No Worse Than the Backwater Times

Re: “Life in the Patch: Is AOL’s hyperlocal news network an evil slave empire or a boon to hungry journalists?” by Michael Miner, November 18

Forty thousand dollars a year for an entry-level journalism job? A fresh-from-J-School print job with the Backwater Times would probably pay in the low to mid $20,000s and involve just as much frenetic running around. No wonder Fay isn’t complaining. But whether this business model can actually work long term is the big if. It’s telling that they haven’t sold any ads yet. —rigel

You know, Rigel, I’m pretty sure Fay wasn’t the average Medill student. I’d be willing to bet that she was one of the more high speed ones. I think this is great. We may be dissecting these reporters in 20 years as they may pave the road for a new generation of reporters. —George S.

It’s déjà vu all over again. Michael, the News Star newspaper never “went out of business” as you stated in the Nov. 18th edition of the Reader. It is alive and kicking and delivered for free each and every Wednesday. In fact it has never missed a single deadline in its 106-year history. I recall you apologizing to me in print back in March after making the very same statement in these pages. What gives? Just because Lorraine Swanson turned down my job offer in March 2008 doesn’t mean the publication died. In fact 2010 may turn out to be one of the most profitable years for the News Star in decades. My return on income this year will easily top the Tribune, Sun-Times and maybe even the Reader? Since they’re not taking advertising yet I know we’re making more money than Patch! Not bad for an old ink-stained zombie that just won’t die. —Ronald Roenigk

1. Read a site, then read the Onion. I defy you to tell the difference. Lame stories, because when your job is to constantly throw crap up on the Web, that’s what happens. There is no time for detail on one of these sites. It’s all instant coffee news.

2. Robaugh’s comment is a lame old school excuse for overworking people.

3. Also, the $40K salary is what they pay most of their writers, and given the state of journalism and the economy, they have a lot of veterans making a salary you really can’t live on in the suburbs they require their writers to live near.

4. Look at the list of places they cover. White. Money. —bigdaveinburbs

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Re: “The Silver Lining Party: Despite costly losses at the polls, the Illinois Greens insist they aren’t blue,” by Kari Lydersen, November 18

I think the view shown in this article is a bit gloomier than the reality. The Democrats and Republicans have spent many decades making the political system nearly inaccessible to any outside candidates. That’s the true bipartisanship.

The Green Party has shown that even with these extreme odds against ballot access, and the bias of many voters against anything new, that it is possible to start breaking through and getting healthy vote totals in many races.

Jeremy [Karpen]’s loss was a bit of a disappointment just by the fact that it was an incredible campaign and he by all rights deserved to win. He’s a great contributor to the community, had all the major endorsements, and the most dynamic and energized Green Party campaign ever put together in Illinois. He gained 15 percent on his opponent from his last race as well. Thirty-five percent for a Green is completely unprecedented within Chicago.

The people who worked on these campaigns are still here, and the Democrats and Republicans have only gotten worse. The results might seem a little worse than the last major election, but on the ground the Greens have more volunteer support than ever. It’s a slow process building a movement and there’s always more reason to get Greens elected. —Mr. P

Overall I think this is very fair article. We Greens did have some setbacks in this election cycle. At the same time we ran some campaigns much better than we have ever done in the past. We fully intend to continue the struggle to reform politics in Cook County and in Illinois.

I do have a problem with the comment that Kari made about the MWRD race. She says that our candidate who received the most votes (that is, Diana Horton) only received 4 percent of the vote. It is true that if you compare Diana’s vote total to the total votes cast for all the MWRD candidates, she received 4.8 percent of those votes. However, voters are entitled to three votes for MWRD. This makes calculating meaningful percentages more complicated. I believe the most meaningful calculation is to compare the total votes cast for the three of us Green Party candidates for MWRD to the total votes cast for all MWRD candidates. By that method, I calculate that 9.2 percent of the total votes cast for MWRD candidates were cast for Green Party candidates. This is the highest percentage for any county wide Green Party candidates in this election. Clearly a substantial number of voters in Cook County are prepared to vote for the Green Party candidates for the MWRD even though we probably haven’t been able to reach them with any of our literature or speak to them in person. —Jack Ailey

Pick Your Play

Re: “Everybody’s a Producer: Members can buy into the show-selection process in Chicago Muse’s new model,” by Deanna Isaacs, November 18

I am a non-theater person. That does not mean I lack the capacity to read a script and visualize what a good story is and how it may translate on stage. Being a “non-theater” person may even give me an advantage. I am not stuck in any preconceived idea on how it will work. My ideas may be new and fresh. Isn’t that what you are looking for? I welcome the idea the Mr. Cercone proposes and best of luck to him. I would love to go see the show and support his efforts. FYI I am an artist. (I) love to read and visualize very well thank you! —santo