Time to

Revisit Church Street

Proposal

Editor:

Now that April’s municipal elections are behind us and the new City Council is starting to acclimate itself, the citizens of Evanston should remind our aldermen that they represent the voters in the City.  Residents deserve to be heard on the biggest issue dominating the City for the past year and a half: the

708 Church St.

proposal.

Many of our present and former aldermen were opposed to this proposal, or at least to many aspects of the plan.  With the new Council in place, it is time for aldermen to revisit the proposal and finally listen to the vast majority of Evanston residents who said “NO” to the project.

I fear that some of our Council members have “forgotten” this issue, either moving on to other issues or just hoping that this one would go away.  It should not be forgotten or go away!  When you consider that many on our new council, as well as our newly elected Mayor, stated their opposition to the

708 Church Street

proposal during the campaign, it is critical that we keep this issue alive.

Those citizens who opposed the

708 Church St.

proposal should immediately begin to write, e-mail, and call their elected officials and let them know that we have not forgotten.  We should ask a simple question: What are you going to do about this issue?

As concerned citizens, it is our right and duty to contact our elected officials to let them know how we feel – and that we expect an answer.  The issue is too important to the City and to us.

–Hank Goldman

 

Transparency

Editor:

Traffic Guy last issue wrote that “two Evanstonians” are running for office but “declining to mention the office they’re seeking.”

I’m guessing he means Julie Hamos and Jeff Smith? While we all appreciate TG’s sense of humor, the implication that Julie and Jeff are being evasive is kind of unfair. Julie has been very straightforward about her intentions and her passion, the attorney general’s office.

Jeff, who many of us wanted to run for mayor, has likewise been very transparent, explaining himself publicly and on his website, electjeffsmith.org.

 The reality is that most top Illinois officeholders, from the governor to the attorney general, haven’t yet declared what they are going to do. Congresswoman Schakowsky only recently made her decision, and new announcements change things every week. This puts well-meaning,would-be public servants like Julie Hamos and Jeff Smith in a bind.

Last-minute decision-making ultimately acts as a disservice to the public, whether on the floor of the statehouse or in the political arena.

We should be happy that Evanstonians like Julie and Jeff have been thinking ahead, despite all the uncertainty and fog emanating from the political games in Springfield and Cook County.

–Mary Rosinski

Brand Recognition

Open letter to McGaw YMCA Friends and Supporters:

The New York Times reported this morning that the YMCA has the most valuable brand among nonprofits according to a recent survey. Click on the link below (or copy and paste into your browser) to read the article. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/24charity.html?_r =1&emc=eta1.

Our brand – that perception or image that people have in their mind when they think of the YMCA – is a testament to the mission, long history, fantastic staff and reach into the community of the YMCA, the McGaw YMCA in particular. You are part of that brand: Your volunteer support and huge commitment, your financial support, and your advocacy are so important and deeply appreciated. You help us realize our vision.

I saw a boy and his mom on the street this morning sporting a Camp Echo t-shirt. I spoke to him and said, “Cool shirt.” His mom replied, “Everyone loves Camp Echo.” I can’t tell you the number of times I hear much the same about the McGaw YMCA, our Children’s Center, Youth and Family and Senior programs, and so many others. Thank you for making the McGaw YMCA brand one that everyone not only values, but loves.

–Bill Geiger, President / CEO McGaw YMCA

Digital TV

I thought that I would never see

Broadcasts converter boxed to me

The view of angry mob suppressed

Or flash of Janet Jackson breast

I tried and tried again each day

But did not get this new display

A Problem Guide could not repair

As broken splitter is quite rare.

Bad cable end had bred this pain

Replacing both cured my restrain.

Hook-up is made by fools like me.

While just bad luck jinxed my TV.

— Robert Bagby

ECF Opposes State Cuts To Early Childhood

Funding

Editor:

The Evanston Community Foundation opposes proposed cuts in the Illinois budget to early childhood funding and other social services. The Evanston Community Foundation has been committed to a community change initiative, Every Child Ready for Kindergarten, Every Youth Ready for Work since 2006.

The Foundation’s board opposes cuts in the state budget for these services, encourages all residents to follow the political process in Springfield, and encourages residents to support measures that preserve services essential to families by contacting legislators to express their concerns.

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) has invested more than $450,000 locally in parent support and early education in the birth-to-three years since 2007, an investment that has leveraged state-funded services in several community organizations. The 40 families added to home-visiting rosters in Evanston by these grants increased these parent support services by more than 50 percent, and ECF grants brought training in assessment methods to all home-visiting professionals in Evanston.

The Foundation’s stance cites proposals to balance the state budget that include provisions to reduce eligibility for childcare subsidies from 180 percent of the poverty level to 50 percent (a three-person family would be ineligible with an income exceeding $9,155). Reductions in subsidies will affect parents of 142,085 children, according to Voices for Children, about 100,000 of them in Cook County alone. Programs funded for home visiting have been told by the state to expect cuts of up to 75 percent.

The Foundation’s position paper includes a summary of broader concerns raised by proposed budget cuts in other areas of social and human services. It is available on the ECF website, www.evanstonforever.org.

— Amy Monday, Director of

Development and Administration, Evanston Community Foundation

 

Metrics Needed for D65’s Goals

Editor:

Thank you for pursuing Evanston‘s critical educational issue: the absence of metrics in the recently released D65 goals. As you stated, “Because the plan lacks measurable targets…there is no way to measure success and no way to hold anyone accountable.”

Neither the Superintendent nor the School Board will ever lose sleep over the possibility of an objective evaluation of their performance. It is understandable why one would choose to avoid this scrutiny. The real question is why would taxpayers, parents, and the rest of us who care deeply about Evanston‘s K-8 education stand for this?

                                                      — Carolyn Laughlin