I have been jaded on professional sports for over 20 years. First it was Scottie Pippen refusing to play in the last seconds of a playoff game and then Alonzo Mourning stating $11 million was not enough pay. Well, I might have just turned a corner on professional athletes. First, J.J. Watt stepping up for Houston helped my attitude, then Anthony Rizzo stepping up for the children of Chicago to the tune of $3.5 million.

God bless those fine men, and play ball.

Dennis Rybarczyk, Park Ridge

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How new car mechanics get raw deal

It is hard to believe in this day and age that there are highly skilled, hard-working men and women in Chicago still fighting for 40 hours pay for 40 hours of work, two consecutive days off to be with their families, and a four-year apprenticeship program to properly train the next generation.

Hard to believe, but those core issues are why the IAM Automobile Mechanics’ Union Local 701 Technicians are on strike. The ghost of George Pullman must haunt the executive suites of the New Car Dealer’s Committee. The car dealers seem to have a Pullman carload of greed.

Of the $120 to $165 an hour dealers charge to fix your car, little more than a third constitutes the hourly wage and benefits package of new car dealer mechanics.

Know also, new car dealers require mechanics to personally invest $35,000 to $80,000 in tools and equipment to repair dealer customer trucks and cars. The members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 143 stand shoulder to shoulder with members of Local 701 in their fight for fair wages, quality time with their families and their desire to maintain the professional standards of their craft. It is time union workers and their families got the respect and proper compensation they deserve.

William E. Iacullo, President
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 143
Chicago Public Schools

Republicans’ strange ‘tough love’

It is amazing beyond belief that the party that trumpets itself as super patriotic is willing to destroy the country to get tax cuts for the already fabulously wealthy.

It’s not enough that their candidate for president colluded with a foreign power; they now want to drag the U.S. down to the status of a Third World country in which more and more people will suffer from severe cuts to social programs. It’s all part of their tough-love approach. Love for the obscenely wealthy and tough for every one else.

Edward Juillard, Morgan Park

Houston first, the wall second

Hurricane Harvey has forced thousands of people into temporary shelters, making it all the more callous of President Donald Trump to continue to insist on building that “wall.” It would cost billions of dollars, money better spent rebuilding homes and lives in Houston.

Hosea L. Martin, Bronzeville

Houston, Harvey and climate change

Hurricane Harvey is still destroying whole communities around Houston, and east from there. Thousands of people are stranded in their homes. Brave and unselfish Americans are using their own boats for rescue operations. This is our American Dunkirk.

I hope that all Americans, and especially those in power, recognize that this “natural” disaster is a result of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. How ironic that this historically worst storm is occurring in and around Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Houston is also a world-wide hub of the production, refining and distribution of the very fossil fuels whose use has contributed to Hurricane Harvey and its devastation.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows