I was extremely disappointed with the intent and quality of the “Vetting Vets” article in your April 2009 issue. Your audience would have been better served with a focus on the importance of quality when choosing a veterinarian than they were with your overly simplistic focus on dollars and cents. It is not the objective of any practicing veterinarian that I know to suggest costly procedures just to inflate their client’s bill. As medical professionals, my colleagues and I carefully evaluate the health of our patients and then suggest the best course of action for the pet.

As for the variation in fees amongst veterinarians, this is really more appropriately categorized as a variation in services offered. For example, the article states that clinics quoted amounts ranging from $99 to $469 for a dental procedure. It is unimaginable to me that the dental performed for $99 is equivalent to a dental performed at other practices for a higher fee. At my practice, each dental patient is given a pre-anesthetic examination, blood work, intravenous catheter, fluid therapy, and anesthesia from a board-certified veterinary technician under the guidance of a veterinarian. After the dental cleaning, a veterinarian evaluates the dentition for pathology. I highly doubt the $99 dental was performed with the same care and expertise with which we perform dental procedures at my practice.

In short, I do not believe that veterinary medicine is a simple commodity, but rather a professional medical service, and therefore should not be evaluated like the purchase of a vacuum cleaner.

Donna Solomon, DVM
Owner, Animal Medical Center of Chicago


I have a bone to pick (pun intended) with your list of 23 top vet clinics in Chicagoland.

If you want to know where the best vet care is for the money, ask someone who is involved in rescue. As coordinator of local Bichon rescue for many years, I have used Arlington Heights Animal Hospital for rescue dogs, as well as my own dogs. The prices are already reasonable, and they give a discount for the rescue dogs I bring in for treatment. When I personally thanked Dr. Stephen Camp, the co-owner, for helping Bichon rescue, his response was, “I make a good living here and I’m glad to give something back to the community.”

Nancy Muklewicz
Elk Grove Village



In reading In the Name of the Father [by Bryan Smith, May], I was left wondering if I was supposed to feel sorry for Emma Seifert. Just what was her excuse for failing to instill a strong moral compass in her two children?

Back in 1974 anyone who followed the news knew who Tony Spilotro and Joey Lombardo were. In my opinion, it was unconscionable for Mrs. Seifert to allow Lombardo access to her young children. And to name one of them after him? Give me a break.

I, like many Americans, have a certain fascination for all things Mob-related. I was 20 years old in 1974 and got a job working as a claims adjuster for Amalgamated Insurance. Allen Dorfman, later to be gunned down allegedly by Spilotro and Lombardo, owned the business.

While I worked there, I heard a story about a loose connection to a reputed mobster leading to an offer of a college loan. But even this poor college kid had enough sense to turn the offer down. Why didn’t the Seiferts?

Geri Mccall-Barrath



I bought my “Weekend Getaways” edition of Chicago magazine [April] for the—well, for the weekend getaways. I also read your article featuring poor, misunderstood Bill Ayers [What Bill Ayers Wants, by Debra Pickett].

Your editorial decision: Give Bill Ayers four pages of unfettered pandering and fluff in Chicago magazine. My personal response: I think I’ll pass on buying Chicago magazine in the future.

I can find weekend getaway and fancy restaurant information elsewhere.

Bill Krieger


I just finished the article by Debra Pickett about the sixties radical turned prominent education professor. He sounds like an intelligent guy with some good ideas. Although I know what his crimes were in the sixties, I was wondering if Pickett was planning a part two in which she let the readers know why he is considered radical. Please explain to me why with all the great professors we have in Chicago, we need to spotlight a terrorist. I’m not a crazy right-winger, but this kind of one-sided journalism makes one want to skip this magazine altogether.

John Pienta


Anybody who has ever worked or lived with a person who, like Bill Ayers, is uncomfortable with the concept of accountability understands frustration and disappointment.

I also worked on school reform and with many private sector companies that rely on schools to provide our children with a basic education. Let me be clear. Bill Ayers is dead wrong. Basic educational skills can and should be measured and further should also be taught in a structured environment.

Phil Adams

April’s Checkbook column, “Vetting Vets,” incorrectly stated the location of Skycrest Animal Clinic. It is in Long Grove.