Matters and musings from Sharon:

Our new Review

It doesn’t get much better than this. Blogging from a delightful foodie, a mixologist(!), our favorite healthy life guru, vitals from the Historical Society and Kiwanis, super energy in the comments, the best editor in ages — and Matt Walsh is running for office again. Let’s all take a moment to count our town’s many blessings.

512 Desplaines

Great work, Forest Park. The problem/resolution process worked just as it should. The Health & Safety commish inspected the ruins, publicly updated the council and suggested a teardown, the local newspaper covered the story, citizens demanded action and village hall found the resources to get the job done. Ah, movement.

Video gambling? You decide

Citizens United in Forest Park will present an informational discussion on Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 500 Hannah Ave. As you know, the village held a public hearing on this issue in November and it turns out that understanding and evaluating the issue is more complex than previously thought.

This will be a pro/con discussion and the speakers are experts in their field. Also joining the discussion will be a “from the trenches” report from a Winfield resident on a similar initiative that was defeated Nov. 6 via referendum.

All are welcome and we trust your evening will be a worthwhile investment in understanding this current and important issue.

Full disclosure: I presently serve on the CUinFP board.

The jerk factor

I promised Daly Dish commenter, “Derek St. Holmes” (someone posting under the stage name of Ted Nugent’s guitar player), to address his blog question in this column: Derek wants to know why some of his comments are getting tossed in the trash by moderators. Since I am not a moderator, I don’t know his exact offense, but I’ll guess that his deleted posts were unhinged, devoid of any substance, and just a straight-out hateful, personal attack.

As fate would have it, the new Forest Park Review website archive has not included the many lively comments posted over the years. This is a sad loss, which has to do with an enormous computer-coding task in a tight newspaper economy.

But a silver lining: The new FPR comments are live!

And though editors have the right to retroactively block or moderate certain IP addresses, you have a fresh new start, “Derek.”

There are a handful of “Dereks” on our local Internets and they very much want us to behave as though village hall is a sacred cult instead of a regular ol’ taxpayer funded village government in a democracy. It’s not clear if Derek would relish the role of Head Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada or is just an anonymous phoof.

But anonymity is not the problem. The problem, which I track to at least 1999, is that the “Dereks” are deeply destructive to decent discussion (yep, they’ll wreck the joint if you let them); they never offer anything resembling facts, substance or an informed opinion (they are the kings and queens of rumor, innuendo and flat-out nonsense); and instead project their own fears and limitations onto their conjured enemies. In other words, they see the expression of differing views as an existential threat to their well being. So yeah, they’re bullies.

Curiously, they post almost solely around village hall issues and village hall elections and apparently believe that if they repeat the same five or so adolescent personal attacks just one more time, folks will take them seriously. So yeah, they’re boring.

I hope this has been helpful, Derek.

Merry Christmas! Eat, drink and be merry, y’all.

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