To the editors:

Please permit me to respond to your one-sided article by Ben Joravsky on the Mt. Greenwood community’s opposition to enlarging the Chgo. H.S. for Agri. Sci. [Neighborhood News, October 30]. This area has as much right to oppose “expansion” as Mrs. Valerious in her suburban community of Homewood-Flossmoor.

Perhaps if your reporter had looked into the history of Mt. Greenwood he would have been better prepared to do an article about our 22,000-25,000 residents. (We all know that census figures can be questioned.) You quoted from one letter but others have been written listing reasons that we oppose trying to make a former grade school into a high school. The Bd. of Ed. made the decision after we fought to “Save the last farm” in Chicago.

Your newspaper quoted Valerious as saying that a Chicago police officer lied. As one who has written for newspapers since I was a student at Harrison High may I ask why the reporter didn’t check with Morgan Park Police Sta??? That’s where the records are kept!! When a police officer was injured by one of the students didn’t Dr. Valerious request that the officer leave this “beat”? (And she wonders why she’s resented.)

Our residents are tired of being told what they can and can’t say. We’ve had to fight for improvements since the community came into the city in 1927. Promises have been made and broken by the city, the county, the state and Bd. of Ed. We had to go down to Springfield about our lack of streets, too many liquor licenses, etc. Men like Tom Hynes, Mayor Richard J. Daley, Sen. Jerry Joyce, Rep. Ted Meyer (whom I worked for as an “aide”), Rep. Jim Keane, Ald. Mike Sheahan, a woman like Ald. Ginger Rugai (whom the Mayor supports) know that our residents have just about reached the limits of patience as they are the ones we’ve asked to solve problems here!!!

Why do others worry about a “gym” being built? Does Marva Collins (educator par excellence) have a “gym” at her fantastic “academy”?? Let’s worry about accepting local students!! Many parents can’t afford private schools. Give local students at least 50 percent of the space at both the Agri. School (which I’ve suggested be named EARTH Sciences and include waste management, pollution, ozone, etc) and Keller (108 and Whipple, which only accepts 7 MTG students a yr.).

Mt. Greenwood is a community of hardworking people most of whom have life savings in homes. We fought “nuisance pubs” and worked with people all over the city on this. Mt. Greenwood School has been “integrated” since 1968!! The Reader shouldn’t condemn us for caring about our future.

Paula Derbak

S. Saint Louis