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Improbablity of community.

Recently I re-read parts of a book written about 50 years ago by Hannah Ardent.

In it she spoke of the infinite improbability of a universe, the infinite improbability of a planet like ours forming within it, the infinite improbability of a human race developing and accommodating itself to the conditions on it and the infinite improbability of a civilization developing, now having an impact on this planet and nearby space.

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Rolling With the Punches

Every day for the past few months staff at Lake Bluff School has been passing through the changing doors that open to the parking lot. We used to have to come down a ramp, stand at the door on the right, ring a doorbell and open the door on the left. When we entered the 21st century, we swiped our way in on the left and pulled open the door. Better. All the while, however, even though a sign said wheelchair accessible it really wasn't and everyone knew it. Anyone in a wheelchair has a devil of a time trying to get in and get out on their own. But one day something had changed. An automatic door had finally been installed but it became clear that there were just a couple things the installers forgot to think about…

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"I would have liked to be happy for just one hour a day.”

Aging societies.

Echio Sato an 81 year old Japanese woman lived with her son and his family in Tokyo but they did not talk to her, or involve her in family life. And she could not afford to move to a retirement home. She wept every day.

My food was left in the kitchen for me and I ate on my own... I would have liked to be happy for just one hour a day.”

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Pain trauma and death.

Treatment of seniors in homes

A recent review of nursing homes highlights serious failures in care that causes residents to suffer unnecessary pain, injury, trauma and death in its June 2008 report by the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

These accommodations, not as rosy as they might appear. Shorewood elderly should form an overseeing group to check in on our elderly as they seek these accommodations.

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Ideas do become realities, Mr. Johnson.

Public art and public space

The same people that pay village taxes pay school board taxes.

There's plenty of unused space in our schools and the seniors of this community are in need of space for their activities.

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21st Century Schools and the No Money to Operate Them

The key to managing larger class sizes is the willingness and ability to let go of your power. I know this is an issue in Shorewood and all over the country. While there is a general gut agreement that lower class sizes must be better, there is this thing called a budget which, when other things have been cut, comes at class size caps like Edward Scissorhands. But before we cut class size, I suppose we could cut other things. Remember though, once things go you don’t often see them return. Kind of like when you dump a boyfriend and insist you can still be friends. You never see him again.

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Dear Mr President Guy Johnson --- while you are running for the State Legislature --- do you care what is happening to Shorewood businesses ?

The President of the Shorewood Village Board announced in his candidacy for the State Assembly --- an excerpt follows:

 " Shorewood President Guy Johnson Offers Wealth of Experience in Run for State Assembly

By Guy Johnson User
Posted: May 8, 2008

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e.e.may have been on to something

As I come to the end of this year, for some reason I find myself thinking of ways to prank the teachers I am sending my kids to in fall. Harmless ways, like telling them there are 8 continents or 27 letters in the alphabet but the last one is silent. That got me to thinking about all the things we were taught and continue to teach in some places, that are just rong. For example, the sun does not come up in the east. The sun is always up. This kind of oops teaching has long term ramifications. I still remember when I was in my 20s and walking along the lakefront with a friend very, very early in the morning. It was “sunrise” as the first saboteurs called it. “Wow”, she said in her best 70s sigh. “I wonder what that looks like to the people in Michigan.” Okay, point made.

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I Hear Sirens

If there’s one thing Shorewood students have down, it’s how to react in the event of a tornado warning. Yesterday was perhaps the weirdest last day I’ve had here in Shorewood. Everyone was ending the year, the sixth graders were having their ceremonies, people were having their parties, parents were there to say good-bye to that year’s teacher and it all came to a sort of fast, then eerily quiet, to a fool me twice type animation throughout the halls.

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Shorewood President Guy Johnson Continues to Show Lack of Leadership

BID, CDA, Local Merchants, Parking, Politicians & Politics, Shorewood Businesses, Streetscape, Village Administration

For the last two weeks I have been writing about the ineptitude of Shorewood Officials in relation to No Parking on Oakland --- when there is No Work being done.


