This letter regards the three responses Wednesday Journal printed on June 29 to my June 22 letter urging OPRF high school to reject the Booster's stadium light proposal or at least to conduct a careful environmental impact study before making a decision.
I hope Mr. Haley's petulant column ("I just get this urge?to stop the process [of debate over the lights] dead in its tracks") and the orchestrated letters from Mr. Race and Mr. Woulfe highlight the fact that these individuals who are gunning hard for stadium lights are hostile to having an environmental impact study that explores the impact of stadium lights on the Frank Lloyd Wright historical district and on the village at large.
What are they afraid of? If stadium lights and night games in a densely populated historical neighborhood are such a great idea, won't an environmental impact study show that? If the money generated from spectators' use of the school's parking lot will amply cover the long-range expenses of electricity, maintenance, litter clean up, teen supervision, police overtime and potential lawsuits, won't the environmental impact study show that too?
In a disagreeable mix of sentimentality and aggressive indifference to their neighbors, these individuals want Oak Parkers to install lights first and worry about costs, security, police resources, infringement on property rights, litter, noise, and light spillage later. True, Oak Park taxpayers?#34;not River Forest taxpayers?#34;would probably bear the lion share of these long-term costs.
Enthusiasm for media-generated fads is characteristically American. But where the community's well-being is at stake we are better served by another American trait which is adherence to due process that respects the rights of the minority. In fact, conducting environmental impact studies has become part of the American tradition on major development projects like the stadium lights proposal.