Oak Brook Lettters to the Editor
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:42AM
Cemetery editorial needs more research
Regarding the Opinion column “Village doesn’t need to regulate cemeteries”:
We live in an age of “spin,” which is evident from the Opinion column which tries to convince us what is “wrong with the community” by using neighborhood reaction to a mausoleum as evidence.
A few reflections:
Oak Brook has building code and setback regulations, but apparently has never chosen to enforce them regarding cemetery structures. Is this selective non-enforcement of regulations a good idea? Do residents have to guess which regulations will be enforced and under what circumstances?
The column makes it seem like residents have something against the family of the deceased, which they most certainly do not. The Feldman family deserves to be treated with the utmost respect, and I find their offer to beautify the area around the mausoleum to be very thoughtful.
The cemetery, on the other hand, is not blame-free. At the very least, Bronswood allowed the mausoleum to be erected without regard to the Oak Brook setback regulations, taking the position that Bronswood is only regulated by state law. Further, if you look closely at Bronswood from Adams Road, you see a tranquil, beautiful setting with primarily low silhouette headstones. This was done over the years out of policy consideration for the aesthetic sensibilities of the surrounding neighbors. This policy seems to have been scrapped when Bronswood allowed a 1 ½-story mausoleum to be built within feet of Adams and directly across the street from an existing home.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, residents had no opportunity to obtain information or provide input prior to the construction of the mausoleum. It just appeared.
The Opinion column needs to do more research before using resident reaction to a misplaced mausoleum as an example of what is wrong with the community.
Frank Krohn Oak Brook
I am opposed to the recently announced plan to start classes in District 86 “early” (Aug. 14, 2013 for 2013-14).
The stated motivation for the proposed early start is the desire to have high school fall final exams prior to the winter holiday. Thus, while such a change will potentially provide a benefit to some students in grades 9-12, it is not clear if there will be a net benefit on average to grade 9-12 students. And, no evidence has been presented to support such a conclusion. Furthermore, such a change will indisputably adversely affect many students and families in kindergarten through eighth grade (as well as some in ninth through 12th grade).
There are many adverse consequences of the proposed policy (loss of vacation time during best outdoor weather periods, loss of dedicated time for athletic practices and other extracurricular activities in August, logistical problems with feeder district calendars, spring final exams immediately after Memorial Day) that are too numerous to be discussed in detail here. Moreover, it appears that there has been a total lack of comprehensive analysis done in regard to this issue (no quantitative analyses of costs/benefits are available from District 86). I attended one of the community forums April 17. Parents in attendance expressed almost uniform opposition to the proposed change in calendar for a variety of sensible reasons, including those noted above.
Based on the information available, the adverse effects of the proposed change in calendar easily exceed the presumed benefits.
Early school start not warranted
Are District 181 parents aware that District 86 is considering starting school two weeks earlier in 2013, ending mid-May, and that this could end up affecting them too?
District 181 may or may not align itself with this schedule. If not, families with kids in both districts suddenly have a logistical nightmare on their hands for two weeks in May and two weeks in August.
I strongly oppose this proposal. The reason cited for the shift is to administer final exams prior to winter break so that AP classes have additional time for preparation prior to the May exams. The shift in schedule is therefore geared primarily toward one group of students. If District 181 follows the schedule, all students kindergarten through 12th grade would be shifted to benefit the relatively few AP students. I don’t believe that makes sense.
While I support the district’s efforts to give AP students the best chance to prepare, I don’t believe the cost is worth it. The children stand to lose two of the best weeks of the summer in order to take exams before winter break. In addition, December would go from an enjoyable month of holiday preparations to one of tension and stress cramming for exams.
District 86 has done very little to solicit opinions on this matter. I urge the members of the community to make your opinions known to the District 86 Board members; and I urge the board to avoid making this decision in a vacuum.
Show teachers your
As we embark on Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11), an encouraging new poll conducted by Everest College indicates that young adult Chicagoans do, in fact, hold educators in very high esteem.
A majority of the 500 Chicago students and young adults polled – 53 percent – said at least one of their teachers made a significant difference or contribution to their success.
Few other professionals touch as many people as teachers do; and when young people can say a teacher has been a major, positive influence in their lives, it dramatically reinforces why educators should not only be appreciated for their efforts this week – but all year long.
I’m grateful to my fellow educators, for all that they do to educate and inspire today’s students.
Their contribution to our community is invaluable.
Everest College – Burr Ridge