I read that if the Village of Oak Park management and employees represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 couldn't reach an agreement on a new contract by this past Saturday, 76 workers would walk off the job.
Today I'm outing myself as an unpaid volunteer consultant to the Village of Oak Park. In the interest of full disclosure, no one from the village has actually retained me, but I do have some excellent ideas.
Let me note at the outset that there are a lot of things that I am not good at. They include: romance, art, music, home repair, golf, kayaking, hunting, fishing, horticulture, sympathy, partying, driving a stick shift and faith. Although I practiced law for 34 years, I was mediocre at best.
May 18-25 is Celebrating Seniors Week here in Oak Park. Who is celebrating, and why? While I can understand that drug companies, nursing homes, Alzheimer's researchers and the syndicators of Everybody Loves Raymond would celebrate seniors, for the life of me, I can't figure out why anyone else would.
News coverage in the Information Age is a lot different from the days when Chet Huntley and David Brinkley closed their 15-minute newscast by wishing each other a good night. The orgy of news coverage of the trial of the man who is charged with murdering Jennifer Hudson's sister and niece is illustrative.
The good Christians among you will recall the story of Paul. He led a life of sin until God knocked him off his ass onto his ass, and he made a U-turn on the road to Damascus and became St. Paul. I'm no saint, but I too have had an epiphany.
I suspect some people were disappointed that the Mann School test-tampering scandal was limited to a measly two staff members and only 25 individual tests. Like Duke basketball, Notre Dame football and hedge fund managers, Mann School is kind of easy to hate.
The report that the Ernest Hemingway Boyhood Home at 600 N. Kenilworth Ave. was for sale caused me to think about my boyhood home. I lived at 1312 Indiana Ave. for the first 12 years of my life. My dad told me that it cost him $7,500 to build the two-bedroom home in New Albany, Ind. in 1948 — the year before I was born.
I wanted to write a column on Tom Barwin's five-plus years of service as Oak Park's village manager. He deserved a column. Certainly, a lot happened on his watch. He was hired in 2006. Talk about bad timing. About the time he figured out the crazy politics and minefields of our town, the worst economic collapse in almost 80 years hit the nation and the village.
They say travel is good for us because it gets us out of our comfort zone. Living even for a week in a different place and meeting different people presents us with an opportunity to view the world from a different perspective. So Marsha and I journeyed to Naples, Fla. last week to escape a Chicago February.