Yes, I am one of those apartment dwellers who pays to park in a village-owned lot, but the frustrations, which led to this letter, are only partly due to that fact. I have three incidents that I would like to share.
I am writing in support of a smoke free Oak Park. Second-hand smoke is the third most common cause of death in the United States. It is classified as a carcinogen and is the number one precipitator of asthma attacks. It is known to cause heart disease as well.
Secondhand smoke can be deadly. But too many communities, including Oak Park, still allow smoking in public places. That's because some community leaders worry that curbs on public smoking might hinder local businesses.
Although I am seriously allergic to tobacco smoke, I see no rationale any more for a ban on smoking in Oak Park restaurants. Public attitudes have changed, and the restaurant industry has changed with them. Any number of Oak Park establishments are smoke-free and will remain smoke-free not because they are forced to be, but because they have chosen to be.
As 2004 draws to a close, I find myself in a remarkably fortunate situation. Nearly all the New Year's resolutions I've made over the past several years are still current. I have utterly failed to fix any of my myriad flaws, and should I accidentally mend a few of my ways, I've got failures and vices I can readily add to the list. So I have no need to generate a new list of New Year's resolutions for 2005. I can use my old ones.
"FUN! THIS IS GREAT! EXCITING! FANTASTIC! Let's do this again!" These are just some of the overheard comments from the children and the parents who had the chance to attend the "It's Your Birthday Bash!" party, presented by SEA, the Supported Education Association of Oak Park and River Forest.
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify part of a misleading story printed in the December 15 edition of WEDNESDAY JOURNAL. It was reported (rather spectacularly) that Longfellow School was the site of two thefts in one week ("Thieves strike twice at Longfellow School"). I would like to clarify and assure the community that our schools are safe and administrators are taking appropriate security precautions in all of our buildings.