In his September article, “The Coronation” [Politics], David Bernstein does a good job of describing the seedy ascension of “political lightweight” Todd Stroger to Cook County board president by exposing the fiefdom of Democratic politics in Chicago and Cook County. But for some reason, he saw a charitable need to point out that the Cook County commissioner John Daley “protested” Stroger’s self-described “biggest accomplishment”: raising Chicago’s overall sales tax to a staggering 10.25 percent.

John Daley proudly championed and voted for the overwhelming tax, the highest of any big city in the nation.  A Stroger ally and the Cook County finance committee chairman, Daley has also stubbornly refused to cut costs and streamline county government.

It’s easy to blame Todd Stroger for the tax increase, but we would’ve never been saddled with Stroger as Cook County board president without the Daleys’ help and political influence.

Greg Ryan
Senior Contributor



The article about Todd Stroger brought back many poignant memories of his wonderful brother, Hans.

I worked with Hans at the Circuit Court of Cook County, and we had common acquaintances at Xavier University of Louisiana. He used to laugh about his little brother, Todd, who read comic books up in the attic. Hans was magic, much like President Obama. He would have/could have been everything, and more. Two days before his last asthma attack, I saw him at the Water Tower theatre, with all his doofus friends, and he yelled out to me—my dear buddy. His funeral—such a young man—drew a packed house. His mother, Yonnie, [was] beyond grief-stricken. Rev. Jackson delivered to the weeping, the stunned, the disbelieving, such a brilliant eulogy, trying to answer why such a special person, so loved, was taken so young.

Brenda Rossini



Thanks to Chicago magazine and Ryan Blitstein for a very interesting article on Ron Huberman in the August issue [Numbers Man].

Many of us who are former classmates of Ron’s at Lyons Township High School remember him as a quiet and unassuming guy who was very friendly and funny and liked by many.

Never thought he’d later be a guy handpicked by Mayor Daley to take on such tough challenges throughout the city as he has and then succeed at so many. As Paul Green mentioned in the article, Mayor Daley has recognized talent to add to his administration throughout the years.

We’re proud of seeing his accomplishments and thank Mayor Daley for sticking by him when others questioned him.

Brad Palmer
Meridian, Mississippi


The “meeting” the author describes at Little Village Lawndale High School could not have been more mischaracterized. Parents, students, “yuppie teachers,” and “immigrant mothers,” as the article quotes, were not applauding for Huberman, but for the comments the speakers were making about transportation and safety of schoolchildren for the past four years near the brutal 31st Street gang corridor, which Huberman failed to address as head of the CTA. While the article suggests he magically solved an important problem, in reality he was finally responding to four years of student, teacher, and community activism pushing for student safety, which until that public meeting had been ignored.

The reporter should have been more responsible in actually reporting rather than lavishing praise on a person he obviously knows nothing policy-wise about.

Katherine Hogan
Teacher, Little Village Lawndale High School




I realize that the focus of your recent burger article [Under the Bun, by Jeff Ruby, September] was the latest trends in dressing up burgers. Still, it’s really too bad that the author (and presumably, the chefs who created the burgers featured) doesn’t like burgers enough to leave them alone. Fully 28 out of 30 reviews included cheese. Even worse, 8 of the top 15 included bacon. I’m originally from Nebraska, where the beef is so good that many people put nothing—that’s right, nothing—on their burgers. We know what good beef is supposed to taste like, and it’s a damn poor cow that needs help from a pig to taste good.

If you revisit this subject in a future issue, I suggest you employ a panel of judges, including a panelist who takes his (or her) burgers seriously and affords them the respect they deserve by not dressing them up in silly clothing.

By the way, I’m available.

Thomas Irvin