City Should Not Subsidize TJX Companies


I am happy to see that people are expressing opinions on the issue of the Dempster Dodge corridor and the Evanston Plaza. There are many points of view; all have value and are not mutually exclusive.

To those of you new to Evanston, this should be a wake up call: Evanston is not the smoothly run wealthy suburb that your realtor told you when you moved here. 

Over the years money has been wasted on endeavors that went nowhere. Funds have been turned down or not acted upon in a timely manner, depriving this City of investments that could have yielded a list of benefits. Several examples are the Northlight Theater, the driving range on Oakton in Skokie and the restoration of the Varsity Theater (now the Gap downtown). Corporate investments in the area would have raised the median income of shoppers. There were many, many other lost opportunities.

The City spends money on getting consultations on how to go about bringing changes and ignores the results, instead choosing to focus on the closing of almost the last viable business in that nearly empty plaza. Where was everyone when the lights went out in most of the other retail spaces? Corporations do not open a store without doing research on the viability of a location.

Unlike some of the respondents, I am not put off by the PayDay stores or Payless. If you had ventured into AJ Wright you might have been surprised at what quality could have been found for very low prices. If you felt those were not to your liking it is understandable. In either case, the path currently being proposed is like putting a finger in a dike, keeping one store open. In addition, Home Goods is not that reasonably priced, so lower-income residents will not spend money there, and those who are put off by the appearance of the surrounding business will not venture there. It will not stay open very long if it actually happens.

This neighborhood does not sustain stores. Even Dominick’s is limping along, after we spent major City money getting that location safe for food sales.

My hope is that you will use this as an opportunity to get involved in the future of our neighborhood and Evanston. When you take your dollars to Old Orchard or the Howard Street Dominick’s, you take tax dollars out of your hometown and give them to other municipalities. You are only making any improvements less possible.

You will need to be strong and persistent to become involved and make your ideas heard. The same people are always out there and they like the control. I received a series of e-mails over the last several days telling me to be quiet about the proposed idea to fund TJ Maxx unless I agreed or stated my plan. That my speaking out would prevent any improvements, even the library branch. Interesting take on democracy, huh?

There is no way that you will be heard unless you speak out. There will be no way that the investment you have in your house and home will be sustained if you do not stand up.

Make the time to speak out and get involved in the planning stages, not after the damage is done.

Go, West Evanston.

— Charlene Bos

Take Responsibility For
Clearing Sidewalks


 I fell in mid-December, in my own Evanston residential neighborhood. I am 80 years old, and I wear boots with a good, heavy tread, but I stepped on an icy sidewalk and went down on my side. I went down very hard. I waited for the cloth I put in my freezer to become quite cold so I could have a cold compress to take down the swelling and alleviate the pain.

 Is it a scurrilous rumor, or is it true, that in Evanston, homeowners have two legal choices – clear your sidewalk of snow and ice completely, or don’t do a thing? If a homeowner does a bit of snow-removal but leaves some snow or ice on the sidewalk, that person can be ticketed. If, however, a homeowner does not clear the sidewalk at all but leaves it coated with whatever ice and/or snow nature has provided, the City approves.

Is this not condoning, or at the very least, showing, a total lack of care for one’s fellow residents? Why doesn’t Evanston join the civilized world and say, “Sidewalks must be cleared completely of snow and ice”? How can a civilized community say, “You want to walk outside in winter? Break a leg?”

— Ruth Granick

Thanks to Water/Sewer, a Dry Christmas Eve


We are writing to express our appreciation to the emergency repair crews of the Evanston Water and Sewer Department. On the afternoon of Dec. 24, we discovered that a water-line main had broken in front of the driveway of our house. The break crated a river running down the street into a sewer opening.

The emergency crew responded to our call within a few minutes, and they worked for five hours in the growing darkness and falling snow until the repair was completed in the evening.

It was only after checking carefully that all was well that the crew could return to their warm homes and families for Christmas Eve.

It is City services like these that help make Evanston a great place to live.

— Suzi and Gershon Berkson

The Filming of ‘Contagion’


Regarding the article in the December 22 Roundtable regarding the filming of “Contagion” and the production’s colonization of the surrounding area, I’m a little amused and more than a little disgusted by the sycophantic reactions the writer focuses on and expresses.  My daughter is a student at Roycemore, across the street from the set, and it was an incredible inconvenience getting her to school and picking her up after school.  I can only imagine the headaches for the residents in the surrounding areas as they were basically held under martial law in order to meet the wishes of the moviemakers.  And what, exactly, did Evanston gain for this inconvenience to our community?  “The movie folks pay for the whole thing,” we are told.  And?  What in addition is contributed to our community?  Are the inconvenienced residents compensated?  Did they have a voice in the matter?  Was Roycemore compensated?  Or did the City simply break even in this occupation?

We are told that if  “the inconvenience pained residents, Mr. Gaynor had yet to hear about it several days later.  He had been checking his e-mail for complaints, he said.”  And his well-publicized e-mail address is … ?  It is simply beyond me why anyone would care about Matt Damon or where he is or be enthused about the latest piece of drek being made which will further pollute our visual and intellectual culture.

— Steve Harp, Associate Professor
Department of Art, Media and Design
DePaul University

Christmas Tree

To all who have written asking me

Status of absented Christmas tree:

Thanks for your interest

In homemade yearly quest

Frozen ground frustrated assembly.

— Robert Bagby