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.
It was my intention to try to even up our coverage of Oak Park and River Forest's political seasons by writing this column about the exit and entrance of village board members Monday night in the village by the river. Unfortunately my plan to skip the early portion of the meeting, which, based on years of agenda watching, looked to be at least 45 minutes worth of governmenting, did not account for just how quiet and efficient River Forest officials had become.
Ray Johnson, the Oak Park village trustee who offered up the compromise that allowed Anan Abu-Taleb to be sworn in free and clear as village president on Monday evening, said afterward that he had spent a long weekend trying to sort out "why this is so hard" an issue to resolve.
Gov. Pat Quinn came to a packed Maya del Sol Sunday evening to sign the state law which could clear the way for the Oak Park village board to decide Monday night to sync the local liquor ordinance with the revised state law and open a path for Anan Abu-Taleb, village president-elect, to take office without controversy.
Sometimes there is a political problem and it needs a political solution. The current conflict related to Oak Park's liquor laws and incoming village president Anan Abu-Taleb's holding a liquor license is a political problem. Sure there are legal aspects and it bumps into ethical considerations. But those are relatively minor and easily resolved matters.
Downtown Oak Park held its 25th annual meeting Tuesday evening in an empty storefront on Marion Street. There was a good crowd of merchants, members and village officials, including Anan Abu-Taleb, Oak Park's new village president.
They packed the place Thursday night at The Children's Clinic over on Lake Street. There were two reasons for the first open house in seven years at the medical clinic sponsored by the OPRF Infant Welfare Society. The first was to show off the newly renovated space. The second was to start replenishing the funds the group had just spent on the spruce up.