The East Central Neighborhood Association, the group of people most directly affected by the West Sub Hospital expansion, is, as you declared recently a “fringe”? And by considering a denial of the hospital’s requests the village board is “pandering to the fringe”? Like a puppy that just doesn’t know when to quit, this phrase still nips at my heels. Pandering to the fringe, indeed.

Fringe (n): a group with marginal or extremist views.

In expressing views about our neighborhood, we’re marginal or extremist? Was the woman who last year argued convincingly against the bank drive-through part of a fringe? What about the anti-lights people near the stadium? Fringe? Or just people who love their neighborhood and have a point of view about what it should be like?

Of course we’re speaking out of narrow self-interest here. We don’t want the hospital expansion because we think it will be bad for our neighborhood. But if we don’t speak out of our own self-interest, who will speak for us? Tsk, tsk. Neighbors banding together to express a point of view are a fringe.

Bah. And harumph. I guess I can’t complain though. You could have called us a lunatic fringe. That would have made us a “wildly foolish” group with marginal or extremist views. One must always take what one can get. But, then, there is still that word “pander,” nipping at my heels with all sorts of negative connotations. Never thought of myself as being pandered to. Don’t like the sound of it. Not one bit.

Pander. Bah. Harumph.

Karl Lauger, Oak Park

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