Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rethinking Crandall-Arambula?

NE Side robberies have residents more than alarmed: they are sick of it and won’t take any more of it.  More than 230 showed at Hatch school for a meeting with police.  The ubiquitous Deputy Chief Scianna led discussion.  Janice Sanchez is resident in charge.  She was delighted at the turnout and residents’ response.  NE Side is adjacent to the high-crime thickly populated N. Austin neighborhood (of the city, Chicago), some of whose residents apparently look on Oak Parkers as easy pickings, coming at them in alleys when they put cars in garages at night.  They show guns and get money.  One woman spotted them as she backed into her garage — never back in: you can back out in the morning when the coast is clear — and changed course, heading back into alley, which she exited with horn blaring.  OP’s top cop has told residents to skip overnight parking ban and put the damn vehicle in front, which is common sense.  Neighborhood watch is in high gear.  Stay posted.

Elsewhere, recently elected Peter Barber has questions and objections at OP elem school Dist. 97 board meetings.  Board is attacking something called “accountability,” which seems to be willingness of professional educators to bring citizens into the act, as through board’s writing questions for teacher– and principal-evaluation questionaires.  This board is setting goals — it’s a school district, for gosh sakes: it doesn’t know its goals?  Another new boarder, Julie Blankemeier, is “skeptical” about said goals, which seems reasonable.

On the village board side, (also) new trustee (all from last spring’s elections) Greg Marsey alluded to a goal of village government, “to make business districts more attractive.”  This is our local mercantilism, which is clearly the path that OP has chosen.  Streets are torn up and remade, buildings are bought and managed, cul-de-sacs are installed, downtowns are sometimes redone (but not The Avenue, OP & Lake St., the true heart of the village).  What if the village let the market decide such things?

Meanwhile, Ken Trainor chronicles an episode in mercantilism in his very readable, very informative story about the bus trip to Lake Forest and points west and south to LaGrange and Elmhurst, in which a non-profit planner seeks business for his organization — oops, does the civic-responsible thing — by showing trustees and village staffers how quaintness survives business expansion.  The story has only one damning feature: Trainor uses a neologism, “kibbutzing,” when he means discussion.  Neologism because a kibbutz is a settlement in Israel, noun not verb, and anyhow he means “kibbitzing,” which means looking over the shoulder of a card player or eavesdropping but commonly, erroneously is used for discussing.  Tsk, tsk.

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