In Lynn Sweet’s article on the Obama Presidential Center, “Getting This Showdown On The Road,” what struck me was an option for Cornell Drive that was not listed: What if Cornell Drive was lowered just enough to build new parkland above it? That might solve a number of the objections currently being discussed. New parkland will be created without losing existing through traffic. Traffic noise might also be reduced. This new parkland would also create connection and access to the Museum Campus.

I realize that in a project of this magnitude, there are never “simple solutions” and there are always added costs, but might this be a feasible option? Remember what Daniel Burnham said: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”

Jef Block, Buffalo Grove

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Celebrate inclusion with LGBTQ curriculum

Students must see themselves – and their identities – integrated and celebrated within their schools in order for them to learn effectively. For this reason, I urge the Illinois House of Representatives and Gov. Bruce Rauner to support the Inclusive Curriculum Initiative, which will ensure that every student has an opportunity to learn about the significant contributions that LGBTQ people have made throughout our history.

Most students are never taught about LGBTQ events or individuals because in Illinois there is no curricular requirement in the School Code to include this rich history. By erasing these identities from our education system, we are sending a message to all children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, that LGBTQ people and identities are not important, they are not relevant. This is a dangerous message, particularly as research shows that most LGBTQ students experience high rates of bullying at school. According to the most recent GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 85 percent of LGBTQ students are subjected to harassment and discrimination at school. This persecution is toxic and, in addition to hurting the victims, it negatively impacts the entire school environment, harming all students. Fortunately, in schools where LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum is taught, LGBTQ students report a decrease in bullying and an increase in acceptance.

Our children and youth are paying attention. It’s time that we set an example by celebrating diversity and inclusion statewide, throughout all Illinois schools.

Jennifer Leininger M.Ed., Program Manager, Division of Adolescent Medicine
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

McCain deserves respect

While we now have the worst people in leadership positions our nation has ever seen, most of us are not represented in our integrity or opinion by these people. The comments made recently about Sen. John McCain are for me infuriating, and well beyond what Americans are about, even for a Democrat like me. If you are like me, you have met people who served, from the Great Wars to the hidden untold skirmishes around the world. Seldom if ever do they talk or want to be called a hero, yet they really are. Because of them we have our freedoms. If there was one letter I would like to see America send to the McCain family, it would be one of thanks. Sen. McCain is a hero. He is respected by most all of us. He is a person most of us would like to meet, even emulate. He is called a politician but he is much more than that. He is a diplomat of integrity, honesty, and commitment. He and his family deserve our respect.

Scott R. Zuhr, Park Ridge

Pence vs. Mueller

It isn’t surprising Mike Pence, a prominent member of America’s most corrupt presidential administration ever, wants special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to “wrap it up“ with his investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Our VP undoubtedly wants to wrap it up before the investigation gets to him.

Don Anderson, Oak Park