To the editors:
In regards to Ben Joravsky's July 2 article on the new Lakeview Action Coalition, I believe your writer has shown a bit of old-fashioned naivete and class prejudice in his statement that "Lakeview suffers from the same disease that transformed Lincoln Park into an urban version of Arlington Heights . . . priced out years ago."
I wish the neighborhood I own a home in (Edgewater) could catch just such a disease. I imagine most of Chicago's neighborhoods would love to catch a disease that sends property values skyrocketing, adds great wealth, culture, and education to the community, creates thousands of jobs, utilizing every available lot for residential or commercial development. City Hall would like to know exactly where Englewood, Pilsen, West Town, Jackson Park, Uptown, etc. can get some of this disease.
In fact, many of those "70s activists" he mentioned as being "priced out" of Lincoln Park have hit the lottery when the $25,000 flats they bought in 1968 were sold in 1988 for $250,000. I doubt many of these folks feel guilty that their gains were the result of "overpriced . . . town houses" being built on their blocks.
Any business, whether a bookshop or a chain store, is taking a risk in investing in any neighborhood . . . (I'm sure the folks on Madison Avenue would love to see some strip malls and chain stores move onto their street). We like our corner grocery and tavern, but like any business, if it is not profitable it closes up . . . it's called capitalism and it is what has made America great. Many chain stores have gone belly up too!
Lincoln Park does not need to feel guilty or take pipe from Ben Joravsky for prospering. It should be held up as a fine example to the world of a community pulling itself up on its own with little or no government aid, improving the quality of life for all its participants.
Ben, for all our sakes, let's hope this disease is catching on all over Chicago.
Ronald C. Roenigk