Letters to the Editor

I  oppose the closing of the Shrine for technical reasons

To the Editor:

Editor’s note: This letter was written to the Committee on Historic Landmarks and sent as an open letter to several newspapers including the Hyde Park Herald.

This letter is written to voice my opposition to the demolition of the Shrine of Christ the King in Woodlawn, not only because of the Shrine’s beauty and its historical value, but for a technical reason. The Committee’s recently issued demolition permit for the church would seem like a logical decision considering that the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, had previously determined the building to be dangerous and in need of demolition.

Let me introduce myself. I am a licensed architect in the State of Illinois; hold a master degree in Architecture and Urban Design and am a member of the American Institute of Architects. My entire career has been devoted to the investigation of building failures; my first assignment fresh out of university being the Seattle Dome Collapse many years ago. I take extreme exception to the opinion that the building should be demolished due to the recent fire. It simply is not true.

We know that your decision to issue the demolition permit was based upon Building Department Commissioner, Judith Frydland’s, recent judgment that the building is “imminently dangerous and hazardous and poses a health and safety risk to the public.” This conclusion was based on her interpretation of the structural report prepared by WJE Associates, the architect engineer (AE) firm who was on the site immediately after the fire to do a structural investigation.

I studied, in detail, the WJE Associates Structural Report, and visually inspected the photos and the building. Based upon my street-side, no-access inspection and my years of experience, I fully agree and support the conclusions of the Report by WJE Associates. But I take it one step further, by stating herein, that the church structure, in my best experience, is not in danger of “imminent” collapse and is not unstable.
The decision to find the building “imminently dangerous”, and declare that it “should be demolished,” was based upon a mistaken interpretation of what the WJE Report actually stated.

The WJE structural report did not recommend the building be demolished due to a danger to the public, as a result of the fire. The report, in fact, recommended the opposite; they recommended renovating the church and gave instructions on how to accomplish it, as follows:

a.) Temporary stabilization for the roof framing and masonry walls,

b.) Rebuild the roof structure and roof diaphragm with new roof-to-wall connection detailing to brace the masonry walls and re-establish an adequate load path, or,
“…If the church building is to be demolished…”

c.) Demolish the structure.

The city and the Archdiocese’s mutual decisions were not based upon sound engineering principles and are not supported by the report of the AE firm who was on the site immediately after the fire. Your decision to issue the demolition permit was based upon mistaken information that was given you for your deliberations.

I am asking that the Committee on Chicago Landmarks reevaluate your decision and consider immediately rescinding your demolition permit for the church.

Yours truly,
Richard Wallace, AIA

Proposed loud music venue out of sync with Jackson Park

To the Editor: 

I am writing to express my concern about the Phoenix Pavilion with Music Court that is planned for Jackson Park, adjacent to the Museum of Science and Industry, as part of the Project 120 collaboration. This is an area of the park that I see many people using for parking, family picnics, dog walking, birding and nature walks. A friend and I wrote to Alderman Hairston’s office about this concern some months ago, but received no response.

It seems to me that a loud music venue would not be in harmony with the natural environment. We already have the Northerly Island music venue, not so far away, in what was “supposed” to be a nature reserve on the former Meigs Field.

The great American landscape architects – Frederick Law Olmsted and Daniel Burnham – must be spinning in their graves as they hear about yet another encroachment on sacred parkland.  Of course they lived in a bygone era when pubic figures were long sighted and not simply motivated by money and profit.

I agree with the Japanese belief that time spent in nature lowers stress levels and can even help the immune system to fight cancer and other disease, as mentioned on this Happy Parks Happy People website: http://www.hphpcentral.com/article/forest-bathing

Sincerely,

Marge Ishmael

Project 120 will adversly affect daily commute for residents

To the Editor: 

If you commute using Cornell Drive, Project 120’s plans are going to affect you. Project 120 plans to have traffic drive over the Clarence Darrow Bridge. In addition to affecting the Paul H Douglas Sanctuary on Wooded Isle which begins about 40 feet away, this new road will make Jackson Park noisier and less safe for families having picnics. The short-cut between LSD and Cornell Drive will mean there will be an additional stoplight on Cornell Drive.  The parking area in back of the Museum will be removed when the Phoenix Pavilion/Music Building is built and so the plan is to remove 2 lanes of traffic from Cornell Drive and use those lanes for street parking. This will certainly affect that people who commute and at some points when there is a turning lane on Cornell Drive, there will only be one lane going each way.

