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updated: 10/11/2011 7:58 AM

Readers put Penick's 'P's in perspective

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After my recent column regarding "P" words that have affected my life from one millennium to the next, I heard from Frisbie pup promoter Tom Wehrli.

To attract my attention in the subject of an email, Wehrli wrote "Gotta P."

When I opened his email, he'd written, "How ironic that your article is followed up by The Grizzwells 'P' cartoon in The Herald's comic section. :-)"

I checked. Sure enough, on Oct. 6, the same day that column ran, The Grizzwells comic strip led with Pierpoint's proclamation, "Hey, there isn't any 'P' in my alphabet soup."

Several people I encountered commented they were unaware of so many pertinent "P" words. I immediately pictured the "P" volume in our set of the World Book Encyclopedia. "P" is the thickest volume, though both the more popular "C" and "S" letters of the alphabet require two volumes.

Longtime reader Julie Corwith emailed, "The Penick paragraphs were in perfect progression from what had been penned in the past to the present."

She added, "It's time to purchase the perfect pumpkin for the purpose of processing it into a pleasing pixie, perky panda or punky pirate!"

And she finished with, "Praying for jobs for the populace! Thank you for a fun article!"

Upon reflection, I, too, found the timing of my column ironic. The story -- filed with my editor in advance of the city council meeting on Oct. 4 -- had recapped a purposeful plethora of "P" words from a column first written in 1999 that had urged educated participation in the petition-signing and voting process, as well as all proceedings of local government.

The recent column ran Oct. 6, following one of the most contentious Naperville City Council meetings I've attended or watched in many years. (If you missed it, the video is posted on "E-agenda" at

Looking back, I do recall in the very late 1990s the controversial commercial development known as Spring Green on the corner of Naper Boulevard and Hobson Road. The public opposition and discussion that attracted full audiences to city council chambers was passionate. I seem to remember security at meetings was stepped up back then, too.

Here's hoping the prohibited cat calls, jeers and applause that tend to intimidate other people who might have opposing 3-minute views will be a thing of the past. Residents who petition for or against this or that in front of city council need to present the same type of respect they expect.

Perhaps if you prefer to call out, you'll consider staying home and yelling at the TV.

I'll admit, I've been guilty of letting out frustration from time to time from the comfort of our family room couch. Nobody's perfect.

Lately, however, we've been having trouble clearly receiving the audiovisual on our cable connection with government access Channel 6, so I've chosen to physically sit in council chambers more often than not where I must button my lip.

That said, I was pleased to see on last week's agenda that an allocation was proposed to update the technology for better cable communication in council chambers. When a couple of the council members began questioning the need during these uncertain economic times, I squirmed slightly in my seat, eager to express a plea for a "yes" vote, even though I had not signed up to speak.

Fortunately, for all political junkies who appreciate the option to watch our public officials in action in real time from other locations, the funds were approved. Stay tuned.

Going forward, it's always a pleasure receiving reader feedback. But I hear you.

"Penick, please! Promise to put the 'P' play in proper perspective."


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