In and Around Park Forest – April 20, 2009


Orchard Fresh Market will celebrate its Grand Opening May 1 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:00 p.m. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Updated 4-20-09 at 2:03 p.m., with new information from GSU re: Mid East Panel Discussions.

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week or if you would like to announce personal events such as engagements, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc., please send an e-mail to Rosemary Piser, Associate Editor, with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest – Manager’s Office

Commissioner Steve Lloyd Recognized

Stephen Lloyd, the longtime Chair and member of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners for the Village of Park Forest, was recognized this week with the Cook County Sheriff’s Senior Medal of Honor. The recognition took place as part of a ceremony in the Grand Army of the Republic Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center. Steve’s tenure with the Fire and Police Commission dates back more than 25 years, beginning in 1984, and he has had a part in hiring virtually all fire and police personnel currently on Village Staff serving the citizens of Park Forest. Given the positive feedback the Village receives in its annual community surveys and the rapport that has been established by the public safety departments and the residents of Park Forest, Mr. Lloyd has established a tremendous legacy of service to fellow Park Forest residents.

In attendance for the ceremony were Mayor John Ostenburg, Fire and Police Commissioners Mattie Allen and Ida Calloway and several members of the Village Staff.

Meeting with School District 163

Village Manager, Tom Mick, Director of Recreation and Parks, John Joyce, Police Chief, Tom Fleming and other Village Staff met with representatives from School District 163 this week. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss proposed construction work to be done on the Recreation Center at Forest Trail Middle School and how this work might impact Village operations related to summer youth and recreational programming.

Vehicle Sticker Sales – Animal Registration

Village Hall will be open Saturday, April 25th from 9:00 a.m. until noon for vehicle sticker sales. The deadline to purchase a vehicle sticker before penalty charges are assessed is Thursday, April 30th. Vehicle stickers are $40 and there is a discounted rate of $20 for senior citizens.

Animal registrations, also due April 30th, are available from Village Hall for a fee of $10. The Village requires a current rabies vaccination certificate in order to register your pet.

Village of Park Forest – Community Development

This week, 200 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector-initiated and referral/complaint.

In new construction/building permit activities in the first 13 days of April, 19 permits have been recorded. Over the past 5 years, the month of April has averaged 67 permits being issued. At our current pace, 44 building permits could be issued this month. In April 2008, a total of 64 building permits were recorded.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, information gathering and court proceedings continue in the Thorncreek case.

Village of Park Forest – Economic Development

Economic Development Staff from the Village and Staff from Olympia Fields and Richton Park participated in a web conference on Zoning for Transit-Oriented Development at Village Hall on April 15th.

Park Forest Fire Department

The Park Forest Fire Department responded to 44 calls for assistance this week, including 8 double calls. Mutual aid assistance was provided to the Matteson Fire Department for an auto accident. Automatic aid assistance was received twice from the Richton Park Fire Department and provided once each to Richton Park and South Chicago Heights.

The auto-aid response to Richton Park was for a heavily-involved structure fire on Imperial Drive in Richton Park. Park Forest Fire personnel assisted in the fire-attack operation, including the use of a 2” hand line on one side of the fire in support of the Richton Park interior attack crew. The department also provided a safety officer at this fire scene to assist in monitoring the overall safety of the emergency incident.


This week, members of the career division continued the process of preparing for their next required paramedic continuing education examination on medical emergencies and strokes. Each paramedic must complete required reading and study booklet prior to the examination that discusses the signs, symptoms and appropriate treatment for the medical conditions assigned. This is the second of three such sessions each paramedic goes through in a calendar year to maintain their skills and license.

The paid on call division (P.O.C.) will be reviewing the operation of the department ambulances and ambulance equipment this week. As medical calls account for more than 60% of department responses, all members need to be well versed in the operation of these vehicles and their equipment. The P.O.C. division added three new members on April 17th. These members came out of the original group of eight and have completed all the necessary steps for being accepted as members of the department.

