“We knew we had to have a candidate come out of the March 10 Movement. The slogan … was ‘Today we march, tomorrow we vote.’ “—Omar Lopez in “The Browning of the Greens”

Is a Green Party Vote Half Empty or Half Full?

Re “The Browning of the Greens” by Kari Lydersen, August 14

I love what Omar Lopez stands for, and am thrilled that I live in the Fourth District and can vote for a true reform candidate. Human rights and the environment are the two most important issues for me in this election.


Now those in the Fourth District can vote for someone we all know will lose. That’s the essence of democracy.

chris in chicago

What You Pay for When You Pledge to WBEZ

Re “Station Identification” by Michael Miner, August 14

Slimebags like Torey Malatia and Daniel Ash are being purposefully deceptive when they play games with their use of “Chicago Public Radio.” When people donate to WBEZ, most would think they are donating to support WBEZ, not this ambiguously defined “Chicago Public Radio” entity.

Seasoned donors who care about specific programming at WBEZ (like their favorite shows) donate while their favorite show is on the air to send a message of support for that show. This has even been encouraged by solicitors during pledge drives, with prodding along the lines of “If you care about Fresh Air, please call...” Taking money from people who are donating to support their favorite shows and diverting those funds to other uses is deceitful, seems criminal, and sounds like the basis for a class-action lawsuit.

It sounds like Malatia is too arrogant or too much of a coward to respond to criticism about this matter. Daniel Ash’s response to the diversion of funds to Vocalo: “We go out of our way to make sure every single dollar we receive in revenues goes to support the public service mission of Chicago Public Radio” is insulting and demonstrates a lack of regard for WBEZ donors, people who believed that their donations were going to WBEZ.

Here’s a comparison: Why would a classical music listener want to see their money diverted to support a heavy metal format? Most people who donate to Obama wouldn’t want to see the money diverted to relieve Hillary’s campaign debt either.

Malatia doesn’t deserve any slack on this. If he truly believes in Vocalo he should grow some balls and be completely upfront when soliciting for it. Otherwise, Malatia comes off as a coward, or someone who genuinely has contempt for WBEZ donors and listeners.

Malatia runs ‘BEZ like Daley runs Chicago... which sounds a lot like TIFs, where taxpayers are supporting developers. Those ‘BEZ pledge drives are awful. Every time they whine for money it seems like they’ll die without it, so I give. Not only to support the programs I enjoy but to help provide cab drivers an alternative to WIND. But I guess ‘BEZ must be pretty well off if they can support YouTube radio (i.e., Vocalo) without telling their BEZ donors. Sounds like a Daley racket where the taxpayers aren’t getting what they pay for.

A Fight for Public Grass

Re “An Artificial Battle” by Ben Joravsky, August 14

Protect Our Parks is seeking a meeting with the leaders of AYSO. We want to see how we can work together and we want a formal apology and retraction of their comments accusing us of stopping or blocking construction of soccer fields across the city. We demand that the illegal construction in the North Meadow of the South Field of Lincoln Park be returned to a grass meadow—open to all uses and users.

Tom Tresser


Oh, My Nostril! My Ear!

Re Savage Love by Dan Savage, August 14

1. So now we’re crediting Obama with a Gandhi quote (“You must be the change you want to see in the world”)?

2. I’m always amazed when a straight man assumes that somehow it’s more “normal” for a woman to receive anal sex than a man. The logic seems to be that since we’re “used” to penetration, it’s all the same, right? Well, hell, here’s my nostril! My ear! Really! Any orifice in my body would be honored to have your golden dick jam itself into it, no matter how uncomfortable I find it. After all, those of us who are “supposed” to be penetrated should expect to put up with some discomfort, I guess.

Good Lord.

Rooting for the Uptown

Re “Rooting for the Big Guy” by Miles Raymer, August 7

If the Riviera, Park West, or Vic is any indication of how Jam will be handling the restoration of the Uptown Theater, I would say that I would rather Live Nation or C3 have won the bid. At this point, the restoration of this theater is more important to those of us in Uptown than the health of the local music scene.


My Brush with Reverend Al

Re “Reverend Al Gets His Shine On” by Bonnie McGrath, July 31

This spring my sweetie and I visited the civil rights musee in Nashville. They were commemorating the anniversary of Rosa Parks’s protest. The museum has the actual Montgomery bus she rode! Al Sharpton was taping an interview with Tavis Smiley. Joy and I watched and toured the wonderful exhibits including the restored room across the street from which James Earl Ray fired the fatal shot at Dr. King. On our way back to the Lorraine Motel, where the majority of the displays are, we saw Al exiting the building with his posse. Ever exuberant I gave him a shout-out but because we had been so immersed in the whole historical milieu, I mistakenly called, “Dr. Abernathy!” (They do physically resemble one another.) Without breaking stride, Al gruffly said, “He’s dead,” and continued striding on. No one in the posse or any NCR museum staff uttered a word. I sheepishly ducked into the gift shop and bought a mug. What a guy.

Joseph Stastny