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Friday Letters: Documentaries overlooked Prince’s better side

After watching dozens of television documentaries on Prince, it was frustrating to see that all of them ignored his humane and spiritual virtues. During the past 15 tears of his life Prince was an extremely generous philanthropist, social justice proponent, compassionate vegetarian and human and animal rights advocate who revered God, He was a very wealthy person who could have lived in any warm weather city or Country in the world but remained a loyal citizen in his beloved home state and residence in Minnesota. Prince was refreshingly not a typical materialistic and narcissistic rock star.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

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Lack of taste

If the roadside attraction known as the Lucas Museum is built anywhere near the lake, Chicago will become famous not only for its violence, but for its total lack of taste. Chicago’s reputation as a “Hick City” will be confirmed to the rest of the world. Two giant unequal eyesores mimicking melting vanilla ice cream cones will prove that not only have we have no taste, but we no longer know the difference between art and entertainment.

(And what will this white stuff look like in years to come, after soot, weather and birds have had their way with it?)

Once, we were proud of our buildings, our architects, and our museums. Once, we could boast about having risen from a devastating fire to produce the best of contemporary American architecture. The Museum of Science and Industry, (an echo of the magnificent Columbian Exposition), the Field Museum, the Planetarium, Soldier Field (before it got sat upon), the Rookery, the Auditorium, Robie House, the Hancock building, are only a few of our gems.

The collections inside our real museums attract people from all over the world. It’s an embarrassing shame and very, very sad that the city of Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Dankmar and David Adler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and other great architects would even consider building this Hollywood ego-trip abomination masquerading as a museum. To allow Lucas’ monstrosities to scar our views of the lake would be immoral.

Please stop pandering to the worst in 21st century philistinism.

Ann Rutherfurd, Austin

Redesign the Cup

Like all Blackhawks fans, I’m disappointed that the team didn’t finish on top this year, but I won’t miss seeing the Stanley Cup being displayed everywhere. It’s a shame that it looks more like a giant barroom spittoon than the symbol of hockey supremacy. The NHL ought to spend the bucks to have a classier trophy designed.

Hosea L. Martin, Bronzeville

Votes that don’t count

More than ever before, the election process in the primaries/caucuses has shown how little an individual’s vote may count. It’s extremely disheartening. Yesterday I saw an editorial cartoon by Matt Davies, in which primary voters slip their votes into a tall box that empties into a basement container labeled “Suggestion Box.” A super-delegate and a delegate flank the box, looking uninterested. All that’s missing is a chute with a flood of cash from huge corporations, the NRA, and the super-wealthy, which we know is there.

It is time for a direct vote: one person, one vote, counted toward a result that speaks for the people. With a vast amount of news and analysis (biased though it may be) available through all media, the voting public has access to nearly infinitely more knowledge about candidates and issues than our colonial-era forebears. We don’t need delegates or an electoral college to vote on our behalf. Heck—the delegates (“super” or not) hardly represent the public will.

With closed primaries, vote suppression, winner-take-all allotment of delegates, lies and subterfuge, and so-called Citizens United, the oligarchy that claims to be a democracy is revealed in its true form. No longer “of, by, for the people” — but was it ever?

Kirin Nielsen, Oak Forest

Save elephants, rhinos

Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for its ivory tusks. Every four hours a rhino is killed for its horn. At the rate these species are getting killed, we will see both become extinct within the next five to 10 years. Wildlife trafficking has become a $19 billion industry for poachers, terrorists, and transnational crime syndicates. It is the fourth largest illegal activity after narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking.

The unfortunate truth is our country is the second largest importer of ivory and rhino horn behind China. By banning the selling and trading of wildlife parts within each state, we can end the demand for elephant ivory and rhino horn in the hopes of preventing their extinction. As a state, we can follow suit as New York, New Jersey, and California have created intrastate bans on the selling and trading of wildlife parts. By doing so, these iconic creatures can remain part of the wildlife landscape that they have been a part of and shaped for the past 50 million years. Please contact your local legislator and urge for Illinois to ban ivory and rhino horn.

Nicole Roja, Willow Springs