, county and federal governments would have their act together long before thousands of taxpaying residents began paying their real estate taxes prior to Jan. 1, 2018, to take advantage of prepaying those taxes in 2017.

Now, the IRS steps in and says if you are not issued your actual documented tax bill, you may not claim an estimated sum to prepay the tax. To top it off, some counties in Illinois stated you can deduct either one half, 100 percent or even 105 percent of your tax bill but then some counties would only allow 50 percent of the prepaid tax bill. Really!

Our government agencies let us down by jumping the gun without properly looking into this issue before thousands deposited their checks into their local county escrow accounts. Where are all the local county officials and why did they not address this issue with the IRS before taking in all the prepaid tax monies?

Now it seems all the counties will be holding all the prepaid tax money in escrow and collecting interest on those millions of dollars of resident taxpayers' monies. If the IRS is going to enforce the assessment documentation rule, then refunding all monies should take place, you would think. No word if this will occur either. I would bet that won't happen, so who will gain from the interest on the monies in escrow? You can bet it won't be you, the prepaying taxpayer.

Roman E. Strzala


Democrats' hypocrisy a bad example for world

The whole world is watching what is happening in the U.S. right now, and not all of the people are blaming Trump for it. They see how things are playing out, the relentless barrage of anti-Trumpism from the Democrats.

This is the tragic irony of the whole thing, how a party that prides itself on being peacemakers around the world, how are they going to be taken seriously the next time they are in charge, when they try to approach two sparring peoples, such as the Shiites and the Sunnis, to persuade them to bury the hatchet?

They're so fond of saying: "Stop fighting and start listening to one another, find areas where you all agree and build from there to build an amicable relationship." How are they going to be taken seriously? They'll be told: "Don't preach to us, you don't do it in your own country."

What I mean is taking unfair advantage of certain loopholes in our Constitution. I'm not sure loophole is the right word. Maybe "intangible nothings" would be a better way to describe it. The framers of the Constitution didn't write about all possible scenarios of how the meaning of certain points of the Constitution could be circumvented or ignored. The fighting was supposed to take place in the halls of Congress, not in the countryside.

The Founding Fathers' revolution took place in debate, not in mob action, in rioting and mayhem. What the Democrats are doing is use other means than debate.

Steven Robnett


Lack of basic math skills hurting students

I am a retired high school physics, chemistry and advanced mathematics teacher from the Chicago Public Schools. Over the years, I have found that a large number of high school students, of both majority and minority groups, have not learned their elementary mathematics to adequately perform well in college-level technical subjects such as physics, chemistry, engineering and medical subjects such as laboratory work and even nursing.

Not being competent in basic mathematics may mean not being able to earn a comfortable living in a technical or medical type job which often pays a good wage as opposed to a nontechnical type job which often pays a smaller wage. This weakness in basic math skills may even extend to lower test scores on intelligence tests, and employment tests, for example and may also extend for an entire lifetime of promotions and job opportunities.

I believe this crisis in lack of competence in elementary mathematics skills in our current high school population may even constitute an urgent national situation of great seriousness since we need many engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians as well as other technical personnel to run our great country.

Also, I have found a number of high school students, of majority and minority, who get their physics and chemistry wrong not because they do not know how to do the problem correctly, but because they do not know their fractions, decimals and long division properly to obtain the right answer on the other sign of the equal sign. Much potential in our schools is being wasted by our precious students not properly learning their elementary mathematics which is one of the foundations for higher level math and science career courses and a lifetime of adequate employment.

Stewart Brekke

Downers Grove

A silver lining for library project

The Naperville Historic Preservation Commission has approved the demolition of the 1962 addition to the Old Nichols Library. We did not object to that. However, the developers also will be allowed to demolish the rear (east) part of the original building, which they incorrectly call the "1939 building addition." (It actually was an interior remodeling.)

This dismays us, but there could be a silver lining. Perhaps this latest assault on Old Nichols will inspire city officials, working with the Naperville Development Partnership, to help find a tenant for the building. Because the City landmarked Old Nichols, it is more than appropriate that the city help market the property.

We also understand that to be economically viable, the redevelopment of Old Nichols might include an expansion: new space to the east and south of the original building. However, it is important that any such expansion complement, not overwhelm, Old Nichols.

We appreciate the continued hard work being done by elected and appointed city officials, not to mention the continued support this effort has received from the people of Naperville. Thank you all.

Becky Simon, President of Save Old Nichols Library


Faculty should not discourage debate

Politically, I am decidedly liberal and have a visceral dislike of the views of Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump, but I have to wonder what the heck the faculty at the University of Chicago is thinking. You may think that I'm going to protest the invitation to Steve Bannon to participate in a debate on immigration, but my disappointment is actually with the faculty who are doing the protesting.

The purpose of colleges and universities is to educate, not just the things with which they agree, but the other side as well. We should be encouraging students to sort the wheat from the chaff, not accept what is given to them and are told what is wheat and what is chaff. It's called critical thinking.

Universities should also be encouraging free speech. To steal perhaps my favorite movie lines of all time from "The American President," "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say 'You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, and who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.' "

Faculty at a prestigious university like the University of Chicago shouldn't be discouraging the debate of issues, they should be encouraging it.

Mary Hunter


Trump getting rid of 'Chicago Way'

DACA is shorthand for the Democrat Party "welfare for votes" swindle. Behind the pretense of really caring, the Dems are building a political army of noncitizens (funded on the taxpayer dime). Connect the dots … from the sanctuary cities and states … to the refusals by those lawless warrens to cooperate with ICE and federal vote fraud probes … to pledges to allow illegal voting (thereby cheapening the legal citizen vote). Their cries for children are no purer than a criminal's covetousness about his stash.

This is not your daddy's Democrat Party. The current edition is more like a communist-front organization, a U.S.-hating leftist cabal, engineered during the Obama years to "fundamentally transform" (his words) the United States. Obama & Clinton Inc. brought the "Chicago Way" of self-aggrandizing political corruption to the nation. Witness the deconstruction of the FBI and Justice Department to political arms of the Democrat Party: the pro-Hilary bias of James Comey and Peter Strzok, Uranium One deceptions, the Fusion/Clinton-Campaign/Steele-Trump-Dossier gambit, etc.

The Dems act boldly and without fear of exposure. The so-called mainstream media and the Hollywood/show-biz left purposely preoccupy themselves with Donald Trump vulgarities (real or manufactured), which they quickly mint into allegations of racism (the most mortal of mortal sins in post-Judeo-Christian America). Both (news and entertainment media) join D.C. on the list of swamps needing drains.

Of course, the Hollywoodians never fail to plumb greater depths of depravity with frequent obscene anti-Trump tantrums. They lurch from one fib (Trump conspired with Russia) to another (Trump's insane). It's a political sleight of hand by partisan media (to divert attention away from the Democrat Party cancers and onto Trump's warts).

Hmm! Given the national sway of the "Chicago Way" grown during the Obama years, maybe Mike Madigan can claim godfathership.

Les Lopinot


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