To the editors:
My first reaction was to demand a second "this-time-get-it-right" article. But on further thought why risk any more damage by Mr. Henderson ["A Piece of Lakefront," September 23].
He had a chance to do a thorough in-depth story about a very complex project whose underlying issue may indeed be control, but not the limited control perceived by ivory tower environmentalists. There is the control of a neighborhood over its quality of life; control of Loyola University over its students; control--if one can control God--of lakefront erosion; control by public bodies over the destinies of private citizens; control by Loyola University over its destiny, vis-a-vis expansion, consolidation, planning; control of a neighborhood park by the neighborhood vs. control by the Park District of property it exercises little control over now; control of fact over fiction; control of reality over rumor; who controls the beach/park after 11 PM--teenage drunks or sleeping neighbors?
The concept of the Public Trust is lofty indeed, and on a large scale, perhaps even practicable. However, the stake that the Public has in this particular project is remote at best. Our stake--we who live here in southeast Rogers Park--is total. Loyola University is doing its best to be a good and sensitive neighbor by listening to and acting on our needs, fears and wants. Would that we had such concern from the Park District, the Friends of the Parks, the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, and the Great Lakes Federation. Before Open Lands congratulates itself on negotiating with Loyola University, maybe it would like to talk to the neighbors, someone at Loyola besides its corporate PR man, maybe even the Sidley & Austin lawyers to learn what we've been working out together. Mr. Henderson's reference to Loyola's power and clout almost put paid to everything we've all been working so hard for so long to accomplish--which is a story in itself, but not under Mr. Henderson's piercing eye.
I'm deeply disappointed in the Reader. I had always thought that here was one paper which took great pains to present all sides of every issue--balanced, thoughtful, thorough. In the future I will have to assume that the Reader, or at least Mr. Henderson, has to be read like the Tribune or the Sun-Times--skeptically.
Perhaps Mr. Henderson should stick to sand.
Southeast Rogers Park Neighbors Association