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Around and About in West Chicago - 10 Mar 2010

Around and About
  • St. Patrick’s Day Bash
  • 2010 Census
  • Studs Terkel Award Presentation
  • Wizard of Oz
  • West Chicago Park District Family Day

     At the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Town Hall Budget Meetings Tuesday and Thursday, February 23 and February 25, 2010, board members and staff presented the possible cuts for the 2010-2011 budget because of a $3.3 million deficit. Due the support of the community with a successful referendum in 2003 and sound financial decisions by the members of the board of education and administration staff, the district has had six years of balanced budget and financial stability. However, the state of the economy and shortage of funding from the state has changed the outlook.


     In the presentation, board member Dave Barclay explained, “Local revenue is based on new development and inflation (CPI). The advent of new construction is small and the “CPI is 0.1 percent. A one percent change translates into about $250,000 of revenue.” In trying to bring forth the balanced budget, the District first is looking at ways to “cut expenses that do not directly impact instruction,” such as supplies, facilities and administrative costs. The board already has begun to cut supportive services and programs, which includes the elimination of assistant principals and birth to 3 years coordinator, reduction in department budgets and requirement for administrators to contribute more for health insurance and to take unpaid furlough days.


     Barclay added areas likely to be impacted are any facility expansions, additional classrooms, welcome center, summer school, after school tutoring, classroom aides, learning center staff, special education, bilingual programs, early childhood center and reading assistants. “The greatest averse affect will be on preschool programs…most of which are considered optional, and most other programs are mandated. A goal of the district is to ensure all children enter kindergarten prepared to learn and parents prepared to help….Two-thirds of the children who participate in District 33 early education maintain pre-literacy skills and do not require interventions in kindergarten.” Although approval of the final budget does not occur until September 2011, there are guidelines the district must meet such as notification of layoffs to certified staff by March 2010 and support staff by April 2010, and all other tentative budget items by July 2010. There can be no cut and dried decisions at this time until school districts see the impact of planned budget cuts for education by the state.


     District Superintendent Ed Leman said, “Decisions to reduce a budget are not easy. Real people and their families will be impacted. Be assured these decisions weigh heavily on the board and administration. Care and concern are woven into all these discussions.”


     Because of the unhealthy financial status of the state, the district is still owed approximately $2.4 million. Leman explained, “The very late payments from the state have resulted in the district using approximately $2.3 million in reserves this year alone. These have been carefully built up over the past six years.”


     More detailed facts of the presentation are available on the district’s website www.wegoed33.k.12.il.us, click communications, through a video presentation on CableCom Channel 17 for Comcast subscribers and rental DVD copies, available at all eight district schools and district office.


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   Friends of the West Chicago Library annual Book Sale is from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13, 2010 at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street. This is a perfect opportunity to purchase books at bargain prices. The price for paperback books is 50 cents and the price for most hardcover books is one dollar. Proceeds benefit various Library programs.


     Local Music Night is from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, March 12, 2010 in a slightly new location, 203 Turner Court. It is the same building as Gallery 200, but in the newly opened basement location. Rakow said, “The new area gives us more room for seating and a bigger space in general for the performance.” Performing are John Kenney, Richard Byrne, Mandy Rakow and Old Toby (Colin and Emily York). This is a perfect opportunity to listen to the artistic talents of local area musicians. The free night of entertainment also includes refreshments. Since Gallery 200 is open during the same hours, persons also have the opportunity to view artwork of local area artists.


     To encourage the arts and to support Gallery 200, the City opted to finish the basement for use as a classroom, display and program space. Working with a limited budget, City staff did the initial demolition and hired a West Chicago-based business to install doors and finish the interior space. Another way to limit costs, but also retain the architectural integrity of the area, the exterior limestone walls and open ceiling remain. Members of Gallery 200 painted the walls, finished the floors and provided shelving and furniture.


     Winfield Township once again is participating in “Local Government Week in Illinois” with an Open House from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 2010 at the Winfield Township Road District office, 30W575 Roosevelt Road. The township is collecting cell phones, eyeglasses and hearing aids for recycling, and non-perishable food items to distribute to the appropriate organizations. Persons also may bring tattered and faded American flags to give to American Legion Post 300 or Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 for proper disposal. For further information, call the supervisor’s office at (630) 231-3591 or the highway commissioner’s office at (630) 231-8850.