ICS 300 Training

Park Forest is hosted an ICS 300 (Incident Command System) training class on April 15-16 at Freedom Hall. This class, taught by the Department of Homeland Security instructors, takes the next step in incident command and control for supervisors and management personnel. This class was open to all departments in the Village as well as responders, command and control personnel for surrounding communities. In addition to being valuable training, this class helps the fire department maintain its eligibility in certain grant processes.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Center (lower level)

Anemia Testing

On Thursday, April 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, the Park Forest Health Department will administer free hemoglobin tests for anemia at the Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, in Park Forest. No fasting is required! There is no need to make a reservation. If you have any questions regarding this test, please call the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118.

Health Stop

Rich Township women who are 60 years of age and older are invited to schedule their appointment for the “Senior Ladies’ Festive Tea” on Thursday, May 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Park Forest Health Department.

The Festive Tea and Tests are FREE. The menu of the screening tests are: PAP test, lipid (cholesterol) profile and glucose (fast 9 to 12 hours), urinalysis, hemoglobin (anemia test), stool occult blood screening with instruction kit, breast exam, height/weight. Don’t wait to call – appointments fill up quickly. Call 708-748-1118 to schedule.

Blood Pressure Screening

A free Blood Pressure Clinic will be held at the Park Forest Health Department Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-in or call ahead at 708-748-1118. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. .

Immunization and Flu/Pneumonia Clinics

Immunization and flu/pneumonia clinics will be held on Monday’s from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday’s from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Call 708-748-1118 for details and to schedule an appointment at the Park Forest Health Department. The Health Department is a low cost provider for children and adult immunizations.

Park Forest Public Works

Approved Agreements

This week, the Board approved the following Public Works Agreements:

  • A new wheel loader will be purchased to replace the old 1982 Caterpillar. The wheel loader model is the 2009 Case 621E, costing $104,200.
  • Indianwood Street lighting project from Monee Road to Blackhawk Drive.
  • Orchard Drive resurfacing from Sauk Trail to Lakewood Boulevard.
  • Rehabilitation of sanitary sewer system.
  • 2009-2010 MFT Street Sweeping contract in the amount of $31,150 was awarded to Elgin Sweeping of Chicago.
  • Annual contract for various Water Treatment Chemicals awarded to Viking Chemical, Linde, Inc., Brenntag Mid-South, Inc., and Stewart Spreading, Inc.

Field Operations

This week, a water main valve was repaired at 89 North Orchard Drive and a fire hydrant was replaced at 240 Krotiak Street.

Street lights were relamped and sanitary sewers were cleaned Village-wide. Branches were picked up from the wet snow of last week. Street light shorts were repaired on Blackhawk Drive and Oswego Street.

Storm inlets were cleaned due to the April 13th rain event.

Park Forest Recreation and Parks

Aqua Center

Herman Maldonado hosted the meeting of the South Suburban Pool Operators at Village Hall on April 15th. Pool operators discussed common concerns and issues involving aquatics operations.


John Joyce and Ken Eyer recently met with a consulting engineer and representatives of the Cook County Forest Preserve District to review plans to extend bike trails in the Forest Preserves east of Park Forest and north of 26th Street. Plans are to construct trails to the north and east to connect with existing trails in the Brownwell Woods in the Thornton/Lansing area. The District is seeking community input. The section near Park Forest that has the potential to connect to the Old Plank Road Trail (OPRT) if the one mile section of OPRT east of Western Avenue can be constructed. With the Cook County project and what Will County Forest Preserve has done from Joliet south, this short section of OPRT nearly completes a trail link from Kankakee River all the way to the Lakefront Trails in Downtown Chicago.

Human Interest

Diversity Dinners

The 12th annual Diversity Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 23. This annual event is organized to get together a diverse group of people to share a meal and conversation in someone’s private home. If you would like to participate in the dinner or would like to be a host, please call Barbara Moore at 708-481-5251.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Shop Locally

Orchard Fresh Market, 120 S. Orchard, and the Eagle Theater, 340 Main Street, are partnering to provide ‘free shopping.’ Present your Orchard Fresh cash register receipt to the Eagle Theater and purchase any concession, and get your movie ticket for free. But wait, it gets better.

When you present your Eagle Theater ticket stub at Orchard Fresh, you will get $5 off your purchase ($25.00 minimum purchase required). This offer is good through May 15th.

