Letters: Roskam should talk face to face with voters

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Congressman Peter Roskam | Brian O’Mahoney/For Sun-Times Media

Follow @csteditorialsU.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., continues to hide from his constituents. Whether it is ducking out back doors (as he did earlier this month in Palatine to avoid meeting with 300-plus voters who wanted to ask him where he stood on a number of issues) or setting up fake telephone town meetings where the questions can be tightly controlled by his loyal staff with crowd reaction silenced and follow-up questions ignored, Peter Roskam just does not have the stomach for democracy.

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Democracy can be messy, unpredictable and emotional.

Democracy can get loud and raucous.

If Roskam finds democracy so distasteful, perhaps he ought not be a United States congressman and find a position more suited to his sensitive nature.

But if he wants the job then he needs to buck up, find a spine and face his constituents.

Mike Malone, Glen Ellyn

Totally incompetent

Mr. Trump is showing us again, how totally incompetent he is, and entirely unfit to be our president.

Herb Grant, Northbrook

Important advisories

On Feb. 9, columnist Dale Bowman noted that he’s “irked” by Fish Consumption Advisories issued by the State of Illinois – advisories that are designed to protect the health of our state’s residents – because they “scare the hell out of people unnecessarily.” Really? There are advisories in effect for 100 waterways in Illinois that describe the species of fish, frequency that it should be consumed and the type of contaminant it contains. And while both he and the Illinois Department of Public Health note that “there is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any body of water in Illinois” … the main concern for regularly eating fish listed on the advisories is the effect of long-term exposure to low levels of pesticides and chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, chlordane, and methylmercury.

I am strong advocate for increasing public notification of the Fish Consumption Advisories and providing greater information about the effects of short- and long-term exposure. Many of the advisories note that an individual should only consume a particular fish once a week or once a month. Well, guess what? There are anglers fishing almost every day to put food on the table for their families, and it’s incumbent upon our government to ensure they are aware of the risks. Further, the IDPH website notes:

“…meal advisories for fish found with elevated levels of chlordane, dioxin, methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are based primarily on protecting sensitive populations, most particularly women who are pregnant, nursing, or of childbearing age, fetuses, and children younger than 15 years of age.”

Providing comprehensive information to the public about the health effects of consuming fish from Illinois waterways isn’t about scaring people – it’s about arming people with relevant facts to protect themselves.

In addition, we have Illinois residents who speak multiple languages and it would be most helpful to have advisories that can be easily understood by everyone.

Lastly, I hope that increased public notification also prompts the follow-up questions…why do we have these levels of contaminants in our waterways…and what are we going to do to about it?

Elizabeth Norden, Lincoln Park

Misleading the nation

President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned for overstepping his bounds. A Trump spokesman has announced the reason: That it’s unacceptable for the administration’s advisors to mislead said administration.

To which many ask, “Why not?  The entire Trump administration from The Donald down has been busy misleading the entire nation, not just since coming to power, but long before Trump even ran for the office.”

Remember the birther fiction he actively perpetuated since 2008? That was just the start. It’s par for the course at the Trump White House.

To “fake news” and “made up facts” we need to add feigned indignation.

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

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