Updated: July 26, 2013 6:21AM
The events of the past few weeks regarding the use of so-called racially offensive language have prompted me to write. Paula Dean used the so-called “N word” and, due to the prevailing unwritten law of race relations in this country, will be ostracized, fired, and generally shunned for breaking this law. However, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush can make reference to “white boy mentality” with impunity. Can you imagine what would have happened had Sen. Mark Kirk referred to a “black boy mentality”?
Tracy Jones, Country Club Hills
Options for college hopefuls
The unemployment rate of 12.6 percent for recent bachelor’s degree recipients is certainly disconcerting to the new crop of high school graduates heading to college this fall. In fact, recent news stories suggest that faced with this jobless rate, young people may believe the traditional four-year degree is not worth the investment in time or money. This simply is not true. A college education is essential to achieve career success. However, a four-year degree is not the only option.
There are college alternatives for those who seek a faster path to a career. For instance, career-oriented diplomas and degree programs focus on curricula that train students for high-demand professions, such as those in health care, paralegal, IT or skilled trades. These career colleges conduct short-term intensive-training programs that accelerate the education process, allowing students to earn a degree or certification in a condensed time frame. Most offer convenient scheduling on weekends, early mornings and evenings for students who hold jobs. There is a college for everyone. High school grads should explore their options.
Jacob Kassuba, President, Everest College, Burr Ridge
Everest College, Burr Ridge
This is in response to the Sun-Times article regarding the possibility of thousands of books mistakenly being culled from the Urbana Free Library while under the direction of Deb Lissak. I have worked both as a team member and as a manager in my lifetime. When you are a manager and a big project is to be undertaken, it is usually wise to communicate with upper management and your team to figure out the best path and ensure that everyone is on board and understands the plan. It’s also wise to be watching what is taking place. For a manager to say, “I had no reason to be double-checking,” is just wrong. To further blame your employees when you lacked a plan, oversight and responsibility simply draws more attention to why the books are gone.
Marcia Hilliard, Skokie
Metra’s problems more extensive
I find the story on Metra delays (Friday, June 21, 2013) very interesting, but the story doesn’t give all the details about Metra’s problems. The BNSF experiences delays makes the front page of the paper, but Metra’sSouthwest Service experiences delays almost on a daily basis and yet no one cares about the commuters on that line to do a story.
Metra has been operating with an aged fleet for years, which will increase the chances of mechanical problems. Many of the passenger cars, especially the ones that have BNSF on the sides, leak and maintenance of stations is almost nonexistent. The Manhattan station was built in 2006, but if you look at the exterior, you would think it is much older. Some of the masonry work around the bottom of the support pillars is breaking up. Metra has promised to work on improving delays and is working on the “fly over” that will help reduce delays, yet they are building the fly-over on the wrong line.
The Rock Island District seems to have a better track record than the Southwest Service, yet the fly-over is being built near the Rock Island. How will this help reduce delays on the Southwest Service? Yet, Metra was able to pay Alex Clifford $422,000 for his resignation on the same day the article appeared in the paper. I have repeatedly asked Metra to expand service to/from Manhattan, and yet Metra officials have said the ridership does not justify the expansion in service. Of course not, because the on-time performance and service delays on the Southwest Service have forced riders to take the Rock Island.
Kevin P. Malone, Manhattan