Re: “Rogers Park Diary,” February 25

Perhaps poets lack sufficient intestinal fortitude to thrive in a challenging urban community. Ms. Elenbogen whines.

Rogers Park is dirty and filled with litter. Drug dealers conduct business on our street corners. Mailboxes are looted. Apartments are burglarized. One walks “aggressively” and one does not feel safe enough to stop and park the car.

Why not move to Evanston? A clean and lovely place where all of the children are good-looking and all of the women are strong. No apartment is ever burglarized there, and there are no drug dealers or drive-by shootings either. Just read the Evanston Review.

Why not move to Wilmette or Skokie or Northbrook? Or Beverly or Dearborn Park? Or Lincoln Park or Bucktown?

The problems of Rogers Park are not unique. Our suburban neighbors share many of the same concerns. Our urban neighbors to the south and west are not living in paradise either. Rogers Park is diverse, which creates some rough spots in our environment. It also creates a dynamic multicultural neighborhood which many enjoy. We are not all white or all black. We are not plain vanilla or chocolate. We are tutti-frutti nut-crunch.

Ms. Elenbogen whines. Forty-ninth Ward Spring Clean Up is Saturday, April 30. She could come out and shovel trash with the neighborhood activists. Her new home on the shores of Lake Michigan on Eastlake Terrace has an active block club which works on neighborhood safety issues and community beautification projects (beachfront parks and garden spots). She could participate. (Call our alderman for information.) Rogers Park is a community policing pilot district (24th Police District CAPS Program). If she is concerned about public safety, there are ample opportunities to work thru CAPS to improve our neighborhood.

Rogers Park has an abundance of liberal do-gooders and honest folks working to build better lives for themselves and their neighbors. She could join an appropriate organization and start working.

One can light a candle, or one can curse the darkness. One can leave. Or one can whine.

Lorraine Dostal

W. Jarvis