Transit-oriented development needs to include affordable housing

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A Kimball-bound Brown Line train heads toward the Montrose Brown Line CTA station in Ravenswood. | Tyler LARiviere/Sun-Times

Since selling my car 30 years ago, I’ve lived a transit-oriented life, renting Far North Side apartments within a four-to-six block radius of the Red or Brown lines. I not only saved money, but stayed pretty healthy with all that walking.

Then starting in 2008, following the recession, I could no longer afford to live in increasingly gentrified Edgewater, Andersonville or Lincoln Square. Meaning I couldn’t afford to live near L lines serving those areas.

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I’m now staying with a friend while looking for an apartment in West Rogers Park, within walking distance of several bus routes that take me to the trains. One of those is the 49B on Western Avenue.

If the mayor’s plan to expand transit-oriented development along this route actually happens, I pray some of the units are affordable, which, as I understand it, is part of what transit-oriented development is supposed to be about.

And, as I turn 75 in November, I also pray it happens soon.

Carol LaChapelle, West Rogers Park

Biased opposition

Consistent with the reasoning employed by the majority in the Janus decision, those of us who did not vote for Bruce Rauner for governor nor Donald Trump for president should be exempt from paying taxes to support the current operations of the state and federal governments. Therefore, it logically follows that the actual basis for the Janus decision is a biased opposition to collective bargaining.

Gil Cornfield, South Shore

Hare-brained scheme

So, from the font of wisdom that is the infamous rubber-stamp City Council, comes the latest hare-brained scheme to rename Congress “Wells Parkway,” not to be confused with “Wells Street,” which by the way would intersect each other and cause your GPS device to behave like that guy in the mayhem commercials. What could possibly go wrong?

Richard Nowak, Oak Forest

The real sources of mass shooters

I don’t fancy myself a genius, but I plainly saw President Donald Trump issuing his Muslim ban as a trope for his racism-driven base. Oh, yeah, he said the visitors from these countries pose a threat. Well, there have been hardly any shooters, let alone mass shooters, coming from those countries. If Trump truly wanted to protect from mass shooters, he should ban all travel from Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Charleston — you get where I’m coming from.

Trump admitted he wanted to ban all Muslims, yet the Supreme Court had to finesse his statement — so, he really didn’t say that?

Lee Knohl, Evanston


Donald Trump has succeeded in “Making Americans Ashamed Again.”

America was once the country that the world counted upon for moral guidance, for democratic leadership, for setting the example for other countries to strive toward. It is now rapidly descending into a cesspool of selfishness, racism, greed, and debauchery. America was founded on the concepts of freedom and individual rights and the pursuit of happiness, not on the corporate bottom line of profits. Yet today we are selling our environmental future and our children’s future for a few more dollars today. We have managed to alienate our democratic allies. We curry favor with merciless despots. We are quickly losing the faith of the rest of the world. The term “Ugly American” has taken on a whole new and disturbing meaning.

The truly sad part is that we cannot lay all of the blame on Mr. Trump. WE, as a people, allowed this to happen. Enough of us decided to elect him as the representative of this country, and WE bear the burden of guilt. Hopefully, this country can survive long enough to rectify our mistake. (Even Adolph Hitler rose to power initially as an elected official!) If, however, we cannot recognize the self-destructive damage that we have created, then we can only stand back and watch the swirling waters wash America down the drain.

As an American, I sincerely hope that the rest of the world can accept my most heartfelt apology for the havoc my country has inflicted upon you. Please, please give us the chance to atone for our sins.

John H. Olechowski, Aurora

What will Trump cede?

I wonder what sanctions President Donald Trump will remove? Or if he advocate Russia’s re-admission to the G-7. Maybe allow the 65 spies back in the United States. Possibly announce building a Trump Tower in Moscow or golf resort along the Crimea (now that it belongs to Russia).

After all, Trump keeps denying the Russians helped him get elected, there was no collusion, money laundering or obstruction or tainting of the Mueller investigation. It’s all a “witch hunt” by the “fake news” media (except Fox). Putin has everything to gain and nothing to lose from meeting with his chief admirer.

Tom Minnerick, Elgin

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