The article "Buildings That Breathe" makes some great points overall, but the homesteading movement is not dead, and not just in California. (See River Cities' Reader Issue 616, January 17-23, 2007.) There are many alternative building/energy conferences one can go to in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois focusing on straw-bale construction, log construction, and alternative heating/energy for the cabin set. There are many publications that cater to the modern homesteader.
Although I am not currently a homesteader, we are moving in that direction. With a little research on the Web, hundreds of sites can be found that trumpet modern homesteading. Please do not denigrate a group of people who really do live green in trying to get the "masses" to try green "lite."
(Via the River Cities' Reader Web site.)
Will Illinois Go Smoke-Free?
This year, the Illinois General Assembly will consider a 100-percent comprehensive smoke-free law introduced by Senator John Cullerton (D-Sixth District) to prohibit smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The American Cancer Society strongly supports this life-saving legislation and encourages all Illinoisans to do the same.
The plain truth about the dangers of secondhand smoke is both mind-boggling and tragic. Secondhand smoke is killing our family members, friends, and co-workers. It has been for years, which is why the nation's leading public-health authority, the U.S. Surgeon General, issued an updated, comprehensive report last summer that said there is simply no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Sadly, about 2,900 people will die in Illinois this year from exposure to secondhand smoke. That's eight people a day who are dying from an act that is 100-percent preventable.
Employees of Illinois' bars and restaurants should not have to choose between a job and good health. In fact, restaurant workers are exposed to twice the amount of secondhand smoke than other workers. This is grossly unacceptable.
In Illinois, about half of the state's population is protected by secondhand-smoke ordinances as a result of local initiatives that have occurred in the past year. The time is right for Illinois to pass a law that protects everyone in this state from the irrefutable cancer-causing poisons contained in secondhand smoke.
Illinois needs to join the growing list of states - 16 states as of today - that have adopted comprehensive smoke-free laws. To delay passage of such a law would be a major public-health mistake that could tragically cost more lives, suffering, and pain for generations to come.
I urge everyone who supports Smoke-Free Illinois to contact their state representatives and ask them to vote in favor of this legislation. To register your support and learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke, go to (http://www.smokefreeillinois.net).
Clement Rose, MD
President, The American Cancer
Society, Illinois Division
In the article "Tooting Their Own Horn" in the January 10-16, 2007, issue of the River Cities' Reader, we neglected to mention that the Mississippi Palette exhibit organized and executed by the Figge's Artists Advisory Council is being funded by the Riverboat Development Authority through a grant to the Waste Commission of Scott County.