Letters to the editor
Updated: January 23, 2012 2:43AM
Thanks to Karie Angell Luc, and her “Is No. 1 Facebook friend No. 1 fan?” story, the Village of Northbrook, Illinois (www.facebook.com/NorthbrookIllinois) will hopefully have more friends “like us” on Facebook! Northbrook’s Facebook page has proven to be a great friend to many during the aftermath of this summer’s violent storms. Through rain, downed trees and power outages, Facebook was able to reach smart phones, laptops and computers with storm clean-up updates and power outage information. Facebook provides a connection for residents and businesses when other communication avenues might not be available.
As communications manager for the Village of Northbrook, I wanted to take advantage of this snapshot in time to remind residents and businesses to register their cell phones and e-mail addresses with Northbrook Notify. Northbrook Notify is the village’s communications tool that enables staff to send messages via phone, e-mail and/or text to specific areas of residents and businesses. So if Facebook isn’t a friend, I encourage every household and business to visit www.northbrook.il.us and click on the Northbrook Notify tab to sign up today. If we can’t reach them…we can’t notify them! Those who don’t have a computer, can sign up at the library reference desk or call me at (847) 272-5050, ext. 4226 and I’ll sign them up during business hours. Whichever option you “like.”
Village of Northbrook
Great storm clear up
I want to thank the storm clean up crew that picked up and hauled away the tree damage. Twice in three weeks the storms tore away at our trees on Fredric Ct. These men Keith Wiseman, Jeff Zimmerman and Dan Thaki came to clean up our street and worked their tails off.
Last month, my daughter gave me an antique sign that reads, “Keep calm and carry on.”
This advice from the British government at the start of World War II also holds relevance for the thousands of ComEd customers who were without power for days due to the recent storm that impacted the Chicago area.
Customers from Glencoe, Northbrook, Bannockburn, Highwood, Lake Forest, Deerfield, Highland Park and many other suburbs were without power - and without any reliable or consistent explanation of why and when the power would be restored. Crews were nowhere to be seen. People were forced to throw out hundreds of dollars’ worth of food. Traffic lights all along main thoroughfares were not working; and commuters were delayed and frustrated.
Suburban downtown areas resembled ghost towns with stores and restaurants losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of closings. Residents were justifiably angry and business owners were frustrated. Many elderly were frightened; and parents with small children were concerned and alarmed.
ComEd officials have reached out to try to rectify the issue by holding meetings with municipalities. They visited my office and made the case that the outages were largely caused by unprecedented winds causing power lines and poles to go down. Unfortunately, however, ComEd’s response to the emergency lacked a strong communication program.
Reliable information regarding repairs was not available. For those left with empty refrigerators, lost business, long traffic delays, worry and concern, it has been a great challenge to “keep calm and carry on.”
It seems that every summer we are confronted by an issue that exceeds ComEd’s capacity to respond.
ComEd should quickly make the necessary investments to ensure that this never happens again.
State Senator, 29th District
Chairman of the Illinois Senate Commerce Committee and held hearings in 2007 on ComEd power outages