We went behind your back to light the way

From the editor

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Oak Park residents who live in the vicinity of Oak Park Stadium, we have some news that may irk you a bit. Over the weekend, city officials and even this newspaper joined together to execute Operation: Let There Be Light, which consisted of the installment of illumination at and near the football stadium on Lake Street. The Wednesday Journal was a proud sponsor of this clandestine operation.

Now, we realize that the installation of lights at the stadium has been a controversial issue for the last five years, but we felt that in order for progress to finally be made a stealth approach had to be taken. To put it bluntly, we told everyone except you, the people who have voiced their displeasure about possible lights at the stadium.

From your homes that border the stadium, you may have heard the lighting technicians preparing the equipment. We want to apologize for any inconvenience the thunderous explosions, which were followed by the wave of ovations from the crowd, may have caused you during the brief construction and official ceremony. We can assure you the explosions will only take place annually and are not harmful to you or your pets unless you happen to be hovering a few hundred feet above your roof at the time of ignition.

In addition, it is our duty to inform you that the wondrous lights you may have seen flickering in the night's sky over the stadium will not be in accordance to the lights that will stand over the stadium itself. Those lights will more than likely be stagnant white bulbs, unless of course marching band teachers decide to get funky and hold a techno-colored rave?#34;which is unlikely.

We'll go with plain white bulbs in the future because it's our impression you want it that way, and because we figure it will be dangerous for athletes to be playing their games in and out of the dark, or for that matter with Roman Candles igniting above them. We just couldn't have Snaps, Tanks, Sparklers and Morning Glories trying to keep things alight throughout an entire soccer match.

Also, last weekend's ceremony, you may have noticed, kicked off a bit late. We plan to counter that problem in the future by limiting the time these lights are used. The latest that you may notice the lights around the stadium glowing is 10:30 p.m. once a week on and off for only two months or so. The lights may be on earlier in the evening for maybe six total months out of the year. Trust us, you'll be too annoyed by something as petty as tree-trimming to notice the lights.

As for the crowds that we intend for these lights to attract, it will be the same crowds that have attended games at the stadium in the past. This means you are already aware of how little commotion this group of parents and students caused. If you feel longevity has the upper-hand in this then you should know that the high school is so old it was once a nursing home for elderly dinosaurs. And we're going to assume you noticed its vast expanse when you purchased your home.

You will be happy to know that we rejected vehemently Brad Spencer's proposal to build large condo buildings around the stadium. That nut wanted to put bleachers at the top of these buildings and sell alcohol to spectators. You'll also be glad to know he's been band from future board meetings.

In closing, we apologize again for conducting this operation privately and without your consent. Although, in fact we did see most of you present at last weekend's festivities. The smiles and the slack-jaws could only mean you were in awe of the lights above the stadium. We thank you in advance for your delayed support.

CONTACT: bspencer@wjinc.com

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