Oak Park residents Mac and Harriette Robinet installed ground source heat pumps (geothermal system) outside their home in 2011 and 12 solar panels on their garage roof last summer. Mac, who worked as a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory for 39 years, estimates they are already saving 20% on the cost of energy.
The possibility of Oak Park residents joining neighbors in Austin to spread the community garden concept is one of the ideas which surfaced at the Community of Congregations meeting Jan. 30 and, apparently, it is getting legs. The concept seemed to be a win/win proposition.
Three years ago the boiler at Euclid Methodist Church gave out. The congregation turned what most churches would call a financial crisis into an opportunity to put their money where their ecological convictions were.
The story says the Magi found the baby Jesus by following a star. The thing about stars is you can only see them at night. The darkness frightens people because evil can lurk in the shadows where you can't see it until it's too late.
T.S. Eliot once wrote, "Last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice." Many of us in the Oak Park-River Forest area are attempting to find that new voice and "next year's words" as we take our first steps into 2014. We asked a selection of local residents to share their thoughts as we enter the new year.
"Many people will make New Year's resolutions to quit smoking," said Jim [to respect the principle of anonymity, all names in this article have been changed], "and a lot won't keep them. Not if they don't join a support group like Nicotine Anonymous.
You could say Bridget Badder was "born again" at the YMCA. She compared her life before becoming part of the YMCA to living in the middle of a hurricane. She was starving herself during her sophomore year at the University of Miami, struggling with her body image, desperately trying to become a "size two."