Shrubtown-Dec. 18, 2013

Opinion: Shrubtown

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By Marc Stopeck

Answer Book Editor/ Editorial Cartoonist / Weekly Sales Representative


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Reader Comments

36 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 28th, 2013 11:49 AM

NIMBY had nothing to do with the installation of cup-de-sacs along Austin Blvd. Rampant crime did. The documented facts are that an inordinate number of criminals were committing robberies and other crimes in east Oak Park then fleeing across Austin into Chicago, so cul-de-sacs were constructed to limit ingress and egress by vehicular traffic. In their wisdom, Oak Park leaders decided the village did not need to take similar precautions along our border with River Forest.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2013 8:47 AM

How big is NIMBY? Was it NIMBY of Oak Park to reject a state unemployment office in downtown OP? Was it NIMBY to reject a juice bar? These incidents happened in the distant past and have little presence now but some things have everlasting presence. Was it NIMBY of OP to build cul de sacs along Austin but NOT on Harlem?

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 11:21 PM

I think many people start to pay attention to things when such things could negatively impact them. I don't think there's anything wrong with this. It's a nice entrance in to local government, or whatever the entity. And this introduction, this new awareness, makes some of us, eventually, pay attention and take action beyond our own self-interests.

john butch murtagh from oak park  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 4:01 PM

OPserver - I apologize!


Posted: December 19th, 2013 2:16 PM

JBM, I never said they shouldn't express their feelings. I encourage them to continue their passion in issues beyond their backyard. There's much waste and stupidity to be fought in the village (esp D97) and the more citizens fighting, the better. Amy, I shouldn't have directed my criticism at you. Your husband is the one who said "we, in contrast, are winning." We persevered through the debacle and have a nice park and sledding hill for all OPers to enjoy now.

Amy Williams  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 12:26 PM

Hi @OPserver - felt awful reading yr comment. Came to OP in '00 & my husband in '11. I know Barrie closed in '99 & opened in '03 after the toxic cleanup, but I'll never know how terrible it must have been to go thru every bit of that drawn-out process, esp if you lived right there - I'm sorry anyone had to experience it. Not sure what will happen w/ the admin bldg, but I am vs spending more $ than is necessary on gov projects like this, wherever they are in OP. Sorry 4 any offense - not intended

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 12:23 PM

I sympathize Mr and Mrs Williams dilemma. Do they take OPserver's advise and back off on posting their views or do they back off and let the poster-rowdies take over? My advise is to keep posting, but try to avoid banging the drum too much on the same issue - the cost. The fact is: not many factoids have surfaced on the D97 and the village's involvement. I suspect residents want to know more, a lot more, about those goings-ons.


Posted: December 19th, 2013 11:43 AM

I will be shocked, shocked, if Mr. and Mrs. Williams continue to protest new D97 digs when it inevitably gets proposed somewhere else on Madison. That they are unaware of the tremendous work and success of the many Oak Parkers (Northsiders too) who fought for the Barrie cleanup shows he isn't interested in Oak Park outside his own narrow view. Mr. Williams, your attitude toward other organizers is insulting and your insular fervor is costing you support. This comic is right on.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 10:59 AM

Marc Stopek missed his mark on this one. The D97 issue is ripe for political commentary, esp. with D97 BoE James Gates odd comment re. conspiracy theories, and Bob Spatz's hilariously misleading report based on selective data, as well as president / resteraunter Abu-Taleb trying to appease everyone after serving a poorly cooked meal. But to target citizens who offered sincere public comment, and portray them as NIMBEASTS, is nothing short of bullying, a longtime tactic of Dan Haley and the WJ.

Chris Williams from Oak Park   

Posted: December 19th, 2013 9:24 AM

Just wanted to say to Huh? from Oak Park@ - on your point about Barrie Park - point taken. I followed Dan Haley's lead on that, I shouldn't have. They are apples and oranges. Thanks for making that point, I stand corrected.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 7:31 PM

I'm a Republican happily living here for 13 years. One thing I've learned about Oak Parkers is they are very green oriented. I've become very interested in LEEDS and green tech also. Why is it then that our elected officials insist on one of the most unGreen things around, building a new building instead of re-using the current facility. Hypocrites! P.S. Live so far North, I'm almost in Chicago.

