Good for Forest Park bar owners for hosting what should be the first in a series of pre-election events making their case for supporting the continuation of video gaming in the binding referendum on the November ballot. 

The event last week at McGaffer’s turned out a good-sized crowd, though probably inevitably tilted toward gaming supporters. A greater effort could have been made to foster engagement with the smaller portion of gaming opponents who turned out in apparent good will.

That distance likely will be hard to bridge given the hardened feelings on all sides of this divisive issue. Doesn’t help, in our opinion, that the initial advertising from gaming supporters had a Chicken Little theme. Denigrating the motives of the opponents reminds us more of the dubious tactics that gaming backers have employed to prevent a vote than a persuasive effort to win new supporters.

We’re six weeks out from the vote. Both sides need to make their case in the clearest way possible. This needs to be about more than upset feelings over previous tactics. It needs to have context beyond the ability to plant lawn signs, though we admit we’ve started to count. There are real issues that need clarity. Can a ban on signage be made real and permanent? What are the true numbers on revenue to the village, the trend lines, the growth experience in other communities.

And, as we’ve said before, where is the broader economic development plan of which video gaming is but one part?

One straw at a time

So far at least two Madison Street food establishments have banished plastic straws, suddenly recognized as a notable contributor to ecological calamity. In our reporting last week, we reported that some 500 million plastic straws and drink stirrers are used each day in America. While some have questioned that number, no one is denying that actual number is gargantuan and, with just one-time uses, an extraordinary waste. 

Counter Coffee, our outstanding indie coffee shop at Madison and Circle, has replaced plastic with paper straws. Across the street at Healy’s Westside, straws are now on a request-only basis. Proprietors at both establishments report a very positive response from customers.

Here’s a trend we’d love to see sweep Madison Street. Giving us all something to cheer about and rally around would be great.

After Jayne Ertel, Heidi Vance and Mark Hosty, who is next? And/or who have we missed?

Parade to Proviso

It was a feel good event, that’s for sure. On a lovely early fall Saturday, the annual Proviso East Homecoming Parade launched from Madison and Circle and paraded out to Maywood’s Ninth Avenue before circling back to East.

This was a first, at least in living memory, and it reflects the continuing success of Proviso leaders in knitting this fractured high school district back together. “One Proviso” is the model and the motto, and it is an apt description of what was on display Saturday morning.

Good job by Forest Park police and village officials in welcoming the parade to our village.

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