In and Around Park Forest – April 6, 2009


Park Forest Village Hall. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Updated 4/9/09 at 2:08 p.m. with new information from St. Mary School.

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— eNews Park Forest today launches a new, weekly article titled “In and Around Park Forest.” The purpose of this feature will be to update our readers about activities and events occurring in our community during the week. In the future, this feature will also provide our readers with the opportunity to announce engagements, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other notable events. If you or your club, organization or local business wants to include information, please send an e-mail to Associate Editor Rosemary Piser.

Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest – Legislative Activities

Village officials were in Springfield this past week to meet with and pass along information to State Senators and Representatives serving Park Forest. Materials discussed and/or distributed included the Village’s 2009 Legislative Agenda, a comprehensive list of municipal projects that could use State and/or Federal assistance and any number of legislative bills currently being deliberated in either chamber of the State Capitol. In attendance on behalf of the Village were Mayor John Ostenburg, Trustees Bonita Dillard, Robert McCray and Georgia O’Neill and Village Manager Tom Mick. Special recognition should be made of State Representative Al Riley’s efforts to meet with Village Officials on two different occasions.

Village of Park Forest – Economic Development

Sam Montella, Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG), announces a new annual award to recognize Park Forest business owners who have made contributions to the betterment of the greater Park Forest Community. Nominations for the business owner who has achieved excellence in community service will be solicited from civic organizations, the general public, churches, schools, public institutions, non-profits, and recreational groups.

In addition, Chair Montella encourages business owners to self-nominate. “Now, more than ever, is the time to take stock in the value of the contributions you’ve made to improve the quality of life for the residents of Park Forest.” Montella suggest that business owners consider the various fund-raising initiatives they’ve supported, gifts they’ve provided for community events, teams they’ve sponsored, ‘pro-bono’ services they’ve offered, or any other activity that they believe may have made a positive difference.

Nomination forms can be found at www.villageofparkforest.com, or by calling Sandra Zoellner at 708-283-5623. Submit the completed nomination form to EDAG in care of the Village of Park Forest no later than October 30, 2009.

Park Forest Fire Department

The Park Forest Fire Department responded to 51 calls for emergency assistance this past week including 5 double calls. Automatic aid assistance was provided once to Richton Park and received once each from University Park and South Chicago Heights and three times from the Richton Park Fire Department.

On Tuesday, March 31, members of the department responded to a reported structure fire in the 300 block of Senecca. In addition to Park Forest units that responded, truck companies from Richton Park and University Park responded and an ambulance from South Chicago Heights. Units arrived to find lived in, but unoccupied single family home with smoke coming from the eaves. Personnel forced entry into the home and found a fire in the attic space, which had apparently been burning for some time. The fire was quickly extinguished, but extensive overhaul was required to determine the extent of the fire and to assure no hidden fires were left behind. Damage was estimated at approximately $20,000 to the bathroom, hallway and bedrooms of the home. No one was injured in this fire and the home was turned over to the occupants upon their return.

Last Friday, March 27, members of the career and Paid-On-Call divisions performed a combined drill at the Garden House senior citizen building. This training session reviewed the basic layout and systems within the building, the fire protection systems available to responders and the proper method for responding to high-rise incidents. In addition, crews stretched dry-hose lines from the stairway connections onto one of the floors, so the firefighters could become acutely aware of how far the high-rise pack hose would reach from any given stairway.

This week members of the career division strengthened their skills in the areas of pump operation and hose line set up. For this exercise the crews follow a National Fire Protection Association recommended evolution involving the advancement of a 2-1/2” hose line and by using a gated wye (section where the hose is divided into a ‘y’; subdivide that single line into two 1-3/4” attack line. This is a time exercise designed to test the skills of the firefighters and the pump operator.

Deputy Chief Ziegle attended the WILCO Fire Chief’s Training Committee meeting last Thursday, March 26, in Crete. The goal of the committee is to make training available to the division, that a single department might have trouble staging.

Park Forest Police Department

Chief Thomas Fleming was one of the featured speakers for the “Emergency Response and Sexual Assault Victims: Making a Difference” conference at the Union Club in downtown Chicago. The goal is to increase the number of cases going into the criminal justice program and having the best possible evidence in rape cases presented to the judges. It will be a collaborative effort among the hospital, community and legal system to assure rape victims receive a prompt, victim-centered response to the assaults.

Officer LaTara Chaney spoke with the kindergarten children from Aunt Martha’s about “Stranger Danger” and also spoke with the 3-5 year olds about Police Officers and how they help children.

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

Income Tax Preparation

Free income tax preparation, including electronic filing will be available for those over 54 years of age, as well as for all ages with middle or low income. This service will be available through Wednesday, April 15, and is being held at the Park Forest Health Department in the Park Forest Village Hall. For an appointment, please call the Rich Township Senior Center at 708-748-5454.

Access to Care

Can’t afford to see a doctor? Access to Care can help! If you live in suburban Cook County with a low family income, no health insurance, and ineligible for Medicare or Public Aid, you may be eligible for Access to Care.

Non-refundable annual enrollment fees are $20 for one person, $40 for two people and $50 for three or more adult members in one family. Access to Care offers Doctor’s Office Visits for $5, Prescription Medication for $10 to $30, and Lab tests and X-rays for $5.