M in the OP  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 7:11 PM

How very pro-institution of you, Marc. Enjoy your cleared parking tickets and free margaritas for the next few years. What's next, designing Peter Barber's next campaign logo? Badly, badly done.

Historian from Barrie Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 5:30 PM

Barrie wasn't cleaned up with your tax dollars. And there weren't a lot of north siders joining us outside Exelon to protest the "clay cap" deal they were trying to cut with the village. Just as there aren't a lot of OPers concerned about the Ike expansion, which is going to destroy the health and property values of many OPers. Chris Williams, we agree with you! Stop saying "how would you feel if it was in your backyard" when you're trying to make the case you AREN'T a nimbeast!


Posted: December 18th, 2013 5:11 PM

Sorry Dan Haley, did my comment about you and your hack bretheren who continuously carry the torch for the spending and lazing class in Oak Park touch a nerve?

Huh? from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:41 PM

I call foul. We, the taxpayers, had no choice but to clean up Barrie Park, for the good of those neighbor's health and property values (because it sure wasn't affecting me over here on the far north side). We are still, according to the Village and D97, in the discussion stage re: the new admin building. We have choices, a lot of them. Barrie Park/ District 97 are apples and oranges, and there is no comparison.

Huh? from Oak Park   

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:28 PM

Well, I could not live further away from Village Hall, and I have no idea who the Williams are and I think this is the most stupid idea the district has come up with yet, and I am still scratching my head over Fast Forward, so there you go.

Chris Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:26 PM

Dan - if a big hole was dug next to Marc's house, then apparently, according to Marc, whatever opposition he or his neighbors expressed was a NIMBY issue. Maybe that's why, if there was any opposition, it failed to stop the "debacle." Note that we, in contrast, are winning this fight - because of our vehemence and toughness, and our ability to get the word out and make sure this DID NOT turn into a NIMBY issue. Your comment about Barrie Park makes the cartoon even less funny, astonishingly.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:17 PM

Two things: 1. Marc does have a "real job." He's the ad sales manager for Wednesday Journal and has been for a long time. And 2. Someone did dig a big hole in Marc's neighborhood down near Barrie Park. That remarkable debacle/environmental cleanup took years and was no fun for anybody. Who remembers the giant tent over the entire park?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:14 PM

I agree with residents. Artists have a right to express themselves any way they want, and critics have a right to express their viewpoint any way they want. My critique is that Mark was lazy in his subject manner and gross in hid depictions.

Chris Williams from Oak Park   

Posted: December 18th, 2013 4:07 PM

Interesting. I guess humor is subjective. Here's the thing though: I've said this before, and I'll keep saying it. People are really not comprehending the concept of a building an underground parking lot and a new government building in a residential district. For Oak Park is funny: just like Marc, I would love to spend 5 million dollars to excavate a giant hole in the ground next to your house, and see how you react. Protest vehemently against such an insane idea? How silly you would be.

Oak Park is funny  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:46 PM

I laughed. The cartoon is funny. And the raging, serious comments make me laugh even harder. Take a step back and we are a frequently ridiculous, silly community. Of all the places I've lived, Oak Park is the most frustrating AND entertaining place to be.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:39 PM

Just wait until Marc gets a real job and starts paying taxes, then he'll realize that you don't want people with spending addictions in charge of your money.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:33 PM

OK, for the record, I'm against D97 building here, but the overreaction to the cartoon is fascinating. Political cartoons reflect the opinion of the cartoonist, & no one else. As in any humor, there's an element of truth in it. Offensive?? Sorry, no. Disagree with it's content, fine. But be offended? No, that term gets thrown around way too often as to render it meaningless. And Rachel, there will be a dog park at the new Ridgeland, our dogs just can't poop where our kids play now.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:28 PM

Amy - Do you really believe that the artist believes that opponents of the plan are werewolves? Really? That's what offends you?

