Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:
Welcome to Big Week: Well, actually you already missed Big Week. Turn back a couple of pages. There it is. Page 4. Big Week. The top picks from our editors about the best things happening in Oak Park and River Forest in the coming week.
We’re excited about Big Week. These towns are full of great and awesome fun and finding a better way to highlight the best of the week is a fine thing. You could call these listings “curated.” That’s a trendy term in our business. Almost as big as “algorithm.” But I assure you there is not a single data point being “mined,” “calculated” or “boosted” in the creation of this feature. Nope. Just the collective experience of our editors who know a thing or two about these villages.
The addition of Big Week matches the subtraction from our pages of the mammoth calendar section that has run, decade after decade, toward the back of the Journal — somewhere between the obituaries and the real estate ads.
For a complicated set of reasons, we’ve decided that the giant task of compiling hundreds of listings, designing those pages and putting them in print each week just wasn’t practical or all that useful in the current moment.
That’s what readers told us when we recently surveyed them. A small but — I’ll bet we’re about to find out — dedicated portion of our readers made use of the calendar. I know we’ll hear from the many arts groups and nonprofits who took satisfaction in keeping their efforts in our calendar. Honestly, I think, the smaller but more prominent publicity in the print and the digital versions of Big Week will have more impact. So community theaters, foodie event planners, gala aficionados, and all manner of speaker organizers, worthy fundraisers and alcohol-infused music fests, keep sending your pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good art helps.
What readers told us was essential is more local news, more people, more letters and opinions. And that is what we will serve up as we move forward.
Thanks as always for reading the Journal and never hesitate to let me hear from you. I’m at email@example.com or 708-613-3301.
And here I am on Page 6!: Matching up on the page facing Big Week is ArtBeat, a weekly feature on some aspect of the local art scene. And that means yours truly will now hold down a portion of Page 6. Never liked Page 5 anyhow.
My version of Page Six will be subtly different from the more notorious Page Six in the New York Post. So, for instance, in today’s column there will be no naked pix of Melania Trump nor news of Michael Douglas’ son being sprung from the hoosegow after seven years.
And thankfully, there will be no more guidance on what has moved where in this week’s Journal.
Sadly, I’m nearly out of space for other semi-lucid opinions on local issues.
So, quickly: Reports persist that, at some point past the deadline for this column, the school board at OPRF was supposed to hand down its decision on where to build a swimming pool and how much to spend. Believe it when I see it. I do have a fresh idea on where it could be built and for very little money. Option 6! It’s a winner … Oak Park’s trustees were planning to acquire the soon-to-be-vacant District 97 headquarters on Madison Street. I want to press the plunger when this hideous building is demolished. Is there a deal in the works for the village to also buy the equally hideous D97 warehouse on Madison? Not at nearly the price the school district claims it has been appraised at, I’m told.