The traffic light at LSD and Science Drive needs adjusting.  I tried to report this on the 311 hotline but was unsuccessful in getting this issue addressed.

About the time they started working on wooded isle, the city changed the timing of the stoplight at the intersection of Science Drive/ Lake Shore Drive causing an additional back-up every week day on LSD. The light used to be triggered by the weight of your car when your were driving out of the parking lot behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Now the light regularly changes when no one is waiting to exit the Museum parking lot causing a back-up in traffic. This commuting problem could be fixed right now. However, once the road connecting LSD and Cornell goes through the museum lot, this will be a permanent bottle neck for commuters.

We need some ideas for how to get the Darrow Bridge fixed for pedestrians if IDOT won’t fix it unless it is road that links LSD and Cornell. Not sure if that is true, but let’s suppose it is. Why not try to sell the name. Give Yoko Ono first shot at it? the Darrow Lennon Bridge??

Need more reasons to be against project 120’s music venue/concession stand/pavilion?

Chicago has a lot of music venues, but not many natural areas city people who visit natural areas (no buildings, lots of plants and animals) are happier and healthier music venue building will destroy habitat used by migrating birds  music venue building will destroy habitat for other critters music venue building will cut down 30 more trees music venue building will take away space for dog walking parking area behind museum will be taken away reunion/picnicking areas will be gone more noise pollution savethisspace.com is looking for your comments. We’ll post your letters to Leslie Hairston (you don’t have to be in her district to comment). If you want to leave a comment about your love for Jackson Park — call 773 913 2030 and leave a message— (it will mention a dog training school, that is the right number ) we will transcribe it and put it on the testimonial page of the savethisspace.com website

Jane Masterson

The community wants a say in changes for Jackson Park

To the Editor:

I share the concerns raised by Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid in their January 20 letter to the Herald. I live in the 5th Ward, where I have lived for 33 years. During the fall, I wrote both Alderman Hairston and the Project 120 team to raise similar issues, but neither the alderman nor Project 120 has replied to my letters.

  1. The changing nature of the plans for the park and the secretive manner of their deciding. We were told at the outset that the effort was to restore Wooded Island to native plants, but it now appears that we are excluded from the park while we wait for Japanese cherry trees to mature.
  2. We would like to see all environmental impact statements for noise pollution, loss of protected species, and effect on water quality. Before Wooded Island was closed, we watched in horror as thousands of fish died after poison was put in the water. What effect has that poison, and the death of the fish, had on the turtles and birds that also use the island?
  3. What park usage surveys were done before construction began? The southeast part of Jackson Park, near the bowling green, is where many South Siders come in the summer for picnics and family reunions. There are few parks on the South Side where low-income families can easily park or come by public transportation. How will removing all that parking and picnicking space affect them?
  4. Noise pollution from a music pavilion is a serious concern for those of us within a half-mile radius of the proposed pavilion. On the three or four times a year that private parties use amplifiers in the parks, the noise is a major irritant. We were told at the January 17 community meeting that the Burnham plan included a music pavilion, but in Daniel Burnham’s day, there were no giant amplifiers. Music could be heard by the people who came to hear it, not by everyone within ten or twelve blocks of the pavilion.
  5. Many of the Project 120 members do not live in the area. I understand that some are in Wilmette. Perhaps if they began imagining closing off Gillson Park and building an amphitheater there whose sound would affect people on Michigan Avenue in Wilmette, they could understand why there is resistance in Hyde Park to the Phoenix Pavilion.
  6. The Clarence Darrow Bridge has been fenced off for at least four if not five years. It is disingenuous to claim that it is not used and therefore not worth repairing when, in fact, it has not been possible to use it for that length of time.
  7. People come from all over the world to view the migratory birds in Bobolink Meadow and Wooded Island. Indeed, they’ve been written up in various airline magazines, including an article I myself wrote for British Airways three years ago. Shutting off these parks and destroying the habitats has an adverse effect on our local economy. In my own nearly daily walks around the locked up Wooded Island I have encountered numerous foreigners, puzzled that this tourist attraction is shut to them.

It is frustrating to have no voice in these matters, and to have my letters to my own alderman, and to the Project 120 staff, completely ignored. I am grateful to Ms. Nelms and Ms. Schmid for finding a platform to elevate these issues in front of the whole community.

