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home : community forum : community forum - submit/review comments December 3, 2016


Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Community forum entry by: Mike Roche

I am puzzled by the language in District 65’s recent contract justification for lowering, and nearly eliminating salary increases for what they admit are our “hard-working teachers” over the four-year contract term.
What I find most illuminating is the use of the phrase, “The offer closely aligns salary increases to growth in income which is critical to the district’s long-term financial stability.”
To a retired teacher and Evanston resident like myself, this is tantamount to saying, “Our budgets are screwed up, through no fault of our teachers, and they will pay the price for our malfeasance.”
But the people who will be paying the price are our families, and eventually, the children of the district.
Research has consistently reflected the most critical element in any education system is the “front line.” To say you respect the teachers and then put forth this embarrassing contract proposal reflects the essence of disrespect.
I have seen a majority of middle school teachers work 50-60 hours per week catering to the individual needs of our district’s students. I have frequently seen them invest hundreds of dollars from their own pockets to support their classrooms.
Giving up lunch periods to tutor a kid who just needs a boost, or meeting groups after school for a refresher class before a test are very common.
Our talented teachers have families of their own to support and if we continue with this utter disrespect, they will be forced to move their talents to other school districts, the ones that managed their budgets properly and truly respect their “front line.”

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Community forum entry by: Linda and Vins Johnson

We want to congratulate the instrumental music department of Evansotn Township High School on the terrific concert on Oct. 26. Each group presented varied and interesting pieces that were performed with precision and musicality.
Kudos to the Freshman Concert Band for playing with assuredness after only two months of rehearsals.
Kudos to the String Orchestra, the Symphonic Band, and the Wind Symphony for meeting the challenge of changing time signatures, complex phrasing, and a wide range of dynamics.
Kudos to the Symphony Orchestra Strings for its program of difficult music, highlighted by a very exciting work by Piazzolla, which earned a long standing ovation.
Kudos to the Wildkit Marching Band, now numbering over 100 members and looking good in their new uniforms, for ending this musical evening with energy and enthusiasm.
Kudos to the audience, including the student groups seated in the auditorium when not performing, for listening in silence, for respectful and appreciative applause, and for staying to hear the entire program.
The ETHS Fine Arts Department is a treasure.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Community forum entry by: Fred Wittenberg

Inadequate ADA and Transit
Speaking before the Council on Oct. 24, I read sentences from Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration letters. These were in response to my complaint against Evanston concerning inadequate ADA and transit issues along Dodge Avenue. The first letter gives me the personal right to sue Evanston on these matters, and the second threatens the CTA with loss of funds if these deficiencies aren’t resolved with the City.
I was pleased to see Shawn Jones’ coverage of this event in the Nov. 3 RoundTable. Kudos to both Ald. Rainey and Chief Eddington for their input. Residents predate wagon, bike, car and bus wheels, and we still have priority now. Thanks to these bike lanes, the City is forced to walk a tight rope to minimize further removal of parking spaces, in order to be able to curb buses.
To me, this borders on eminent domain, but without compensation. Those who have already been displaced, like from Oakton north to either Warren or South Boulevard, are forced to park off their alleys. But alleys don’t get plowed in the winter, like the streets in front of their houses.
When the snows come, the City should canvas all those living along this bridge to nowhere and ask how they like slushing their way to and from their cars. The post-study by Ms. Biggs wouldn’t be needed if any forethought was put into this to begin with. May you bear the burden of this around your necks like a yoke.

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Community forum entry by: Alex Sinclari

Poor Taste
This drawing [Oct. 20 issue] – would never call it a cartoon – is in such poor taste. I’m stunned. You’re making fun of the guys on Sherman??? Awful.
-- Alex Sinclair

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Community forum entry by: Ellen J. A Alxeander

I Love You, Omran Daqneesh
You are 5.
How long did you wait before
They pulled you out of the bomb rubble in Aleppo?
Did an ambulance attendant comfort you
While a street photographer recorded your terror and grief?
Your ambulance photo would go viral
Good for 15 minutes of world remorse.
Your mother found you only then did you sob.
The next day your brother died of his wounds.
Now you have disappeared.
In vain I keep searching for news of you and your living hell.
But Syria’s children keep dying, while you are merely irrevocably damaged.
Syrian holocaust, home destroyed Aleppo starvation. Dead brother.
I cannot ask you to forgive the world.

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