Lead has no place in classrooms

The rule of thumb is that any structure built before 1978 has lead paint. So one must ask why hasn’t the Chicago Public School mitigated this danger from all of its buildings?

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McClellan Elementary in Bridgeport on Dec. 18, 2022. A classroom tested positive for high levels of lead from the paint. I Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

McClellan Elementary School in Bridgeport on Dec. 18.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The McClellan Elementary School’s lead paint calamity is inexcusable. The health of our children is paramount. The rule of thumb is that any structure built before 1978 has lead paint. So one must ask why hasn’t Chicago Public Schools mitigated this danger from all of its buildings?

I’m a retired engineer, trained in lead, asbestos, mold and hazardous material removal procedures. Thirty years ago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Terrence J. O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie (circa 1928) still had wall surfaces, metal, piping, etc., so adorned.

In going through their storeroom, I discovered cans of yellow lead paint, which I had lawfully disposed of. Needless to say, this is an industrial environment, never meant for children, where workers wear appropriate protective equipment.

Fred J. Wittenberg, Evanston

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Police, fire departments must invest in snowmobiles to avoid storm casualties

There’s been an increase of gigantic snow storms within the last few years. In some states that have experienced these storms, including Buffalo, New York, people end up dying because first responders couldn’t get to them in time.

The tragedies shows a need for medically equipped snowmobiles for more fire and police departments. My hope is that more snowmobile manufacturers will start making equipment designed for first responders that would include closed cabins for rescued victims.

Carl F. Rollberg, Calumet Park

Oversight needed for suspects charged with felonies

We all know that many city residents complain they have suffered abuse at the hands of a police officer. Whether by civilians or the government, I agree oversight is needed for police reform.

But we also need to oversee and keep track of additional crimes committed by defendants after they are released with little or no bond. Is there data on the number of people who have been victimized by suspects out on a recognizance bond for a felony?

When the changes to the state’s Safe-T Act are implemented on Jan. 1, will there be an oversight committee monitoring the number of defendants who have violated their “pretrial conditions” by committing another crime subsequent to their release? To date, there have been over 3,200 people shot this year. Of those shootings, only a few were shootings by police.

Let’s keep our eye on the ball with regard to what needs to be overseen.

Terry Takash, Western Springs

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