Letters to the Editor 8/13/09
Russian Orthodoxy, goats, downtown, racism and Carol Manley
This is a fascinating topic to a third generation Russian-origin immigrant. [See “Shadows of the Motherland: Russian Orthodoxy in downstate Illinois,” by William Furry, Aug. 6.] Thank you.
Woohoo! Love Thornridge and love our goats! [See “Goat invasion: A growing breed of livestock preserves an old way of life on a Sangamon County farm,” by Rick Wade, Aug. 6.] Thanks to Drew and Mike Earles, who do a wonderful job on their farm!
Being one of the first to rent, then buy, a place from Carolyn Oxtoby I can attest to the truth of what her article states. [See “My hope for downtown,” by Carolyn Oxtoby, Aug. 6.] I’ve lived downtown since 1977 when I moved here from Philadelphia, where downtown living was a luxury. Until I retired, I was able to walk to and from work. For 12 of those years I did not bother to have a car since restaurants were so plentiful and good. Food Mart served many of my other requirements.
In the 70s through the late 80s I witnessed the decline of downtown as shops moved west. On weekends during that time, downtown was a desert where I imagined tumbleweed rolling through the streets. It was quiet then. Now it’s noisier, too noisy sometimes with 3 a.m. bars, but it’s lively. Many people have gambled on locating here, which has improved our city’s core. But, unless more people begin to live here, I expect that it will return to tumbleweed and urban blight, punctuated with drunken catcalls at 3 a.m.
What a shame for Lincoln’s hometown and for the tourists who visit us. People here seem addicted to treeless suburban sprawl. Having lived in downtown Philadelphia and Springfield, I can’t emphasize enough how great it is to live in an urban, not suburban, neighborhood. I encourage more of you to try it, which should create the demand for building owners to rehab their properties by developing apartments and condominiums.
CLAYBORNE DESERVES A LOOK
Black, white, or brown (or any other shade) doesn’t matter to me, I would be excited to have as governor someone worthy of respect whose views are well-reasoned, clearly articulated and mostly in line with my own. [See “Clayborne would be a different sort of candidate for governor,” by Rich Miller, Aug. 6.]
A pro-gun and pro-choice Democrat? Respectful of business but respected by labor? A downstate man of color who is not bound to the racial politics so prevalent in Chicago? I am intrigued.
No one can be perfect, nor can any one political candidate, but could James Clayborne be closer than any we have had for the governor’s office in a long time? He may be worthy of a closer look if he is really a future candidate.
MISSING CAROL MANLEY
Carol was a remarkable woman whose laughter and witticism is sorely missed around the office. [See “Pickle juice: Goodbye to Carol Manley, writer and friend,” by Jacqueline Jackson, Aug. 6.] Thank you, Jackie, for sharing with us.
REAL YELLOW BRICK ROAD
A reader writes: “Enjoyed Mr. Krohe’s recent pieces assessing Springfield’s poor beautification track record. [See “Road to nowhere: The new Capitol Avenue doesn’t get us where we want to go,” July 30.] However, I noticed two erroneous observations. He refers to the new brickwork on Capitol either as faux brick or “brick-patterned asphalt.”
As someone who watched the project from his office window and saw bricklayers laying thousands of real bricks in several patterns on top of a sand base on Capitol, I can testify there’s nothing faux in terms of the brick. They even used yellow bricks to make the middle traffic line. Real bricks make up the new street, in other words. Now, the ugly stamped brick pattern surrounding Lincoln Library is another thing, but that was finished years ago.”
James Krohe Jr. responds: “When last I stopped by the construction site the surface pavement work had not begun, and I inferred the result from official descriptions — inaccurately, as it turned out. Sorry.”