Well the video gaming opponents pulled it off. On Monday at village hall, they turned in 2,939 signatures, enough to force a binding referendum on this never-ending topic on the November ballot.

That is 600 more signatures than required by law, which is good because organizers told the Review they expect their petitions to be challenged. We understand that petition challenges are a legitimate part of this process. However, we’d point out that in the absence of any semblance of leadership from the village council on this issue, a binding referendum is the single best way to bring a clear resolution to this otherwise endless debate.

The tensions within the business community, and then within the broader village, have to come to a conclusion somehow. While video gaming has for many months consumed all the oxygen in the public sphere, it isn’t the most important issue in town. 

Time for Forest Park to resolve this issue one way or the other and move ahead. 

However it goes, though, the petition organizing effort has been an impressive display of grassroots activism and congratulations are due to the organizers.

Proviso’s scholars

Congratulations also to six outstanding new graduates of our Proviso high schools for earning the first-ever Kiwanis Foundation scholarships. These young people, chosen from more than 40 applicants and representing each of Proviso Township’s three high schools, were honored in two academic categories. 

Three students demonstrated that “Persistence Pays” by posting strong grades throughout their high school careers. And three others were chosen for “Overcoming Adversity” by earning steadily improving marks across four years.

These scholarships — $1,000 for each student as they head to college this fall — are the result of the good work of our local Forest Park Kiwanis Club teaming up with the 209 Together group to very quickly create this program, solicit applicants and raise the money to distribute. 

This is great because it is all so wonderfully normal. Through various means communities coalesce to recognize young people for their good efforts. That tradition had fallen away in Proviso where a raft of problems disguises the truth that there are serious students in our schools, that opportunities are real and that raising up those students for recognition is essential in inspiring a nervous freshman, and that nervous freshman’s parents, that the path forward is real.

Forest Park ought to take pride that the impetus for this started with our local Kiwanis and the local District 209 advocacy group. We should be even more proud that in the spirit of inclusion that is at work in our high school communities these days that the money raised came from across Proviso and that the selection committee represented all of Proviso. 

This is a moment to celebrate.

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