Wednesday, September 14, 2005

OP&RF today

Dominican U.’s easement-seeking enters a new phase, as here, where we read in Wed. Journal of OP&RF:

With the belief that any legal uncertainty over the ownership of a small swatch of wooded land along Thatcher Avenue has been resolved in its favor, Dominican University will move ahead with zoning applications to build a parking garage and classroom building on the west side of its River Forest campus.

. . .

At the heart of the matter is village approval for a driveway curb cut along Thatcher Avenue between Division Street and Greenfield Avenue. If that driveway is OKd, it would allow new access to the west side of the campus and lead to construction of a 550-car parking garage and a new Academic Building.

Legal advice and Forest Preserve District support in favor of DU is bolstered by heavyweight political support from county commissioner and Elmwood Park mayor Peter Sylvestri.  River Forest village administrator Chuck Biondo says RF is aboard.  It’s all in the wake of extensive protesting by OP resident Victor Guarino and others who argued last March that the land belongs to the Forest Preserve: “There hasn’t been a thorough enough study of this.” Characterizing the current turn of events as “very complicated,” Guarino insisted that the Cook County Board of Commissioners, which administers the Forest Preserve district, has never told the university that it owns the property.

“[Board president John] Stroger said [last] Wednesday that he never told Dominican University that they owned that land,” said Guarino. “We’re calling for an independent legal counsel to review this.”

Stroger doesn’t turn up in the latest story, being perhaps busy with other things such as allegations of corruption on the board he heads.


Elsewhere we read that “Planning is socialism,” a point of view that runs against the Oak Park and maybe River Forest grain these days.  It’s at, which Calif. Assemblyman Ray Haynes [], representing parts of Western Riverside County and Northern San Diego County, says in part:

Anyone who thinks that planning for "growth" is anything other than a exercise in futility is still experiencing the mind-altering visions that their college chemicals visited upon him or her so many years ago. Today's planners meet in little rooms, draw pretty pictures on paper maps, use the prettiest crayons they can find, and — whamo — the city has a plan. Wonder and utopia are supposed to follow, and never again will the city experience traffic congestion or cosmic disharmony.

Ouch and double ouch from OP, where plans proliferate.  Haynes gives chapter and verse on how plans don’t work in California, concluding:

We know that socialism is a failed experiment, as demonstrated by the failure of the Soviet Union, socialism's most devoted practitioner. My socialist colleagues in the Legislature, however, think that they are smarter than the Russians and that socialism will work here in California if we just have the right plan. The most recent polls tell us that the public is not satisfied with how we are doing our job. Maybe we should try something different, like freedom and free enterprise, the principles that made this country great.

As they said in the (mostly imagined) 60s barricades, right on!

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