Abraham Lincoln

Letters to the editor. (Jennifer Kohnke)

Letters to the editor for the May 8 TribLocal print edition from Palatine, Niles, Park Ridge and Kenilworth.

Flee Illinois

There's a new commercial on TV promoting Illinois tourism that shows an animated Abraham Lincoln doll enthusiastically jumping around to various Illinois travel destinations, each time yelling "Whoa!" in awe.

At the very end, he should also jump in front of icons of the state's pension debt and credit rating, Chicago's murder rate, fleeing businesses and corrupt government, then take off his hat and walk away in disgust.

— Eric Carr, Palatine

Beloved dog

Rosie was the perfect nursing home visitor. Her gentle demeanor and bright inquisitive eyes made her an instant hit with the long-term residents and short-term rehabilitation patients at the Presence St. Benedict Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niles. Rosie was a tall, white-haired dog who seemed to understand that her job for the day was to put a smile on the faces of the aged and suffering.

The interaction of animals with persons afflicted by various mental and physical illnesses is a phenomenon beautiful to behold. The residents loved to hold Rosie's leash and she would sit among them all day without complaint. Her patience was unlimited.

Nursing homes are accustomed to death and dying. But when Rosie died in April of cancer, this just didn't seem right. Residents and staff, not to mention her owners, felt the loss very deeply. Many wept openly.

Animals can be amazing companions to us as we sojourn through life, and if we're lucky, we might come across a Rosie asking us with her winsome eyes to hold her leash for a little while.

— Sister Kathleen Melia, Niles

Dress codes

A recent movement to ban yoga pants and leggings at a middle school in Evanston has lead me to realize the problem with dress codes in middle schools.

The school considered the ban because they felt the pants were distracting to boys. The problem is not the girls or what they're wearing; it's the boys and their behavior. Female students should not be at fault for boys' obnoxious and objectionable behavior. Girls are frequently told by teachers to change into their gym uniforms (or other change of clothes) if they are wearing short shorts or a shirt that reveals their shoulders, in fear that it will negatively provoke the boys. However, the boys are often told to stop "sagging" their pants to the point where their underwear can be seen, yet teachers rarely do anything about it when they do.

Why are there so many restrictions on what girls can wear, but barely any restrictions on what guys can wear? Schools are unable to realize the distinct difference between having a good taste in style and actually dressing trashily. As crazy as it sounds, the way a person dresses themselves is a part of their personality and is a form of expression. By constantly forcing girls to change out of their outfits due to an inability to differ between a trashy outfit and a regular outfit, teachers are limiting their students' freedom to express themselves.

— Jacqueline Beck, Park Ridge

Public workers

Across the country and in communities like Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, government employees serve and protect our nation every day.

During Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, I gratefully acknowledge their service.

I want to personally thank the thousands of active and retired federal workers in Illinois.

Federal employees care for our veterans and work side by side with our military to defend our country. They conduct cutting-edge research to improve public health and regulate the safety of our food and medicines.

And right here in Illinois, air traffic controllers at Midway and O'Hare Airports are constantly attentive to the safety and schedules of all air travelers. These are all critical services.

We may not realize all that America's public servants do for us on a daily basis. Let's not take for granted the services they provide. This week, and throughout the year, please take time to say thank you to public employees in your community.

— Raymond J. Joehl, Kenilworth