Bears and Sox owners can pay up for stadiums, not us


Regarding the Chicago Bears and White Sox: The thought that even $5 of my tax dollars should ever find its way into the coffers of these two inept team franchises, owned and operated by billionaires, just makes my head explode.
While city and state officials dither over what we shall do about homelessness, refugees, crime and pollution, the powers that be seem to care more about the comfort of extremely fat cats and their precious egos.
I wish I could say this is a “Chicago” problem — it’s not. We are all affected by this kind of reckless money management. And the money involved in these burgeoning land and development deals? It should all come out of Jerry Reinsdorf and the McCaskey family’s wallets. Period.
Wake up, Chicago!
— Dennis Allen, Wilmette
Poll on Bears stadium effort
In Robert McCoppin’s article “Bears pitch $2B for new publicly owned stadium on the lakefront” (March 11), he cites a McGuire Research poll of 500 registered voters that found 60%, or 300, of Chicagoans supporting this effort. The April 2020 census shows that Chicago had a population of 2.75 million people, so the poll involved 0.018% of the city’s population. Is this really a representative sample?
Show me a poll of 1% of the population, and then I will take it seriously.
— Raul Saleme, Naperville
Bears clearly are just a pain
With all the media overkill about who will be the Bears’ next obscenely overpaid, epically unsuccessful quarterback, and where the team will build its new subsidized, land-gobbling stadium, the Bears seem to me not so much a sports franchise as a big, throbbing headache.
As this appears to have become their permanent brand, shouldn’t they be called the Chicago Bayers?
— Hugh Iglarsh, Chicago
Bears’ priorities interesting
I just don’t get it. The Chicago Bears are complaining about the $10 million property tax bill on their Arlington Heights property (mostly for schools), yet they just finalized a four-year $76 million contract extension for their top cornerback, which includes $54 million in guaranteed money.
Time to review priorities.
— David Buckley, Brookfield
Ricketts family’s stewardship
Letter writer Tom Gregg (“Determining Sox’s proper home,” March 9) suggests that the White Sox should share Wrigley Field with the Cubs. I hope his suggestion is tongue-in-cheek. If not, well, it’s easy to spend someone else’s money. The Rickettses did not get a dime from the city or the state for Wrigley Field’s renovations. Then-Ald. Tom Tunney gave them nothing but a hard time over nearly everything they wanted to do.
Despite all that, the results are spectacular, inside Wrigley and throughout the neighborhood. Cubs ownership is, in my opinion, the best steward of any team in Chicago.
What the Rickettses do with their ballpark is their business. They maximize Wrigley’s usage, which by the way is limited by ordinance. Night games are also limited by ordinance.
I have no doubts that local businesses would love the extra traffic generated by dozens of more home games. I’d say the residents of Wrigleyville, not so much.
— Len Levy, Glenview
Mapes supporters are biased
This is my second letter to an editor since 1956. The article “Officials wrote letters supporting Mapes” (March 6) is too amusing to pass up. The reporters identify a number of Illinois “leaders” who wrote letters urging a lenient prison sentence for Tim Mapes, former chief of staff to Michael Madigan when he was Illinois House speaker.
I found it amusing that many of them have benefited from their contact with Mapes. They include a campaign contribution recipient, an interim chair of the state Democratic Party, a former Madigan adviser and a lobbyist.
Thank you for such an entertaining article.
— Rosemary Shiels, Chicago
Obstacle for Social Security
In his latest column (“Seniors are struggling in Chicagoland — and nationwide,” March 7), Willie Wilson recommends that “President Joe Biden should work with Congress to shore up Social Security.”
That is certainly the opinion of Biden and congressional Democrats. However, U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, before he became House speaker, advocated cuts of trillions of dollars to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Will Johnson compromise with Biden to propose legislation to shore up these programs? From Johnson’s other stonewalling actions, the answer is a resounding “no.”
— Patricia Zbilut Cahill, Romeoville, Illinois
Bring Chicago Home details
Regarding the article “Bring Chicago Home back on ballot” (March 7): I think reporter A.D. Quig may have inadvertently mischaracterized the proposed transfer tax by discussing how the tax hike would affect a taxpayer’s “bill.”
Unlike property taxes paid annually via a tax bill, the proposed tax increase involves a one-time transfer fee paid at a real estate closing. In Chicago, it is paid by the seller and buyer as a transaction cost.
The effect of the transfer tax increase, if approved, would make the purchase of a home for less than $1 million less expensive. It would not affect anyone’s tax bill.
The headline is also misleading. It creates confusion as to whether the Bring Chicago Home referendum question was knocked off the ballot. It hasn’t been. The prior court decision addressed whether votes would be counted.
Voters will see the issue on the ballot regardless.
— Brian White, Chicago
Ukraine’s burden vs. crawfish
On one hand, a U.S. representative from the great state of Louisiana, Mike Johnson, has blocked a bill that would support a democracy fighting for its life against a common enemy (Ukraine).
On the other hand, that same state has its hand out for federal funds because it has a crawfish shortage. (True — look it up.) Something is very wrong there.
— Michael Rathsack, Park Ridge
Suggestion for Election Day
We in Illinois have an opportunity on Election Day. Neither party’s presidential nominee is in doubt, so when we go to the polls to vote for the down-ballot races, let’s vote for who we want for president rather than who we know will win.
It would be good to show both parties that they shouldn’t take us for granted.
— Phillip Seeberg, Naperville
Notes of praise are bright spots
Although much of the news is depressing, it brightens my day to hear from folks all over the Chicago area praising the people who so promptly and faithfully deliver the Tribune. We’ve been in our house for almost 40 years, and for most of those years, Ray C. Grider has never missed a day delivering our newspaper.
It’s a fact that fewer people are getting the print edition of the paper, so like many others, I’m sure, I’ve been increasing the amount of my Christmas gift.
Thank you to Ray!
— Diane Daly, River Forest
Delivery person’s work ethic
Our Tribune delivery person, David Bellamy, has been on our route for more than 20 years, faithfully delivering the paper by 5:30 every morning. This past Christmas, he sent us his usual greeting card and included a note apologizing for missing a week while he was in the hospital. That is what I call being dedicated, reliable and responsible, an excellent work ethic for certain.
Thank you to David for all his years of service.
— Faye Seeman, Palatine
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