When most residents think of Forest Park businesses – or even Forest Park as a whole – the small and unique shops that line Madison Street are likely to come to mind. Brown Cow, Two Fish, Chix with Stix, Team Blonde, Deedee & Edee, the list goes on and on. The family owned, local stores are the pride and joy of Forest Park. As Laurie Kokenes of the Chamber of Commerce told the Review – and we agree – these entrepreneurs and community businesses play an incredible role in lending the small town charm that the village rightly boasts about.
Drive a few blocks south to Roosevelt Road, however, and the shopping atmosphere changes quite dramatically. Cars speed down the busy thoroughfare and navigating through the crowded mall parking lot can be a challenge in front of the large retailers. What’s more, the owner, let alone manager, of Walmart, for example, is not going to greet you by first name at the door.
But the fact is that those large retailers have a remarkably powerful impact on the village’s economy. As reported by the Review this week, more than 60 percent of the village’s sales tax revenue is dependent on these businesses. Mayor Anthony Calderone told the Review it would be “devastating” for the village if one of the big name stores such as Ultra Foods were to close.
Each street has its advantages and disadvantages for Forest Park. Though big box stores don’t necessarily incite pride and passion among residents, they are important to Forest Park, too.
We’re sorry to hear that a couple of punks have been intimidating senior citizens in town by asking for money on Halloween instead of candy. It’s not nice and not fair to those already gracious enough to doll out sweets for free. Rather than call off Halloween altogether, though, as these concerned seniors asked, we hope for a better solution.
Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition that kids greatly look forward to each year. The door-to-door interaction brings the community together and bolsters relationships among neighbors and school children.
Adding an age limit to trick-or-treating seems like a fair attempt at curbing the problem, but it could be pretty hard to judge and monitor, especially since kids are masked and decked in costumes. Instead, call the police if you see some kids causing trouble. If residents don’t want to participate, period, then just don’t answer the door. Turn the front lights off or even put out a sign.
We just don’t want to take away the fun experience for all the good little Princesses and Spidermans out on the town.