     The Fourth Annual West Chicago 3-on-3 Wildcat Classic Basketball Tournament, presented by Quest Food Management, begins at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, March 13, 2010 at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street. Proceeds benefit the high school’s Education Foundation. There is no charge for persons watching the games


     In conjunction with this event, the high school Music Boosters Club is having a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. in the Commons. The ticket price is $5 for adults and students, and $3 for senior citizens and children under the age of 10. Proceeds benefit high school music students in the form of scholarships and needed equipment. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, call Amy-Jo Wierenga at (630) 653-0989 or Steve Govertsen at (630) 876-6490.


     Craft Saturday at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, is from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday March 13, 2010. A little luck of the Irish shines through as children make a “pot of gold” to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There is no charge for this drop-in event. For further information, call the Museum at (630) 231-3376.


     Maple Sugar demonstrations are from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14, 2010 at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road.


     St. Patrick’s Day Bash is from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 2010 at St. Andrews Country Club, 3N441 Route 59. The event benefits Community High School District 94 “All Night Long” After Prom Alternative. The evening of fun includes appetizer buffet, dessert table, beverages of soda and coffee, disc jockey Jim Paplaczyk, live and silent auctions and a “Dancing with the Staff” competition. The ticket price is $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Also, there are raffle tickets for either a Family Night Out gift basket and/or a Couple’s Night Out gift basket. The ticket price is $20 each or three for $50.


     Six couples from the high school administration, faculty and board of education are practicing with Arthur Murray Dance Studio for participation in the lively competition. The dancing couples are board member Ruben and Rose Campos, board member Dirk and Diana Gunderson, Superintendent Lalo and Linda Ponce, counselor Ward and Marlene Rau, Dean Whitney and Brian Rusin, and business education teacher Don and Barb Zabelin. After watching the dancing duos “trip the light fantastic,” persons vote for their favorite couple. Each dollar contributed equals one vote.


     Some of the auction items are dance lessons at Arthur Murray Studio, a 32-inch LCD high definition television, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox tickets, Sunday brunch at the Odyssey, certificates to local area restaurants and a parking pass for a front spot at the high school.


     Prom is Friday, April 30, 2010. The planned after prom activity takes place at Funway Entertainment in Batavia.


     Call Sue Kotche at (630) 231-3325 or Mary Sills at (630) 293-3063 for further information.


     After what has seemed an extremely long winter, spring is just around the corner. Yes, it is time for clocks to spring forward with Daylight Saving Time beginning at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, March 14, 2010.


     Residents will be receiving the 2010 Census form sometime between Monday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 17, 2010. The U.S. Constitution requires a national census every 10 years. The census results affect how more than $400 million per year in federal funds is allocated to state and local governments - the amount per capita each municipality receives as its share of state income tax and motor fuel tax. The census data also determines representation in Congress. The questionnaire is one of the shortest in history - just 10 questions, which should take only about 10 minutes to answer. Generally, it asks for the number of persons living in the house, their ages, genders, marital status and relationships to those living in the household. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s responses with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. For persons needing assistance, needing a questionnaire in one of the five available non-English languages or not receiving a form, there are four Be Counted Centers in the community, which are manned by a census employee for 15 hours a week. The locations are Wayne Township office, 27W031 North Avenue; Main Park Resource Center, 809 Main Street; Westwood Neighborhood Resource Center, 1209 Kings Circle; and Riverwoods Neighborhood Resource Center, 801 Lorlyn Drive. For more information on Center schedules, call the Social Services office at (630) 876-8164. Although the form must be returned by Thursday, April 15, 2010, my suggestion is to answer and mail immediately—NO PROCRASTINATION. Responding quickly clears your desk/work area of paper, removes it from “Your Must Do List” and allows you to truly enjoy the arrival of spring-like weather.


     The Studs Terkel Award presentation to West Chicago artist Fredericka Howard takes place at the City Council meeting Monday, March 15, 2010. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall, 475 Main Street.


