Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) Newspapers http://www.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/suntimes.gif Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Mayor’s hiring plan good for minority representation ]]> Lead story image

As chairman of the Aldermanic Black Caucus, member of the City Council Latino Caucus, and sponsors of a City Council resolution regarding preference for Chicago Public Schools graduates, we were shocked and disappointed to read Karen Lewis’ denunciation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to give CPS graduates a preference on referral lists for hiring future Chicago firefighters. (“Mayor’s plan for hiring firefighters just a ‘stunt,’” Aug. 19.) Everyone knows that minority representation in the Chicago city work force, especially its police and fire departments, has not been proportionate to our population. Many ideas have been tried to address this inequity … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:52:52 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/29376744-474/mayors-hiring-plan-good-for-minority-representation.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/29376744-474/mayors-hiring-plan-good-for-minority-representation.html <![CDATA[ Appreciate city  employees who are working today ]]>

I’d like to give thanks to all the city workers who left their families today to go work at 911, street lights and all departments that require 24-hour coverage. These people are what keeps Chicago moving at times most people couldn’t fathom going to work. True, we were told we would work holidays when we where hired, but we were also told we would have a pension. The recent court ruling in favor of workers, while great news, is only a start. Thirty years of neglect in funding got us to this point. It can’t be fixed overnight. The workers … ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:32:29 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31311584-474/appreciate-city-employees-who-are-working-today.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31311584-474/appreciate-city-employees-who-are-working-today.html <![CDATA[ ‘Flippable’ Metra seats are the only sensible way to travel ]]> Lead story image

I am strongly against Metra’s proposal to install seats that cannot be changed to face the direction of travel. The proposal is to install half of the seats permanently facing one direction, and half permanently facing the other direction. Currently, the seats on Metra trains can be “flipped” when the train changes direction, turning all of the seats to face the direction of travel. When, in other cities, I have traveled by rail sitting backwards, I have felt ill. My husband also feels ill when traveling backward. I must have a seat that allows me to face the direction of … ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:00:03 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31294070-474/flippable-metra-seats-are-the-only-sensible-way-to-travel.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31294070-474/flippable-metra-seats-are-the-only-sensible-way-to-travel.html <![CDATA[ Boehner leaves out key sentence when ripping Obama on immigration ]]> Lead story image

As U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, continues to admonish President Barack Obama for taking executive action on the immigration bill, he neglects to tell the media one sentence: “I have the bill but I won’t let the House of Representatives vote on it.” Verna Johnson, Chatham Change wouldn’t affect pensions Why does the Sun-Times insist on conjuring the prospect of a constitutional amendment to “solve” the Illinois public pension funding shortfall? For the same reason Circuit Judge John Belz found the new law unconstitutional, an amendment would have virtually no impact. It would violate the United States’ prohibition against … ]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:16:19 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31271663-474/boehner-leaves-out-key-sentence-when-ripping-obama-on-immigration.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31271663-474/boehner-leaves-out-key-sentence-when-ripping-obama-on-immigration.html <![CDATA[ Stray animals get short end of city cost-cutting ]]>

Poor little cats and dogs that are unlucky enough to land in City Animal Control may not have even five days to get adopted. To save a few dollars, the mayor has cut their opportunity to three measley days. Kathie Newhouse, Hyde Park Loud intersection Folks are complaining about loud airplanes. I live near a busy intersection with constant sirens from ambulances and police cars. The railroads are not near, but we constantly hear the whistles. Let’s not forget the motorcycles blasting those motors. Dolores Piecuch, Belmont Cragin Disgusting cartoon I’m very disgusted with the Jack Higgins cartoon on Friday. … ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 02:15:29 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31212354-474/stray-animals-get-short-end-of-city-cost-cutting.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31212354-474/stray-animals-get-short-end-of-city-cost-cutting.html <![CDATA[ Metra engineers, conductors do a great job for riders ]]>

