Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hybrid-friendly Oak Park threatens pedestrians

Oak Park's policies on hybrid vehicles may threaten the lives of innocent pedestrians.  A federal government study notes that occupants of hybrid cars sustain fewer injuries in collisions (because the cars are heavier than comparable conventional vehicles), but hybrids place pedestrians at much greater risk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oak Park fights to preserve gridlock

As east-west commuters on the Eisenhower Expressway desperately struggle to pass through the Oak Park sphincter, wasting fuel and spewing pollutants into the air, village officials continue to fight expansion of the expressway, arguing that "enhancements" to the CTA's Blue Line will induce long-distance commuters to take the train instead of driving, making additional traffic lanes unnecessary.  (Oak Park promotes mass transit to ease Eisenhower congestion, TribLocal, 11/16/11.)

Sure, that's gonna happen.  Just pave over the entire village, and plant a couple of trees in the median, we say.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Oak Park Arts District

Protesters gathered in Oak Park to demand action from village elders (Wednesday Journal, 11/11/11), after realizing that Oak Park Arts District was a stupid idea from the very beginning. Three knick knack shops, a grimy resale store, a "hip" maternity store, a pretentious overpriced cafĂ©, and a used record store do not an "arts district" make.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Oak Park hypocrisy

Back in '06, Lane Bryant -- a retailer of larger-size women's clothing -- announced that it would be opening a store in downtown Oak Park.  Not so fast, said the village, explaining that Lane Bryant didn't fit the "kind and quality" of merchants that Oak Park desired.  The Gap across the street was just fine, so it wasn't about not wanting a chain retailer; apparently, Oak Park felt it already had its share of fat women.  (So much for diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, etc.)  Fortunately, the national media caught wind of the kerfuffle and shamed the village into letting Lane Bryant open its store.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"I pledge allegiance to the Earth ..."

In yet another example of Oak Park political correctness run amuck, school children in Oak Park once were required to pledge allegiance to the Earth.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Get Out the Way, Oak Park!

For years, Oak Park has been trying to block expansion of the Eisenhower Expressway, which narrows to three lanes in each direction as it crosses Oak Park, causing massive traffic congestion (not to mention unnecessary air pollution, which you'd think Oak Parkers would be hypersensitive to, considering that Idling Gets You Nowhere).

The village has used a variety of delaying tactics over the years, including demanding some sort of "consideration" in exchange for widening the expressway, and floating ridiculous schemes like "capping" the Ike by burying it in a two-mile-long tunnel from Austin to Harlem -- presumably, with trees and pretty flowers and rainbows and unicorns frolicking on top.

Oak Park's latest obstructionist tactic, reports the Oak Park Patch, is to "sensitize" transportation officials to the village's history and architecture by characterizing buildings near the expressway (including a Volvo dealership) as local landmarks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

That's racist!

"Oak Park looks at limiting beauty supply stores," reports TribLocal (9/9/11). “It’s not to say that they are undesirable, but if you have a lot of them right next to each other, it’s not the right fit,” says the village planner.

"Not the right fit."

Hmmm ... you mean like pawnshops, laundromats, and currency exchanges (all of which are illegal in Oak Park, according to the same article)?

Gee, I wonder whether this has anything to do with a concern about the clientele that those businesses might attract?  Better to let those folks stay in Austin where they belong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oak Park destroys the earth

Oak Park's free-parking-for-electric-cars program is contributing to the destruction of our environment.  It turns out that electric cars aren't so environmentally correct after all. They actually produce more carbon emissions than regular cars, and they go through more batteries that have to be disposed of.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oak Park dreams of conspicuous consumption

Borders bookstores will be closing soon, including the one in Oak Park that drove out nearby price-gouger Barbara's. Oak Parkers are whining about the loss while dreaming of alternatives that could fill the vacant space. Will it be an electric car dealership? A two-story Starbucks burnt coffee superstore? Or a spankin' new Apple Store for the sheeple? ("We think it's a no-brainer site for [Apple]," says the village manager. Sounds like a match made in heaven.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oak Park is not the answer.

Other things that are not the answer:
Michael Moore is not the answer.
Al Franken is not the answer.
Noam Chomsky is not the answer.
Lance Armstrong is not the answer.
Mohammed is not the answer.
ACORN is not the answer.
Four more years definitely is not the answer.
Canadian bacon is not the answer.
Letting your kids bite people at Gameworks is not the answer.

More things that are not the answer:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oak "No Park"

Oak Park is notorious for its scarce and expensive parking -- hence its nickname, Oak No Park. (Its other nickname is the People's Republic of Oak Park.) But parking is easier if you're driving an electric car. Under an ordinance enacted in 2010, Oak Park offers free parking for electric vehicles.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oak Park to pay big bucks to NRA

Earlier this month, a court ruled that the Village of Oak Park (together with the City of Chicago) is liable to the National Rifle Association for the attorney fees it spent successfully challenging the municipalities' handgun ordinances.  Gee, that's too bad--Oak Park could have put that money toward something worthwhile, like talking about preventing nuclear war, or talking about saving the environment, or talking about social justice.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wrong

Oak Park is known as the hometown of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. Hemingway fled Oak Park right after finishing high school, but Wright stuck around long enough to build some of his hideous high-maintenance houses here. Wright basically took simple mission-style architecture and made it grotesque, distorting the dimensions, adding useless ornamentation, and then delegating much of the real work to incompetent proteges -- which explains why many of his houses began falling down not long after they were built.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do

The Village of Oak Park is about to sign a five-year contract with Waste Management Inc. for garbage collection.  Garbage collection?  What happened to recycling, composting, and zero waste?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Will Oak Park never learn?

Years ago, Oak Park turned one of its major thoroughfares, Lake Street, into a pedestrian mall. The predictable disaster was eventually reversed; Lake Street was reopened to cars in 1989, and the remaining remnant of the boondoggle, Marion Street, was finally converted back into a regular street in 2008.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, as they say, and Oak Park is no exception.

A recent proposal would put one of the village's other east-west thoroughfares, Madison Street, on what proponents call a "road diet," eliminating some of the traffic lanes. "More and more people are riding bicycles," says one resident. But wherever will we drive our electric cars?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy anniversary, Papa!

According to the Chicago Tribune, Oak Park's Ernest Hemingway Museum plans to ignore the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's suicide on July 2, 2011, apparently hoping no one will notice. Fortunately, the truth is hard to hide: museum staff members confirm that visitors frequently ask about the old man's suicide.

It doesn't seem much of a stretch to speculate that growing up in Oak Park had a lot to do with his misery, either. Hemingway left Oak Park for good the first chance he got, and his father, Dr. Clarence E. Hemingway, also shot himself to death -- at his home in Oak Park.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Choose life?

Oak Park's four Catholic parishes offer a veritable smorgasbord of progressive choices for today's cafeteria Catholic.
"Four Parishes, One Church," Wednesday Journal, Jan. 12, 2010.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Oak Park gets you stupid

"Idling gets you nowhere," proclaims the annual vehicle tax sticker in loony Oak Park.

Wide lawns and narrow minds

"Oak Park is a neighborhood of wide lawns and narrow minds."
   - Ernest Hemingway