     West Chicago Elementary School District 33 is hosting a Dual Language/Heritage Open House Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at Gary School, 130 Forest Avenue. A dual language classroom is comprised of approximately 50 percent English dominant speakers and 50 percent Spanish dominant speakers, giving students the opportunity to be literate in reading, writing and speaking both languages by the end of sixth grade. For further information, call Kristina Davis-Salazar, Director of Second Language Learning, at (630) 293-6000, Extension 211.


     The West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street, presents its third educational hands-on workshop in the Healthy You series at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday March 17, 2010. The speaker is Kara Zimmerman, a counselor at Lifetime Behavioral Health in West Chicago. She discusses “The Art of Effective Communication.” Participants learn skills to communicate with tact and diplomacy, overcome barriers to communication, convey empathy and acceptance, listen attentively, communicate assertively, give and receive constructive feedback, resolve conflicts and manage anger constructively. Call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4, to make reservations.


     Fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Turner School present the musical “Wizard of Oz” under the direction of teacher Jamee Kenney. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19, 2010 at West Chicago Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The ticket price is $5.


     Students are Anastasia Alaniz, David Ambriz, Anthony Arias, Daniel Bargas, Trevor Bartels, Christian Bernal, Brittany Bowie, Leslie Bueno, Cesar Cholula, Theresa Cox, David Cuiriz, Corbin Curry, Sarah Denning, Alex Fabiszak, Alice Fichter, Jesus Gonzales, Shelly Hammonds, Leslie Huerta, Evelyn Hurtado, Anna Kalin, Emily Kloth, Stephen Lewis, Jacob Madden, Jessica Maldonado and Tony Martin.


     Other students are Abbey McCleery, Samantha Michiels, Jenny Montenegro, Olivia Moore, Melissa Morales, Matt Niziolek, Anna Nolazco, Moises Perez, Irving Puente, Jason Resendiz, Jack Reynolds, Jose Romero, Christian Rudman, Kyla Saflarski, Alex Saflarski, Savannah Santiago, Chris Toribio, Daniel Vargas, Sarah Venen, Roberto Vera, Victor Villa, Brando Zavala and Stephanie Zieche.


     Also assisting are Turner School staff members Amanda Eakins, Cathy Macaluso Lisa Miller, Sue Nagel, Becky Ruppert and Jean Wittleder.


     The West Chicago Library District’s program “Hunters of the Sky” is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 18, 2010 in the meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Ron Skleney of Willowbrook Wildlife Center discusses raptors. His presentation includes a discussion of what makes these birds so unique, and why they are such skillful hunters. Guests also have the opportunity to see an owl and a hawk, two of the center’s educational raptors. Call the Library’s adult services department at (630) 231-152 to make reservations.


     Josh James Riebock and Addison Road are featured performers in the artist series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 19, 2010 at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing Road. Riebock is an author/speaker. His first published book is “mY Generation: A Real Journey of Change and Hope.” Addison Road is a Dallas-based Christian alternative pop/rock band. In 2008 the singles “All that Matters” and “Sticking with You” were the ninth and 15th most played on ‘R&R” magazine Christian Contemporary Radio. The ticket price is $15 per person and may be ordered by calling (630) 562-7588 or on line at www.wheatonacademy.org/artist_series/html.


     West Chicago Park District Family Day is from 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. The program focuses on Martial Arts practiced at the park district. These are Tai Chi Chuan, moving mediation; Jujitsu, using opponents force against themselves; Tang Soo Do, empty hand way which is a combination of foot and hand blocks and strikes with direct application on self defense; and Judo, the Olympic sport of mastering a single opponent through joint locks, throws, reaps wheels and sweeps. There is no charge for this time of fun and activities geared for families with children in middle school and younger. For further information, call the Park District office at (630) 231-9474.


     The West Chicago Police Department Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85 is hosting an event to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 21, 2010 at Hawthorne’s Backyard, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. As a show of solidarity for children with cancer, the team members have their heads shaved at the event. St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, is recognized for its worldwide and largest volunteer-driven fundraising effort for childhood cancer research.


