There is tension on the Oak Park village board. That was clear last Monday night when split votes on referring a matter to the Plan Commission revealed a genuine difference of approach and that some backs are up.
The issue that divided the village board last Monday was retail zoning restrictions for the Southtown shopping district at Oak Park Avenue at the Ike. Right now the area has the same strict retail-only limits as Downtown Park and the Hemingway District (formerly The Avenue).
Even if most don't consider old people to be cool or even worthy of celebration, without a question there is power in aging. Any business owner would be wise to hitch their wagon to this star. Consider the fact that those who are blessed with good enough health and fortune will one day all be seniors.
At Day in Our Village on March 2 (the calendar said "June," but it must have been March. I could see my breath), Tracy Brooker of OPRF Embrace, a new initiative to accentuate the positive, said they were videotaping responses to the question, "What do you love about Oak Park?" A worthy endeavor since Oak Parkers tend to criticize more than praise (though one of the things I love about Oak Park is that we're willing to criticize and not just engage in mindless boosterism. We want to make things better).
Fences serve varied purposes. Sometimes history sharpens the meaning of intertwined wires and fasteners arrayed along a cliff. The razor wire in front of a bunker at Pointe Du Hoc, Normandy, France, still speaks of war, but now it also secures a safe path bordered by wildflowers for those who walk it to honor soldiers' sacrifices.
It's 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. There are over 30 people waiting in line at the Dominick's, 259 Lake St. in Oak Park — people who stopped at Dominick's to pick up groceries on their way home from work. This has to be one of the busiest times of day at the store.
I was debating whether to write this letter because after its publication, it may take longer to get my morning coffee. If word gets out, there may be a line. There is something about this place called Sugar Fixe. There are people in the back kitchen in white chef's attire mixing and baking and busy making some incredible baked goods. Meanwhile, fancy polished machines brew incredible Viennese coffee.
We've just concluded our 21st season of providing emergency shelter to families and individuals who've lost their homes in west Cook County. For 234 consecutive nights, our compassionate, generous team of 1,000 volunteers created an environment that nurtured the basic well-being of our 541 shelter guests, giving them food, shelter and, most important, dignity and respect.