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To the editors:
I am a longtime avid reader of your paper. I often go out of my way to find my weekly copy as they are usually snapped up as soon as they hit their locations. I pick up an extra copy or two for friends who cannot find copies of their own. I take special delight in your theater and movie reviews which are excellent, as well as your off the wall cartoons that can easily break me up in laughter.
Upon occasion I do take exception to one of your in-depth cover stories written either about a current topic or a chosen individual. That is the American way, that I can disagree. Such was the case in the short article in Section Two of the April 19, 1991, issue under the Culture Club title “Life in the Laney Lane” written by Lewis Lazare. His column rattled my cage and I saw red.
The Reader first of all must have found the absolute worst photo of the beautiful Mary Laney in their files to back up Mr. Lazare’s biting and ill-mannered comments. One has only to recall Ms. Laney’s lovely face on Channel Five and the countenance of Ms. Osterman in her all too often photographs in the daily papers and on television not to see Ms. Osterman’s resemblance to Rosanne Barr. It should be noted that Ms. Laney was caught in a power play reorganization of Channel Five which so often happens in corporate America and released to do other things with her talented life and not because of anything she did or did not do in her professional role at that network.
As a former employee of the City of Chicago I was aware often of department heads who felt they were autonomous, the “last word” on any subject, and it appears Ms. Osterman falls into that category. When the North Shore Magazine did a feature story covering Ms. Laney when she was appointed to her present position with the City, it was made very clear that her duties and expertise would be to bring tourism into the City of Chicago and that her office would be separate and apart from Ms. Osterman’s department of Special Events. Chicago at best sometimes suffers from a poor self-image, and with several Mayors at the head of the City over the past dozen years or so, not much happened to improve this image in spite of much talk. Mayor Daley addressed this problem in announcing his appointment of Ms. Laney. One need only to come into the O’Hare Airport to feel her already exciting effect on this issue in the presence of the Chicago’s Got It! banners. The North Shore cover story outlined Mary Laney’s intense love of this city. Mayor Daley put Ms. Laney into this position for this very reason, to attract tourist dollars into our beautiful, exciting, culturally rich city, not Ms. Osterman.
Mr. Lazare is misinformed and one wonders by whom he has been given his information. Ms. Osterman was not available for comment.
Dorothy F. Doherty
W. North Shore