Playground at Midway Plaisance is a good idea

Our young people will benefit from investment in park space. Opponents of the Obama Presidential Center are always looking for opportunities to oppose development in the area.

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A view of a portion of the Midway Plaisance in Hyde Park.

A view of a portion of the Midway Plaisance in Hyde Park.

Sun-Times Media

One of the things that should be clear to all of us from last weekend is that we need city leaders to be deliberate about investing in arts and entertainment for young people all across the city, not just downtown.

The decision this week to move forward with new play space to be built on the Midway Plaisance is a welcome addition to families like mine, and it comes despite the opposition of some who argued that families are better served by a wetland in this space rather than active play space for our children.

The proposed updates are imaginative, nature-based and artistic, the sort of stuff you expect to see at Millennium Park but not on a South Side park, where there is usually little more than a swing and a plastic structure that hardly entices young people to want to come and play.

I’ve watched from afar the work of the few opponents to the Obama Presidential Center, and I’ve noticed a trend: No matter what idea is put forward, they will find a reason to oppose it. First it was the parking, then it was trees and birds, or allegations of improper political work happening on site. Now it’s the new investments being made to transform a wetland into space suitable for play and relaxation for park-goers.

These opponents continue to try to hijack the public process to elevate their own voices over the voices of anyone who wants to see investment and improvement come to this community.

Their work does a great disservice to us all, but particularly to our young people who are the true beneficiaries of investments in our park space. Hats off to the Chicago Park District and the Obama Foundation for prioritizing interests of young people.

Latice Porter, Woodlawn

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Use social media, cameras to identify troublemakers

When people invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, authorities solicited and received tips from social media and news sources, as well as security and body camera footage, to identify and prosecute la-breakers.

The same technique could be utilized here in Chicago to identify people who jumped onto cars, threw rocks or other debris and assaulted and threatened police officers and others.

The city and state’s attorney should collect and use this footage. If young people know their public vandalism and aggression will be caught and punished, they are less likely to do that in the future.

Aggressive use of camera footage and publicity over such use will do much to alleviate anxiety over future gatherings.

Frank L. Schneider, Lakeview East

GOP used to favor small government

I am a senior and can well remember a time when Republicans used to run and legislate on the idea of small and less intrusive government.

Now Republicans are full steam ahead on having government not only in doctor’s offices and hospitals, but also in bedrooms and at family kitchen tables deciding on how to raise children.

It’s a sad day and getting worse all the time.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

Hit gun shop owners in their wallets

We don’t need legislation to end the sale of assault weapons. The next time there is a mass killing with assault weapons, sue the gun shop owner. Don’t think it will work? Just ask Ford Motors when it sold cars with exploding gas tanks.

Go after the gun shop owners where it counts — their pocketbook. See a few of them go bankrupt, and they will have something to worry about. Gun shop owners who sell assault weapons are no better than drug dealers. They both sell products that kill people.

Thomas Moore, Alsip

More heroes needed during violent teen gathering

God bless Lenora Dennis, who had the courage and the wherewithal to step in and pull two victims of last weekend’s vicious assault to safety. One woman alone is a hero.

The question remains: Why was she the only one who was helping these victims? Who among us has the courage to do what she did after witnessing a vicious riot on the streets of our beautiful Chicago? Most of these offenders look to be underage. Where are their parents or guardians?

This was obviously premeditated, as hundreds of people showed up at the exact same location, so thank you social media.

And Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, shame on you for saying this is the result of lack of opportunity. I just want to know how he got from point A to point B? So boredom is an excuse for violence?

I read that voter turnout for the recent mayoral race was 35%, but what was more disappointing is the younger demographic, who are very vocal about social injustice but only turned out in single digits.

I was proud to see our young people standing up and fighting for what was right in recent years. It gives you hope for the future. So how are these the same people who didn’t get out to vote in a city that has never been in such crisis?

Louise Bajorek, Burbank

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