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Old County Hospital building is a white elephant

The Cook County Hospital in 2002, A newer building has replaced it. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The old Cook County Hospital building is a white elephant, not designed for retail, office, hotel or residential use as is the old Post Office. The entire building will need to be rewired and plumbed, the  ceilings the wrong height, the views poor as compared with a building along Lake Michigan or Millennium Park.

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For starters, the entire interior would need to be gutted to make optimal use of the space. It is well the county’s investment is minimal. Successful residential and office buildings tend to be taller and narrower for more windows, views and sun. Past unsuccessful developments include the old post office and Michael Reese while the Navy Pier redevelopment success can largely attributed to location, location and location tailoring the attractions to the site.

Thomas Cechner, Lockport

Gangs are what’s out of control

When Ald. Anthony Beale said, “All we’re doing is paying people to do nothing,” I thought he was talking about the City Council.

Turns out he was talking about the overtime situation with the Chicago Police Department.  It doesn’t help that CPD has a manpower shortage and retirements outpaced hiring by almost a 1,000 officers.

Ald. Beale said, “Overtime was totally out of control.”  What’s out of control are the gangs shooting each other. Some of the overtime is associated with these thugs shooting each other. CPD can’t solve all of the crime issues. Parents need to be parents. Respect starts at home.

Ald. Beale was one of 25 alderman to vote for a watered-down ordinance to prevent Inspector General Joe Ferguson from having the authority to audit programs controlled by the alderman. That could have prevented waste, fraud and abuse, but now the alderman can operate in the dark. So, Ald. Beale, what are you hiding?

Richard Barber, Morgan Park

Oppressive state

I find it appalling that, as a senior and military veteran currently on a fixed income, it has come to my attention that my Illinois license plate will expire at the end of April, and that when I went to renew, I was told to pay the full amount.

I informed the clerk that I had a senior exemption, and he asked me for my Social Security number, which I reluctantly gave him. He looked it up and said my exemption expired. I suggested paying the full amount and then asked him if I could get a refund after I reapplied for the exemption. He flatly stated, “no refunds.” He also stated that I had until the end of April to renew or could be ticketed. What a wonderful way to treat senior citizens in what has become a very oppressive state to live in.

Mike Koskiewicz, Portage Park

What does he count?

Do you suppose when Gov. Bruce Rauner has trouble sleeping, instead of sheep, does he count all the people who’ve got laid off, dropped out of school or got stiffed for the goods and services they provided the state in good faith months ago? Just wonderin’.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

African-American doctors needed

Mary Mitchell’s column Tuesday was revealing and disturbing, and there are additional African-American health care concerns.

For instance, PBS News reported that there were more African-American men in medical school in 1978 than there were in 2014. I hope there has been an offsetting increase in black female medical students, because I’ve observed (when I’ve taken my mother to clinics) that more black women than black men are seeking medical attention.

Another observation is the large number of Asian physicians, particularly Filipino and Chinese; ones I’ve had were fine, but I’m disappointed there appears to be a smaller number from Africa. My primary physician from Nigeria provides me with excellent care and advice (and she also laughs at my bad jokes, as long as they aren’t about African witch doctors). Still, more young African Americans need to be encouraged to enter the medical profession.

Hosea L. Martin, Bronzeville