Sincerely,

Sara N. Paretsky

Let’s keep I-House international

Editor’s note: This letter is being reprinted due to several errors during its original run in our Feb. 3 issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

To the Editor:

As a 1953-55 alumnus of International House (I-House), I am shocked and grieved at the recent peremptory announcement of the University of Chicago administration that it will soon be shutting down its residential facilities for graduate and international students, as well as visitors, which have graced and enhanced the university and our community since I-House was founded in 1932 with a gift from John D. Rockefeller. This action, if carried out, will seriously violate the intent and purpose of the gift, and also do considerable harm to the reputation and programs of the university at home and abroad. Already, the current I-House residents are being told that they will have to get out and go elsewhere.

The university administration has acted irrationally by already closing its various hotel and small residential properties as residential facilities, well before its big, new 55th Street dormitory is completed. The university now has threatened a unique facility, treating it like a convenient piece of real estate to fill with undergrads. We who are long-time donors to both the university and I-House feel that we have been deceived, and wonder why anyone would want to donate to an institution that diverts specific gifts to diversionary purposes.

Actions such as this suggest that our revered alma mater is more and more operated like a big business. The community and programs created at I-House are needed to support the international research faculty, students, and explorations the university presumably stands for. Not that many years ago, the university, under a different president, proposed closing I-House for other purposes. Chicago and international alumni rose up to protest and saved this unique resource. What is happening now is a betrayal. We must rise up in protest and action to prevent the mission of I-House from being changed and undermined.

Sincerely,

Charles G. Staples ‘61

 

Folk Festival needs community support to survive

To the Editor:

I am writing to ask the Herald and the Hyde Parkers who read the Herald for help in keeping a Hyde Park tradition alive.

The University of Chicago Folk Festival has been around for 56 years. The Folklore Society is run by a student organization and helped by a few very dedicated local residents. For the last two years the Festival has lost money and this year it is only two days, not the traditional three-day event. No one has said anything, but it is my feeling that if it fails this year we can kiss a 56-year tradition goodbye.

It is my hope that you will join us for the concerts, Friday Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St., and spend Saturday at the free workshops. Please join your neighbors in helping keep our folk festival going for another 56 years.

To find out more about the festival and order tickets please go to uofcfolk.org. If you are ordering for an organization, please note the great group offer.

Thank you,

Allison Cate Hartman

Let’s be careful and actively involved in our next choice for alderman

To the Editor:

As a reporter and editor, primarily at the Hyde Park Herald, I spent 15 years as an active student of Hyde Park’s genius, learning about how and why the neighborhood is the way it is. One of the consistent themes I noticed over those years was the importance of people doing for themselves in the public sphere for the life of the community. From the establishment of the Hyde Park Cooperative Society to the construction of the original Harper Court to the struggle to preserve Promontory Point, Hyde Park is its best self when it insists on deciding for itself.

This also extends to the election of myriad progressive political candidates. In recent years, however, this has not taken place for important political positions. From state representative to state senator to alderman, Hyde Park is represented by people who were hand-picked and appointed by Cook County Board President and Fourth Ward Committeeman Toni Preckwinkle. This is in no way a criticism of the men who fill these positions. It is not even a criticism of Toni, who I’m sure is trying to do what’s best for the community. But it is a condemnation of unilateral political maneuvering which leaves the people without their own voice.
Once a candidate gets in, it is hard to get him or her out. That’s why we have to be very careful about who we pick and who gets put into office.

In the Fourth Ward, people who have less power and influence have been largely ignored in recent years, and it shows. If your ideas do not align with the moneyed interests, you will probably not hear your concerns voiced by the local representatives. If you are against local schools closing, you have probably not heard your alderman speak out on your behalf. If you think there should be limits to development, you probably feel left out.
Now we are told that Will Burns is resigning his position to work in the private sector (see story on page 1). Some of our older neighbors and political junkies will inevitably pine for “an alderman like Leon,” a refrain I heard quite often when I was the editor of the Herald. Well, Leon Despres was one-of-a-kind to be sure, but his values were not. In fact, the greatness of Leon Despres was in his ability to both elevate Chicago politics through his idealism and to speak the concerns and priorities of the people.

