In a recent editorial, Jack Crowe made an absurd connection between Oak Park’s attempt at mitigating a major environmental hazard (by capping the Eisenhower Expressway) and the relief efforts for the victims of Katrina.

The manner in which Mr. Crowe presents this connection is illogical though I believe the essence of what he is trying to say is correct. Oak Parkers should and are helping the victims of Katrina in a multitude of unsung ways.

Money spent on government boondoggles should be re-directed and put to use in more productive ways. The hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the misdirected war in Iraq should have been used for countless other initiatives both within and outside of our country.

Mr. Crowe is wrong in his mischaracterization of the Cap the Ike project as well as funding to date for that project (the dollars received to date have come from transportation-related sources, not Army Corps of Engineer-related).

The local thinking behind the Cap project is that it’s our opportunity (it won’t happen again for the next +75 years!) to set a new standard for other communities across the country on how to reduce and possibly eliminate the hugely negative environmental impact from the expressway that cuts through our community.

Per the reports done to date, the negative environmental impacts of the expressway can be felt up to a 65-mile radius from the expressway?#34;not just in Oak Park. Both the ventilation systems as well as the improvements and expansion of public transportation as outlined in the proposed Cap design will positively impact the surrounding communities for generations to come.

So if Mr. Crowe really cares about his fellow neighbor, both here in town as well as the surrounding region, he would join in the effort to help see the Cap the Ike project come to fruition to improve the quality of life for future generations.

William O’Shea
Oak Park

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