Questions D65 Thanksgiving Letters

Editor:

Why, if Evanston School District 65 has a budget deficit, would the Superintendent send out Thanksgiving greetings to all the students and their families via U.S. mail?

District 65 has more than 6,800 students. That means they spent thousands of dollars on postage, plus the cost of the letterhead and envelopes. And how about the cost of the labor to complete the task?

If someone started paying attention to these little things, how much money could the District save? Families make these choices every day. Why can’t our School District do the same?

                                                                                              — Michael Pfieler

Family Focus Seeks Holiday Sponsors for Families

Editor:

Family Focus is seeking individuals and or groups to sponsor a family for the holidays.  All gifts should be wrapped, labeled and delivered to Family Focus (2010 Dewey Ave) by Dec. 14 and no later than Dec. 15.

For more information please contact JoAnn Avery at 847-475-7570, ext 22, or delta403@yahoo.com.

—       JoAnn Avery

Can’t Kids Walk to School?

Editor:

I appreciate the safety message the alderpersons are conveying to the driving public near our schools.

I too have noticed the large amount of vehicle traffic around our schools at arrival and dismissal times.

It amazes me that so many parents or caregivers are transporting the children to and from school.  Are they doing this for the children’s safety? Or is it for the children’s convenience, or the parents?

The increased volume of traffic seems to be counterproductive to safety, as I see it. I’ve witnessed cars pulling up to the curb on the right and wrong sides of the street, if not stopping in the middle of the street, to pick up the kids. Horns are often blaring for the driver to get their riders’ attention to their location, or passing drivers being stopped by cars ahead that are loading or unloading passengers.

I’ve seen students jaywalking to hurriedly get to the car across the street, even though many crossing guards are close by at the corners.

What happened to kids walking to or from school, and even getting exercise from the experience?

I worked at Haven and Nichols Middle Schools for a total of 31 years and never witnessed so many students being driven to and from schools during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. What has happened since then? Has walking, or even riding the bus, become unsafe? 

I have recently heard the expression, “helicopter parents” because so many hover over their children and their experiences.

Is all of this personal transporting of kids to and from schools an example of this? In a recent issue of Time or Newsweek magazine the cover story related that many parents need to cut the apron strings to allow their children to grow up to become independent adults.  

Other stories in the media talk of young people not getting enough physical exercise and too many becoming obese at an early age. Are we unwittingly contributing to these developments by driving our kids everywhere and indulging them with numerous electronic distractions that require little or no physical activity?

—      Jim La Rochelle

Save the Lakefront

Editor:

The City Council held a special meeting on Nov. 16 at which they discussed whether to introduce commercial uses of Evanston¹s lakefront.

This set us thinking about the struggles to establish our national parks. Many individuals devoted untold hours, some all of their adult lives, to persuading Congress that nature was essential to man’s well-being.  John Muir said everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places which feed the body and the soul.  Human beings seek places which replenish their spirits. Deep
in our DNA is our embedded memory of when we weren’t separated from the rest
of the world but were part of it. Thoreau said we need little oases of wildness in the desert of our civilization.

Burnham and other visionaries created natural spaces within our urban areas to be restorative to city dwellers, places of peace and quiet nature which they understood to be essential to all men and needed to be readily available to urban man.  

We now consider these men heroes.  We extol their foresight.  Men have struggled against every imaginable economic and
political foe in fighting to preserve natural spaces, and no matter what the opposing forces, or what good is promised from developing the land, history always vindicates those who succeed in preserving the land for the public good.

Those finding sustenance in beauty and nature understand this. Those too  busy, preoccupied or disinclined through circumstance to seek nature are sure to have friends who do.

Evanston¹s discussion today is the very one, on a smaller stage, which took place
in Washington when they were trying to decide whether to hold Yosemite and
Yellowstone for the public, free from commercial development.  Some said the states and territories couldn’t afford to do so.

We’re forever indebted to the naturalists and political leaders who did. Have we the right not to pass on what we have been given?  Muir said the weights of posterity are more important than the desires of the present.

Would we be thanked for mining our forest preserves and parks?  Who has the
right to do that to a public trust?

—       Holly and David Reynolds

Blue View

Editor:

A common occurrence coming soon:

December has a second full moon.

This regularity

Is not a rarity –

Just a happenstance replenilune.

— Robert Bagby