Lacking Realistic Environmental Accomplishment

Editor:

In response to the “A Wind and a Prayer?” and “Climate Action Plan Flounders” articles plus the “Taking Stock of a Green City” editorial in the April 28 Evanston Roundtable, I provide the following:

Along with Ald. Judy Fiske, former mayoral candidate Barnaby Dinges (for whom my wife and I voted) and Bill Schwimmer, I strongly oppose the subject adventure. I take this stand even though I am also a fellow member of CGE, like Nate Kipnis and others. 

I am an environmentalist, retired mechanical engineer, public servant and licensed Illinois professional engineer, OSHA Competent Person and 39-year Evanston resident; whose career spans nearly a half-century. Accordingly, I feel my experience has merit in this matter.

Regardless of installations in Europe and what has just taken place at Cape Cod, I don’t believe that this plan will initially survive an Environmental Impact Study.  The effects on bird migration patterns, fish from submerged electrical cable, boating, flights of planes and noise, will “sink” this project.

Last year, the City Council wasted time and money with developers on the “Spire,” which will never see the light of day. Now they want to “entertain” more developers on a $400,000,000 proposal where Evanston has nothing to put on the table. Other than Warren Buffet or Bill Gates willing to endow us, who would enter into this arrangement?

The Council just doesn’t understand the magnitude of this endeavor. Besides installing the 40 machines over water, they require continual maintenance. Any volunteers to go up on one? A substation needs to be provided. Where along our lakefront shall we put it? Then, it all must be connected to a grid that doesn’t exist yet. OSHA is in the process of creating safety standards for wind turbines, as there have already been injuries and deaths in this newly developing national industry.

The lack of realistic environmental accomplishment by the City of Evanston is a joke. In this edition of the RoundTable, Ms. Collopy admits to no progress. There just isn’t enough LEED construction, citywide electronic recycling events, or enough lights to change to CFLs to 

“sustain” her presence. Why is she still employed? Speaking of LEED, JRC Synagogue at Dodge and Mulford received a Platinum Award two years ago. One year later, the exterior wood, rescued from a barn in Wisconsin, had to be restained. What kind of environmental consciousness was this?

Supposedly to encourage conservation, we Evanstonians are now being additionally taxed for garbage pickup ($6.95 or $10.95 per month, depending on container size) and yard waste ( $1.75 per bag or $25.00 per container per year). Also, our success in conserving water last year will result in a rate increase this year to make up for the deficit. Aren’t these great initiatives?

To top it all off, the City of Evanston couldn’t sustain our greatest asset, our children! On Earth Day, April 22, the EPA invoked its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule; whereby protection from said work for children under 6 years old shall be provided in any school, day care or other facility built before 1978 where they are present.

–Fred J. Wittenberg

Former Mayor Morton Thanks Community

Open Letter to the Evanston Community:

On March 28, at a luncheon sponsored by the Forrest E. Powell Foundation, held at Pete Miller’s, Hecky Powell and his wife, Cheryl, presented me with a replica of a check for $25,000 made out to Winston-Salem State University, my undergraduate school, for the Lorraine H. Morton endowed scholarship fund.

I wanted to write letters of thanks to each of you who contributed, but Hecky rold me it was a community gift from many people in Evanston.

The fundraising was done so quietly that I did not know about it. Imagine my surprise and the honor I felt.

My sincere thanks to you who were part of a gift that touched my heart. Tears of gratitude were hard to hide.

–Gratefully, Lorraine H. Morton

Read it in Black and White: It’s Not All Over, EPL Friends; Keep Up Morale

Editor:

Evanston Public Library Friends would like to thank everyone who joined in our recent National Library Week celebrations, including our Kid’s Read-a-Thon, Charter Membership Drive and fundraising efforts.

Established in March after the City Council cut funding to continue services to the two branch libraries in Evanston, EPL Friends, www.eplfriends.org has set out a goal for ourselves to raise $200,000 to fund the second six months of operation and explore services to the West wards of Evanston previously underserved.

In just six short weeks we have raised $80,000 and more than 1,800 families have become Charter Members in the newly formed Evanston Public Library Friends, including Evanston Mayor Elizabeth and library director Mary Johns. For the first time in several years, Evanston has an organization in place that is helping to advance the cause of the libraries and focus on funding shortfalls and delivery options for library services to all Evanston neighborhoods. 

Despite the morale-busting “For Lease” signs posted at South Branch, we remain optimistic and are working to continue services to the South Branch neighborhood, and are exploring public/private partnerships for future South spaces. We have also begun to do outreach to West wards and will implement a summer reading program there this summer, with details to be announced soon. Our tagline is “Think Big. Start Small.”

We are grateful for the incredible support of the community and invite everyone to join in helping to support the libraries through EPL Friends’ upcoming initiatives – including an online “Armchair Auction,” which will kick off on May 15.  Among other auction items, there will be a dinner party with best-selling author and Evanston resident Audrey Niffenegger of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” fame, as well as autographed copies of three best-sellers by another Evanston resident, Scott Turow. All are invited to participate or to donate, and more information can be found at www.eplfriends.org. 

With enormous gratitude to our generous supporters, and hope for our continued success as a community that encourages reading, learning and access for all through our public libraries.

–Patti Crews, Emily Guthrie, Jim Hughes, Lori Keenan, Debby Kisor, Larry Lundy, Marcia Mahoney, Eb Moran, Ellen Newcomer, Jen Preschern, Mary Rosinski, Mary Lou Smith, Trish Stieglitz, Michael Tannen, Evan Westerfield, The Evanston Public Library Friends Board of Directors, Advisory Board and Volunteer Staff