     Some of the 18-team participants are Deputy Chief Laz Perez, Sergeant Bill Hall, and police officers Marty Griffin, Waylon Potts, Dan Herbert, Rob Winton, Gus Hernandez, Rick Sauseda, Robbi Peterson, Tony Reyes, Rob Kowalik, Jeff Moos, John Zurick and Mike Rosenwinkel. Also, raffle tickets will be sold. The goal is to raise $5,000. Donations may be made at the event, on the website www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/teamid/65734 or call 888-889-2253.


     The West Chicago Fire Protection District also is putting together a team for the event. Thus far the participants are Deputy Chief Hugh Stott, firefighters/paramedics Jake Hermann and Mike Myers, and on call firefighter Priscilla Weston, plus Myers’ two nephews, Jake R. and Joe M. Their goal is $2,500. In addition to donating at the event, persons may donate at the website www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/teamid/65903 or call 888-889-2253.


     Benjamin Middle School students are planning a series of special educational programs and events to help promote cancer awareness and raise funds for American Cancer Society 2010 Relay for Life West Chicago/Warrenville. Fundraising activities include staff/student volleyball competition, sock hop social and a walk/race. Also planned are lunchtime educational activities promoting healthy lifestyle choices and cancer prevention. The Relay for Life event begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 21, and ends at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 22 at DuPage Airport Flight Center, 2700 International Drive.


     Congratulations to Ronald and Barbara Keller, who celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary March 8, 2010.


     Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Tom Overton, who at the age of 89 passed away Monday, March 1, 2010.


     Sincere sympathy is expressed to Mayor Mike Kwasman and his family. His father, Dan, 86, passed away Tuesday, March 2, 2010.


     Condolences are expressed to the family of Mabel Ann Besch, who at the age of 95 passed away Tuesday, March 2, 2010.


     Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Robert J. Secondi, who at the age of 86 passed away Wednesday, March 3, 2010.


     Condolences are expressed to the family of Marie Jacobsen, who at the age of 99 passed away Friday, March 5, 2010.


     Recipients of Community High School District 94’s Promoting Awareness of Wildcat Success for the month of February are students Frida Camargo and Jorge Luna from World Languages Division; Madeline Dall and Evelia Estrada from Math and Science Division; Kyshaunda Emerson and Carlos Perez from Humanities Division; Dillon Krotz and Danielle Pauling from Language Arts Division; Jessica Munoz and Jacob Wucka from Support Services Division; Chiquitha Robinson and Genevieve Waldow from Physical Development Department; and Kaitlyn Tynezuk and Meredith Zenker from Information & Technology Division.


     Several weeks ago I had asked readers to let me know what they did to find relief from cabin fever in winter. West Chicago resident Marianne King brought some music into her life without leaving home. “It has been a long winter and cabin fever got to me.” Listening to Garry Meier show in the afternoons on WGN radio, she heard about his Mixed Tape Friday. “He invites staff and listeners to submit a list of five songs they may have on their phone, iPod or whatever.” Having a broad taste in music, King submitted her list, which was selected. Friday afternoon, February 26, 2010 King chatted with Meier and he played snippets of each song. Songs on her music list are “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf, “Beth” by Kiss, “So What” by Pink, and “TSR” by Echo Song, which is the band of her son, Chris— “a free plug” for the band. King also was the winner of a $25 gift certificate for Lou Malnati’s Pizza.


     The “Daily Herald” announced its all area DuPage County basketball teams in the Friday March 5, 2010 edition. Named to the DuPage County All-Area boys’ basketball team was Tim Rusthoven, a senior at Wheaton Academy. Alexa Sharkey, a senior at Wheaton Academy, was named to the DuPage County All-Area girls’ basketball team.


     February PeaceBuilder of the month is Jazmin Galindo, a junior at Community High School District 94. She credits her father for teaching her how to live her life in a peaceful manner. Seeking revenge simply continues the cycle of violence.” Being a strong believer in karma, Galindo is willing to assist anyone in need in the hope good things will happen to her later. Her favorite song that exemplifies peace is “We Are the World” by Michael Jackson. She is involved in National Honor Society, French Exchange Program and Key Club. Upon graduation, Galindo would like to attend Roosevelt University to study architecture and interior design.



My e-mail address is merleburl@earthlink.net.

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