How did it happen that such a man became alderman? Through the Hyde Park tradition of doing for ourselves. Leon was picked for the position and reluctantly accepted it. This is the way you get a remarkable person involved in Chicago politics – you find someone who is not chomping at the bit to be called alderman or senator or representative. That is what Hyde Park must do in order to reinvigorate public life in the community: Get together and talk about what we want in an alderman. Put together a platform. And then find someone willing to take our priorities to City Hall and to fight for them. And for us.

This does not mean someone who merely agrees with our positions. In fact, that’s impossible, because we are not in agreement. It is a set of principles and a method by which decisions should be made that matters. We need someone who believes in protecting the little guy and who wants to hear a robust discussion about every public issue. We need a ward office that is open 24/7 and is constantly listening. We need as much participation as possible for everyone.

You don’t get these things by hoping and waiting for them. You fight for them; you demand them. I started this letter by saying I had been a student of this community. I will really never stop being a student, and I hope the neighborhood will never stop surprising me. This struggle would be a delightful surprise – but also in and of its best traditions.
So what do you say, Hyde Park? Are you ready to fight for your future? Or will you lay down and let it be handed to you?

-Gabriel Piemonte

Let’s keep I-House international

To the Editor:

As a 1953-55 alumnus of International House, I am shocked and grieved at the recent peremptory announcement of the University of Chicago administration that it will soon be shutting down its residential facilities for graduate and international students, as well as visitors, which have raced and enhanced the University and our community since I-House was founded in 1932 with a gift from John D. Rockefeller. This action, if carried out, will seriously violate the inert and purpose of the gift, and also do considerable harm to the reputation and programs of the University at home and abroad. Already, the current I-House residents are being told that they will have to get out and go elsewhere.

The university administration has acted irrationally by already closing its various hotel and small residential properties as residential facilities, well before its big, new 55th Street dormitory is completed. The University now has threatened a unique facility, treating it like a convenient piece of real estate to fill with undergrads. We who are long-time donors to both the University and I-House feel that we have been deceived, and wonder why anyone would want to donate to an institution that diverts specific gifts to diversionary purposes.

Actions such as his suggest that our revered alma mater is more and more operated like a big business. The community and programs created at International House are needed to support the international research faculty, students, and explorations the university presumably stands for. Not that many years ago, the university, under a different president, proposed closing I-House for other purposes. Chicago and international alumni rose up to protest and saved this unique resource. What is happening now is a betrayal. We must rid up in protest and actions to prevent the mission of I-House from being changed and undermined.

Sincerely,
Charles G. Staples ‘61

More questions about Jackson Park’s “Project 120”

To the Editor:

I wish to add my support to the Jan. 20, 2016 letter from Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid, raising serious questions regarding “Project 120,” which I now understand from the JPAC meeting I attended on Jan. 11, 2016, is only in its “concept” stage.

I have been privileged to enjoy the peace and aesthetic beauty of the Osaka gardens, the Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary and Bob-o-Link Meadows for the past fifty years, along with fellow dog-walkers and bird watchers. I am hopeful that when the “concept” becomes more manifest, it will reflect the legitimate concerns of the Jackson Park community, protecting and preserving this precious sanctuary for the next fifty years.

I urge other concerned citizens to attend the next JPAC meeting, currently scheduled for March 14, 2016, at 7 p.m. at the field house. Hopefully, an update on “Project 120” will be part of the formal agenda for the meeting, giving the community an opportunity to participate in a responsible and constructive way to the decision making process.

-Ray Kuby

Franklin makes a good point about parks

To the Editor: 

Thanks again, Stephanie Franklin, for your insightful analysis (January 13) of the University of Chicago’s efforts to commandeer precious open park acreage to make way for a presidential library.  It is a sad irony that the very institution boasting the name of free market economist Milton Friedman among its luminaries actively promotes the plundering of a public asset in this way.

As Ms. Franklin has pointed out, there is plenty of privately held land (some owned by the U. of C.) for this library where it could actually be an asset and not rob Chicagoans of badly needed open park land in a city already ranking near the bottom of the list of U.S. major cities in this regard.

