Vitals: Clifford DeBoard, 69, of Sandoval, Ill., is a retired Chrysler employee. Since moving to Rockford in March 1966, DeBoard has seen many changes in the Rock River Valley and its citizens.
1. If you could choose any elected official – local, state or national – to speak with one-on-one, who would it be, and what would you say? I’d speak with President Barack Obama (D). I’d like to discuss all the concessions the “Big Three” – Ford, G.M. and Chrysler – had to make to get the bailout money they received. It hit folks like me pretty hard. Retirees had to sacrifice dental and eye care, and we all saw an additional $86 per week taken out of our pension checks. We all worked hard for years for these companies, and now they turn around and take away money and services we earned by working in their factories for years.
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss the most? Nothing.
3. In light of the recent developments in the “Baby Crystal” case, do you feel that young, expectant mothers should have additional services available to them? Young, unmarried girls who are pregnant need a special counseling place to help get them through what they will face. This counseling should be mandatory and provided at no cost to the young mothers. So many of them need guidance. It seems like most of them just care about themselves and the poor babies suffer because of this. … These young girls should be screened to ensure they don’t have drugs in their systems; and if they do test positive, there should be severe punishment for that. The main thing is protecting young babies who have no choice in who they are born to and no way of protecting or taking care of themselves.
4. How do you think the recent budget cuts at the Rockford Public Library will affect its services and offerings? I don’t really think it will affect the service, but it will affect the books and other things they offer the public. This could impact a lot of readers here in the area. Many people spend time reading, and if the library is losing money, it could mean that less books – newer books – could be offered. I just think that the government agencies should find other places to take this money from instead of taking it from the smaller groups and businesses.
5. Question from last week’s “This Week in The Times” participant Danielle Hall: What do you think could be done to help the families in war-torn Uganda? Personally, I feel that humanitarian aid should continue and birth control should be stressed. Most of these families can’t take care for the babies they have. If they can’t take care of the ones they already have, it just stands to reason that more babies would make their situation even harder.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the Aug. 19-25, 2009 issue