The Chicago Sun-Times, without any evidence, insinuates that Metra engineers and conductors are overpaid because we use a century-old pay structure that other commuter railroads no longer use [“Money Train,” Nov. 12]. You demean these employees by portraying them as members of some exclusive club — never mind that they work very long hours, never mind that their pay is commensurate with the industry, never mind that they are responsible for the safe operation of trains carrying up to 1,500 riders, and never mind that cutting the overtime pay of these workers (who for the most part are paid straight … ]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 02:33:45 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31188071-474/metra-engineers-conductors-do-a-great-job-for-riders.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31188071-474/metra-engineers-conductors-do-a-great-job-for-riders.html <![CDATA[ Obama hasn’t abandoned bipartisanship ]]>

Apparently letter writer Don O’Keefe fails to read your newspaper or watch TV to get an accurate account on President Obama’s bipartisanship effort. Since the beginning of his term he has tried to work with the GOP to pass bills, etc. but has been blocked by Congress. Rush Limbaugh and Mitch McConnell wanted him to fail and be a one-term president. Yet he continues to reach out to the Republicans even though they have named themselves the “Hell no” party. Yet President Barack Obama will prevail and continue to work for all the people, including Mr. O’Keefe from Evergreen Park. … ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:11:54 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31187580-474/obama-hasnt-abandoned-bipartisanship.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31187580-474/obama-hasnt-abandoned-bipartisanship.html <![CDATA[ Dikta out of line on Adrian Peterson ]]> Lead story image

Coach Mike Ditka said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is out of line for suspending Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and that Peterson deserves a second chance. Really, Coach? This macho sentiment may work in an NFL locker room, but not when raising a 4-year-old child. Disciplining your child and beating him are two entirely different things. If you want “self-respect, dignity, and honor” for Peterson, it has nothing to do with him suiting up for the Vikings this season. Bravo, Mr. Goodell. Shame on you, Adrian Peterson. Think again, Coach Ditka. Jeff Mech, Tinley Park Why use “lily-white”? Regarding Wednesday’s … ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:12:12 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31170304-474/dikta-out-of-line-on-adrian-peterson.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31170304-474/dikta-out-of-line-on-adrian-peterson.html <![CDATA[ Obama all wrong on immigration reform, bipartisanship ]]>

The obvious flaws in your editorial urging the President to use executive authority to address illegal aliens are the fact you are encouraging unconstitutional actions (from a former constitutional law professor), and the bald-faced lies that Obama has ever been conciliatory towards the GOP or was willing to act in a bipartisan fashion at any time during his presidency. Don O’Keefe, Evergreen Park Boosting minimum wage  leads to job gains So many struggling Illinois workers and their families need an increased minimum wage to help them get by! How many workers, even though sick, still go to work because their … ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:46:53 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31150455-474/obama-all-wrong-on-immigration-reform-bipartisanship.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31150455-474/obama-all-wrong-on-immigration-reform-bipartisanship.html <![CDATA[ Byrne changed public housing ]]>

Although I was in law school at the time, Mayor Jane Byrne’s move to Cabrini-Green made an indelible impression. Later, when I became chief executive of the Chicago Housing Authority, I appreciated even more the need to focus attention on the challenges facing public housing residents and the problems public housing presented for the city. Every mayor is flawed. I find it more than a bit sexist that people highlight Byrne’s flaws rather than her significant accomplishments. Her efforts to call attention to public housing issues may have been the beginning of the end for the high-rises at Robert Taylor, … ]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 02:15:37 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31129523-474/byrne-changed-public-housing.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31129523-474/byrne-changed-public-housing.html <![CDATA[ Closing schools isn’t way to improve teaching ]]> Lead story image

I am a retired Chicago Public Schools teacher. I was proud to have served the children, and I had pride in the leadership for more than 39 years. In recent years, CPS teachers have been called nonproductive failures. Now more schools are closed and replaced by charters. Public school administrators should not try to balance the schools’ budget on the backs of teachers. Privatization may be the capitalists’ way, but we are destrying hopes and dreams of many teachers and students. There must be a better way to get rid of “bad” teachers than closing schools and flushing everyone out. … ]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:19:34 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31069851-474/closing-schools-isnt-way-to-improve-teaching.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31069851-474/closing-schools-isnt-way-to-improve-teaching.html <![CDATA[ Truck parking lot is better site for George Lucas Museum ]]> Lead story image

