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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Lately, the Chicago Park District seems intent on lousing up everything it has going for it, and keeps making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
In the past couple of weeks, we’ve heard about its abysmal handling of a female lifeguard’s complaints of sexual harassment by Oak Street Beach lifeguards and, most recently, the agency’s nutty decision to allow Amazon to install huge retail lockers in city parks.
The park district needs a reset in its mission, and possibly in its leadership, the Editorial Board writes. It’s time for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the park district board to make it clear to Supt. Michael Kelly that they want him to run a tighter ship from now on — or be prepared to walk the plank.
In Letters to the Editor, Sun-Times reader Terry A. Takash is shocked at the amount of mass shootings Chicago is experiencing. We read about two to three happening in a week, sometimes in one day. In her letter, Terry asks: Is the term “mass shootings” now meaningless to us?
And to send you off on your weekend activities, Richard Roeper gives us insights into one of the most anticipated movies of the year, especially for Chicagoans — “Candyman.” It won’t disappoint.
He says the movie is a worthy successor to the 1992 horror classic and combines traditional GOTCHA! moments with running themes about urban legends, institutional racism and social class warfare. Buckle up. And be careful what you say into that mirror.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Park District Supt. Mike Kelly at a City Hall news conference. Fran Spielman/Sun-Times
Park District Supt. Mike Kelly at a City Hall news conference. Fran Spielman/Sun-Times
The Chicago Park District should be our city’s proudest institution — a $480 million agency in charge of maintaining and programming an enviable collection of parks and green space, plus holding sway over the best public lakefront in the nation.
But lately, the park district seems intent on lousing up everything it has going for it, from its abysmal handling of a female lifeguard’s complaints of sexual harassment by Oak Street Beach lifeguards, to the agency’s nutty decision to allow Amazon to install huge retail lockers in city parks.
Add to these unforced errors a general slippage in parks maintenance and upkeep — in landmark Jackson Park, for instance — and patron-unfriendly moves such as surge pricing for parking on holidays.
Add, as well, a general unease that the district’s administration has seemed out of touch at times with the best interests of the average user of the district’s facilities. That’s been nagging at us for about the last five years, ever since the district’s top executives embraced a plan to create a championship golf course from two existing — and highly affordable — South Side courses without doing their homework to answer the most basic questions, such as whether the average duffer could ever afford to play there.
We believe the Chicago Park District needs a reset in its mission, and possibly in its leadership.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Richard Roeper on this weekend’s most anticipated film:
From the opening moments of Nia DaCosta’s gory yet strikingly beautiful and socially relevant “Candyman,” it’s clear we’re in for an especially haunting and just plain entertaining thrill ride.
More editorials we published this week
If ShotSpotter is a good crime-fighting tool, the police must provide proof
Pfizer’s vaccine wins FDA approval and most Americans will now get the shot. Right?
In your words
“No matter how one wishes to define a mass shooting — more than three or four people shot in one incident — one could argue that the label "mass shootings” in Chicago has become more common than the label “terrorism” in the Middle East.“
— Terry A. Takash, Western Springs
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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