Weather Updates

Neighborhood wasn’t racist

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton

storyidforme: 50869169
tmspicid: 4032421
fileheaderid: 2114504

Updated: July 19, 2013 6:15AM

I am responding to the article written in the Splash section by Jackie Taylor, in which she wrote about the racism she encountered while living in the Cabrini Green housing project in the 1960s and said that she was afraid to travel north of North Avenue because of racism.

In the 1960s, I grew up in the 1700 block of Larrabee just north of the area she said she could not enter. Jackie should know that two doors south of me was a two-flat completely occupied by blacks. Half a block north was a two-flat also occupied entirely by black families. We all played together, and there was never a problem with anyone.

I attended Newberry Elementary School three blocks west of me, which was a perfect example of diversity.

Every race you could think of went there. Never at this school did I witness any racism.

Randy Barton, Edison Park

Bad pavement for cyclists

As a bicyclist and bicycle commuter, I’m happy to see new protected bike lanes. However, I must call to the attention of readers and the city, a problem with other bike lanes. Recent changes in accepted paving practices, after utilities tear up a street, have rendered many existing bike lanes unusable for cyclists for lengthy periods.

One such stretch is Clark Street, from Howard to Devon, which used to be a prime commuter route, feeding toward the lakefront path. A crew came in over a year ago and dug up the street, covering it with very rough concrete. It’s not bumpy enough to bother cars, but it’s bone-jarring for bicycles. I understand that this is supposed to be temporary, until the whole street can be re-covered with asphalt, but what is “temporary”?

A year is too long. Many cyclists have given up using the route, which of course, still counts in the total mileage of bike routes that the city tallies.

Steve Cohen, Evanston

Lack of sense in Springfield

Let me make sure I understand our state’s pension impasse correctly. Basically, House “leader” Michael Madigan proposes that we cut $10. Senate “leader” John Cullerton suggests we cut $5. And since they can’t agree on the amount of savings, they do what? They cut nothing. Brilliant.

William Choslovsky, Lincoln Park

D.C.’s plastic bag example

I read Neil Steinberg’s paper vs. plastic bag argument with interest. I am a Chicago resident but lived in Washington, D.C., shortly after the district instated a five-cent bag tax. The tax applied to both plastic and paper and to all businesses from Safeway grocery stores to Macy’s department stores.

The bag tax was anticipated to defray the costs to clean up the Anacostia River basin. It quickly became apparent that the river project would need to be funded elsewhere because residents adopted the practice of toting their own totes rapidly and en masse. I hope that the conversation about bags does not remain one of a lesser of evils — paper or plastic — but one of disposable vs. reusable. Of course, it is not perfect and there is not 100 percent compliance, but I believe D.C.’s example takes us much closer to the true heart of the issue and toward a solution.

Rachel Veltmanm, Edison Park

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.