To put this in terms that even the University of Chicago could understand:
An Obama Presidential Library on the south side?  A+
Any presidential library in south side parks?  F-

Joan Levin

The responsible alternative to the Rauner/Emanuel agenda

To the Editor: 

Billions of public dollars run through our school systems nationally, and venture capitalists and big finance have made it a priority to get their hands on those dollars. In Illinois, the enablers of this scheme are our governor, our mayor and their allies among both Republicans and corporate Democrats. Rauner’s proposed takeover of Chicago schools and his parallel push for CPS to declare ‘bankruptcy’ is designed to benefit one constituency: big finance. These are Rauner’s people — and he shares dozens of these deep-pocketed supporters with his old friend Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel’s former school board president, investment banker David Vitale, oversaw both Chicago schools’ toxic swap deals and the push to privatize our school system under former Mayor Richard Daley, Emanuel’s political mentor. Emanuel, like Rauner, argues that the contracts that feed the toxic swap trough are sacrosanct — while contracts with workers are apparently hardly worth the paper they’re written on. Remember this hypocrisy when Emanuel cries crocodile tears over Rauner’s proposal — and remember Rauner’s role as a privileged education ‘advisor’ to Emanuel before he ran for governor.

Rauner’s plan preserves the toxic swaps that have put CPS on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars — and puts big finance first in line to get paid. That’s a mirror image of Emanuel’s strategy, which leads with paying toxic swap dollars to his big finance allies, rather than challenging these shady deals in court.

And Rauner’s proposed takeover opens the door to a wholesale assault on classroom standards, living wages and worker rights that teachers have fought to safeguard for decades. Again, that scenario mirrors Emanuel’s, which is built on the prospect of massive layoffs that gut public education, in tandem with expanded privatization — and zero public oversight. These same politicians have jointly boosted the agendas of politically connected school privatizers like UNO and Concept Charters, who’ve received more than $100 million alone in taxpayer funds to construct and run schools with dubious track records and a history of corruption.
Daley helped grease the skids for today’s funding crisis more than a decade ago, when his legislative allies in Springfield passed the 1995 Amendatory Act that gave Chicago’s Mayor the power to appoint the school board — and remove the tax levy that paid teachers pensions. Daley promptly used his authority to take a ten year pension holiday which has hugely exacerbated the city’s financial challenges. What better way to undermine public services and worker rights than to manufacture a crisis and then use that ‘crisis’ as an excuse to enrich big finance lenders at the expense of the rest of us?

Daley’s successor has exacerbated the crisis — by continuing the attack on neighborhood public schools, shifting those precious public dollars to politically connected school privatizers, miring the system further in debt and allowing a culture of crony capitalism to fester on a board whose members have openly profited from school business. The systemic corruption and incompetence in the system under Emanuel has seen his hand-picked top bureaucrat convicted of seeking millions of dollars in bribes for orchestrating yet another no-bid contract while neighborhood schools struggle with endless budget cuts that hurt students in some the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Special interest groups like Stand For Children are at the heart of this privatization scheme. They’re bankrolled by rich donors like Governor Rauner — and eagerly fork out campaign cash to corporate Democrats who support their agenda, from Mayor Emanuel to 26th District State Representative Christian Mitchell, who’s received more than $150,000 alone from Stand For Children.

Parents, educators and organizers have been raising the alarm about these dynamics for years. They understand that a child’s ability to fully participate in society and help build a more just world is grounded in access to an equitably funded public education. They also understand that the parallel schemes in play today from City Hall and Springfield hurt people of color hardest — students, workers and whole communities.

The people of Chicago have not asked for appointed emergency managers and then an elected school board. The voters have asked for a millionaire’s tax, a progressive income tax and a democratically elected school board.
Real change at CPS requires three critical actions: an end to toxic swap deals, democratic governance of Chicago’s public schools through an elected representative school board, and a school funding strategy with consistent, progressive sustainable revenue streams. It’s what the people have demanded — and what the people deserve.

Jay Travis

HPHS seeks preservation for historic Woodlawn church

Dear Mr. Marzalik:

I am writing on behalf of the Hyde Park Historical Society regarding the proposed demolition of The Shrine of Christ the King, formerly St. Gelasius Church. The Hyde Park Historical Society strongly supports the request of the Shrine’s constituents to be allowed more time to gather the resources to save this historic structure.

In support of this, the Hyde Park Historical Society cites the activities of Theaster Gates and the Rebuild Foundation for finding creative, community-driven ways to preserve, restore and repurpose numerous threatened buildings in the Woodlawn community through ethical redevelopment.

