City Overreaches in Closing Lemonade Stands

Editor:

On May 29, the City’s health inspector simultaneously shut down kid-operated lemonade stands outside the North Branch and South Branch libraries. The stands were open to try to raise money to keep the branches open past August.

The reason for this action was not because the stands did not have a permit (true) or because they posed a health threat (questionable); other kid-run lemonade stands that had popped up around the City this hot weekend were allowed to operate unmolested. The real reason was than the kids were helping to support a viewpoint (saving the branch libraries) that the City administration disagrees with and wants to silence.

Whether you are for or against branch libraries (I am neither), this action should worry you. When a government uses – or even just appears to use – its enforcement powers to intimidate a contrary viewpoint, it fosters a climate of fear.

Businesses and homeowners would rightly think twice about whether to voice disapproval of City initiatives out of concern that it may trigger an audit, delay the issuance of a building permit or lead to curiously frequent visits by code inspectors. Evanston has always been a community that values respectful dialogue and dissent, however inconvenient or uncomfortable. This action by the City signals a potential threat to this important community hallmark, and therefore demands closer scrutiny.

— Richard Kase
Ed. Note: Please see editorial.

Dillo Day Should Remain on Campus

Editor:

Northwestern University is located in Evanston. Northwestern University has a fine reputation. Students of Northwestern University are the Cream of Something or Other.

This is Dillo Day. The City has placed wastebaskets at many corners. City police are driving or biking past slowly.

Too bad there are no armed guards placed at every tree. On my block two very thick, long limbs, torn from their trees, lie across the sidewalk. I guess the thrill is in maiming a living thing – then when that’s done, let’s move on.

Dillo Day occurs only – thank goodness – once a year. Usually on this day our sidewalks are littered, not with destroyed life but with vomit – liquor? Drugs?

In a sane society, something like Dillo Day would be restricted to the University campus: Destroy your own trees, vomit on your own land.

— Ruth Granick

There Are Other Events

Editor:

With regard to your “Relay for Life” story, there are other events as well – Please note Walk & Roll and Bark for Life. I participated in the ACS Walk & Roll 2010 North Shore event on May 16.

Team Danon raised about $2,200. BODE will walk with me on Oct. 3, 2010 at Bark for Life 2010.–Bob Danon

Open Letter to Governor Pat Quinn, Senator Jeff Schoenberg, Representative Robyn Gabel and Representative Beth Coulson

Throughout Illinois, teachers are being fired, social service agencies are closing their doors, and funding cutbacks are jeopardizing public safety. The board of directors of the Democratic Party of Evanston (DPOE), by unanimous vote, recently passed a resolution calling on the Illinois legislature to enact “comprehensive, fair and sustainable fiscal reform.”

We cannot stand by while schoolchildren, working people, the ill and the needy suffer the effects of slash-and-burn budgeting. Yet, though we live in a state of emergency, many of our elected officials appear to be living in a state of denial. Incredibly, this legislative session may conclude without meaningful action on our budget crisis.

This is unacceptable. We call on you – Governor Quinn, Senator Schoenberg, and Representatives Gabel and Coulson – to insist that legitimate and lasting fiscal reform be enacted now. Your constituents and the people of Illinois deserve no less.

The Democratic Party of Evanston’s resolution, which can be read in full at www.dpoe.org, posits that the budget cuts we face are both unconscionable and unsound, since they will do little to restore our state’s financial integrity. “Temporary, band-aid solutions” must be eschewed in favor of “comprehensive fiscal reforms that are fair, responsive, stable and efficient.” In short, we must bring in more revenue, which necessitates a reasonable income tax increase. The DPOE calls for legislation which would do the following:

• Provide a significant property tax reduction for homeowners and senior citizens living on a fixed income by doubling the state income tax credit taxpayers may claim for property taxes;

• Create tax fairness for low-income, working families by increasing the value of the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit;

• Generate significant, recurring revenue through a more progressive, elevated income tax to fund priorities like education, health, public safety and human services.

Some legislators maintain that meaningful reform is impossible because talk of tax increases makes “the people” uncomfortable, and so it’s the citizenry, this logic would have it, who are actually to blame for our budget fiasco.

We reject such a deflection of responsibility. As citizens, we wish to be clear: fair and proportionate tax increases are necessary, and we support them. We also believe that the people of Illinois, who bear increasingly untenable burdens imposed by funding cutbacks, hunger for honest talk and real solutions. That’s what defines leadership, and we urge you to act with the courage, vision, and firm conviction required in a time of crisis. If you do, you will earn the people’s respect and their support.

The Illinois legislature has one last chance to do the right thing and address our budget crisis before any adjournment is contemplated. Please assure us that you will insist on meaningful fiscal reform now. We await your response.

–Democratic Party of Evanston,
Toni Gilpin, Executive Director

Budget Crisis Is Not Going  To Fix Itself

Editor:

We are high school students from two schools – Mather in Chicago and Niles West in Skokie – who have been working with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to fight state budget cutbacks that hurt homeless and at-risk families.  The budget crisis came even closer when we heard how the cuts would affect Mather High School, such as the loss of programs and quality teachers.

The budget crisis is not going to fix itself.

We have met with State Reps. Lou Lang and John D’Amico, and hope to meet with Rep. Beth Coulson, to ask that they support a state income tax increase so that students like us can go to school and live in a stable environment.  As a leader, they need to take charge.  They need to protect services from being cut, so that the vulnerable members of our society can have a better life and our community can be better as a whole.

When people move out of poverty, they are able to pay taxes and improve the economy.  Also, when people are successful, we will benefit because our environment will be better, more stable.–Zoha Aziz, Forrest Linsell, Nadia Sarnecki, and Alison Grabowski of Niles West High School, Maidi Dzebic, Paul Nguyen, Jazmin Espana, and Mark Hanna of Mather High School

Thanks From the Farm And The Garden Club

Editor:

On behalf of the members of the Lincolnwood Garden Club of Evanston and all the artisan vendors, plus the Talking Farm, we want to thank everyone who supported the Evanston Garden Fair this year.  Our garden club is pleased and excited to continue this wonderful Evanston tradition, and we were gratified at the response from our community.

–Marta Pappert and Sue Capillo, Co-Chairs of the Evanston Garden Fair, Lincolnwood Garden Club of Evanston

Offended By Cartoon

Editor:

I found the cartoon by Martha Rosenberg on the Letters/Opinion page of the May 26 RoundTable singularly offensive.

Males are “unnecessary”?! Women, let’s quit male-bashing! We need to encourage our men – our husbands, fathers of our children, our friends, our sons – that we do indeed need them.

God made us “male and female” and called them both “good.” We don’t need to puff ourselves up by putting down the other sex. Let’s create a social tone in our homes, neighborhoods, and schools that both boys and girls are valued and can grow up to be productive, civil, necessary citizens.

–Neta Jackson