Re: “A good [Lucas Museum] lakefront debate is welcomed” [Editorial, Friday]: Since when does a federal court case involve public participation? If the State of Illinois is the controlling owner of the land, Madigan/Cullerton/any governor can act faster than you can blink to empower the City of Chicago. Public participation isn’t needed in Springfield, either. What you should be pointing out is that Mr. Lucas is not in a power position right now. He may have the money, but only one city in the United States is going to want his museum now that we have seen a design — … ]]> Sun, 16 Nov 2014 02:30:17 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31069455-474/truck-parking-lot-is-better-site-for-george-lucas-museum.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31069455-474/truck-parking-lot-is-better-site-for-george-lucas-museum.html <![CDATA[ Lucas Museum will move  Chicago forward ]]>

Chicago is an iconic city because of its skyscrapers, architecture and museums. The Lucas Museum would move Chicago forward by adding an attraction that will bring tourism and youth to our city. In 1973, when steps were put in place to protect building on the lakefront, we did not have access to Waverly Island or Navy Pier, as we do today. As an event planner, I think that when people come to Chicago from other parts of the world, they are attracted to our buildings and what’s inside. Let’s keep going, Chicago. Marcia Hilliard, Skokie … ]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 09:44:12 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31049085-474/lucas-museum-will-move-chicago-forward.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31049085-474/lucas-museum-will-move-chicago-forward.html <![CDATA[ Pot dispensary  would be positive for Lake View ]]>

I found one of the resident’s primary arguments against the proposed medical cannabis dispensary in Lake View to be pretty nonsensical and baseless [“East Lake View Neighbors approve medical marijuana dispensary,” Nov. 11]. Incredibly high security and positive-impact studies aside, the woman seems to not realize this is a highly regulated business that sells medicine more akin to a pharmacy than a bar. Moreover, she is already surrounded by black-market dealers and simply doesn’t know it. So the “more crime” angle absolutely does not fit with the reality of the situation in any way, shape or form. Derek Hall, Gold … ]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:34:49 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31028293-474/pot-dispensary-would-be-positive-for-lake-view.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31028293-474/pot-dispensary-would-be-positive-for-lake-view.html <![CDATA[ Good grades, attendance beat standardized test scores ]]>

I work at an organization, Communities In Schools of Chicago, whose purpose is to ensure that the city’s public school students graduate from high school prepared to succeed. I was, therefore, very interested in your Monday editorial, “Grades, Before Test Scores, Hold the Secret to Success.” One of the key findings of the Consortium on Chicago School Research’s report referenced in the editorial — namely, that attendance and grades are dual flywheels that drive students’ life-long educational attainment — tracks well with how our organization attacks the drop-out crisis in Chicago. During the 2013-14 academic year, our organization provided expert … ]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:49:32 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31010345-474/good-grades-attendance-beat-standardized-test-scores.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/31010345-474/good-grades-attendance-beat-standardized-test-scores.html <![CDATA[ Money wasted on standardized tests ]]>

When the Sun-Times editorial for Monday declared “it’s not all about the test scores, stupid,” it meant STANDARDIZED test scores. Veteran teachers don’t need a University of Chicago study to tell them that attendance and grades best predict student success. All the money that has been spent on studies, reforms, school closings, school “re-constitutions,” and most of all these punishing tests like the Prairie State Achievement Test, ISAT, and now PARCC could have gone to hiring more professionally trained teachers who know how to manage a classroom, teach their subjects and create valuable and reliable assessments. Sue Carre,  Lake View … ]]> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 02:12:29 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30993757-474/money-wasted-on-standardized-tests.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30993757-474/money-wasted-on-standardized-tests.html