Mayor Morton Thanks


To the Evanston Community:

It has been three months since I had the pleasurable pride of being your Mayor. I cannot find a way to measure my appreciation for the support you gave me during the 16 years I served.

This letter comes to thank each one of you for your support, your expressions of gratitude and love, and your acceptance that I considered my prime obligation to work for what I felt was in the best interest of Evanston‘s citizens.

— Lorraine H. Morton


Re: ‘Meet

Walter Bobkiewicz’


I just read your RoundTable article on Wally Bobkiewicz. I hope you and your citizens have realized how great a person you hired to be your new City Manager.


I was one of five who hired Wally to come and work for our beautiful city here in Southern California. I was Mayor twice during Wally’s stay, and I was very lucky to have a manager like him. I hope your wonderful city allows Wally to try and implement his ideas. If you do, you will not regret the outcome.


I miss Wally as a friend, and as our city manager, but with the energy he has, your town and area will become a better place than it already is.


Remember, he looks like his skin is paper thin, but he is a bulldog when it comes to fighting for the city he is now a citizen of.
— Rick Cook, Resident of

Santa Paula, Ca


The Importance of Organic And Sustainable Farming


We first met Doug Murray in the summer of 2007 when our son hired him as a consultant for his fledgling organic farm. On that clear summer day when he climbed out of his truck to assess crops and advise, we were impressed by his range of skills but even more by his passion for saving land.

This summer Doug died, a victim of his own passion for healthy farmland.  He worked as a farm scout for 25 years advising farmers how to change their farming practices from heavy uses of pesticides and herbicides to safer ways. During those years, Doug, in spite of living on his own organic farm, was continuously exposed to conventional farming products and practices. It’s possible that he didn’t realize fully the dangers to his own health but he watched the land closely.  And he realized that the land was dying under these non-sustainable practices.

Today, debates about conventional vs. organic farming rage as books are written and read, and marketing terms are bandied about as stores scramble to label products as natural.  Yet confusion reigns about organically grown food, a concept that would amuse and baffle our grandparents.

Perhaps many feel that organic and sustainable are the latest fads of the “foodies” or dreamed up by upscale restaurants. Or even worse, just a marketing tool to charge higher prices for food. We’ve also heard people defend conventional foods claiming they are healthy, and therefore, that conventional farming is also healthy.

Yet the facts are clear about the benefits of growing safe food. First, as Doug recognized, it’s about the land. Farmland is disappearing. It’s still where our food is grown and we must take care of it.  That means safer farming practices that include organic and sustainable. And safer begins with those who work on the farm. Since Doug’s illness, we’ve heard of countless stories of the catastrophic effects of pesticides and herbicides on farmers. 

These people and their families labor to provide cheap food.  The irony is there’s a large price tag attached to this cheap food in the health and longevity of the farmers. 

This fact is often hidden from the debate about farming practices. Organic food is safer for the land and for all of us.  And, yes, it’s more expensive because of the high costs of labor and diversifying crops.  A variety of crops in the fields help to control pests and returns nutrients to the soil.  It’s the farming America used to do and it can and should be done again.

In these economic times, it’s easier to search for the cheapest deal when buying our food, but we must weigh in the long-term costs – the health of the land and farmers – as we make our choices.

With consumer support, the market can be driven to create better lives for all, especially farmers.  If the people who can afford to purchase organic foods do so, then eventually there’ll be more organic products, and hopefully, more available for all economic levels.

Although the majority of people reading this letter never knew Doug Murray, he was riddled with common sense and much of this food debate should be just that. 

Broccoli is broccoli unless it’s not and it’s not the healthful plant nature intended when it’s grown using unsafe practices.  As we choose to support safer farming, we’ll be honoring a man who put our needs ahead of his.  And we’ll we creating a safer world for all.

— Vikki Proctor