CTA neglecting everyday commuters
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) unveiled plans to roughly double the service for the fair people of Forest Park on its Congress/Milwaukee, a.k.a. Forest Park branch of the Blue Line.

At the same time, the Douglas/Milwaukee, a.k.a. 54/Cermak branch service will be seriously degraded. After millions of dollars spent on the botched new 54/Cermak/Laramie terminal, the speed of the train increased to where it used to be 30 or 40 years ago. That is good. However, now “With the exception of a few rush hour trains, [this branch] would make use of an existing but unused section of track called the Paulina Connector to link up with the Green Line at Ashland before heading Downtown. Cermak rush hour trains that would maintain their current Blue Line route would only run once every half hour.”

That means inconveniencing all the people currently going downtown using the 54/Cermak branch. Who will benefit from the service on the Paulina Connector? The thugs on the “Murder Express” are the first that come to mind. Oh, and people like Mary Kay Minaghan who don’t use their branch every day or at all now, but might use it if their service improves: “It will make my use of the (Blue) Line much more regular,” said Mary Kay Minaghan, a Forest Parker who works out of her home but also makes frequent trips Downtown.” Never mind the people who do ride the 54/Cermak every day now and will be seriously hampered in their effort to get to their job downtown.

Why not double the service on the 54/Cermak and reroute every other train! Doesn’t that make sense?

It doesn’t make sense if the real interest is to further cut off and strangle the population of the West Side/Cicero area. Cut all the working class Latino kids off from the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and the University of Illinois. Deny service, depress property values, force the people to move. Once the undesirables are gone, 5, 10, 15 years down the road, the area will be “discovered”, after the immigrants, as usual, have fixed up the houses left behind by the old people stranded here during the stagflation of the 70s. Oak Park “tax refugees” from Forest Park will start migrating to Berwyn/Cicero/West Side to escape taxes once again. Even StarBucks will come at last.
Zenny K. Sadlon

Thanks for supporting the community center
On behalf of the Forest Park Food Pantry, I want to thank the following organizations, businesses and individuals for their very generous donations of many, food, gifts and/or time to our Holiday Basket Program: Father Frank, Ann Stauffer and the CCD Class, St. Bernardine Church; Chicago Bulk Mail Center (Forest Park Branch); Disabled American Veterans, Verdun Chapter 33; First United Church of Christ, Rev. Cliff DiMascio and Congregation; Forest Park Aerie No. 1344, Fraternal Order of Eagles; Forest Park Community Education Council; Forest Park Fire Fighters Association, Local 2753; Forest Park Memorial Auxiliary No. 7181; Forest Park Middle School Builders Club; Forest Park Ultra Foods; Mike Dizonno, GPI Trucking, Inc.; Mr. & Ms. Gysbert Menninga, 2005 Crop Walk; River Forest Park District; St. Peter Lutheran Church and West Cook County Chicago Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Reich & Becker Agency; United Methodist Women, River Forest United Methodist Church; Sgt. Eric Bell & Family; Jo Carlson; Sally, Chris and Tommy Cody; George Drucker; Dave Formanski; Betty Gilchrist; Carol Good; Donna & Rich Gray; Laura Hogan; D. Holub; Suzanne Jasper; Steve Knysch; Joanne & Cliff Leber; Leesberg Family; Rita Marcantonio & Family; Jim Papa; Linda Shrader; Chris Shorner; Frieda Schwenke; Arlene Sedlock; John Simonetta; Mike Sinisi and all who donated anonymously. Also a special thank you to Forest Park VFW Post 7181 for their continued assistance with our Pantry and Holiday Program, the Forest Park Public Works Department and Chief Steve Glinke and the Forest Park Fire Department. We would not be successful without all the help we receive. Thanks again and a very happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

Beverly Thompson
Community Center Director

Preservation ordinance to benefit the community
I wish to thank the Village Council for approving the Historic Preservation Ordinance. I am certain it will be a benefit to our community.

I also wish to thank the Historic Preservation Committee members for their efforts. In particular, Janice Collins for contacting other towns to discuss how their ordinances work. Rich Vitton is a font of knowledge regarding the history of our town, and brought and understanding of the standards and means by which properties are considered historic. Kim Zandstra, with Rich and Janice, brought the knowledge of actual experience restoring older homes. For those who have seen the map at Village Hall regarding the ages of properties, thank Kim Zandstra and Rich Vitton. Please understand that to create this map, they had to physically walk the streets. This small recitation does not do justice to their efforts.

I enjoyed working with all the members and look forward to future service to Forest Park.

Paul W. Barbahen
Preservation Committee