Reading Wednesday Journal the first months of 2011 might cause one to conclude that these are important, momentous times for our community. The controversies over the future of the Comcast building, District 97's referendum and the possible closing of the high school's campus are serious matters.
When I was a kid it was not cool to be a tattletale. Sure the teachers endured the little snitches that told them that Johnny was copying off Mary, or Jimmy had cut in the lunch line, but almost everyone else could not abide a tattletale, hence the school yard chant: "Tell, tell, tattletale, stick your head in a dinner bell." I would rather have sat next to a girl on the bus than be a tattletale.
The Village Manager Association's three candidates rolled to victory last week. That's barely news. The VMA has rolled to victory for the last 50 years. One-party rule is the edict in our community. But the East Germans tore down the Berlin Wall, and dictators are on the run in the Middle East, so anything is possible.
I've been reading the back and forth on the relative merits of District 97's referendum vote on April 5. There's a lot of parsing of school law, finance and educational programs suggesting that, after the analysis of all the data, an informed decision can be made.
For the first time since integration efforts began in Oak Park in the late 1960s, Oak Park's black population decreased over the past 10 years, according to the 2010 U.S. census. Rob Breymaier, the executive director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, described the development as "an historic event." He's right.
Sometimes I feel like the old guy in Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." You'll remember the line: "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink." But instead of being alone on an ocean with only seawater to drink, I have lots and lots of data, but I don't feel like I know anything.
I must admit that I haven't been to, nor plan to attend, any of the Oak Park Plan Commission's hearings on the proposal to convert the abandoned Comcast building to low-income housing. I go to bed around 8 p.m., so evening meetings don't work for me.
I don't recall the Oak Park village board ever asking my opinion about anything, but I now learn that the voters will be given the opportunity to vote on a referendum to seek electricity in the open market [Oak Park to voters: Do you want cheaper energy? News, Jan. 5].