Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A tornado in Orland Park last week?

JUST MY POINT EXACTLY. No one ever really cares about the Southwest Suburbs. Orland Park DID have a tornado but no one reported it, until now, a week later. Even the local papers missed the story. Here's a story in the Chicago Tribune that finally came out today and that officially confirms what many people in Orland Park have been saying all along. There was a tornado here, albeit not a huge whirlwind. (I say many because a few just were so drunk that during the tornado they thought they were sober.)

The wind ravaged my bedouin encampment in the backyard and I think my hookah got wisked away in one of those August 4th zephyrs. Trees were bent at 45 degree angles. The unkempt lawn at the Award Winning Orland Park Police Station -- which the village insists is an open lands project -- was howling in the wind. The debri that often covers the parking lot of the 151st Street and West Avenue strip mall just vanished, the winds were so bad. A above ground pool a few blocks away was lifted up and relocated in a neighbor's yard (and the village cited them for excessive water use during the summer water drought ban whatever.) The suburban stereotype of swingers and wife-swapping was replaced by garbage can swapping.

All we heard about was Bolingbrook, Bloomingdale and Griffith, Indiana.

All that and nary a mention in the local gossip pages. Isn't it like the news media and everyone everywhere else to just ignore us?

It's not just Orland Park that everyone is ignoring. It's the entire Southwest Suburban region. To the bosses in Chicago -- who control some of the politicians right here in Orland Park, hint, hint -- Orfland Park doesn't exist.

Here's my top 10 list of pet peeves about how the Southwest Suburbs are ignored:

10 -- We have a tornado and it takes 9 days for anyone to officially acknowledge it

9 -- Why is it the state has spent the past half century building expressways to serve the Northwest and North suburbs and all we get is some far out extension to help voters in Will and DuPage County?

8 -- Why is it that everyplace else get's efficient and round-the-clock public transit and all we get in the Southwest Suburbs is "After Thought." PACE, Metra ... the undependable lines.

7 -- The terms "Southwest Side" and "Southwest Suburbs" are often misused by the media usually to describe murder and mayhem in other areas like Little Village, or the far South Side. The far south side is NOT the Southwest Side.

6 -- The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times (which steals copy from the Southtown) takes very seriously issues of importance to residents in Winnetka and Skokie and Evanston, but they barely take notice of our region.

5 -- Political corruption and mismanagement are headline grabbing leads in other areas of the region, but very few serious journalists pay any attention to government corruption, waste, lying and deceipt when it takes place in Orland Park.

4 -- Why does the Southwest Suburbs have more racial hatred than other regions -- people are still steaming over the building of the mosque here

3 -- Chicago has made a pitch to bring the Olympics to the city in 2016 and the grand plans for the events involve every place else except the Southwest Suburbs.

2 -- Coffee at Starbucks in Buffalo Grove tastes exquisite, but in the three franchises in Orland Park, it tastes like dead possum!

1 -- How come Bernie Mac used to come to Orland Park and smoke his cigars through his oxygen tank tubes at local cigar stores and no one ever mentioned that?

Ray Hanania

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