Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

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Sen. McCain and Gov. Bimbo

“Beauty fades, but dumb is forever” comes to mind when thinking of Alaskan Governor Palin. Yet, Forest Park Commissioner Mark Hosty was very impressed with Sen. McCain’s decision to pick a bimbo as his running mate. And she’s not just any bimbo; she’s a right-wing bimbo who’s able to spout right-wing ideology without entirely knowing what she’s saying. No wonder she caught the conservative eye of a Forest Park commissioner, she’s candy for the knuckle dragging crowd.

Governor Bimbo is a dream come true for any public relations firm. She looks great and her knowledge is completely fungible (to borrow a word). This bimbo can be counted on to say just about anything with a wink and a “You betcha!” Together they look like some sort of “Winky and Blinky” vaudeville act.

Of course, we are glad that our Forest Park commissioner is safely home and away from those who are upset with the Republican Party. By gosh, what possible reason could any citizen have for being angry with the Republicans? The past eight years is all in the past (ancient history) and Sen. McCain is 100 percent not George W. Bush – great!

There is one alarming similarity between Sen. McCain and our current president. That is, when the senator makes a bad decision he doesn’t reverse himself. He hunkers down proclaiming that everybody is wrong and that he is right while ignoring the obvious.

In our country’s name, with borrowed treasure, with the innocent blood of our soldiers and the innocent blood of Iraqi citizens, we were deceived into a war and occupation of a country that posed no threat to us and was not involved in attacking us. As a responsible citizen with a vested interest in the United States of America, in no way can this be rewarded.

As voters, shouldn’t our anger be directed at the political party that didn’t live up to its own “Contract with America”? Isn’t it time for some tough love?

Charles F. Magruder
Forest Park

My zoning journal

I’m about to fight for my property rights. Again.

“The no person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

It appears my property has been taken for public use without just compensation, or perhaps I’m just being deprived. The odds are yours has been, too. In every case the Fifth Amendment has a strong position on the issue.

In April 1998 the village silently passed an ordinance that took significant property rights from 70 percent (best estimate) of our property owners. That is not a typo.

As I write, my neighbor is building a new two-car garage on her legal non-conforming property. She simply applied for a permit and is having it built. As it does not exceed lot coverage and will be built safely this would be expected. Right?

Well … my property is a functional mirror image of my neighbors’ but I am waiting in the lengthy and expensive zoning variance line to ask the building department, the ZBA and the village council for permission to build a two-car garage.

I went through this process three years ago and the council ruled unanimously I was not allowed to “extend, enlarge, alter, change, repair …” my property. I’m sure many of you have a similar experience.

In the next month, I will be writing about the recent history and policies of property rights in Forest Park, and my journey through the building department, the ZBA and the village council as I attempt to take full ownership and rights of the property I purchased in 2003.

My intention is to create a public discussion of the history, intentions and problems of our policies. My focus will be on the legitimacy and effectiveness of our zoning laws, not their legality.

I sincerely invite you to follow along and get involved in the discussion at forestparkforums.com in the legal non-conforming topic.

I will also submit shorter pieces on the issue to this newspaper as letters to the editor.

Sharon Daly
Forest Park

Effective use of force?

I write about an incident on the night of Oct. 28 when Forest Park Police were asked to aid in the enforcement of a Chicago search warrant on South Marengo.

The apartment of an 18 year old, “apparently a known gang member,” to quote our chief of police, was forcibly entered with the deployment of four “flash bang distraction devices.” Whoa! Flash bang might sound like no big deal until you hear one. These are four hand grenades (without the shrapnel) that are thrust through freshly broken windows and ignited simultaneously inside your apartment. Have you ever been near a grenade when it went off?

If he thought it was the rival gang, he knew he was dead, and would likely have blazed all his firearms at both doors.

Chief, why risk our officers and create a disturbance designed for an al-Qaida outpost raid. As far as we know the alleged suspect broke no law in Forest Park. Do we have to bow to heavy handed Chicago methods that disregard the peacefulness of our Forest Park neighborhoods?

In defense of the chief, he sent an officer to each house with a hand carried letter explaining that we weren’t in danger that night. Let’s not do it again please.

And thanks for your service.

Richard Miller
Forest Park