On the West Side where we've published the Austin Weekly for 15 years, there are widening pockets of palpable energy, maybe even optimism, about education and learning. If there is a growth industry in Austin and Garfield Park it is in education. Private schools. Charters. Magnets. Elementary. High school. Not so much in pre-school where it is really vital.
Can't Oak Park ever do something simple? Can't we ever take the less expensive option? Can't we take the admirable, even essential, goal of collaboration between our units of local government and accomplish it without spending $6-10 million in taxpayer dollars? Apparently not.
Who knew all these years that Adele Maze was buried right there in the front lawn of the little library that carries her name? Now I've got older siblings who remember Adele Maze, working at the desk of what was previously called the South Branch Library back in the 1950s. Beloved? Yep, I'd say so.
By Monday afternoon, five families at Beye School had requested transfers to one of two other public schools in the village. This, of course, was the result of standardized test scores from last spring which indicated that one subgroup (unfortunate term) of Beye kids, had failed to hit this year's target under the federal No Child Left Behind law.
And so it begins. School. Wednesday is book pickup day for the H's at the high school. Seems like only yesterday that we found that $120 geometry book, the one alluded to in a letter from OPRF, as debilitating as a note from the village on the allegedly unpaid $20 parking ticket that is now crushing your windpipe at $70.
Marion Street Mecca: The pricey redo of North Marion Street has been oversold by the village as having created a retail Valhalla. To be sure, we shouldn't overreact to the news and the For Lease signs indicating that three storefronts on the block are going up for rent.
People keep asking, "How was your vacation?" Not an illogical question when one disappears from work for a week in summer, turns on the email auto response and changes the personal greeting on one's voice mail.
Nobody cares about Journatic, a colleague said to me Monday. Then he allowed that maybe 200 people in all of Chicago, mainly local news folks, cared about Journatic. I say you add in the devoted Tribune haters and very quickly you're over a thousand people who care about Journatic.
Oak Park will soon be the only destination for Apple aficionados between Oak Brook and the Clybourn Corridor as a longtime Apple-affiliated retailer and service provider will open an Apple store on Lake Street just west of Oak Park Avenue, a location previously occupied by Baird & Warner Real Estate.