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[ 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. … ]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:29:43 -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 … ]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:08:21 -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 … ]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 17:19:21 -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 <![CDATA[ Nuclear energy deserves to compete on equal footing ]]> Lead story image

The Sun-Times’ recent editorial rehashes common misconceptions about the challenges facing Illinois’ nuclear power plants and how the state could address them [“Exelon must make case for bailout,” Nov. 6]. Let us first state definitively: We are not seeking a so-called “bailout” for unprofitable nuclear plants. At the same time, we cannot continue operating certain plants at a loss just because other ones are making money, as the editorial implies. That defies common business sense. Last spring, legislators asked us to delay shutting down plants to allow the state to study solutions that could avoid the negative impacts closing these … ]]> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:18:02 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30938737-474/nuclear-energy-deserves-to-compete-on-equal-footing.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30938737-474/nuclear-energy-deserves-to-compete-on-equal-footing.html <![CDATA[ Banks will get the better of preschool financing plan ]]>

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bank financing plan for early childhood education was easily passed by the City Council’s yes men, with only five dissenting votes. That this plan has been compared to the parking meter privatization deal is an indication that it is business as usual at City Hall. Pandering to the neediest families in the city to the benefit of the financial community seems to be a typical Emanuel maneuver prior to the upcoming mayoral election. Mike Koskiewiczs, Portage Park About time U.S. knocked Israel Israeli leaders have been insulting U.S. leaders left and right. It is about time, albeit … ]]> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:18:02 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30938821-474/banks-will-get-the-better-of-preschool-financing-plan.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30938821-474/banks-will-get-the-better-of-preschool-financing-plan.html <![CDATA[ Quinn lost because he’s a straight arrow ]]>

Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner has announced his leadership team, which includes Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti as chairwoman; political strategist Mike Zolnierowicz as transition director; Judy Baar Topinka aide Nancy Kimme as transition adviser; campaign manager Chip Englander as senior advisor, and Mike Schrimpf as communications director. Rauner was dogged on the campaign trail regarding his failure to hire one African American in a senior executive role during his entire 30-year tenure at GTCR. During the debates, Rauner indicated that he cared most about the African-American community. He hammered Gov. Quinn on his record of taking the African-American community for granted, citing … ]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:51:20 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30918540-474/quinn-lost-because-hes-a-straight-arrow.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30918540-474/quinn-lost-because-hes-a-straight-arrow.html <![CDATA[ Here come two  do-nothing years ]]>

After Tuesday night, it seems all the Democrats have left is the filibuster, the presidential veto, and the fact that most of the GOP’s ideas are stuff we know too well. They would kill or repeal Obamacare, increase the defense budget, lower taxes on the top 2 percent, cut environmental regulations and close down the Department of Education. All of which will never get past a veto pen. Get ready for two years more of a do-nothing Congress. Louis DeRosa, Westchester Ads scammed the voters How can people vote overwhelmingly to raise the minimum wage yet elect those who want … ]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:18:48 -0600 http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30895818-474/here-come-two-do-nothing-years.html http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/letters/30895818-474/here-come-two-do-nothing-years.html