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home : community forum July 23, 2016

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Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Community forum entry by: Greg Sztatman

This past spring, I helped circulate petitions to get the Independent Map Amendment on the November ballot.
In this statewide effort more than 560,000 signatures were collected. My contribution was a mere 30 names (three petitions). But more to the point, it's not about the paucity of my contribution, but why I even bothered. The reason is simply this: 60 per-cent of our state legislators will run unopposed - in so called "safe" districts - in the November election. That's to say, that for 60 per-cent of our state legislators election day is not a date when the voters have their say on who will represent them in their respective districts. For the lucky 60 per-centers, November 8th is their coronation date -- participatory democracy it ain't!
This is only possible because the redistricting process, which takes place every 10 years, is in the hands of the politicians. The power to redraw district lines enables politicians to maintain the status quo and, consequently, an elected representative is beholden to the politicians and not so much to the voters.
So, the fix is in and the politicians get to choose the voters, whereas, it should be the voters who get to choose their representatives.
The Independent Map Amendment will reform redistricting and require a process of drawing maps that are transparent, impartial and fair. Illinois elections should reflect the will of the people, not the politicians.
This is a bipartisan problem and the fix requires a bipartisan effort.
Greg Sztatman




Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016
Community forum entry by: George E. Woodards

Responding to Curbing shooting! Perhaps we “The Church” is the blame for the carnage that is on the rise upon the earth!
Perhaps we were not emphatic enough with the “Value” of human life! When it cost nothing less than the “Blood of the Son of God to redeem us” That is “Value” above the earth and all of its contents combined! Perhaps if that value were force-fed into humanity from birth perhaps many would not be so quick to throw away their lives and the lives of others for the so-called earthly treasures, of fame and fortune!
The confusion over human value would not be judged by such trivial things as money, skin, and hair and places of origin! Perhaps if we were more forceful about “eternal consequences” souls would not be sold at such cheap prices! If indeed time is money, how much is your “Eternity worth”? My calculator goes tilt when trying to add up that sum! As a matter of fact the entire Earth cannot be equal to the payment that will repay those who forfeit the eternal for transitory earthly treasure!
Perhaps those who are lured into exchanging forever will sorrow much more when they know they have rejected God Grace and Mercy to foolishly follow their own paths to everlasting doom, where there is eternal fire as punishment for that choice!



Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Community forum entry by: Martha Rosenberg

s the Lagoon for Ducks or Children? On any given day, children wade and walk through the Arrington Lakefront Lagoon at Dawes Park and play with remotely-operated toys.

This raises two disturbing questions. Is the City insured against drownings and injuries since there is clearly no lifeguard present?

Secondly, does the City really want to encourage duck breeding with a breeding box and ramp on the island? Newborn ducks are regularly accosted by these boisterous, disruptive children and their toys in a place that should be peaceful. The waders and toys might also produce water contaminants. 

If the Arrington Lakefront Lagoon is a play area there should be life guards – and the City should not encourage duck breeding.



Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Community forum entry by: Fred J. Wittenberg

Contamination left underground. After attending the June 16 James Park Environmental Issues Meeting at the Levy Center, I was waiting for the RoundTable’s coverage in the following June 30 issue. Matt Simonette’s article, “City Vows More Water Testing,” was duly provided. However, as with the City’s previous effort in this area trying to unsuccessfully prove methane was solid and not gaseous, I feel that this present attempt is also folly.
I stated to Matt’s cited assemblage, that coal tar coverages or epoxy coatings, are commonly applied on underground ductile iron piping used in the oil and gas industry and municipal water supplies. They delay the damage from the galvanic ground action on buried metallic components. I told them that I don’t know of any coal tar applied on the inside of any piping, due to its dangers. It is hard for me to imagine coal tar infiltrating water piping when the water piping is always under pressure. If there was any coal tar left at McCormick and Oakton, it was mitigated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District when they renovated that area during the past 3 years. Furthermore, after the North Shore Channel was constructed between 1900 and 1910, it would have been hard for a contamination plume underground to migrate eastward under the Channel. Also, is there any potential danger in this area from the asphalt plant? Then, before Mount Trashmore, there was a clay pit there. Bear in mind that clay forms an impenetrable barrier.
Instead of the $500,000 wasted on methane, the City should have pursued taking ground borings, and using ground-penetrating radar to identify any anomalies, which could provide the basis of proof forcing Nicor and Com Ed to disclose portions of past utilities and contamination left underground.



Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Community forum entry by: Bob Danon

Say No to Divvy Bike Rentals Unless Helmets Required. As a retail business owner in the Central Street East business district, just east of Green Bay Road and the METRA station, I was recently approached by a representative from Evanston’s Township Hall. She handed me a Divvy window sticker and asked if I would put it up. I gladly said yes, telling her I’d put it on my door.
She said thank you and left to move on to another store. The sticker sat on my desk for about 20 minutes, until I reminded myself of my total opposition to people who ride bicycles and don’t wear a helmet. And I see it all the time...
I see hundreds of young people, from pre-teens to those in their 20’s, riding their bikes without wearing a helmet. Many have no helmet, quite a few of the younger kids have them hanging from their backpacks, while some have them hanging from their handlebars. And that in itself can be dangerous.
I would assume that most, if not all, of the younger riders who have a helmet with them but are not wearing them, have them because their parents asked or insisted. But they are not wearing them.
There are also many adults who ride their bikes with no helmet in sight. They are often riding with their children, some of whom are wearing helmets and some are not. Besides setting a bad example, I cannot conceive why the so-called, breadwinner of a family would endanger his or her life and possibly jeopardize the financial future of their children. I’m sorry, but it just makes no sense.
Then of course, there are those of all ages who are riding while listening to music, talking on their phones and even texting, and sometimes with two hands. It all makes no sense and it is just plain stupid.
Finally, I will tell you that I have a very close friend who is about to turn 40. At age 17, he was in a devastating automobile accident and suffered an almost life-ending brain injury. And during a two month coma, there were those who felt if he even survived, he would probably not recover enough to have any kind of a product life.
Well young Tanner fooled them, to some degree. He will turn 40 this October. But he has been in a wheel chair since recovering. He cannot walk unassisted. He has little or no short-term memory. He has a speech impediment. He cannot hold a job, became a ward of the state of New York in order to get financial assistance. He needs a certain amount of daily help, doing some of the things that many of us take for granted.
One last mention- Jack McKinney, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, coached only 19 games into the 1979-80 season, after suffering “a near fatal head injury after falling while bicycling...”
It happens, and it can happen to you, a friend, a spouse or one of your children. Please, if you do decide to Divvy, wear a helmet. And while you are at it, how about asking Evanston to create and enforce a helmet law.
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