Park Forest to Add Gender Identity, Parental and Housing Status to Protected Classes

The Village of Park Forest will consider an item on Monday to add expand the definition of protected classes on its housing ordinance.

From ENEWSPF:

The second item [on the agenda] for action comes from Cook County. The Cook County Department of Planning and Development recently requested that the Village amend its fair housing ordinance to expand the list of protected classes to include parental status, gender identity, and housing status. The Village’s fair housing ordinance also must prohibit any activity that aids and/or abets housing discrimination, or retaliation against any person for the exercise of any rights under the Village’s fair housing ordinance, or the willful interference with the exercise of any rights under the Village’s fair housing ordinance.

Yes, I know Park Forest is making this move because Cook County wants it to happen.  However, keep in mind that Park Forest added “sexual orientation” to its housing ordinance in the 1980s, long before any other suburb in the Chicagoland area, and certainly long before most communities in the United States.  The measure passed publicly, without an bit of protest from the community or board members.  Park Forest has always been ahead of the curve.

It’s worth keeping an eye on Park Forest.

Two Shot in Park Forest; Police: Shooting Not Random

It must be terrifying to learn that a shooting occurred in your town, let alone on your street.

Residents of Nassau Street in Park Forest must have been a bit nervous, to say the least.

The Park Forest Police Department went door-to-door Saturday to reassure residents that the shooting was not random, according to the Chicago Tribune:

A woman who lives two homes down from where the police marked off the crime scene said she heard at least two gunshots while inside her home.

The woman, B.J. Wyatt, said one of the shooting victims was a neighbor who moved in recently, but she didn’t know how serious the neighbor’s condition was. She also had no information about any other victims.

“The police came around and let us know it [the shooting] wasn’t random,” Wyatt said in a telephone interview this evening. She said police have assured her that a gunman wasn’t “prowling the neighborhood” and that they know who the shooter is.

It’s reassuring when police personally alert residents after a tragedy.  A shooting in your town is always disturbing.

Police are searching for a suspect.

From eNews Park Forest:

The suspect is identified as Timothy J. Lucas, a black male, born on September 26, 1978, according to police.

Pulling the trigger changes everything.  I’m not going to pontificate on guns or gun control.

But I will ask, why can we not control ourselves?  Why can Canadians own guns, and not shoot other Canadians?

Why do we shoot each other?

Bring 30 Pieces of Silver for Chicago Parking Meters

Want to park your car for two hours in Chicago?  Bring 28 quarters plus a few more if you need more time.

Carol Marin says the hike in parking fees has caused a mild rebellion among commuters.  Apparently there are quite a few open spots on the streets of Chicago:

At noon in Wicker Park, where Milwaukee Avenue is usually packed with parked cars, there were open meters waiting.

And at 2 p.m. around the Sheraton Hotel on Columbus Drive, a place where normally you can’t crowbar your car into a space, there were at least three or four parking spaces. What’s up with this?

What’s up is that a month ago, when the City of Chicago privatized parking meters, rates were immediately jacked way up, and you now have to feed 28 quarters into the meter to park a car in the Loop for two hours. In exchange for a 75-year lease, the city got $1.2 billion to help plug its budget holes.

$1.2 billion sounds great in the short term.  But what about sustained revenue?  Did Chicago jump for short-term gain and lose long-term revenue in the process?  According to Marin, “parking tickets reap six, seven, even eight times more than what meters bring in.”  If no one parks, then there are no tickets.

The whole purpose of parking meters was as an urban planning tool, used to generate turnover so businesses could see a steady stream of customers who park for a short time, shop and leave, opening spaces for more shoppers.

And there’s the rub: parking meters exist now only to generate revenue.  They’re punishment for shopping.

There must be an army in Chicago writing tickets now.  A friend’s son pulled into a spot last week, but didn’t have any tickets.  He ran into a dry cleaning store for change to feed the meter.  Coming from the store just a few moments later, parking meter enforcement had already found his vehicle.  Now he’s paying dearly for that spot.

Want to go shopping?  Stay in the ‘Burbs.  Better yet, head to the South Suburbs.  The best deals are in the south.  Discover the affordable housing in Park Forest and have dinner at Bixby’s.  Visit Crete for antiques.  Head to Matteson to J.C. Penny’s or any number of other stores.

You can even park for free.

Deny Richie Daley and the LAZ Parking cabal their 30 pieces of silver.