Dan Haley is editor and publisher of the Journal and has been since its first issue on July 31, 1980. He remembers those early days – the excitement and the hardships – but no one wants to hear about it. Maybe he'll write a book.
Haley is a native of Oak Park. His first publishing venture was in the mid-1960s when, at age 10, he started a newspaper for his block on South Taylor. He remembers those early days – especially the heady smell of the mimeograph fluid. "Mighty fine," he says.
In 1980, with the old Oak Park News floundering, Haley turned down the job of Lively Arts editor at the Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves. Instead, along with his founding colleagues, Anne Duggan and Sharon Britton, they rounded up 65 locals to invest in the notion of an independent local newspaper.
Today from Wednesday Journal World Headquarters on Oak Park Avenue, the Journal publishes newspapers and websites for five city and suburban communities. The company also publishes Chicago Parent magazine.
Haley and his wife Mary (the former editor of Chicago Parent) live in an old house in Oak Park and have two kids.
The Oak Park Residence Corporation has hired a new executive director with a background in municipal government and investment banking. Most recently she has worked for a non-profit housing initiative in Chicago.
Something got off track recently with plans for Noon Whistle, a microbrewery, to sign a lease and open on Chicago Avenue near Austin Boulevard. The owners of the building — these days an indoor athletic facility but back a decade the mustiest auto repair shop you could imagine — said they worried about being left with a built-out and unusable brewing facility if the microbrew concept didn't fly.
John Hedges, former Oak Park village trustee, former park district executive director, one-time acting village manager and, a year ago, an unsuccessful candidate for Oak Park village president, returned to public life Monday with his appointment as the interim executive director of the newly reshaped Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.