Category Archives: Oak Leaves

Hedges as temporary pilot, Danny Davis had his chance, gun-totin’ mama

Oak Park’s new econ development creature to be headed for now by John Hedges:

Wes Venteicher of Chi Trib:

“My expectation for the next months is I don’t want to miss a heartbeat,” Abu-Taleb said. . . .

Phil Rockrohr of Oak L:

Hedges was the unanimous selection of the EDC’s executive committee, [its] release said. He will assume the position on Feb. 24, but only serve until the agency appoints a permanent executive director in a few months, it said.

Hedges was one of nearly 12 candidates reviewed by the board and the executive committee, the release said.

Like Holiday Inn, no surprises here. Businesslike boiler-plate report as befits business-development people.

Oak Park Newspapers at same session:

President Anan was asked by a woman who hesitated to put it but finally asked why Hedges? — whom Anan had roundly criticized, at least by implication, during their campaign.

Tiny pause by Anan, who knows how to use one, then: “Next question.”

Got a laugh, did not stop there.

“A lot is revealed about a man” in a campaign, he said. In any case, the choice was “for the village as a whole, regardless of how I feel personally.”

“Knowing what I know” about how government works, he said, “it takes time to find the right person.”

Hedges is a “temporary pilot” for this vessel of business development as it moves “from old to new.” He “is a placeholder, we know that.”


He coulda been a senator:

[Rep. Danny] Davis noted that [then-Gov.] Blagojevich, who was convicted in a corruption case in 2010, including for trying to sell the U.S. senate seat once belonging to President Barack Obama, had offered Davis a U.S. senate appointment. Davis rejected the offer, which came after Blagojevich’s 2008 arrest.

“Knowing how people felt about him, I declined the appointment and said, ‘No Mr. Governor, can’t do it because I think the perception is so great in terms of how you have handled your office that a person would have a hard time getting elected,’” Davis said. “Although it would have been great to be a United States senator. Oh my God, it would have been wonderful.”


It’s in the air they breathe . . .

What a story out of Detroit, where a gun-totin’ mama defended house and home and children from three punks, who fled.

We have no such heroines in OP or Chi area, do we? No one has fired a weapon in self-defense with such a result?

That’s one possibility. Another is, dare I say it? mine-run mainstream liberal bias, whereby gun-totin’ mamas are not really grist for the mill. Tsk, tsk.


Common Core is coming. What is it?

Oak Park District 97 parents, others hear about Common Core standards – Oak Leaves.

First, less remediation:

First, we want to see less remediation happening,” [consultant] said, referring to students who end up having to take remedial courses after high school graduation.

More nonfiction:

Lisa Schwartz, director of teaching and learning for District 97, said educators are talking about changes like having students read more nonfiction, and incorporating reading that ties into other subjects, Schwartz said.

What’s not to like in these samples, as good as any offered in the article? There’s much, much more to the program, of course.

via Oak Park District 97 parents, others hear about Common Core standards – Oak Leaves.

Meanwhile, Common Core State Standards are under attack for a # of reasons, including their potential for federal (vs. state and local) control. Read about it here if you wish.

Abu-Taleb hits hard in Oak Leaves story

In the last full week of the campaign for Oak Park village board president, candidate Anan Abu-Taleb comes on hard:

Abu-Taleb argued that at the heart of many village problems is an insular candidate slating process that excludes most citizens.  “Candidates for the (Village Manager’s Association) pledge their allegiance to a party and not to the community,” he said.

. . . .

“If I wasn’t running, there’d be no talk of our financial condition, of the structural deficit,” he said. “I’m saying we have to do something now. We need to change before we’re forced to change.”

. . . .

“The issues are the financial issues, the debt, the empty store fronts. Those issues are directly threatening the base this community is built on,” he said.“Our government is indifferent, we think we’re better than others,” he said, calling that a mistake.

“We’re good. We’re not better than other municipalities. We need to say, ‘Oak Park is open for business.’”

. . . .

Abu-Taleb estimated Oak Park has “spent close to $150 million over the years on business development and look what we have on Madison Street. Empty store fronts.”

Running alone, he’s not alone, he says.

He scoffed at suggestions his inexperience and outsider status hampers him.

“Don’t tell me that I can’t bring six people together to benefit the community.”

He added that he does have support among the current village board. “Two trustees urged me to run for this office too,” he said.

Two other incumbent trustees are running unopposed, as is a non-incumbent for trustee and the incumbent village clerk, all with Village Manager Assn. (VMA) endorsement.