Analysis, Blog Posts, Commentary, Community, Local, Opinion, Park Forest, Politics

Kopy’s Kolumn: The Publisher’s Blog for June 6, 2019

Gary Kopycinski, Kopy's Kolumn, here's looking at you
The publisher, “Kopy,” courtesy Village Manager Tom Mick. (Feb. 20, 2019)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Welcome to the first “Kopy’s Kolumn,” which I hope to publish daily. Look here for stories that only require a few sentences and not the usual 300 words or so. Plus, notification of events in and around town. Something extra.

The picture for this column was taken by none other than Village Manager Tom Mick. I don’t know if he’s like to be credited each and every time I use the photo. Tom prefer’s to credit his staff and really doesn’t seek the spotlight.

The backstory to the photo? Will tell this only once. Tom’s lovely daughter Meghan will be a sophomore next year at Marian Catholic. Mr. Mick told me when I saw her in the halls, to point at my eyes and then her, let her know she’s being watched. It was a lot of fun. Meghan is very sweet, an honor roll student. Still, you know, kids. Gotta watch them.

So, one evening this past February in the board room Tom took that picture of me. That one’s for you, Meghan.

Where Have You Been, Kopy?

You may have noticed our publication schedule has changed somewhat. We are no longer publishing endless political press releases that have little or nothing to do with Park Forest. There was a time when they served a purpose, believe it or not. They were “candy” for the search engines and they drew traffic to our site from all over the world.

The search engines have since refined their algorithms. These stories began to yield next to no traffic as they were already available elsewhere, available to us and anyone else to publish via the Creative Commons license.

A while ago, we stopped all of that. Will still publish science releases as quickly as I can get to them. Why?

Because, well, science.

Will also work on getting out some recall notices, but, honestly, they’re not our niche.

The bigger issue has been my heart and unending atrial fibrillation, sometimes atrial flutter, with an added complication of a genetic condition called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HCM or, in my case, HOCM). This has left me quite breathless sometimes. However, I joined my enthusiastic boss, Mr. Steve Tortorello, on his Lenten observance this past winter/spring: no processed foods. That, along with low carbs at the encouragement of my doctors, helped me shed over 35 pounds. And I have another 50 or so to go.

So, I can walk and breathe now. At the same time.

But I have one more procedure to go, this one coming in a couple of weeks: a hybrid cardiac ablation. This one’s been around for about 10 years. The cardiovascular surgeon will go in under my sternum via a small incision and ablate the back of my heart: freeze, burn, whatever, to redirect the electrical impulses. Then, three days later, my electrophysiologist, Dr. Kousik Krishnan, will go inside my heart via a catheter and ablate the inside of the heart. That will be my third ablation. I’ve had a number of electrocutions throughout the years. Cardioversions. Hopefully, this will get everything back inline.

We kind of knew we were heading in this direction. Dr. Krishnan came highly recommended from my HCM expert at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Dr. Paul Sorajja.

And I count my blessings that I have health insurance, and think of the many still who do not.

Single payer, Medicare for all, now. Yesterday. We can afford it. All of our medical costs will come down, and we’ll all live longer.

More on that some other time.

Dog Park is a Marsh

Frodo and Bear Park Forest Bark District
Frodo and Bear at the Park Forest Bark District on Jue 3. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Took my dogs to the Park Forest Bark District the other day. It’s a marsh right now. Looks like they haven’t been able to get in to mow it yet.

If they tried to mow it now, the wheels would sink deep into the muck. It will take some dry weather before the Village can recapture it.

We knew this area was soggy when we created the park, but the unusually strong rains have left the dog park difficult for humans to navigate.

My dogs loved it, however. They came home muddy, and, soon after they had dinner, it was off to Forest South for overnight boarding and a bath.

The Bark District will celebrate 10 years this month. There will be free vaccinations. I’ll have the date and details for tomorrow’s column (or “kolumn”).

In the Hopper

In the works, I’ll be diligently catching up on police reports with our paid student intern, Emily Wozniak.

Also, this is graduation season. Have all the names of the Rich East High School 2019 grads, and that should be the next thing I publish after this. The names are all formatted with codes to show alumni who achieved special distinctions.

If there are any typos, as always, please let me know.

Also have the names of the 2019 graduates from Marian Catholic, but they’re still in a spreadsheet and not formatted yet. Will get to those after a few PFPD reports.

Library Trustee Vacancy

George Manno at the Park Forest Public Library wants you to know the following:

A position on the Park Forest Library Board of Trustees is now vacant until the next election, which will be held in April 2021. The vacancy can be filled until that time by appointment by the Park Forest Library Board.

Park Forest residents interested in applying for this Library Board Trustee vacancy may do so by completing the application for a Trustee from the website ( or picking up a copy from the Library.

Applications must be returned no later than June 30, 2019, to Sevena Merchant, President, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest, IL 60466, or emailed to [email protected].

The Library Board normally meets at 7:30 PM on the third Thursday of each month. For further information, please contact Sevena Merchant at 708-748-3731 ext. 16.

Queen of Hearts at Marian Catholic/Carlo’s Restaurant

Queen of Hearts board
The Queen of Hearts board at Carlos Lorenzetti’s as of Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

As I write this, it’s less than an hour until the next drawing for the Queen of Hearts raffle at Marian Catholic, hosted by Carlo’s Restaurant on Lincoln Highway in Chicago Heights. The pot, now a true 50/50, is up to $6700. Marian Catholic set the original pot at $5,000, but now that more money has accumulated, your potential winnings grow week-by-week.

Assuming, of course, the Queen of Hearts remains hidden tonight.

If they draw your ticket and your number does not reveal the Queen, you still get $100.

I stopped in Tuesday after I finished cleaning out my classroom. Bought my tickets, chatted with a friend who was there, and took home a delicious grilled fish in a light lemon sauce over angel hair pasta.


On the Horizon

Coming up in a couple of weeks, mark your calendars for the Climate Change Forum at St. Irenaeus Church. Tom Skilling of WGN will headline the event along with Deer Park Mayor Dales Sands and former Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg.

The science on climate change is settled. What has been unfortunate is our global response, particularly in the United States. We only get one planet. What will we say when this one’s burnt up? “Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.”

That’s from Kurt Vonnegut.

And so it goes.

Have news for this column? Please send it to [email protected].