This week in The Times: Jim Heavlin

Vitals: Jim Heavlin, 52, is originally from Gwinnett, Ga. He has lived in DeKalb, Ill., for the past 15 years after moving to Tennessee, Iowa and other stops in between. Currently, Heavlin is unemployed, but spent most of his years working as a CNC operator.

1. What is your opinion of BP’s cleanup efforts to date, and what do you think the future holds for offshore drilling? I think BP has done pretty much all that could be done so far. It was a tragedy to have all that oil spilled in the Gulf; but after it was spilled, the only thing that could be done was to clean it up. I see all their commercials on television where they promise to stay in the Gulf until the job is done, which send a good message, I think. I wish the government would take a stronger stance on drilling offshore safely and ensuring that all companies meet stringent safety requirements. Companies will still drill offshore because there is oil there, but they should be held to higher standards moving forward.

2. What three things do you enjoy most about northern Illinois? I enjoy the people here in DeKalb. They are all pretty friendly, and folks seem to get along well. I also like the farmland out here and all the wide-open spaces. Plus, there are a ton of parks and natural areas for people to enjoy.

3. What do you think could be done to spur the creation of new jobs in America? I really don’t have the answer to that one. All I know is that we have a lot of people out of work for a long time. People want to work, but they have no jobs available for them. I think that the manufacturing industry could be the key to creating new jobs. If we go back to making more goods, we’ll need people to fill those factories. I think we have become a nation of consumers, which has really hurt our economy and job market.

4. What has been your favorite part of summer 2010 thus far? Well, I’m a Cubs fan, so baseball hasn’t been too enjoyable thus far. I guess the Fourth of July would have to be my highlight so far. I went into Rockford to watch their fireworks, which were spectacular.

5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant, Lauretta Smuck: Where is your favorite summer vacation spot? I can’t remember the last vacation I went on, but I always like going to the beach. I guess Fort Walton Beach, Fla., would have to be my favorite.

“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. 11-17, 2010 issue

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