Please Do Not Pull the Plug On The Media Center

Editor: 

As an Evanston resident I am dismayed to see that Evanston Community Media Center has been targeted for a huge drop in funding this year. They are asking for less than half of the amount of the cable franchise fees that the City takes in. For what they give back to the community, their request of $348,000 seems like a bargain.

Local programming on ECTV affords many organizations and very worthwhile projects the opportunity to bring their message to our community. These are groups and causes that cannot afford to buy print ads in newspapers; they are not large enough to catch the attention of the major television channels, but they are important to those who live and work in Evanston.

Some of these programs last year represented individuals and groups like the Faith Temple Ministry, The Haitian American Community Association, 4th of July Association, the Youth Job Center, YMCA, YWCA and the Piccolo Theatre.

For people who are interested in local government and School Board information there is no other option for viewing these meetings live other than appearing in person – something that can be very difficult or impossible for some of our senior and/or disabled residents.

ECTV also provides a valuable resource for promoting local entertainment by covering the Ethnic Arts Festival, Lakeshore Arts Festival, It’s Thursday! dance nights and interviews with our rich and diverse arts community individuals and organizations.

At a time when multi-media keeps changing at such a rapid pace, what better resource than a local media center? Not keeping it open and vital would be a tremendous loss to our community.

Therefore I urge Evanston residents to ask their alderperson to vote NO on the ECMC budget cut and to VOTE YES that $348,000 of the Comcast money continue to be allocated to the local media center.

Thank you for your reconsideration.

–Lois Roewade

Preserve Mental Health Board Funding

Editor:

 The proposed $200,000 (24-percent)  cut to the Mental Health Board funds in the draft City Budget for 2010-11 does not reflect the Evanston community’s longstanding commitment to supporting its most vulnerable residents. We do not believe that the citizens of Evanston would want the budget to be balanced on the backs of our most needy residents. 

We are a diverse community, which means Evanston is comprised of many different social economic groups. This is something we all value, and why many of us chose to live here.  As part of this diversity there are those of us who are challenged physically, mentally and by circumstances.  The services funded by the Mental Health Board are needed to help these residents survive in Evanston.  And in the current economic times, with crime, unemployment and foreclosure rising, there is even more need for these services.

Most importantly, these services prevent problems from becoming worse by intervening at an earlier more fixable stage. A 24-percent cut to these services is shortsighted. It puts infants, children, youth, the elderly, the mentally ill and the homeless at risk.  Although it may solve a temporary budget gap, the effects of the loss of these services will remain with us for years, and for children for generations to come.

We hope the City Council will reinstate these funds in the final budget.

— Evanston Mental Health Board, Marcia Achenbach, chair, Eugene Schiltz, Kimberly Wolowiec-Fisher, Geoffrey Cochran, Barbara Levin, Daniel Rosen

Kudos to C.E.R.T.

Editor:

I went to the Levy Center last week for my H1N1 vaccination. The process was well organized and kept people moving without having to wait too long. This was possible because of the many volunteers who wer present – they kept things running smoothly.

The volunteers were from the Civilian Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.). This was my first encounter with them, and I was very impressed with their efficiency and concern. I think they are a great asset to the community.

I don’t think they get the proper kudos they deserve for their availability and kindness.

I would like to thank them; they were very professional and helpful.

                           — Florence Jacobson

 Universitas ex Machina?

EDITOR:             

Like so may of my fellow Evanstonians, I am troubled by the possible closing of our two branch libraries owing to budget constraints.  Let me suggest a possible solution.

Evanston and Northwestern University have frequently been at loggerheads over any number of issues, and town-gown resentment is always close to the surface.  But what if Northwestern, like a metaphorical knight in shining armor, were to ride in and heroically save our branch libraries by subsidizing them?  

It would be a love-feast, with the 500-pound gorilla-by-the-lake suddenly transformed into a fairy godmother.  NU would gain so much good will that the cost involved would be a downright bargain.  Evanston would be transformed into the Peaceable Kingdom.

Of course it’ll never happen, but one can always fantasize.

  –Don Draganski

A Minion Opinion

Editor:

Todd Stroger’s acts aggrieve the naïve

He conjures tax relieve health upheave

Board budget, newly passed

Knew they’d get lesser tax

Todd’s assures interweave
             make-believe.

                           — Robert Bagby