Our Pledge To You

Letters to the Editor

Riot Fest should move to a different part of the city

Fans cheer during Pennywise's performance on day three of last year's Riot Fest in Douglas Park in 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Your July 28 article reminded me that soon Riot Fest will be invading beautiful Douglas Park again. Those of us in the community around the park are NOT universally delighted.

It’s not just the three days of noise, traffic problems, disrespectful crowds and their trash. It is also the set-up and the (always inadequate) repair and cleanup that effectively closes off the park to the public from early September until the end of the season.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

The festival is a private, for-profit use of public space — and this public space is one of the most beautiful large parks in Chicago. The festival has damaged the park every year, and the promises of repairing it properly have never been fully kept. Promises of benefits to the community have also turned out to be mostly false: A few vendors and businesses have done well, but others — including the numerous vendors whose business is at the soccer fields during those games — were kicked out.

The people who flock to Riot Fest from the North Side do not venture into the community and patronize our businesses. They do sometimes patronize the emergency rooms of the hospitals by the park — the staff there, needless to say, are not fans of the festival. Even their promise that people who live nearby could get in free, to somehow compensate for the loss of our park and the various inconveniences, has proved a sham. The process of getting a pass has become so secret and convoluted that most of us don’t even know about it.

Please, Riot Fest, take over some other part of the city that is NOT a public space intended for public use!

Rebecca Wolfram, Lawndale

Touching article

What a brilliant, touching article on Hall of Famer Jim Thome by Rick Morrissey. Thank you for revealing the heart of a great athlete and man.

Carol Schuberth, Ashburn

Police and guns

As a young police officer I was assigned to the former Cabrini-Green housing projectd. There wasn’t a time after dark that I didn’t have my weapon in my hand and by my side. The passageways were dark and the hallway lights were almost always broken. Maybe if I had a Sun-Times editorial writer by my side I would have holstered my weapon, but unfortunately there was never one around.

Mike Fitzpatrick, Bloomingdale

Who will vote?

Is it possible that more than 96 million American citizens don’t care about this country and maybe even their own lives? Of course not, you say. Then why did more than 96 million eligible voters fail to vote for president in 2016? And how many will care enough in 2020?

Ed Stone, Northbrook

Important legislation

The heated political climate in Washington, D.C. continues to rise this summer, and we are seeing more turmoil come from President Trump’s exploitations [July 24, “Trump recorded discussing paying for Playboy model’s story”] than from positive action in the capital.

However, bipartisan legislation that is set to affect millions of lives is on the horizon. There are commitments from 167 representatives and 29 senators who have signed onto the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, a bill that seeks to help the U.S. Agency for International Development end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035. The World Health Ordination reports that nearly 6 million children succumb to preventable illnesses, chiefly diarrhea and pneumonia, and around 300,000 maternal deaths occur annually. The REACH Act will help prevent the unwarranted fatalities within families on a global scale.

Sarah Power, Schaumburg

Fearing for our country

Can’t anyone see why Vladimir Putin “likes” Donald Trump? Obviously, if Trump is flattered,  then Russia can manipulate him and the U.S. to its advantage, and more easily have their way on the world stage.

It makes their lives a lot easier when a moron is the head of their main competitor, the U.S. You don’t hear any news analysts speaking about this painfully obvious reality. Trump, of course, does not have the psychological understanding, let alone the adult sophistication, to realize what the Russians are doing to us. He is so incompetent, belligerent, and incoherent that he lacks the skills of self-reflection and communication.

The only thing that matters to him is him. More accurately, he is a psychotic, pathological liar and blowhard. We’re supposed to have serious presidents, not repetitious, moronic schoolyard bullies with IQs under 100. The political atmosphere in this country is absolutely surreal. Trump is a pouty, selfish, lying, impulsive, brain-damaged brat (and yes, anyone who repeats himself two or three times within the same sentence has a certifiable organic brain syndrome). I fear for our country.

Robert Neufeld, Northfield