Reader’s Apology, Given With Gratitude


Thirteen months ago, after attending the Evanston History Center’s 2008 annual meeting, I wrote to the RoundTable accusing the EHC board of, at best, non-action and, at worst, duplicity in the face of Northwestern University’s seizure of the Dawes House.  I was especially critical of Marge Wold and Jim Staples, who were conducting secret negotiations with NU. 

The recent announcement that NU signed over the deed to the Dawes House and a healthy chunk of endowment presents an appropriate time to apologize: I was wrong both in my assessment of the board’s commitment to remain in the Dawes House and of Ms. Wold and Mr. Staples’ negotiating skills. 

 There were others who shared my assumptions about the board’s strategy and who went to great effort to mount an independent campaign against NU.  Now that the ownership issue is happily settled, I hope these dedicated and resourceful people will direct their considerable energies and their financial resources toward an equally urgent priority: the multimillion dollar restoration of the 125-year-old property.

 — Mel Birgé


CUB Helps Consumers Profit From Phone Service Overhaul


It is easy to get discouraged these days as the monthly bills pile up and all we see are dark headlines about the economy

But there is a stimulus package buried in our bloated phone bills. Earlier this year, the Citizens Utility Board, a tiny nonprofit consumer group, a.k.a. CUB, released a report based on stats it has collected by analyzing tens of thousands of phone bills. Guess what? We could be overspending by $1.5 billion. Most of the time, CUB says, we are paying for plans and services we just do not need.

Think of the boost to our budgets if we cut out unnecessary phone costs. CUB travels the state holding free “phone-bill clinics” to help people make those cuts, and it will be at the Lincolnwood Town Center, Center Court, 3333 W. Touhy Ave, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22. Bring your landline bills so CUB can analyze them.

CUB helped me cut my bill, and they can help you too. Why pour so much of your hard-earned money into the pockets of the phone company?

–Claudia Grosz