It is hard to create a perfect event. But Oak Park did it Sunday as the World War I monument in Scoville Park was rededicated. Much to celebrate, much to ponder in seeing this entirely familiar, yet freshly revealed, tribute to our villages' heroes of a century ago.
In one of the oddities of local government, Oak Park has been led by the same political party, the Village Manager Association, for nearly 60 years, but every election season the VMA candidates adopt a new banner under which to run.
River Forest is moving quietly and quickly toward a likely agreement to redevelop the intersection of Lake and Lathrop. A range of forces are conspiring (not the same as a conspiracy) to bring an agreement forward in the final weeks of 2010.
"Mr. Tony" is a crossing guard near Irving School, has been for six years. A parent wrote us last week with her story about Tony Albachiara's connections to kids and families and how it led to her father's gentle interrogation recently when he arrived to walk her son home.
Newly repaved, the Eisenhower Expressway ought to be good to go for many years to come. The Ike resurfacing, though, delays just slightly the debate between fundamentally conflicted forces: Whether to add two lanes to the highway by exploding it out of its existing ditch through the village, or whether to finally acknowledge there will never be enough lanes so long as every state and federal policy remains auto- and exurban-focused.
River Forest, a town currently without an administrator or a permanent police chief, gets credit for beating Oak Park in the race to transparent, effective online crime reporting. For several months already, River Forest police have been posting near real-time reports of major crimes to a mapping website.
It is the most peculiar, silent, under-the-radar tax hike referendum vote in our memory. Take our word for it River Foresters, when you get to the voting machine on Nov. 2, the village government is going to ask your approval for a one-cent increase in the local sales tax.
The township's senior services are largely tucked out of sight on the upper floors of the Oak Park Arms on Oak Park Avenue. It takes a slow, cramped elevator ride to reach the center, it is not ADA accessible, and it is hard to promote to seniors.
The village couldn't crack the Catholic school principals, so now Tom Barwin, the village manager, is planning to meet with the pastors of three of Oak Park's Catholic parishes in an effort to make the schools spring for the cost of crossing guards.