Patrons, not money, are heart of business community

If you have children, you are well aware that the annual Trick-or-Treat on Madison Street was canceled. According to the article in the Forest Park Review, the Main Street Development Association made this decision because the Madison Street merchants wanted to make more money. While this is an admirable stance from a purely capitalistic point of view, we feel it is fairly short-sighted when put into the larger context of the community. This decision by the Main Street merchants has made many of us question our loyalty to them.

All of us have been lucky to participate in the fantastic growth of Forest Park over the last decade. Everywhere you look, there is something new being built, something old being revitalized. We are part of a vibrant, growing community and that is a very exciting and rewarding place to be.

Madison Avenue, and the merchants that line the street, are the visible center of this community. But the beating heart of that community is the patrons that keep those businesses alive. We think it is short sighted and foolish of the Madison Avenue merchants to cancel the showcase event that draws all of their regular patrons and potential new patrons. We think it is short sighted and foolish of the Madison Avenue merchants to cancel an event that lets them showcase themselves as the visible center of the community. We would urge each of the merchants that voted to cancel the event to review their books for this past weekend year-on-year with last year. We would urge them to review, year-on-year, their 4th quarter books at the end of the year. We would then ask them to reconsider their stance on the trick-or-treat event for 2007 in the light of their standing in the community.

All of us appreciate what the store and restaurant owners bring to the community; we hope they appreciate what the community brings to them.

Becky Tinkham, Chris Prouty, Lisa Brigham
Forest Park

Road race poorly planned

Who was in charge of the race which took place on Sunday morning, Nov. 5? There was no notification to residents in the area within the race borders. And the course was planned in such a way that it allowed no escape for anyone who had to leave the area by car, which I did.

Shortly after 9 a.m. I attempted to go east on Harvard, but up ahead I could see that Circle was blocked off by a police cruiser with lights flashing. Thus I went south on Hannah, a one-way street going south. When I got to the corner of Filmore, a couple of people were standing there, one of them holding up her hand for me to stop, which I did. At that point, there were runners going west on Filmore. Three or four cars stopped behind me. Finally the woman shouted at us that we would all have to back up the entire block. We each did this and I was now back to Harvard where I tried to go west this time but I could see that was blocked off up ahead and it was still blocked to the east. I went north on Beloit to Harrison where there was no escape to either the east or west and obviously none to the north since it was impossible to reach either of the bridges.

It was a good 45 minutes before I was able to escape from the area.

Who thought up this route which trapped everyone within it until the runners had passed? The route should have been planned so as to allow an escape route in at least one direction, but there was none. Also, the Forest Park police have the ability to notify residents by phone via recorded message of something which will affect them. They have done this in the past for different things. Why not this time if we were going to be effectively trapped for a period of time? If we had known the start time of the race, perhaps we could have left the area before the race started.

This is a case of extremely poor planning on everyone’s part and could have been life-threatening to anyone with an emergency. Let’s try to do better for future events like this.

Mary McManus
Forest Park

Glad to see it go

I would like to respond to the letters and controversy regarding the Trick-or-Treat on Madison.

I am a 12 year resident of Forest Park and I am glad to see it go. Trick-or-Treat on Madison started long before the street went “upscale.” Originally, it was designed as a marketing tool to promote and bring in business. The current merchants inherited the whole thing, and if they have determined it no longer suited their intended purposes they have every right to discontinue it.

The merchants of Madison have invested thousands of their own dollars, improving the shops and buildings that have turned the avenue around. They are greatly responsible for helping Forest Park to become the hottest thing since sliced bread. They have thousands of dollars of inventory in their stores that can be destroyed or damaged by unruly hoards of kids running in and out.

The last time my daughter and I attended we could barely get down the street or in and out of the stores. It was not really very fun for either of us! When I heard it being advertised on the radio last year, there was no way I was going to take my 5-year-old to be pushed and shoved around over a 5 cent piece of candy.

The mayor and some of the merchant’s thought it was a bad idea to discontinue the event. Seeing how large the event had grown, why didn’t any of our town officials suggest moving it to the town Park District or over to the Grove? Either of those locations would have provided a safe and fun setting for all of the various activities like the, costume parade, petting zoo, pony rides, games, etc. It could have been expanded and I am sure the merchants would have gladly contributed to the event by sponsoring a Halloween movie on the lawn, hosted a trick-or-treat booth or haunted house. The possibilities are many. The community center hosted a wonderful event on Saturday night that was well attended, well chaperoned and looked like the kids were having a lot of fun. There was also trick-or-treating in the neighborhood from 3-8 on Halloween. Kids could have gone to either of these events. As far as people complaining that their kids wouldn’t be getting any candy on Madison this year, how much candy do they really want their kids to have anyway?

Kathy Kucia
Forest Park

Candidate for commissioner

It is with great pride and the support of my family and friends that I announce my candidacy for commissioner for the village of Forest Park. I am a father of three boys ages 7, 9 and 17, and a 19-year-old daughter currently attending Loyola University Chicago as a sophomore. I am a self employed small business owner in Forest Park and currently serve as the president of Forest Park Little League. I have also been a member of the Brotherhood of Freemason’s since 1999, River Forest-Austin Lodge #850. I am an active participant in school and community events and a member of St. Bernadine Parrish.

My wife and I purchased our home two years ago, one half block from the home her family shared since 1988 on Marengo Avenue. I have grown to love this village as much as she does and we look forward to many more years in a community that has so much to offer. My children are involved in Forest Park soccer, Little League, football, tennis and swimming. We are dedicated Forest Parkers and take pride in making a difference in our community.

My children are also members of a privately run local organization called “Hugs not Drugs” created, primarily, due to the fact that we do not have a local D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. I believe we need more programs like this that are beneficial to the education, positive growth and socialization of our youths. We also need to build on other programs which are almost non-existent such as Neighborhood Watch and Community Policing. As a former police officer I received commendations for my performance in life saving incidents, volunteer service and overall outstanding service and professionalism.

My interests lie in strengthening our neighborhood safety as well as creating and enhancing the prosperous economic growth of Forest Park by making good governmental decisions.

I am honest and will perform my duties as commissioner with the benefit of the Forest Park residents, business owners, and most of all, our children and their future in mind. I will make honest and fair decisions based on all information available and after every voice is heard. I will not be influenced to make decisions which go against my principles and the betterment of our community to satisfy unethical favoritism. I am firm in my beliefs and standards and will perform my duties with unwavering dedication to the people of this community. No nonsense, honest public service is my pledge.

Anthony J. Lazzara
Forest Park

Perhaps it’s cheaper to travel

Thank you Bill Dwyer for putting into perspective just some of the wasteful spending that has apparently been going on routinely in Proviso District 209. I only have one question.

Given the fact that many of the new computers ended up in the homes of influential people within the District 209 hierarchy, and it will take an expenditure of close to $300,000 to relocate these computers to the areas for which they were originally intended, wouldn’t it actually be cheaper to go to Florida on the taxpayer’s dime to find grants rather than rely on the Internet?

Perhaps a host of a children’s TV show which was once very popular might put it this way: can you say twisted logic boys and girls? Sure, I knew you could.

David Meyer
Forest Park