Jackson Park belongs to all, not just golfers

The nature sanctuary is a treasure that should not be destroyed. We should improve the city’s existing golf courses and keep them affordable, not destroy beloved public spaces and trees.

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People walk past the gate at the south entrance to Wooded Isle in Jackson Park, Chicago

Three people walk past the gate at the southern entrance of the Wooded Isle in Jackson Park

Mark Capapas/Sun-Times

Jackson Park is beloved by countless individuals and families from Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore and many other neighborhoods. It is the back yard for many who do not have green space at home. The nature sanctuary is a priceless resource for neighbors, friends and migratory birds.

Tiny “nature areas” proposed in the plan for a new golf course will not make up for the loss of this space. Bringing golf course areas treated with toxic chemicals right to the edge of the lake won’t be beneficial for lake water quality.

At a time when climate change is causing more volatile weather and the city has acknowledged a climate emergency and announced an action plan, I’m sure I’m not the only one finding it ironic that some in city government support a plan that would cut down hundreds of trees to accommodate a golf course that would likely be unaffordable to most nearby residents.

This public park belongs to all residents, not a much smaller number of golfers. Local residents have the right to be informed about park plans and participate in public input.

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The nature sanctuary is a treasure that should not be destroyed. We should improve the city’s existing golf courses and keep them affordable, not destroy beloved public spaces and trees.

Anne Alt, Beverly

A big thank you to mothers

A fool may argue that motherhood isn’t the world’s toughest job. Although I’ve been a fool, I know that’s not true when I reflect on my mother’s life. With twins and another son, who was older by just 15 months, she essentially raised triplets in an era without Pampers and microwaves.

Mom didn’t drive, and Dad worked. We boys often tumbled down the stairs around Mom’s ankles like puppies from our third-floor apartment to make trips to the market. We’d load up a handlebar-mounted basket with groceries and hang off the fenders.

So in honor of all the moms out there doing the world’s most difficult and rewarding job, and in memory of my own cherished and beautiful mother, I offer the following:

Where would any of us be without our moms? They showed us love before anyone else. They dried our tears, bandaged our knees, kissed our bruises, tucked us in, sang to us, read to us, made us eat our peas but also gave us dimes when the Good Humor truck drove by. They made us do our homework, but they also let us turn on “The Beverly Hillbillies” when that arithmetic problem became too much to bear.

They doubled our victories by sharing them with us and halved our defeats with a hug, saying, ‘You did your best’ with a promise that next time would be different. They were there to help pick up the pieces when someone broke our hearts; and they were happier than anyone else when our hearts shined their very brightest.

When all is said and done, you better believe mom is the only name you’ll never see crossed out on any sailor’s arm, because Mom is the one gal that ain’t going nowhere.

Rob Hirsh, North Ridge

Public hurt by candidate forum cancellation

On March 22, the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County extended an invitation to 14 candidates running for office in contested races in Kane County. The forum was scheduled for May 9. Each invitation included specific guidelines to ensure equity and fairness; the candidates were required to agree to ground rules.

The League prohibits “empty chair” forums. There must be a minimum of two candidates per office participating for a forum to occur. Because there was insufficient response for participation, the forum has been cancelled.

The League strives to promote civil dialogue between candidates. This was to have been a “forum,” not a debate. Forums are designed to provide a safe space for candidates to share their views on issues of importance to the voting public.

The League is a non-partisan, grassroots, political organization that encourages active and informed participation in government. It welcomes members from all political persuasions. We strive to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

Unfortunately, voters will not have an opportunity to be educated on issues of importance as a result of the candidates’ failure to participate.

Patti Lackman, Jean Pierce and Llona Steele, vice presidents, League of Women Voters of Central Kane County

Supreme Court should focus on guns

Why is the U.S. Supreme Court spending such an inordinate amount of time on whether I should or should not want a child? As a child-bearing human being, it is my God-given right to make this personal decision, which doesn’t affect the entire population.

Whether I birth a child has no personal effect on anyone else. Therefore, it seems to me that there should only be laws that actually affect the entire population.

Our Supreme Court could better spend their time finding ways to stop the proliferation of guns in this country, which does affect the entire population.

Edwina Jackson, Chicago

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