Thank you for your Feb. 16 article regarding the Celebration of Hope fundraiser for our nephew and grandson, Rory Brennan Zuba. Ken Trainor did a beautiful job conveying that Rory's life was not defined by his brain cancer and describing our search for hope in Rory's treatment.
As members of the Oak Park Board of Health, we are disappointed that three members of the Board of Trustees, Diana Carpenter, Ray Johnson and Gus Kostopulos, scuttled every attempt to find a workable solution between our restaurant owners and the majority of the community who favor a smoke-free Oak Park.
The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents, business owners and hard-working employees of Oak Park for their opened-minded discourse and expressed apprehension regarding the proposed Oak Park smoking ban, which was voted down on March 7.
I think that the police officer who sprinted out of the River Forest police station to save Therese Pender on March 16 should be commended for heroism. Yes, Ms. Pender died, but the officer's response was an act of high heroism nevertheless. When I heard of his actions, it literally brought tears to my eyes. The people of River Forest should be proud to have such a man in the service of their protection.
I was dismayed with the village trustees who voted against the smoke-free ordinance on March 7, all the while portraying themselves as white knights protecting Oak Park businesses. Despite evidence to the contrary, they stated as fact the notion that a ban would hurt businesses. Moreover, health concerns were hardly mentioned at all.
In the 14 years I have lived on the 500 block of South Clarence Avenue, it has been my privilege to have known several former owners of the property at 525 Clarence that is the subject of your "Smelly Onion" article ("'Smelly Onion' tales," Homefront, March 23).
I was saddened to read recently that the village trustees are considering opening the Marion Street Mall to traffic. The fact is that any new roads will quickly become as congested as the old. But if we open the mall, we will never, ever be able to get back a unique public space.
There seems to be an unwritten pledge in Oak Park that brings many of us to this community for a single purpose. We choose to raise our children here because we want to be a part of an exciting and wonderful village that works, plays, lives and loves together as one human race.