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Is it Time to Consider Recall Elections for Shorewood Village Board Members ?

BID, CDA, Local Merchants, Parking, Politicians & Politics, Shorewood Businesses, Streetscape, Village Administration, Walkable

 As my Dear Old Granny use to say "That Person could Screw Up a One Car Funeral" ............

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UROK-Time for portfolio progress reporting

Okay, so you have your child’s report card. You open the envelope and unfold. The letters or numbers don’t say much, so you go to what you know--the comments. Comments fall into several categories. First there are the generic phrases teachers write when they don‘t really have anything else to say, but do want to mark the end of a year with the child of the parents now reading. These include:

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Parking Problems During Streetscape Finally Getting Attention

BID, CDA, Local Merchants, Parking, Politicians & Politics, Shorewood Businesses, Streetscape, TIF, Village Administration

 As readers of this blog know, I have written "ad nauseam"  :-)  about the lack of consideration for small business parking in areas where there is No Construction Work being done, but No Parking signs are left posted --- and tickets are written for patrons of businesses and residents who might have "logically" thought if there is No Work going on, parking for a few minutes should be ok --- Wrong !!


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Police, You Can't Outrun a Ford with a Motorola !!

This hit the fan this afternoon just after 5PM right outside our front door!

I heard a car rev to top end, followed by two thumps and someone yelling:



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Green Begets Green

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about words and how the use of them can be rather chess game-ish. If you know what you want and how to best say it to the people you want to hear you, points can be made and taken by your target audience. For example, the report card comments I wrote about last time. You can say what you want, transfer the information but avoid the drama some wording incites. If one can word report cards, work reviews, recommendations to make the sale of their ideas, I figured the same skills might work in the area of real estate, which as you know is going through quite the unnatural disaster.

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Village Board Selects New Trustee Clone --- Big Project Loving Tax and Spender

CDA, D2D, Politicians & Politics, Schools, Taxes, Village Board

 Deciding not to let the voters of Shorewood elect a trustee to replace Phinney who resigned his seat, the Village Board interviewed 12 applicants ..........


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Shorewood Sets New Record for Streetscape Obsolescence

CDA, Parking, Streetscape, TIF, Village Administration, Village Board

 Shorewood had finished Streetscaping North Oakland Avenue just a little over 10 years ago, when it decided the multi-million dollar project was obsolete. 

Other than a need to level the pavers in the parkway, most folks did not think there was a need for a total redo.

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I had a dream last night that I got to my classroom, opened the door and prepared to set things up for the new year. The carpets were clean, countertops shining and all the furniture stacked in the middle of the room awaiting my designer’s touch. This year, maybe I would put the reading table where the loft is over in the corner. I eyed the space and thought it would work perfectly; a corner spot with protection behind me, panoramic view ahead. The children would have their backs to the rest of the class so they could focus solely on whatever gems were coming out of my mouth that morning.

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The Reasoning Behind the Ban on Overnight Parking In the Shorewood (or the BAY)??

Light Rail, Parking, Police, Taxes

On is an excellent blogger, Kevin Buckley, who recently wrote a posting about getting a ticket for parking overnight in front of his house ----  (you can read his entire posting at:

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Uptown, Upscale, Uncommon

Is that the new Shorewood brand? You hear about McCain’s brand, Obama’s brand, Paris Hilton’s brand, and hundreds of others. It’s the new in word for style I guess, and it has become a well worn noun on cable news. When I was considering moving here in 1989, Shorewood intoxicated me, tossing back her hair of peace, quiet and quaintness. She wore a small town calm and most importantly, was just out of reach of the big scary city. The brand included excellent schools, high quality arts programs, lousy football teams, excellent swim programs, a great dump and a village that treated residents like they were special.

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