In and Around Park Forest Week of May 11, 2009

central-park-wetlands-spring-050309-gkopyPark Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—May 11, 2009. If your club, church, 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

Village Trustee Swearing In

The Village Board of Trustees will conduct a Special Regular Meeting on Monday, May 11, for the purpose of swearing in recently re-elected Trustees Ken Kramer, Bonita Dillard and Robert McCray. This Special Regular Meeting will take place subsequent to the regularly scheduled meeting which begins at 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

South Suburban Mayors and Managers (SSMMA) Meeting

The Village Manager attended the monthly Management and Finance Committee meeting for the SSMMA this week. Items discussed at the session included the 2009/2010 SSMMA Budget, a contract for an employee wellness program for interested member communities, a presentation on potential funding options available through the federal stimulus initiative and a presentation by a consultant on the potential benefits that could be realized in establishing a health insurance consortium of SSMMA member communities.

Meeting with Canadian National (CN) Railroad Representatives

Village Officials met with representatives of CN again this week to discuss the Village’s concerns regarding impacts believed to be experienced by Park Forest as a result of CN’s anticipated increase in rail traffic along the former EJ&E rail arc. CN representatives presented architectural and engineering renderings related to the project. Discussions with CN will continue in the weeks and months ahead.

SouthCom Executive Meeting

The Village Manager and Deputy Village Manager/Finance Director attended a SouthCom Board of Directors meeting this week. Items discussed included labor negotiations and an update on the technology build-out for a new computer-aided dispatching and records system. Additionally, Officers for the Board of Directors were selected for 2009/2010. Village Manager Tom Mick will serve a second consecutive year as Chair and Finance Director Mary Dankowski will serve as Treasurer for the Executive Board.

Western Avenue Construction Project

Landscape crews have been busy planting trees all along Western Avenue this past week. These trees, numbering close to 100, will replace those which were removed for the widening and resurfacing project that unfolded along Western Avenue in 2008. Species planned for the plantings include: White Oak, Shingle Oak, Kentucky Coffee, Valley Forge American Elm, Lilac, Burr Oak, Chestnut, Hackberry, Accolade Elm and Buckeye.

Health Insurance Arbitration Hearing

The Village and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) were participants of an arbitration hearing this past week at Village Hall. The hearing was before a Federal Arbitrator who took testimony regarding a grievance filed by the FOP related to health insurance plan changes which were implemented effective July 1, 2007. A decision on the case is expected in the next few months.

Village of Park Forest – Community Development

This week, 188 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector-initiated and referral/complaint.

In the month of April, a total of 57 building permits were issued for a total new construction cost valuation of $235,131 with $10, 950 collected in fees.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, 145 Blackhawk and 248 Allegheny were back in court for a status hearing. Meanwhile, through the Adjudication Hearing process, two cases were heard with $800 in fines for non-compliance.

Village of Park Forest – Economic Development

Fourth of July Parade

Applications are now being taken on the Village web site for those businesses or organizations who want to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Park Forest.

Father and Son Sports Outing

The Economic Development Department is sponsoring a Father and Son’s Sports Outing to celebrate Father’s Day. This event will be at US Cellular Field on Monday, June 9th to see the White Sox play the Detroit Tigers. The bus will depart from Village Hall at 6:15 p.m. and return after the game. The $10 per person fee includes your ticket to the game, free transportation, and a Park Forest T-shirt. For more information or to buy tickets, call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621.

Park Forest Public Works

Field Operations

The erosion of the approach to the Thorn Creek Bridge, caused by the heavy rains, was repaired. Street lights were relamped and sanitary sewers were cleaned. A manhole was rebuilt at 335 Somonauk. The 6-wheel dump truck is being repaired in-house in anticipation of hauling black dirt for restoration at water main breaks.

Water Plant

The Public Works budget was presented to the Village Board on Saturday, May 2nd.

Park Forest Recreation and Parks


Kevin Adams met with local high school basketball legend and former Duke University standout Phil Henderson to discuss a joint venture between Henderson’s All-American Elite Basketball Skills Academy and Recreation and Parks’ Elite Skills Academy. Henderson, a former McDonalds All-American and Dallas Maverick, agreed to provide a free one-day clinic on Sunday, July 12, at the Recreation Center for Elite Skills Academy students. Henderson also agreed to provide a free two-day coaches clinic for volunteer staff for the Little Tyke Basketball program that begins in late October. Kevin has made a concerted effort in all of our programs to engage local “athletes who made good” to help instruct children, but also to offer participants positive role models of athletes who have made good, as citizens and community contributors, and other ways after their playing days.

Park Forest Bark District

Staff was encouraged by the weekend’s dry weather for a change. Hopefully, work on the fence installation at the Dog Park can get underway soon. Anna Soloff has set up a Facebook page for the Park Forest Bark District to keep enthusiasts up-to-date on the park. If you are on Facebook, become a ‘friend’ of the new dog park. Seldom a day goes by that the office does not receive a call or inquiry about the park.

