Help bees by protecting their habitat

The Illinois Department of Transportation should pursue new funding to plant pollinator-friendly vegetation along roadsides. The state should complement it with a similar pot of money.

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A worker bee carries bits of pollen secured with its legs back to his colony.

A worker bee carries bits of pollen secured with its legs back to his colony.

Sun-Times media

Your editorial, “Bees work for us. They need our help,” makes several important points.

The first is that states are making progress. Four states in the past year and seven in total have restricted the sale of bee-killing pesticides. As of today, California is close to joining the list, and Illinois should get in the queue for 2023.

Second, we absolutely must protect bee habitats. In addition to people planting wildflowers in their yards, the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed last fall, provides new grants to states for planting pollinator-friendly vegetation along roadsides.

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The Illinois Department of Transportation should pursue this funding, and the state should complement it with a similar pot of money.

With a little luck and a lot of work, we can keep bees buzzing in the Land of Lincoln.

Steve Blackledge, conservation program director, Environment America

Protect lungs from truck exhaust

I was troubled to read your recent article on Illinois’ transition to electric vehicles being crucial to stopping pollution-related deaths.

Seven years ago, I became the recipient of a lung transplant. With only one lung, pollution makes it much harder for me to breathe. As a lung transplant recipient, exhaust fumes from trucks which come into my car and home through air vents are more than a mere annoyance. They could cause my transplant to be damaged and rejected, leaving me unable to breathe. Everything we breathe touches our lungs. Everything. For a person like me, that can mean life or death.

We need to and can do more to reduce pollution from diesel engines, especially the heavy-duty trucks we see all around us. If Gov. J.B. Pritzker supports the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, we may just succeed.

Catherine Horine, Wheeling

Criminals sending a message

What is happening currently in Chicago is taking me back to the 1970s, early ‘80s. In less than a week, three Chicago law enforcement officials were wounded by gunfire.

Violent criminals are sending a message: we no longer fear the police.

It’s reasonable to believe that when they read and hear that Chicago’s cops are being severely restricted in foot chases and most vehicle chases, the message is, we are willing to take our chances and shoot our way out. I cannot help but think of the late Bobby Kennedy’s quote: “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

Chicago is desperately working on creating the kind of law enforcement it thinks it wants, and it is possible that we have gone too far and over-corrected because of a few ugly incidents. Criminals that shoot at the police are not what Chicago deserves. Lots of smart people have a lot to say about what cops face every day, but the frightening reality is, has it gone too far?

Bob Angone, retired Chicago Police lieutenant, Austin, Texas

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