Will Donald Trump ever wake up and see ‘the light?’

“The Blues Brothers” is my favorite movie. When I am tired and depressed at the end of a long day, I watch a movie clip online, go to bed and sleep soundly.

My favorite part is the gospel scene. James Brown as the Rev. Cleophus James tells his congregation when he woke up that morning, “What I heard was the jingle, jangle of a thousand lost souls.” And Brown asks, “Do you see the light?” And again, “Do you see the light?” So, I have started searching for that light during these troubling times.

Recently I was in the Loop when I passed a Venezuelan mother and her 6-year-old daughter on a street corner. The mother was selling candies. The daughter was eating an apple. I was in a hurry, but I couldn’t pass by a little girl who only had an apple to eat for lunch. I went back and offered the mother the last few dollars I had in my wallet. The smile that mother gave me brightened my life. I saw light.

The next morning, instead of sleeping late, I went to our neighborhood bakery and brought home breakfast. When I saw that a neighbor had put a new American flag on their front porch, I felt light.

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I passed a stranger on the street and wished him a good day. He said, “You do the same.” I felt the light.

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At the bakery when I gave the server a large tip (after all, she has bills to pay), I could see her face light up. Again, there was light.

So, I ask Donald Trump, “Do you see the light?” If reelected, will you give recent Venezuelan migrants work permits so that they can get their wives and daughters off of street corners and into decent housing?

Will you support a federal law so that an expectant mother who has a miscarriage doesn’t face criminal charges?

Will you protect schoolteachers so they aren’t afraid of losing their jobs if they say a wrong word in class?

As a fellow American, I ask you, “Stop. End the violent rhetoric. Look up and see the light.”

William Dodd Brown, Lincoln Square

Police are handcuffed at keeping people safe

There is a new version of “defund the police” and that is takeaways. What do I mean by that? These are actions, legislative “fixes,” and other moves that hinder police officers from doing their job: to keep people safe.

Here are some examples, in Illinois and nationwide, of tools that have either been taken away or limited so that police cannot respond effectively: Chicago’s street gang database; ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology; limits on vehicle pursuits and foot pursuits; restrictions on police departments that want to purchase surplus military equipment; restrictions on the use of tasers; restrictions on interviewing juvenile suspects; restrictions on the use of canines; restrictions on drones; and restrictions on the type of traffic stops police can make.

The Ring home security equipment company has limited police use of the videos from its Ring camera and wants warrants filed to access them. Additionally, some public leaders have stated that not only do they want to defund the police, they would like to abolish policing.

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Some of these takeaways or restrictions are simply overwhelming.

You may know that Illinois state Rep. Justin Slaughter introduced a bill to drastically reduce traffic stops. The bill did not go forward, but I believe that it is not going away and will get pushed again.

Politicians have anti-police activists whispering in their ears, and they now believe that Americans do not want police anymore — one of the most ridiculous notions I have heard of in my 37 years in law enforcement.

Most citizens want professional, courteous, compassionate but proactive community policing. They do not want the police sitting in some random parking lot waiting for a radio call for them to respond. That is not policing.

Think about this: If legislators in Springfield or Washington, D.C., ever tried to do to other professions — doctors, lawyers, accountants — what they do to police officers, those people would march on the capitols. It is time for the police leadership to march.

Tom Weitzel, retired chief of police, Riverside

Some bike lanes in Chicago are a pain

The city has been constructing concrete barriers for bicycle lanes on some of the city’s brilliant avenues that cut diagonally through the city’s grid. They are horrible.

Elston Avenue, Grand Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue are all streets I drive through every day as a professional shopper. These concrete barriers have eaten up hundreds of parking spots that otherwise would be used by eager consumers looking to spend money at local businesses. Now there is nowhere to park. I have to take my money elsewhere.

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What are first responders supposed to do when the (otherwise) open street has now been confined and there is no possible way to pass in either lane if traffic is tight (note: traffic is always tight)? It’s a safety mess.

How about plowing snow? Will the bike lanes get plowed? Where do cyclists go when those lanes aren’t plowed or shoveled? And where does the snow go when the plows do their usual thing? Sounds like we now need more labor and equipment to deal with these new problems.

The building of these barriers needs to be stopped and some should be removed for public safety, local businesses and those of us who travel through the streets every day. As a bicyclist, you can’t even pass anyone anymore with these tight lanes! Are they that much safer and convenient?

It’s more money spent on unnecessary stuff that makes life harder for everyone.

Thomas J. Glynn, Evanston

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