Odds and ends, with some a bit odder than others.

Shut the Shuttle: Not the space shuttle, but the little white vans that tool around Oak Park, you’d think, doing good for the environment, little old folks, tourists. In fact, the Oak Park Shuttle program is a costly bust that the village board didn’t have the good sense to kill off a month back.

Did you ever see anyone get on the Shuttle? Ever hear a neighbor talk about what a godsend the Shuttle is to them? Ever look at the numbers? Factor in all the costs and Jon Hale, in this story the clear-headed village trustee, says we the citizens are paying $6.05 every time someone hops on board. Too much in tough times, he says. Not saving gas, he says. Costs the village $200,000 annually, he says.

Now, he also says, in the talking points he e-mailed me, that since its inception in 2004, the Shuttle has cost Oak Park $750 million. So, he’s a little weak in either math or typing, but we get the idea.

Kill it.

Quickly: The Obamas New Yorker cover is funny. If you’re offended you need to a) lighten up, b) grasp the tradition of New Yorker covers. … What’s wrong with Oak Park’s 4th of July parade? A couple of cranky letter writers recently wrote us criticizing the patriotic effort. If they can do better, they ought to volunteer for the committee. … Get Smart is far funnier than you’d have any reason to expect. … We dragged our 12-year-old daughter to see Kit Kittredge. Don’t tell anyone. She was mortally embarrassed. We actually left town to see it. Great movie. She secretly loved it.

Got a letter ready to run next week from a local saying that if everyone is going to ride their damned bikes around town, they ought to learn bicycle traffic laws. A worthy point. I’m riding my bike to work most days and I’m far too vain to use hand signals. You look silly sticking your arm up or out, or whichever way it is supposed to go. Am I right!

What’s with the cops? The outside consultants have weighed in on the teeth-gnashing endemic within the River Forest police department. Long story short: The 10 top-ranking people in the department can’t stand one another, undermine each other every chance they get. Fortunately, the patrol officers are still doing a good job and crime is low.

Lucky Lueck: For years I’ve asked Colette Lueck why she didn’t run for the Oak Park village board. She’d just smile. Last week, she accepted a short-term appointment to the board to fill out a term. We’re lucky to get her. She brings great experience on the village’s Plan Commission just as a couple of critical development issues come to the agenda. Now the question is whether she can be persuaded to run for a full term in next April’s election. I hope so. … Speaking of April’s election, the VMA is about ready to start looking for candidates for village president and a few trustee slots. With the formal opposition trounced in the last election, will they regroup? Why is Robert Milstein suddenly writing letters to the editor again? And with the village board having finally gotten its wits back about it, the bottom-line question is who on the current board plans to run for reelection and for which office? Rumor suggests multiple current officeholders covet the village presidency. I’m not above a little village board gossip.

Commerce report: I have discovered, several months after we wrote about it, The Depot. This is a great spot on Roosevelt Road in The Island neighborhood. Don’t worry, its close, just east of Austin Boulevard, north side of Roosevelt. A neighborhood grill with wonderful food. … The mealworm shortage continues. I’ve got a gecko. Geckos eat mealworms and crickets. Yes, live. For more than a month, the River Forest Petco has been out of mealworms. “What’s with this mealworm thing?” I asked recently. “There’s a mealworm shortage,” I was informed gravely. My mind boggles. How can you run out of mealworms? You put a couple of them in the same room and, presto, more mealworms. A little tango before they meet my Ziggy.

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...