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Letters & Comments: May 13, 2010

"So much of Chicago's Black History has not been documented and could be erased if it wasn't for articles like this."

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Overdue Credit

We neglected to credit the artists on a couple of recent covers. Laura Park was responsible for the food trucks illustration for the issue of April 29. And Jim Newberry shot the cover for our Occidental Brothers feature, which appeared April 15. Apologies to those excellent contributors.

The editors

Howard's Happy End

Re: "How Howard Got His History Back: A young DJ stumbled on a warehouse cache and reunited a barrier-breaking photographer with some 500 lost works," by Leah Pietrusiak, May 6

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person in Chicago's creative community. Anyone who knows Howard and his wonderfully cool sense of humor is happy to see him get this recognition. He also had the best parties in town over the years where models, advertising types and creatives had great times. Howard has been a great friend and supporter of many in the creative community in this town.

Ron Boyd

So much of Chicago's Black History has not been documented and could be erased if it wasn't for articles like this. It was not half stepping but thorough with little-known facts—not just filler. It made me want to read more.

Henry Hardee

Turbulent Harvest

Re: "Wind Power in the Water? A dark-side wind-power doc hits Evanston just as the town explores offshore turbines," by Deanna Isaacs, May 6

As the Gulf Oil Tragedy worsens, two things occur to me. First is the ineptitude of humans to control outcomes of their mechanical invasions upon Mother Earth. Second is the vulnerability of waters to this destructive folly. In a genuine lack of wisdom, the U.S. has once again decided to go beyond where it should go—this time by Salazar approving Cape Wind. He just slated Nantucket Sound's fragile ecosystem for an electrical service platform with a helicopter pad, fuel, transformer oil, greases, and industrial lubricants—tens of thousands of gallons of them about four miles offshore in those waters. With an increase in predicted severe weather events already taking place, prospects of nor'easters on steroids just doesn't bode well for offshore wind farms in their path.

Have Mr. Salazar and Minerals Management just made a budgetary decision on how to kill the waters? Why use premium crude oil when tens of thousands of gallons of alternative industrial fluids will work just as well?

People, offshore wind farms are not benign pinwheels. They are industrial power plants that can pollute just as much as any man-made beast. Our life-giving waters should not be squandered like this. The Great Lakes are just too valuable to risk.

Jonathan Foxrun

While I enjoyed reading the article on the proposed offshore wind farm in Evanston, I do have a few issues that need to be made clear. While the proposed offshore wind farm would be powered by wind turbines, and there are wind turbines in the movie Windfall, I think the comparisons between the two are very slight. In fact, the Evanston proposal is sited where it is to address the exact problems noted in the movie.

Windfall is about a particular wind farm developer who took advantage of/misled the community featured in the movie. The process that the proposed wind farm in Evanston will go through will be a completely transparent one, with due diligence being followed by a very robust city council. The idea of the proposed Evanston wind farm is coming from the community, from our grassroots citizens group. A developer is not coming to town trying to talk anyone into this.

Additionally, the Evanston City Council had previously approved the basic notion of the Climate Action Plan, which directs that Evanston reduce its carbon footprint a specific amount by 2012, which was noted in the article. Because of the scale of the carbon reduction offered by the proposed wind farm, it is a concept that should be followed through on.

The other issue I have is the suggestion that the FAQ document that we prepared is in some way tied to "Big Wind" interests. The FAQ document has appropriate references noting where information came from. The FAQ document does not 'feature' these links; it simply is noting them and it certainly does not mean we are being influenced in any way by commercial entities. Any suggestion of this, after many years of hard volunteer work on this project, is not correct.

Nathan Kipnis

Cochair

Renewable Energy Task Force

Citizens for a Greener Evanston

Deanna Isaacs replies:

As reported, the only sources Citizens for a Greener Evanston list in their Offshore Wind Farm FAQ under the heading "Wind Resources Link" are the Wind Resource Atlas of the United States (wind speed maps) and the national and state wind industry trade groups.

Why Walmart?

Re: "The Only Option? Alderman Anthony Beale says Walmart is the only retailer interested in Pullman. But more union-friendly retailers say nobody asked them," by Hunter Clauss, May 6

The grocery unions have perpetrated a fraud on the city of Chicago and the residents of the south side. They are afraid of the potential downward pressure on their wages (is this not happening in the suburbs where both Wal-Mart and the traditional grocers seem to peacefully co-exist?). Their employers at Jewel and Dominick's have no intention of moving stores into either location. The developers could care less whether it is Jewel or Wal-Mart. They just need a destination draw that would help bring other retailers to the site. They would gladly accept Jewel/Dominick's/Costco in an instant.

The proposed Wal-Marts will serve a section of the city that is grossly underserved by the conventional grocers. It will also create jobs that are desperately needed by the neighborhood residents. And finally, you KNOW that in spite of their "protecting" Chicagoans via the "living wage" initiative, those same union members and underserved Chicagoans are driving to shop at suburban Wal-Marts every day.

Tom

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