Time for Cummings to become a 'real memorial'

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We're pleased to see River Forest's 125th anniversary committee taking steps to restore the Cummings Park "bandshell," the border-line eyesore sitting at the key gateway intersection of Harlem and Lake.

The outdoor stage, which doubles as a memorial, is a unique, historic community asset, and it's unfortunate that the county's permit policies have made it difficult for local groups to utilize it. Even if funding can't be promised, we strongly urge the Forest Preserve District to enact more reasonable insurance policy requirements that would make it easier for community organizations to step forward and use the area for theater and music performances.

We encourage the village to continue putting pressure on the Forest Preserve District to take better care of this often unkempt corner, which is an underutilized resource for both River Forest and Oak Park.

Plan to plan in a more timely manner

Just last week the village board decided to vote on the long-delayed UIC character plans for the Oak Park/Eisenhower and Harrison Street business districts and a redevelopment plan for Roosevelt Road. You could say it's better late than never, but it has taken so long for trustees to get around to reviewing the plans again, we suspect that, like us, many in the community almost forgot they existed.

Yes, there were issues to address in both documents?#34;whether to create a joint Berwyn/Oak Park body to review Roosevelt Road development, for instance. But as pointed out last week, the plans offer more good than bad ideas, and details can be worked through later. They are, after all, only a guide.

The UIC studies incorporated lots of community input, but were created by college students, which in the eyes of some, made the process barely credible. Delaying approval of the plans only compounds that perception.

The village, for instance, managed to complete its downtown master plan in a timely manner.

It should give the same consideration to character plans for business districts village-wide in the future.

Comeback kids

Congratulations to Coach Al Allen and the OPRF High School boys basketball team for coming from behind to win the West Suburban Silver Conference for the second year in a row. Lyons Township was expected to win the conference, and, in fact, led all season long, but the Huskies overcame injuries and the loss of several talented seniors from last year's conference champs to put together a hard-fought string of victories as Lyons slumped. OPRF wrapped up the conference in their final game, combined with a late Lions' loss. Unexpected championships are all the sweeter and a testament to this team of persistent, consistent hustlers. Here's hoping they creep up on a few teams unexpectedly in the state tournament as well.

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