Money-hungry city out of control

This is a crooked city [Red light violation. Fight it!, Arlene Jones, June 7, 2007].

I never park my car without being 100 percent sure that I’m safe, and I’m always cautious about the speed limit and intersections. I have come to the conclusion that escaping the hungry beast that is the city of Chicago is impossible. It has an insatiable thirst for the money of its residents-and it drives me sick.

Let’s be honest, we all know these millions of dollars are not put to any good use. I am 24 years old and struggling, and the sole source of income for me and my wife. We have no kids and she is a college student. Money is always very tight and not four months goes by that I don’t get a ticket for some stupid reason. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep my head up when I feel that the city is always trying to screw me. The police, quite frankly, are useless. Instead of keeping an eye out for crime they go around giving tickets for being an inch away from the yellow line around a hydrant. Or for having your hazard lights on while you unload your laundry. Or to some poor person whose rust-bucket of a car has a loud exhaust because they don’t have the money to get it repaired.

Another bad habit the city has taken in the area I live is when street-cleaning signs are put up the morning of the cleaning day. As the city worker is tying the signs to trees and posts, a cop is right behind them giving out tickets to parked cars. I have seen this happen many times.

I simply cannot wait to get out of this city, but I have been told it is the same everywhere. How depressing.

Israel Velazquez
Submitted at

Support new school

Ald. Smith, we are writing to express our strong opposition to the granting of $10.6 million in TIF funding to developer ML Realty for the building of a warehouse on the Brach’s site at Cicero just north of Lake Street [Activists rally for school at Brach’s site, May 8]. As leaders of the faith community, we are very concerned that the high school students in Austin, the largest community in our city, do not have a quality high school in their neighborhood. We believe that the highest and best use of West Side tax dollars, and the former Brach’s site, is a state-of-the-art high school. A campus that is complete with athletic fields, a green technology center, and facilities to help create an inviting and exciting environment for generations to come. This vision has been embraced by residents, community and faith groups, business leaders, and financial institutions. The vision has broad and deep support. We appeal to you and your colleagues to rescind the TIF offer. We anticipate your cooperation and leadership in helping us realize the new Austin high school campus vision.

The LEADERs Network

A perfect award

We are so proud of Mr. White [Golden Apples for Clark School, May 5]. He is an excellent example of a real man. He has found his passion, pursued it and stood the test of time. Inner city schools require so much of a teacher. Thank God, he doesn’t just collect a check.

Apostle Carolyn Vessel
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Siedah was God’s light

Siedah, my cousin, was a sincere, gentle, and loveable person who I saw God take from glory to glory [Never take life for granted, Siedah Sivels, May 8]. She will be, from now and into the future, a light to many.

When she made her transition on March 30, she left this world pure. She was touched by God, and I thank him for the privilege and time I was able to spend with her. He allowed her to teach me how to trust in him; to stand on his word, no matter what I felt, saw or heard. It’s one thing to trust God when you see everything working out for your good. But when you can’t see it but still trust in him-that’s faith. Lord, I will serve you no matter the outcome of my problems or conditions. That’s faith in God. And I thank God for her mother and father, who have showed the Lord to their kids. Siedah had faith in God and she’s living in her reward.

Vickie Mack
Submitted at

Experiences differ for blacks and whites

Ms. Jones, we pick up the Austin News on Sundays at the St. Catherine/St Lucy Church at Washington and Austin [It’s time to start an honest discussion on race, Arlene Jones, March 27]. We enjoy reading your articles. Your question to a white friend was very much to the point, because looking back to when I was growing up and also as a young adult, I did not think of my race every day. However, I do recall being surprised to see “white only” and “colored” at a drinking fountain somewhere in the south while on vacation with my parents back in the 1950s. At the time, I had no idea how it would have been to find a restaurant or a motel for us to stay at had we not been white. And, going to the Jones Commercial High School in the mid 1940s, there was not one African-American student in the 425 student population at the time. Also, during my working career in various offices over the years, I do not recall working with an African-American woman (or man) until in the 1980s.

Jacob and Dolores Jindela