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Snotty Little Residents


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Ben Joravsky's piece on the cineplex coming to Diversey and Clark tries hard to make some kind of case against Lou Wolf, the owner of the land, but doesn't, and instead just makes the local protesters seem like assholes [Neighborhood News, July 5].

They're complaining that the cineplex will cause traffic congestion--at Clark and Diversey? Where did they think they were moving to, Waukesha, Wisconsin?

Oooh, and it's going to be seven stories tall! Wow! A skyscraper, in Chicago of all places!

Community groups are infuriated that Lou Wolf bought the land and sometimes leases it, sometimes doesn't? Why didn't they buy it?

Infuriated that Wolf ". . . may sit on it, holding it boarded and vacant, until a buyer comes along with the right price." That sounds like something Ben Joravsky might do with his writing, if the Reader didn't pay him.

Joravsky complains that "the neighborhood is held hostage by an eyesore that deters growth. . . . " Will a cineplex be an eyesore? What's the beef? Stick to the subject.

He says, "Attempts to force Wolf to clean up his property usually result in months of wasted time in housing court." When a housing court case is disposed of in mere months, it means the judge saw no merit in it. Most cases last years.

All Joravsky's venality is wasted if it's just a personal name-calling vendetta that produces no evidence of wrongdoing. What did Wolf do, steal his girl when they were in high school?

The snotty little residents he quotes also seem to be carrying some kind of a personal grudge besides the issues. They're irritated that Wolf will make a profit after carrying the property over 30 years.

The beefs continue as local activists face the developers, although there is not one single evidence of any wrongdoing on their part. One complains that there will be "a continuous flow of traffic" to the movies. Is she talking about Clark and Diversey for Christ's sake?

To say nothing of the fact that most cineplexes are just not doing that kind of business. Go to Old Orchard, go to Lincoln Village. Just see how many cars arrive and depart. Except for weekends, cineplexes are a ghost town. The vast majority of viewers are going to walk there from the neighborhood.

Neil Elliott


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