Letters To The Editor

Urge inspection of potential safety hazards at Metra in Hyde Park

To the Editor: Urge inspection of potential health and safety hazards in Metra properties in Hyde Park. The Metra retail properties under the tracks are using unsafe and illegal methods to address water damage in ceiling supports. Gutters are not legal to be installed inside, yet Metra has installed gutters in their retail stores. This(…)

Supreme Court denies citizens a chance to vote for non-partisan redistricting

To the Editor: “You have sat here too long for any good you are doing. Depart, I say, and let us be done with you.” Oliver Cromwell speaking to the Rump Parliament May 14, 1653. For the second time in a strictly partisan vote the state Supreme Court has denied the citizens a chance to(…)

Thank you for your concern for our kids

To the Editor: A warm thank you to members of the Hyde Park/Kenwood/Bronzeville community from Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK) for your generous donations to our school supply drive for children in Englewood. We were out collecting four times in the neighborhood, and were overwhelmed by how many of you, from all walks(…)

Wooded Island news: good and not-so-good

To the Editor: There is good news and not-such-good news about the Osaka Japanese Garden and the Wooded Island.  The good news is that it is very likely that the fence surrounding the Island and lagoon will come down sometime next month.  The not-such-good-news, depending on one’s perspective, is that the occasion for this will(…)

Celebrating the return of the nurse midwife unit at U. of C.

To the Editor: I celebrate The University of Chicago Hospitals for re-opening its nurse midwife unit this month. I was one of the pregnant and new mothers who led the protest to stop the closure of the practice 13 years ago.  I feel vindicated and elated that the University of Chicago (U. of C.) now(…)

Thank you Hyde Park for supporting Woodlawn Voices and Visions

To the Editor: Thank you for the coverage last week of our program and our Aug. 20th showcase. We filled the 130-seat screening room of the Logan Center, and our diverse audience engaged in robust debate regarding the subject matter of the documentary shorts produced by our students and debuted that day. Hyde Park has(…)

Less is more for Jackson Park

To the Editor: With the siting of the Obama Library in Jackson Park, and expansive talk of a “Museum Campus South”, it is even more important that plans for the rest of Jackson Park get more scrutiny.  As the surrounding neighborhood develops and land is sought to relocate the displaced track and athletic fields, there will(…)

Illinois legislature needs new ideas to temper the state’s political turmoil

To the Editor:  The Illinois state legislature desperately needs new ideas to temper the state’s political turmoil, but the way we elect representatives prevents many groups with novel ideas from being represented in Springfield. While the Independent Map Amendment takes a much needed first step to reduce gerrymandering, single winner districts – where voters in(…)

Certain ads at old Istria Cafe site are dangerous for kids

To the Editor: I am writing this letter regarding the former location of Istria cafe near the 55th/ 56th/ 57th Metra Train Station in Hyde Park. This cafe had a delicious gelato shop. It was then transformed into another shop, which closed down quickly. Now, the shop window has become an advertising point for many(…)

Op-Ed: Mikva’s Lesson on Democracy Resonates Today

I grew up four blocks away from Abner Mikva’s house in Evanston. In the late 70’s, my contact with then Congressman Mikva was limited to trips to his house on Halloween when he or one of his family members would hand out full size Hershey bars to the neighborhood ghosts and pirates. I appreciated his largesse so(…)

A Wooded Island Problem?

To the Editor: In the early 1890s, the Japanese government, striving to break free of cultural bonds that had shut it off from the western world for centuries, heard about the great World’s Columbian Exposition that was under construction in the burgeoning city of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Eager to be welcomed(…)

Stop gap measure a plus but the real work still lies ahead of us

To the Editor:  Last week, just before the beginning of the new fiscal year, the General Assembly passed a stop-gap measure that provides much needed funding for our human service providers, our public universities and most importantly for our local schools to ensure they open on time in the fall. The spending plan provides $1(…)

Stop gap budget shows shared concerns across the aisle

To the Editor:  Along with a bipartisan coalition of my colleagues, I proudly voted for a compromise that will allow schools to open on time, fund state government operations for the next six months, keep road and transit construction workers on the job and provide desperately needed relief to our human services providers. This long-overdue(…)

Closing of Bixler Playlot for construction is frustrating and insulting

To the Editor: During the spring and summer, I brought my 4-year-old daughter to Bixler Playlot almost every day. It was our home away from home, and we could be almost guaranteed to meet friends there every time we went. It had a sandbox, water, and a fence to keep her safe. On Friday morning,(…)

Many thanks to JPAC and MPAC

To the Editor: Team JPAC, MPAC, and Chicago Parks Foundation, We made “It’s Your Parks Day “ on Saturday, a wonderful success and gift to our community and our families. In Jackson Park, we removed the mud from the Music Court aisles, removed the bottles, cans, and trash from the shoreline of the Columbia Lagoon and(…)

City giving away our lakefront to celebrities

To the Editor: Today on Facebook I saw Project 120’s video about the Yoko Ono sculpture on Wooded Island. According to Project 120, “[Yoko Ono] already had a very special connection to the city of Chicago. When she first visited in the 1970s, she stayed at a hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and later went back(…)

Thanks to Alderman Hairston!

To the Editor:  Editor’s note: An open letter to Alderman Leslie Hairston from Jackson Park Watch Dear Alderman Hairston, Jackson Park Watch wants to thank you for convening and leading the May 31 community meeting on the future of Jackson Park.  The fact that over 170 residents from communities surrounding the park came out on a very(…)

Jackson Park: Sacred Cows and Holy Beavers

To the Editor: Last week I learned of local concern that the Jackson Park Golf Driving Range, constructed in 1978 near the site of the Nike Missile Base, was soon to be sacrificed to Project 120’s plan to convert the space into a spacious lawn. I also learned that beavers would soon be unwelcome facets(…)