The best repurposing of the Thompson Center could be to turn it into the casino that the city has been struggling to find a home for. It is a CTA hub so it can be accessed from just about anywhere in the city and suburbs without adding significant auto traffic. That in turn would provide a boost in ridership for the CTA.
The building is large enough to house hotels, restaurants and shops to enhance the experience. Some of that foot traffic would likely spill over to the surrounding area giving it an economic boost as well. The article in the Sun Times noted a roughly $325 million cost to rehab. To turn it into a casino would likely cost more than that. However, any new casino owner would likely spend more to build a casino from the ground up especially if it involved razing an existing structure where investing in surrounding infrastructure would likely be required. This could be a win-win.
John Farrell, DeKalb
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Don’t expand Red Line
As a South Sider, I should be for expanding the Red Line from 95th Street to 130th Street. But I am not.
Taking the Red Line from 130th to downtown will take close to an hour. What’s the point? Better to expand Metra so we can get downtown in 20 minutes, same as North Siders. Few people in Skokie take the Yellow Line downtown. They take Metra, which is three times faster.
But our politicians trumpet the project because they see loads of free federal cash and jobs, but make no mistake, it won’t help South Siders get downtown.
Shawn Jenkins, Hyde Park
Commenting on the voter ID requirement in the new state laws making voting more inconvenient, a reader tries to compare it to other common ID requirements (Letters, July 19). He almost makes sense, until you realize that, unlike his examples, nobody can vote unless one is already registered to vote, or they won’t even be given a ballot. Tacking on extra requirements as is being done in red states is a naked attempt to further intimidate or block as many Democrat voters as they can get away with. Secondary voter ID besides one’s wallet card issued by the local registration authority is just a last-ditch new hurdle, none of which was thought to be important as long as Trump won, but suddenly is a big deal because Trump lost, even though in any election, voter fraud when found is so minuscule it cannot arithmetically change the outcome of any election, as is being confirmed in the current ongoing extra recount of Arizona ballots taking place now.
Voter IDs combined with all the other roadblocks created by the new laws and other maneuverings meant to reduce voting in minority areas may actually backfire, inasmuch as one tactic is to limit or outlaw mail-in voting, a method used heavily by the infirm or the elderly, which historically has enabled many Republicans to vote. If the safeguards that existed when Trump won were considered adequate, explain how suddenly they are inadequate just because Trump lost. We should call out these draconian new voting restrictions, of which new ID requirements are a part, for what they are: part of a naked attempt to fix elections in favor of Republican candidates in red states, which threatens the constitutional rights of millions in those states. That is the real civic sin at issue, not the false bogeyman called voter fraud.
Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park