Grass Mowing

The cool wet weather of the last month has made grass mowing a major challenge. Some areas may still appear overlooked as many low wet areas are still impassable by the larger mowers.

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

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.

Human Interest

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 Park Forest First!

Park Forest Farmers’ Market

The 36th Annual Park Forest Farmers’ Market will be held on Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m. to Noon through the end of October. Vendors from across Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan will have a tremendous array of fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, breads, cheese, organic eggs and meat, and the “best pork chop sandwiches in the universe.” Come early and enjoy a breakfast burrito and cup of coffee while you shop the Market. The Market is located in the parking lot of the Eagle Movie Theater at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Cunningham Drive in DownTown Park Forest.

Orchard Fresh Market and Eagle Theater Partner to Provide “Free Shopping” – LAST CALL

Present your Orchard Fresh Market (120 S. Orchard) cash register receipt to the Eagle Theater (340 Main Street) and purchase any concession, and get your movie ticket for free. 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 events will be held this week at the Park Forest Library:

Monday, May 11 at 10:45 a.m. – Morning Story Times. Stories for children 3 to 6.

Monday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. – Jazz on Monday Nights features jazz icon Sun Ra.

Tuesday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. – Tuesday Morning Walkers. Meet in the north parking lot.

Tuesday, May 12 at 12 noon – Brown Bag Book Club will discuss The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis.

Tuesday, May 12 at 2:00 p.m. – Fine Art Matinee series features a documentary on the life of Chuck Close. A short discussion will follow the film. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, May 13 at 10:30 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Time. Call the Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731 to register.

Saturday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. – Children’s Gardening Day. Call the Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731 to register.

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

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

To Kill A Mockingbird

On Monday, May 11 at 9:45 a.m., Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize novel To Kill a Mockingbird will be performed. Tickets are $10.50.

Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Annual Graduate Exhibit Continues

Artwork from PSC students who will graduate in May will be exhibited 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.

Tall Grass Gallery, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Landmarks: Restoration & Regeneration

Friday, May 15 – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – These exhibits show close and distant views of the Earth’s natural process and formations. These inspired new works in encaustic, fiber and mixed media were created by Nikkole Huss, Heather Page and curated by Claudia Craemer. This exhibit continues through June 27th, Tuesday – Saturday, 11: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Educational Lectures

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Trail Work Day

Give back to Thorn Creek Nature Center and join the Thorn Creek Trail Crew on Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in maintaining Thorn Creek Preserve. Wear sturdy shoes, ages 15 years and up. Community groups welcome. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

This and That

Secretary of State Services at Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

On Tuesday, May 12, from 2 to 7 p.m. in the Hall of Governors, the Secretary of State’s mobile Service Unit will be at GSU. Available services include license renewal, replacement, and corrections; State I.D. card renewal, replacement, and corrections; vehicle title and registration, parking placards for disabled persons, and organ/tissue donor information. Vision Tests and written driver’s license exams can also be taken. No driving tests will be given. For more information, call 708-534-4550 or visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

Rich Township Senior Fair

The 2009 Rich Township Senior Fair will take place on Friday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive in DownTown Park Forest. The purpose of the Fair is to provide information to area seniors about services available to them such as transportation, recreation, restaurants, health care, etc. A hot lunch will be provided at noon by the Community Nutrition Network Senior Dining for a suggested donation of $2.25 per person. Luncheon reservations must be made the day before the Fair.

To make a luncheon reservation or arrange for transportation, call 708-748-5454.

Hope Lutheran Church, 424 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

Family Night

On Friday, May 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Hope Lutheran Church will hold a Family Night. Bring the family out for a night of fun, food and activities. For more information, call 708-748-1995.

Cooking Club

On Saturday, May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the lower level of Hope Lutheran Church the Celebration Ministries presents a time of fun with friends and family. Call for food pricing at 708-748-1995.

Cedarwood Cooperative Open House

The Cedarwood Cooperative, 63 Cedar Street, will hold an open house on Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. For further information, call 708-747-3833.

Calvary United Protestant Church, 425 N. Orchard St., Park Forest

Pedal with the Pastor

On Saturday, May 16 at 8:30 a.m. SHARP, bicyclists will gather in the parking lot. The group will ride across Old Plank Road to Frankfort for breakfast which will be dutch and return to the parking lot after breakfast. Helmets are required. The group will ride at a pace comfortable for all. For more information, call 708-748-6261.

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; Spring/Summer 2009 Calendar of Events, Park Forest Library, Prairie State College, Governors State University, Center for Performing Arts, Cedarwood Cooperative, and Park Forest Historical Society web sites. Lead photo: Gary Kopycinski