Again, at this point all that is being asked of the Archdiocese is more time for the community, the Archdiocese and the City to work together for a non-demolition solution. The Woodlawn community continues to show great commitment, unity and sacrifice to insure the future of this historic shrine. The Archdiocese needs to demonstrate that this dedication on the part of its Woodlawn constituents has not been misplaced.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Michal Safar, President
Hyde Park Historical Society
Cc: Alderman Willie B. Cochran
The Hyde Park Herald
The Coalition to Save the Institute of Christ the King Church

Community invited to celebrate noteworthy preservation efforts

Dear Friend of Historic Preservation:

The 2016 Despres Preservation Award, given for outstanding achievement in preserving Hyde Park Township’s architectural heritage, will be given to Theaster Gates and the Rebuild Foundation for the pioneering restoration of various buildings in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.

The Despres Award will be presented at the Hyde Park Historical Society’s annual dinner on February 27, 2016 at the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St.

The Rebuild Foundation projects are aimed at revitalizing the community by “re-imagining” vacant buildings and neglected artifacts. The goal is to provide unique cultural spaces and programming that are community-driven. This broad approaches extends the definition of standard preservation projects, embracing what Gates terms “ethical re-development.”
The most recent project is the widely acclaimed adaptive reuse of a 1923 bank at 6760 Stony Island Ave. The neoclassical structure, now called the Stony Island Arts Bank, was bought from the city in 2013 for $1. The restoration makes extensive use of original materials.  The building now holds such rescued artifacts as the archives of Johnson Publishing (Ebony and Jet magazines) and an architectural lantern slide collection from the University of Chicago. It was a focal point of the recent Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Other projects cited are the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative at 1456 E. 70th Street, built in 2010 in partnership with Brinshore Development; the Archive House and Listening House, both at 6918 S. Dorchester; and the Black Cinema House at 7200 S. Kimbark. Gates is also involved with several other restoration projects in the Washington Park neighborhood (the Arts Incubator; Currency Exchange café; and Bing, a fine arts bookstore).  Theaster Gates is a visual arts professor and director of arts and public life at the University of Chicago.

The Despres Awards honor long-time Fifth Ward alderman Leon Despres and his wife, Marian Despres, both noted preservationists.

To reserve a seat for the Hyde Park Historical Society 2016 annual dinner on February 27, mail a check for $80 ($90 for payments received after February 22) payable to the Hyde Park Historical Society, to Janice A. Knox, Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Credit card payments may be made online at hydeparkhistory.org. For more information, send an e-mail to Janice A. Knox at janice.a.knox@gmail.com, or call 773-317-1520.

Jack Spicer   

To the Editor

To the Editor:

Though the Hyde Park Herald covers interests and concerns of the Hyde Park community, Hyde Park residents are also Illinois residents. I’ve recently discovered that auto registration renewals will no longer be mailed to Illinois residents due to budget constraints. It is up to all Illinois residents to know when to renew their auto registration. All residents must now go in person to renew their registration, as there is no budget to mail registration renewals and tags to residents. Sec. Jesse White communicated this by sending out a press release in September 2015. This is a terrible transition to a new policy. Although it will save the State $450,000 a month in postage, this decision will also increase registration penalties and ticket fines providing even more dollars to the State. Since most residents do not read press releases from Jesse White’s office they will remain unaware of the new registration policy. I’d like the Hyde Park Herald to provide communication and alert residents of this change. It’s essential and after I’ve researched even more about this, I’m finding there has been little or no communication to Illinois residents. Please consider printing an article about this transition for your Hyde Park residents.

Thank you,
Norma Adams

To the Editor

To the Editor:

There was an odd sentence in the Jan. 6 Herald report on the “Memorandum of Understanding” signed by the U. of C. and the city on Dec. 16, which caught my attention and so I obtained a copy of the press release distributed by the U. of C.

Among other things, the press release states that in the agreement “the city will provide the university with … development of a framework plan for Nichols park…” That is apparently the source for the odd sentence in the Herald article but doesn’t clarify much.

First, how does the city propose to ‘provide the development of’ a framework plan? Second, a framework plan for Nichols Park already exists. Is the city proposing to ‘provide the development of’ a new one? Third, why would the city agree to ‘provide the U. of C. with development of a plan instead of provide the community or the park? Maybe, if we’re really lucky, what’s actually meant by ‘provide the development of’ means provide the money for the implementation of the existing plan.

For the sake of clarity, I suggest that it would be appropriate for any entity wishing to ‘provide for the development of’ something regarding Nichols Park to bring its suggestion to the Nichols Park Advisory Council, before signing an agreement to do it.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Franklin
Nichols Park Advisory Council