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home : community forum : community forum - submit/review comments January 21, 2017


Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Community forum entry by: Mike Roche Former Chute School Teacher

Supports D65/DEC Agreement
In the Dec. 1 edition of the RoundTable, my letter to the editor questioned the negotiations that were ongoing concerning the new contract for District 65 teachers. My comments revolved around the offer that was on the table at the time (as of 11/14/16 when my letter was drafted). I questioned what appeared to be a lack of respect for our critical “front line” education workforce and the impact that would potentially have on our families.
I have since reviewed the proposed contract details that were strongly confirmed and ratified by our teachers (85% positive vote). The respect that I deemed missing in the original proposal was indeed present in the final agreement. Respect for teachers’ time (pre- and post-school activities report card preparation time and content substitute coverage tasks and staff meeting and field trip hours, among others). Respect for teacher safety and improved assurances of an equitable observation an evaluation process were also included in the final agreement.
Compensation issues were another example of compromise with the District Educators’ Council and the Board committees finding common ground in a very difficult economic environment.
As a former teacher and current Evanston resident, I applaud the efforts of our negotiators, especially the leadership of Dr. Goren and Paula Zelinski, in respecting and supporting our important “front line” educators and the families of our community. Thank you.

Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Community forum entry by: Leo Sherman

No Place for Beer
There are a several reasons why this is not a suitable plan for the James Park Community.
The City’s desire to find a suitable reuse of the former recycling center has focused on maximizing profits and not on maximizing the quality of life in Evanston. The City has rejected proposals for adding an indoor sports facility.
James Park is the premiere sports park for the youth of Evanston. Allowing an adults-only facility to be built in the park will turn the park into a haven for adult team sports. James Park will now be the gathering place for adult sports teams from all over the area. It will be the great place to play ball and have a beer.
With this new brewpub close to the Quad Sports Dome, additional adult sports will be attracted to drinking after the game at this 21 and over brewpub.
The increased traffic will make the already congested Oakton/Dodge corridor even more unbearable.
The City entered into negotiations without a “request for proposals” (RFP) which is the proper way to offer City contracts and property for public bidding. Smylie’s did not have to compete with others for the right to permanently take over City property. In fact the negotiations between the City Manager, Wally Bobkiewicz, and Smylie’s were secret until Smylie’s secured the best deal it could.
Public Hearings on the contract have been exclusive to the City Council. Unless you have had the time to follow every Council meeting, you would not have heard about this proposal. Unless you speak up now – you will be living with this Council decision for at least the next 20 years.
There are many other options to locate a drinking establishment in the area: there are vacant commercial lots in the Howard Street Plaza and in the Oakton Plaza (across from the Recycling Center). Both of those plazas have more than ample parking.
On the Dec. 12 the Council takes a vote that will make this a done deal for decades to come.

Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016
Community forum entry by: Jessica Torres

Hello, in light of the recent election results and concerns around the incumbent administration, Trilogy Inc., Behavioral Healthcare will be hosting a “Know your Rights” training. An attorney from the National Immigrant Justice center will be coming to 1400 W Greenleaf on Wednesday Dec 14th. The training will be from 8:30am-10am. I am posting this as we are inviting local community organizations to attend. If you and a colleague are interested in attending the training please e-mail me Jessica Torres at to RSVP. Also, please feel free to share with your networks if you feel they may benefit from this. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Community forum entry by: Michael Loewenstein

If you go out walking or biking at night in dark clothes you are putting yourself in real danger. The bright lights of oncoming cars make people in dark clothing in the street almost invisible to drivers. Adding reflective tape to coats really helps. One way to do that at little expense is to fasten Reflective Bicycle Ankle Straps around the forearms of your dark coat. They can be easily attached using their Velcro fasteners and are available at any bike shop. Protect yourself as a driver and as a pedestrian.

Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Community forum entry by: Rosalie Riegle

Re: The Evanston Public Library and MENA. While I applaud the EPL and MENA for offering programs about Muslims, I join the growing chorus calling for more education on that most pressing of Middle Eastern problems--the increasing marginalization of Palestinians in all areas. Evanston citizens deserve frequent programs which give a Palestinian perspective to counter the main-stream media which is likely to continue its pro-Israeli sentiment. All educational institutions must become ever more watchful that they don't pander to government power it's up to us to keep alight the flame of free speech. I stand ready to help plan such programs. Thank you.

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