A rendering of the current design of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. | Obama Foundation

Protect open space in north suburbs and South Side

SHARE Protect open space in north suburbs and South Side
SHARE Protect open space in north suburbs and South Side

Your brilliant Nov. 19 editorial highlights the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s cynical decision to authorize an easement through open space it owns for the benefit of a politically connected private landowner. If this plan becomes a reality, results include taxpayers paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, well-used open space being degraded, and natural habitat disappearing. As you note, these benefits are needed more on the North Shore than a few new houses.

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What about the South Side of Chicago? Don’t its residents have an even greater need for healthy open space and natural habitat than North Shore residents? Taking 19.3 acres out of Jackson Park (a public park) to enable the construction of the private Obama Presidential Center will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It will also destroy natural habitat including hundreds of mature trees, and degrade and literally pave over well-used open space. The better location for the center is in a neighborhood where it would displace weedy empty lots and derelict houses.

Exacerbating global climate change is another detriment that accompanies destruction of both MWRD land and

Jackson Park land. Your editorials report UN calls for urgent attention to this “existential threat” to human life. “Natural climate solutions” proposed to offset global climate change include protecting and creating natural habitats like woodlands, prairies and wetlands to serve as natural carbon sinks that efficiently absorb and sequester carbon dioxide, and provide wildlife with habitat.

It is past time to recognize that global climate change waits for no one, neither a beloved former U.S. president nor a private North Shore developer. Both men have a moral duty to do their part.

Charlotte Adelman, Wilmette

Our hearts are heavy

During this Thanksgiving season, for all of us at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, our hearts are heavy. We mourn the loss of our friends, Dr. Tamara O’Neal and pharmacy resident Dayna Less, as well as Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez, whose brave actions on November 19 helped ensure the tragedy wasn’t compounded further. These three individuals were new to their careers and dedicated themselves to service in our communities. As the first teaching hospital in Chicago, Mercy Hospital prides itself on educating countless clinicians. This week, we learned something as well. We learned about the strength of our colleagues who cared for patients in unimaginable circumstances, and we learned of their resilience when they returned to work to continue carrying out our mission, serving the sick. While we find a way to cope with the aftermath of this tragedy, we would like to thank the Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago officials, area hospitals, our parent organization Trinity Health, and people from around the country and world who have expressed condolences and offered support during this difficult time. Our healing work and commitment to our community continues and we do so in memory of our beloved colleagues.

Carol L. Garikes Schneider, president,

Michael Davenport, MD, chief medical officer, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center

Dumb and dumber

The Trump administration is like a remake of the movie “Dumb and Dumber” with its base chanting ,”So you’re telling me there’s a chance” as the sound track.

Leonard Hall, La Grange Highlands

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