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LETTERS: Friends of the Parks should care about entire city

The Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary next to South Shore Beach in Chicago. A plan to create a championship golf course there would require that the sanctuary be moved. | Tom McNamee/Sun-Times

The Friends of the Parks waged war, an all-out war, to sabotage the Lucas Museum, a billion-dollar gift to the city that would have gotten rid of the old McCormick Place eyesore and brought millions of dollars to the city in tourism and another jewel to Chicago that, with its current violence epidemic, would have been a great positive boost.

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However, except for a few brief comments, the Friends of the Parks has been silent and absent about the Obama Library, the golf course and now the housing development at the site of the old steel mills, which by the way, are seemingly all great projects. My concern is that the Friends are indeed showing their hand and exposing what I said during the fight to get the Lucas Museum: Their concern about green space continues to be limited to downtown, which they seemingly think is their private backyard. And they care little about the South and West sides of Chicago. When did they last talk about Ogden Park, Foster Park, Dawes Park or even Rainbow Beach?

Friends of the Parks continues to be an exclusive clique of people who are not friends of Chicago.

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger

Senior Pastor, Faith Community of St. Sabina, Chicago

Rauner’s flip-flopping threatens women’s reproductive health

I hope Gov. Bruce Rauner reconsiders his position and signs Illinois House Bill 40 into law. Now more than ever, women’s reproductive health is under attack. HB 40 repeals a trigger provision in the 1975 Illinois Abortion Law that states if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned or modified by the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois will revert back to its pre-Roe law that made abortion an illegal criminal act. The removal of this trigger insures that women’s healthcare decisions will be protected in Illinois regardless of the Supreme Court Decision. Additionally this bill allows women covered by Medicaid and the State Employees Health Insurance plan to have coverage for abortion care.

Gov. Rauner, you wrote in a 2014 questionnaire from Personal PAC, “‘I dislike the Illinois law that restricts abortion coverage under the state Medicaid plan and state employees’ health insurance because I believe it unfairly restricts access based on income. I would support a legislative effort to reverse that law.”

What happened?

It is frustrating to me that access to health care and a woman’s right to choose is treated cavalierly by our politicians for their own political gain. I encourage you to sign this bill and perhaps work together with all stakeholders to find ways to make preventive health, access to birth control and health education affordable and accessible. This way, in the future all women have access to safe abortion procedures, but they might be exceedingly rare.

Ann Greenstein, Arlington Heights

Soda tax gives way to Cook County elections

As I did my weekly shopping this morning I noticed several stores in the western counties advertising “No Cook County Beverage Tax.” The shelves of soda pop in these stores had to be replenished by days end so the workers whose jobs were relocated from Chicago and Cook County due to the tax policies could stop on the way home to purchase beverages and other grocery items without excessive taxes. Time will tell if even the big chain markets will suffer the loss of customers who do their grocery shopping elsewhere because of the tax policies. The beverage tax may be the catalyst for voters rethinking who they elect to public office.

John Culloton, West Chicago

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