It is all good — well, mostly all good — that Forest Park’s village council voted Monday to approve final plans to construct a 10-foot-wide walking and biking path along Van Buren Street from Madison Street to the start of the Prairie Path, adjacent to the CTA terminus property.

We’re all for encouraging walking and biking. Connecting Forest Park to both the Prairie Path as it heads west and to the Des Plaines River Trail as it follows the contours of the river is solid progress. That some half of the cost is being funded by Cook County is great and appropriate.

So where’s the nagging question? Maybe less a question than an observation, and one offered up by Ralph DiFebo, a local who is both a proponent of the path and an activist on future use of the adjacent village-owned Altenheim property. He has questioned the timing here. Since, some 20 years in, there is still no formal plan for how to use the Altenheim site, DiFebo wonders if locking in the path on the edge of that land is prudent.

There is headway on making an Altenheim plan. A committee exists. We’re grateful but still perplexed on why this has all taken so long.

‘News’ as a weapon of the right

Our focus and our profound concern over aggressive political disinformation most often focus on Fox News, virulent podcasters, and the anonymous scourge of social media. All worthy of contempt and response. 

What we can’t lose sight of is when far right extremism infiltrates our communities. It is happening right now. Efforts to shut down equity work in local public schools, to ban books in public libraries, to bully bakeries hosting drag shows. None of this is in isolation.

Across the communities covered by Growing Community Media flags, the past two weeks have brought mailed delivery of the West Cook News, the far right’s grotesque rag masquerading as a community newspaper.

Make no mistake, this is pure propaganda, attempting to fuel hate and fear and rooted, as is all white supremacism, in explicit and virulent racism. It is bought and paid for by dark money in our politics and it is propagated by despicable Trump Republicans such as radio host Dan Proft. Somewhere in here, we also are confident we will find the fingerprints of Brian Timpone, the former River Forester, who disgraces his roots in journalism in ever more sinister ways.

We have had calls from readers who have found West Cook News bundled in their mail with the Forest Park Review or Wednesday Journal and asked if we have a hand in this democracy-demolishing product. Unequivocally no. We would expect this West Cook News assault to continue through the November election.

If you read it, understand its motivation to divide and enrage. And then dismiss it.