Melissa Badynee from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:27 PM

If caring about my neighborhood and my kid's school and the money our tax dollars are going to makes me a drooling, deranged werewolf then I'm happy to be one. This is really obnoxious.

Rachel from Oak park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:14 PM

I am thankful for individuals concerned about their back yards as they are the first to notice the issues. I wish Ridgeland commons were in my back yard as I would have fought to save the sled hills and the dog park! I can't believe that they are both gone and I wasn't aware they were on the chopping block. Citizen action starts with one individual who rattles the cage to make others aware. Go democracy. I applaud my neighbors no matter what their zip code.

Amy Williams  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:10 PM

@DEVO, It's true I 1st learned about this bc it's feet from my home, but I wouldn't support an expensive new bldg anywhere since cheaper options are possible & it seems wasteful - I don't think I'm alone in that view. OP govt is not great @ sharing info w/ all residents & I've just tried to make as many people aware of what's happening so they could at least have a voice. Too often impt things get pushed thru bc no one knew about it. That just doesn't seem fair to me. I have no motives...

Chris Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:03 PM

Well, DEVO, it depends. If D97 proposed to build an underground parking garage next to your house, or in some other neighborhood, then yes, I would be active on that issue. I would be active because I would feel solidarity with other Oak Parkers living in a residential area, who have to deal with a governmental entity proposing a government building "campus." So yes, DEVO, I would be concerned. Granted - maybe not as viscerally pissed-off, but yes, I would still make my opinion know.

Amy Williams  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:54 PM

Not sure how cartoons get approved by the WJ, but this is incredibly offensive, depicting certain OP residents as out of control, paranoid, drooling werewolves. It reminds me of some of the more insulting WWII political cartoons. FYI - at the forum the "NIMBYs" were outnumbered by people from all over OP - the project is a lame idea no matter where you live. So what's the message here? Question nothing, shut up & pay your taxes or be compared to a crazed beast? Way to encourage participation...


Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:52 PM

It appears Mr. Williams, as well as Ms. Williams, seem intent on proving the artist's point, in part. Granted that D97 does not need another building, but would Mr. and Mrs. Williams be so active on the WJ comments section if the building was not being proposed to built in their backyard? They are to the D97 building as Mr. Murtaugh and his daughter were to the SRO on Madison. At least Mr. Murtaugh has been very active in the comments section since that time.

Chris Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:46 PM

And besides, there is nothing remotely funny about this cartoon, even it was accurate. D97 was talking about building a building that required underground parking in a residential district. It was a real proposal. Your reference to a "plot" is nonsensical. What is your problem Marc? Big fail on your part with this. Besides - I'd like to excavate a giant hole in the ground next to your house, and see how funny you think it is. Ha Ha! So funny Marc.

Chris Williams from Oak Park   

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:42 PM

Marc Stopek - I really can't overstate how ridiculously stupid this cartoon is. Bruce is right - EVERY Oak Parker, regardless of where they live, if they are aware of this issue, is against it. Marc - seriously - the issue is whether to spend 5 million dollars, or 10 ten million dollars. This is not a NIMBY issue, and if you had any sense of knowledge of the issue, you would understand that. This cartoon is seriously idiotic.

Huh? from Oak Park   

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:19 PM

Is this an endorsement of the geo-thermal underground parking garage with a building on top behind village hall by the Wednesday Journal? I wonder how much of the tab they are willing to pick up. Slow news day, huh?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 10:53 AM

I am disappointed that it was the WJ that raised the Nimby word again. In OP, the word usually means that the proponents do not have facts to support their viewpoint. Pitting one neighborhood against another is a weak solution to the village's problems.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park   

Posted: December 18th, 2013 10:48 AM

That may be true, Bruce, but that doesn't make the point made by the strip inaccurate. In fact, your nonsensical inference of law breaking by board members goes a long way to reinforce the stereotype.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 10:41 AM

Well, you really ought to do some research. Half of the folks who spoke against building at VH at Saturday's meeting lived far away from VH. Even your editor is against this ridiculous choice of location. You ought to speak to the possible illegal activities re holding secret meetings when a public body is proposing a public building on public property.

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