Walk-ins are always welcome to sign up for Access to Care, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Park Forest Health Department. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information or if you would like a list sent to you about affordable health care clinics.

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

Public Works Director Ken Eyer attended the Friday, March 27, Technical Advisory group meeting (South Suburban Mayors and Managers) in South Chicago Heights. The purpose of this meeting was to award Surface Transportation Program Stimulus Funds to community members of SSMMA. Members submitted 32 million dollars worth of projects. This was reduced to the 9.6 million that was the SSMMA’s share of stimulus funds. Park Forest’s project will be the resurfacing of Orchard Drive from Lakewood Boulevard to Indianwood Boulevard.

On Saturday, April 4, the Water Plant hosted a tour for approximately 25 students and young professionals from the water industry. Sponsored by the Water Environment Federation Student Chapter, and American Water Works Young Professionals, guests toured the Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District Water Reclamation Plant and the Park Forest Water Supply and Treatment Plant.

Park Forest Recreation and Parks

This past weekend, 15-year old Eagle Scout candidate William McCarthy organized some 31 adult and teen volunteers to refurbish bleachers and picnic tables for the Recreation and Parks Department. Working in teams on Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, they managed to replace splintered and split boards, sand and paint two bleachers, four players’ benches and eight picnic tables. More work was planned but the inclement weather reduced the number of benches the teams were able to complete. It was calculated that this project saved the Parks Crew about 40 hours of labor.

Multidisciplinary Education for the Environment (ME4E) consultants Emily Kenny and Michelle O’Conner are conducting 17 days of environmental science classes for local elementary school students at Central Park Wetlands during the months of March through May. Well over 300 students will enjoy a learning experience in the wetlands this spring. The two consultants reported that the recently installed educational deck and the new interpretive signage installed through the recent C2000 grant have been wonderful additions for their work with the schools. On the cooler days they utilize the lobby of the bathhouse at Park Forest Aqua center for their headquarters.

Shop Locally

Orchard Fresh Market, located at 120 South Orchard Drive, has added brunch service to the “Café Within a Store” concept. From 8:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. daily you can buy scrambled eggs, biscuit, potatoes, and sausage or bacon for only $2.99. Every day of the week the deli serves lunch and dinner. Shoppers can also purchase complete seafood meals at the Seafood Bar. If you’re interested in receiving a weekly e-mail about their specials, please e-mail [email protected] to be added to the e-mail service.

Southland Catering offers a lunch special for Park Forest residents and businesses who call in and who can pick-up their meal. The box lunches include their freshly baked bread and a cookie. Specials vary from a meatball sandwich, BBQ pork, fresh salads, etc. To be added to their e-mail list, contact [email protected].

Downtown Park Forest

Carmelita Moore has renewed a one-year lease for Angels Home Healthcare Solutions, P.C., at 380-382 Main Street, in Building #1, second floor.

Lonnie Upshaw has renewed a one-year lease for Gemini Electronics at 310 Forest Boulevard, in Building #7, second floor office space.

Steve Forster has renewed a two-year lease for Mark of Excellence Tattoos, at 376 Forest Boulevard in Building #7, a second floor. Office.

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

On Tuesday, April 7, the Brown Bag Book Club presents The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.

On Wednesday, April 8 at 11:15 a.m., the library will hold Toddlers Art Session and Story Times.  Art project and stories for toddlers 2 to 4 years old will be featured.

Saturday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m., Kids Go Green.  Come in to the library and visit hands-on exhibits and craft stations.  Bottles of green cleaners will be made, demonstrations of turning recycled junk into art, and more.

Monday, April 13 at 10:45 a.m., Morning Story Times — stories for children ages 3 to 6.

On Monday April 13 at 6:30 p.m., the library will feature the music of jazz icon Sonny Rollins.

On Tuesday, April 14, a documentary film on the life of artist Salvador Dali will be presented.

The Kidworks Touring Theatre Company brings global warming myths and facts to life in an eye-opening new performance on climate change, geared for children aged 4 to 12. This event will be held on Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 p.m.

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

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Boulevard

As part of its Senior Series, Megon McDonough presents “Her Way” on Tuesday, April 7 at 11: 00 a.m. Ms McDonough highlights some of the most prolific and memorable female singers of the last 60 years. The stage is set for a fabulously engaging and ultra-amusing morning of entertainment with the powerhouse ensemble, Big City Jazz.

For more information, call 708-747-0580.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL

On Wednesday, April 8 at 10 a.m., William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be presented as part of the M.A.D.E. for Kids – Music, Arts, Dance, Education series.

For more information, call 708-235-2222

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.

St. Mary School, 227 Monee Road, Park Forest

The parents of St. Mary School are sponsoring the St. Mary Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11th at Central Park (N. Orchard Dr.).  For more information, call 708-748-6686.


Educational Lectures

Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park

A series of informative events covering restorative justice practices in schools, the court system and our communities is being held the week of April 7th. Presentations for this event are as follows:

Monday, April 6, from 3 to 5 p.m. – Introduction to Restorative Justice.

Tuesday, April 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. – Explanation of the Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Practices in South Suburban Schools and Communities.

Thursday , April 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. – Restorative Justice Film Festival.

All events will be held in the Cafeteria Annex. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 708-534-4330

Sources: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report, Park Forest Library Newsletter, Freedom Hall, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Center for Performing Arts, Tall Grass Arts Association, and Governors State University websites.