Lighting the stadium rides roughshod over rights

Opinion

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The Journal's editorial call to "Light the stadium" (Oct. 26) blithely acknowledges that doing so would be "an annoyance for some neighbors" and "a minor intrusion." How easy to take rights from one group because of the projected "benefits for the entire community." It's interesting how the affected group (the community around the high school) is expected to do the right thing and take one for the team while making sure to keep those tax payments coming.

Week after week, we follow the saga of what it means to be an Oak Parker. We stand proud that hours of study and thousands of dollars are spent to protect the architecturally significant gems scattered throughout our village. Lighting the stadium will not require (at least not yet) the demolishing of any of the homes along Linden Avenue. The architectural character of the neighborhood around the high school will remain intact, but the quality of life? Not too sure about that holding its own.

We don't need to go too far to see what a contentious issue stadium lighting is. The battle over lighting in River Forest's Keystone Park rages on and issues regarding OPRF's South Field lighting are ongoing.

It's fun to have an upbeat and happy sign like "Light the Stadium" on your front lawn. It sure beats one that might read: "No to Riding Roughshod Over the Rights of Others and Negatively Impacting the Quality of Life, Property Values, and Tax Basis of a Community that has Coexisted with the High School for Just About 100 Years."

I support and value OPRFHS, but the impact on the community by lighting the stadium would be contrary to the school's own stated mission as it pertains to developing within its students a respect for the rights of others. Students deserve better than this mixed message.

Don't light the stadium.

Frank FioRito
Oak Park

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