By Dan Haley
Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:
I don't like Ike: Ike Carothers, the convicted alderman from Austin, is making noises that he plans to run for the Cook County board from the district that includes both the greater West Side, Oak Park, Forest Park and points west out toward Bellwood. Did not think it was possible to find a candidate for this job that I liked less than Earlean Collins, the incumbent who is, thankfully, retiring.
But Ike Carothers is worse. Convicted and jailed for taking bribes in exchange for supporting a major development in the Galewood neighborhood, Carothers is a political thug, just like his dad, the previously convicted Austin alderman. In large part, the pain of the West Side results from the utter failure of its political leadership. Austin is the city's largest neighborhood and it is a mere afterthought in City Hall's planning and spending over decades. That's because elected leaders like Carothers were solely focused on consolidating their personal power.
There are interesting people lining up for the Democratic primary for this seat in next spring's election. And then there is Ike, who has some illusion that Westsiders will forget his very real sins and that Oak Park Dems are somehow going to choose a man who sold out his office and represents all that is wrong with our politics.
No way, Ike.
Shutdown writ small: Had an e-mail last week from Paul McKenna, one of the owners of the fabulous Starship Subs in Forest Park. He noted that Starship had lost a $250 catering order that day because of the government shutdown. The eatery was scheduled to deliver lunch to a meeting at Hines V.A. Hospital in Maywood.
Not a big deal, he says, but an indication of how the infuriating nonsense in Washington actually does ripple out to ordinary people trying to make a living.
Anyone seen Diane?: Oak Park's own Bill Zwecker published an interview last week in the Sun-Times with Diane Keaton. She was to be in Chicago last week to keynote a foundation luncheon and Zwecker asked her what she wanted to do while she was in town. "I want to hopefully get out to see the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park again."
Honoring the Pope: Last Friday night at Unity Temple, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center gave David Pope, Oak Park's former village president, its Founder's Award. It was well-deserved recognition for a man as in tune with Oak Park's legacy of racial integration and its future based on fostering diversity as any elected leader in recent times. Pope came by his passion for diversity honestly, having been raised by parents steeped in the village's early integration efforts. But he has also seen the necessity of expanding Oak Park's efforts through the West Cook County Housing Collaborative and his wide, and wise, networking among city leaders across the country.
Very quickly: New Rebozo's outpost on East Superior Street got a loving write-up in Crain's last week. The piece touted both Chef Paco's food but also the unexpected warmth of the welcome on a stretch better known for its mega-branded restaurants. … Our own Ken Trainor's new book Unfinished Pentecost got an enthused review by Bob McClory in the National Catholic Reporter last week. … Oak Parker John Barron, until recently publisher of the Sun-Times through some very harried times, has moved to the Tribune Company where he will oversee its "content marketing unit." Sponsored content, also known by the odd term "native advertising," is all the buzz in hunkered-down journalism shops these days. We'll be watching, and then stealing, John's ideas. A good man.