Suburban Life Sound Off: Aug. 7-13


Calculating Social Security benefits

The following applies only to those of you who are currently receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration. In answer to all of you conservative doubters about Social Security, I have done calculations on the amount I have received. First, establish your personal page on the [Social Security] website. Next, pull up "Your Social Security Statement," and on page 3, you will find what you and your employer have paid into [Social Security]. Then add up what you have received in the way of benefits, which will be net of any [federal] income tax, or Parts B, C, D you might have deducted from your benefits (or line 20A on IRS form 1040 for gross benefits received). Divide the total benefits received by the amount you and your employer have paid into the system to get the percentage of benefits received versus amount paid in. You will probably find that after receiving benefits for six to 10 years, your benefits are equal to or greater than what was paid into the system.

Responsible dog owners wanted

I've had enough of it! Dog owners must take responsibility! Just last week I was walking my wife's son to the park, and not more than four minutes into our stroll I had amassed large amounts of dog excrement on the bottom of my shoe. Living in a great town like Downers [Grove] comes with responsibility and more people must recognize this!

Fishing as 'war'?

Modern day fishing is the perfect example of toxic masculinity. Your typical white male gathers his fishing gear (weaponry), sets out for the local pond (battlefield), casts his bait out (battle charge), and then violently reels in an innocent fish (enemy). If you can't see that fishing is war, then you seriously have a problem. I firmly believe as a vegan we should discourage fishing and make sure to tell all those that do that they are promoting a very toxic culture! 

Two sides of Berwyn?

The portrayal of Berwyn as a progressive, welcoming "city of homes," with a diverse housing stock including the beloved bungalow, attracted my attention several years ago. As an older degreed engineer, I bought into the Why Berwyn appeal and now have my reservations. There appears to be many wonderful things happening, while there are dark undercurrents that can undermine this progress. The current battle to protect us from ugly house additions, the butchering of the parkway trees over the last few years, the standalone video gambling allowances, the pay-to-play politics and the less-than-truthful reporting on addressing the fiscal debt are a few of the things I find discouraging. Friends from Oak Park are now considering moving to Berwyn, and I gave them a mixed review. If we truly want to be the hidden gem of the near west suburbs, can we shed our greed and short-sightedness and do what is best for the long-term common good of our community?

'Kingery Speedway'

Did I miss the announcement where Kingery Highway was renamed "Kingery Speedway"? Early in the morning, before the traffic gets too bad, if you drive under 60 miles an hour between 55th Street you risk your life. Many drivers do at least 70 miles an hour, weave in and out of traffic with no signals, and use the exit lane for 55th Street as a passing lane. Whoever is supposed to patrol this area could solve any budget crisis that policing and governing body might have by handing out tickets. I would bet that they could hand out 25 tickets every half an hour for multiple infractions being committed by these drivers. You want to end the state's budget crisis? Put the state troopers in charge (Route 83 is a state highway) of patrolling this stretch of road.