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Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 12:01 am

Letters to the Editor 1/9/14

Local residents Karen and Court Conn own Obed & Issac’s Microbrewery and Eatery, the Inn at 835, Conn’s Catering and the soon-to-open Wm. Van’s Coffee House.



Let’s start this letter off with some background history that defines the determination and adeptness of Court and Karen Conn to move and rehab the historic, Lincoln-era Maisenbacher House, followed by the purchase of the notable Booth-Grunendike House to open Obed & Issac’s Microbrewery and Eatery. I can attest to Jim Krohe’s pleasurable experience in the local pub since I too consider it one of my favorite destinations, especially for Court’s special ale and Karen’s culinary art from the kitchen.

This is not to regurgitate Jim’s column (“Over regulation,” Dec. 26) but to concur with his assessment. The Conns’ invested time, energy and sweat-equity (and maybe some tears) to undertake a venture that many naysayers predicted … it ain’t gonna work! But Karen and Court proved otherwise. For those of us who know of the Conns’ business expertise, it wasn’t too difficult to envision a positive outcome.

Thanks to former Ward 7 Ald. Debbie Cimarossa and other advocates who recognized the Conns’ vision and supported their cause, Court’s and Karen’s dream was eventually realized. Nowadays, their enterprise continues to expand with a state-of-the-art brew house, and this past summer, a new garden and bocce ball court was built and now, the soon-to-be opening of the former Maisenbacher House, renamed Wm. Van’s Coffee House, for visitors to enjoy coffee and teas, pastries and specialty sandwiches.

Although the Conns faced considerable bureaucratic hurdles, they managed to overcome the numerous obstacles and went on to revitalize a downtown neighborhood and create a viable meeting place for Krohe and the rest of us folks to meet and hash over Court’s and Karen’s next venture!

Stan Zielinski


Enjoyed reading about the misuse of “for.” (“All for one – and ‘for’ for all,” James Krohe Jr., Jan. 2). I’m equally upset with the misuse of “that.” For example: “I was seen by a doctor that told me I was sick.” “Who” is the proper word, as in “I was seen by a doctor who told me I was sick. I wonder if my old fifth grade English teacher, if still alive, cringes as I do when she hears such misuse of words!

Dick McLane


State Auditor General William Holland’s report that the state will experience the smallest increase in pension payments for the past several years appears to blunt the argument that pensions are bankrupting Illinois. His analysis is contrary to the dire predictions of doom and gloom from the governor and the legislature. Those predictions have led to a court-challenged pension reform law. Taking some liberties with the old Chicken Little story for comparison: Quinn, Madigan, et al. – “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Auditor General – “Settle down. It’s a little overcast. Sheesh ....”

Ed Wollet


I was glad to see the article about Jeff Hofmann (“A kind and caring sidekick,” Bruce Rushton, Dec. 26) and I echo many of the comments made in the article. The only contacts I had with Jeff were at the remote broadcasts of Sam Madonia’s morning show, Thanksgiving Walk in the Park, Sam’s Christmas Eve morning party or chance meetings downtown when Jeff was heading to cover an event. However, he was always smiling and you would never know he had a care in the world. The last time I saw him, he seemed as upbeat as ever so I was surprised to see he entered the hospital soon after that. Jeff was certainly a first-class person and a loss to the community.

Tyre W. Rees

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