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard (Corner of Forest & Fir)

Dolls of the 1950s are on exhibit at the 1950s Park Forest House Museum through May 31, 2009. The Museum is open on Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group tours are by appointment. Call 708-748-3731.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following activities will be conducted this week at the Park Forest Library:

Tuesday, April 21, 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – PJ Storytime. Join us on a storytime quilt for a cozy evening of stories, crafts and snacks.

Wednesday, April 22, 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Its storytime training camp for children ages birth through 36 months and their caregivers.

Saturday, April 25, 11:100 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come join us and decorate your very own Earth friendly canvas book bag. We supply the bag, you supply the creativity. This program is open to all ages. Registration encouraged. Ask the Patron Services Department for more information.

Saturday, April 25, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 4-5-6 Interview – join Linda Baxter, of Baxter Consulting, on finding how to prepare for an interview. Registration is required.

For more information about these events, call 708-748-3731.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Walk, Downtown Park Forest

The musical THE IMMIGRANT continues through May 3rd. ITC’s production is directed by Etel Billig. The cast features ITC veterans Peter Robel as Haskell, Jessica Lauren Fisher as Leah, and Mary Jane Guymon as Ima. They are joined by newcomer Richard Marlatt as Milton,

Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $21 on Friday and Saturday and $19 all other times. For tickets, call 708-481-3510.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Five decades of the photography work of Richard Burd are presented in the exhibit “A Life in the Light” through May 2, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For more information, call 708-748-9132.

Center for Performing Arts at GSU, 1 University Parkway, University Park

Through the Eyes of a Friend —The World of Anne Frank will be presented on Wednesday, April 22, at 9:45 a.m. and 12 noon as part of the Center’s M.A.D.E. for Kids program. Recognized as a breakthrough production model for consciousness raising and educating individuals, the play encourages audiences to discover their personal awareness of stenotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Tickets are $6.00. For more information, call 708-235-2222.

Educational Lectures

Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park

Mid East Peace Prospects

The panel discussions on Middle East Peace Prospects scheduled for April 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. has been cancelled.  The event will be rescheduled.  GSU regrets any inconvenience. For more information call, 708-534-4951.

Two for Tuesdays

On April 21 the Director and Curator of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, Geoff Bates, will lead discussions about Michael Dunbar’s, Oscar Inclination and Christine Tarkowski’s, Working on the Failed Utopia. The discussions will take place at 12:30 and again at 3:45 p.m. in room D-1497. The talks take place indoors and involve no walking or touring of the park. For more information, call 708-534-4486.

Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Board of Trustee Scholarships

PSC is awarding Board of Trustee scholarships that cover tuition and fees for each semester the student is enrolled at PSC. To learn about the scholarship requirements or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.prairiestate.edu and select the “Scholarship” link. The application deadline is April 30th. For more information, contact Carissa Davis at 708-709-3562.

Annual Job Fair

Prairie State Collage will hold its annual job fair on Tuesday, April 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the atrium of the College. The job fair is open to currently enrolled students, alumni, and community members seeking employment. For more information, call 708-709-3755.

Annual Graduate Exhibit

Artwork from PSC students who will graduate in May will be exhibited from April 27 through May 21 in the college’s Christopher Art Gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 708-709-3636.

This and That

A Delicate Balance

A Delicate Balance is sponsoring its ninth annual brunch on Saturday, April 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Olympia Fields Country Club, 2800 Country Club Drive, Olympia Fields, IL. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will be the keynote speaker. Illinois State Representative Deborah Graham (D-78) will also speak on the challenges of being a single mom and politician. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Proceeds from this event are donated to local charities. To register, call 708-748-5325.

Open Auditions

The Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE) at Governors State University will be holding auditions for its production of “Into the Woods.” Roles for adults and children ages 8 though 12 are available. Individuals wishing to audition should visit the SLATE web site at www.slatetheatre.org to download the audition form and view character descriptions and casting requirements.

Auditions are scheduled by appointment only, which can be made by leaving a message on the audition hotline, 708-235-2244.

Sources: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report; A Delicate Balance; Park Forest Library, Tall Grass Arts Association, Illinois Theatre Center, Prairie State College, Governors State University, Center for Performing Arts, and Park Forest Historical Society web sites.