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About the article in the Forest Park Review on July 10, “A Pretty Picture of An Ugly Truth,” about Ms. Rodriguez’s garbage portrait and the statement that it will be displayed at Exit Strategy—welcome to my alley, the 7700 block between Monroe Street and Madison Street. If there was a contest for Forest Park pollution—litter and noise—our alley would be right up there. 

This has been going on for years to no avail. 

Once, just before an election, the village sent a street sweeper through the alley. Our neighbors were in such shock they almost had to call “911.” After the election, no more sweeper—just litter. 

Once many years ago, Officer Michael Harrison visited us and other neighbors regarding alley complaints. A sign went up “Local Traffic Only.” It’s still there and it’s still being ignored. Michael received an award. We got litter and traffic. 

Recently Madison Street was beautified. We got more traffic and litter. 

Twenty eight years ago, my next neighbor, Cora, moved in. She’s been cleaning up litter ever since. Her son complained to Famous Liquors, as have I. They are more concerned about neighbors putting garbage in their dumpster. Most of the litter comes from them and their customers. 

There is enough litter for many portraits by Ms. Rodriguez. 

Our alley is also a race track and especially during rush hour—from Madison Street through the Famous Liquors parking lot to Jackson Boulevard, they are honking their horns all the way.

Before the last election, a candidate’s mother came to my door. I told her my story. She wrote it down. I voted. He won. So far no change. 

Come and visit our alley any time. You are welcome to pick up litter. Be careful you don’t get run down. You might become part of the litter. 

Arlene Troike 

Forest Park resident on the 7700 block of Monroe Street

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