Happy Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Dragon, my birth year (1952), according to the Chinese zodiac on the placemats at Luo's Peking House restaurant, which comprises the sum total of my knowledge of the Chinese zodiac. According to Luo's, if you're a dragon, you're "full of vitality and enthusiasm.
Are you in favor of regulating guns in spite of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court banning our handgun ban? The Oak Park Board of Health, a citizens advisory panel, will host a public forum next Tuesday night to give residents a chance to weigh in on the subject.
Lake and Forest: the TIF's last gasp? We don't know how the Sertus development at that corner will go (if it goes at all — I'm writing this before the board voted on Monday). If approved, however, we have some idea how it will go, based on past experience.
If you want a flavor of the remarkable array of individuals who inhabit these villages, all you have to do is read Wednesday Journal's obituaries. The frustrating part is finding out about so many of them when it's too late.
The past year may not have brought peace on earth, goodwill toward men, but it wasn't boring. From Algeria to Syria and points between, the Middle East rose up against generations of oppression. The Arab Spring rippled into Occupy Autumn as social and economic inequality at last made its return to the national radar after a 30-year hiatus.
First things first: Happy holidays to Hanukkah and winter solstice celebrators (and any other festive event you might mark this time of year). Consider yourselves lucky because, for those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is much more ... complicated.
Certain local issues run in cycles. The last time panhandling came up in a big way was 1999 (I wrote about it on Sept. 29 of that year). In the ensuing 12 years, this perennially perplexing moral dilemma hasn't gotten any clearer in my mind.
The camel has always been the drawing card. A real camel. No, really. First Baptist Church has the distinction, every second weekend of December, of being the only place in Oak Park where you can see a live camel.
This is the time of year when those of us who have had our fill of "things" hunger for something more nourishing. Therefore I offer my annual "Early December wisdom for harried Christmas creators and depressed recessioneers," mined from a variety of sources: