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home : community forum : community forum - submit/review comments October 27, 2016


Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Community forum entry by: Dick Lanyon

Gas Plant Date Correction

In reference to the Aug. 11 article on page one, the manufactured gas plant was built in 1910, so it couldn’t have been active or in operation in the 19th century, unless there was an earlier plant that was preceded by the 1910 plant. It was active through the 1940s and inactive thereafter. Demolition of the structures was completed in the 1960s. This information is from the records of the MWRDGC, current owner of the site, and is further explained in my book, “Draining Chicago, The Early City and the North Area,” on pages 90, 128 and 129.

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Community forum entry by: Leo Lanyon

Water Testing
The Evanston RoundTable published a summary of the water testing that resulted from the community demanding additional water testing at the June 16 community meeting.
It appears from the article that the Dodge Avenue residences that had their water line repaired (in 2015) did not show any elevated chemicals. Homes that did not have their water main replaced have tested positive.
Additionally, Dawes School is now testing positive.
The EPA standards for water supply safety are not based on scientific data, but are based upon industry guidelines from the early 1990s.
It is clear from this testing that the contaminated water mains are still adding chemicals to the water supply.
It should be clear to the City that all water lines near the contaminated gas pipelines must be replaced as soon as possible. We should have the same quality of water as the City.

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Community forum entry by: Augusta Bloom

Ab’s Early Years
I read John Opdycke’s letter about Ab Mikva in the July 28 issue of the RoundTable with great interest. I’d like to add comments about Ab’s start in Hyde Park.
When the long-time representative from the Illinois legislature decided to retire, the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI) tasked itself to find a suitable replacement. They invited possible contenders, who agreed to abide by the IVI choice, to be interviewed.
Ab turned out to be that choice. He was handily elected and, as the saying goes, “The rest is history.”
On a personal note: Our then two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, also started her political involvement then.
One evening, as we passed his campaign poster in our window, she pointed to Ab’s picture and said, with obvious approval, “Ab.”

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2016
Community forum entry by: Steve Cohen

So much for traffic! The residents of 1570 Elmwood and others in the neighborhood have lost all use, both vehicular and pedestrian, to Elmwood Ave north of our building for the rest of the year, due to construction of a new high rise north of us. The city cites safety concerns, and these are not without validity. Apparently a crane is going to be put on the street.

But my two minute walk to the Metra station is now a five minute walk and possibly longer if the contractor is also blocking Maple, which they do from time to time. Those driving to the north and west must now forego their speedy exit from the downtown area via Davis for stop signs along Grove, extra left turns, etc.

You may say that these are minor inconveniences for the sake of progress but I have some questions:

1) Was this blockage of the street always envisioned in the planning process for this project? Did the city know about it? If so, was it discussed when approval for the project was sought? Or did the contractor spring it on the city after construction started?

2) Is the contractor paying rent to the city for its occupation of the public street? As taxpayers, we all pay into the common fund to maintain streets. We don't use all streets in the city, we use those that take us from our homes to wherever we need to go. Residents of this area have lost one of our main egress routes for a substantial period of time, one for which we pay taxes. And the contractor has now extended their fence line to include Elmwood, so we will not even have access during the evenings and weekends when construction is not taking place.

3) I work in the Loop and the Loop is a very busy place these days with construction seemingly on every other block. In every one of these projects that I am familiar with, the contractor is made to perform extra work, over and above what is necessary to construct the building, to ensure the flow of pedestrian traffic by the construction site. They build whatever is necessary to allow pedestrians to safely pass. Why was that not insisted upon by Evanston in this case?

4) These projects in the loop are accomplished with cranes on the site of the project, not the street, often integrated right into the core of the emerging skyscraper. Could that not have been done here? Would that have been too expensive? If so, then I must wonder what other corners are being cut as this building is constructed.

5) Defenders of the project will no doubt point to the smallness of the lot and the difficulty of constructing such a tall building in such a constricted space. Another factor is the Metra tracks which completely block the East side of Elmwood, so there is no room on the other side of the street. This is all true, but if it is impossible construct such a project without a substantial loss of the public thoroughfare for an extended period of time, maybe such a project should not have been approved in the first place? Maybe the lot was only ever appropriate for a smaller construction.

As Evanston grows, the city needs to consider disruptions to existing residents that are just for the convenience of the contractors. Five months is too long a time to lose use of a street, especially when the result will be of no real benefit to us.

Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Community forum entry by: Mary Alice Off

One of President Obama's qualities I most admire is his measured, thoughtful discourse. In contrast Donald Trump speaks to incite divisions and hatred, i.e. "muslims should be banned," Mexican judges", "Second Ammendment people",etc. So when I read one of the letters to the editor that equates police officers with "slave patrols" I thought here we go again. I will miss President Obama's civility and thoughtful discourse that seeks to unite us rather than speak negatively about a group.

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