Next week we’ll all have a better idea of who’s running for what office when candidates submit their petitions to appear on the April 7 ballot. There are a number of races to watch in Forest Park, most notably the school board elections in District 91 and District 209. We’ve also heard that a few village residents will be in the mix for township offices, so keep your eyes peeled.

Following such a long and intense campaign leading up to November’s voting for the White House, it may be that not everyone is looking forward to another round of political maneuvering. Let’s see, because this is Cook County there will be slates and alliances. There will also be mudslinging, name calling, fundraisers, yard signs, robo-calls and corny photos taken for the sole purpose of flashing those pearly whites while pressing the flesh.

Uggh. Wake us when it’s over.

However, if there’s anything to be learned from watching the freak show staged by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Roland Burris and legislators in the House and Senate, it is this: We absolutely cannot pull the covers over our heads and hibernate. Scheming, selfish people will continue to run for office. There’s too much to be gained for a few indictments or wiretaps to keep them at bay.

The best scenario, of course, is to keep the crooked out of public office before they have a chance to hurt us. Prosecutors can’t do this, but the voters can. Elections in Illinois can get ugly, but the horror that can result when we avert our eyes is worse than anything we’ll witness on the campaign trail.

The missing Madison link

It is official. A hotel established exclusively for dogs galvanizes Forest Park’s status as a yuppie suburb.

Yes, there are still plenty of drinking holes, and we play our softball with bare hands – broken knuckles and all – but if the family pet is treated to bottled water and aromatherapy, well, there isn’t enough beer on Madison to reclaim our blue collar machismo.

Before anyone harrumphs at The Spot, which opened Jan. 12 at the corner of Madison and Circle, we would encourage you first to go check it out. Owner Peggy Bernar may be the sweetest person you’ll meet all day, and there are tons of ways for her business to partner with others already in town. She’s targeting a younger crowd that has a little disposable income and who are likely to believe that pampering is good for the soul.

But if the smell of canine pheromones makes your nostrils twitch, there are still plenty of places in town that will pour you a glass to steady your nerves. May we recommend an Australian Shiraz at HouseRed?


A photo caption on page 3 in the Dec. 31 issue incorrectly identified Diane Coleman as the director of the Progress Center for Independent Living. The text of that story, “2008 year in review,” correctly stated that Coleman was replaced in 2008 by Horatio Esparza.