With 2013 racing to its finish, we're stopping the clock to look back at this remarkable, and remarkably good, year in our two villages. There is a positive energy at work in both Oak Park and River Forest that has made this year one of considerable change but change that is entirely consistent with the values of our hometowns.
Galen Gockel, the former village trustee, former District 97 school board member, and all-around sage counsel, said it well on Saturday morning as the school board and village board met with some 50 citizens on the topic of building a new school board HQ on the parking lot at village hall.
Recently, I visited two well-known writers in my modest suburban neighborhood bordering Chicago's West Side. Oak Park is best known as a virtual museum for Ernest Hemingway, Frank Lloyd Wright and Dr. Percy Julian.
I have had the privilege of serving on the Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) Board for the last year and a half, and during that time I have come to more fully appreciate the enormous positive impact that this great organization has had on poor and oppressed people (at least 70% of which are women) throughout the Third World.
One year after 20 first-graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.; two months after my twin grandsons were born (seven years before they enter first grade); and six months after my son became a gun-carrying police officer, I've been thinking about the recent failure of our Gun Rights and Responsibilities Committee to reach consensus on how to reduce gun violence in this country.