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Around and About in West Chicago - 29 June 2011

Around and About

  • Rate Increase for Universal Stickers and Garbage Pick Up Services

  • Train Safety Awareness Week

  • Youth Programs Annual Report

  • WeGo Together for Kids

  • Wayne Township Annual Recycling Event

  • Lions Club Installation of Officers

     The Independence Day Holiday is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends. Wanting everyone to have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July, the West Chicago Police Department has several reminders on state and local laws regarding fireworks, plus some safety tips.

     It is unlawful to possess, sell, use or explode any fireworks within the City limits. Fireworks considered to be illegal include handheld fireworks, firecrackers, skyrockets, roman candles and bombs. “Consumer fireworks” are not prohibited by ordinance. These include sparklers, snakes, smoke devices, and trick noisemakers.

     Using common sense when handling fireworks provides the basic rule of safety.

  • Adult supervision for children handling fireworks is a must.

  • Keep fireworks away from a house and any other structures. 

  • Have a bucket of water or hose on hand.

  • Light fireworks outdoors.

  • Do not alter or combine any fireworks.

  • Do not try to relight a “dud” firework

  • If observing anyone with illegal fireworks or handling in an unsafe manner, call 9-1-1.

     A safe and fun way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the shows in the surrounding communities. During Railroad Days, West Chicago’s spectacular fireworks display is Saturday, July 9, 2011.

     No matter how one celebrates the holiday, take a few moments to recognize the reason—the commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776.

     Have a great holiday weekend!!



     “Rakow Arts: Work from the Family Room” is the exhibit during the month of July at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. The display features the diverse, mixed media artwork of John and Mandy Rakow and John’s parents, Jim and Christine. The artists’ reception, which includes light refreshments and musical entertainment, is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2011.

     Beginning July 1, 2011, there is a rate increase for universal stickers and garbage pick up services.  The City’s subsidy of solid waste collection fees originally was to end in 2009. However the City delayed this for two additional years. The price for Universal Stickers is $2.40 each, and the monthly cost for a 35-gallon cart is $13.29; 35-gallon cart for seniors is $6.96 and 95-gallon cart is $23.41.

     Artist Margaret Bucholz is teaching Wet-on-Wet Watercolor classes from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from July 2, through July 30, 2011 at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. Elements of good design, balance and lights and darks and combination of color are items of discussion as students learn the method. The class is open to person ages nine and older, with the cost of $10 per each freestanding session. For more information and a supply list, call the artist at (630) 665-6769 or visit, under classes.

     “Celebrating the 4th” is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3, 2011 at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road. Activities include 1890s games, music, speeches and the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

     After a three-month sabbatical, Reverend Denise Griebler returns to the pulpit at the 9:30 a.m. worship service Sunday, July 2, 2011 at St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street.

     The West Chicago Park District hosts “Military Appreciation Day” Monday, July 4, 2011 at Turtle Splash Water Park. To gain free admittance, persons just need to present their military card.

     At the Monday, June 20, 2011 meeting there was a proclamation for Train Safety Awareness Week from Monday, July 4, through Sunday, July 10, 2011.  On hand for the proclamation were West Chicago Police Officer Tony Quarto and Canadian National Railway spokesperson Eric Graff. Through Operation Lifesaver presentations at schools, more than 600 students received educational information and promotional materials. Each presentation is geared to the participating age groups. Also presentations were made to students in Drivers Education classes.  During Railroad Days there will be an Operation Lifesaver booth with safety awareness information, plus the CN “train” will provide rides around the area in Reed-Keppler Park.

     The monthly brush pick up program begins Tuesday, July 5, 2011.

     The semi-monthly meeting of Community High School District 94 Board of Education Tuesday, July 5, 2011 is cancelled.

     Artist Lois Easley teaches Beginning Drawing & Color Art classes from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Thursdays, July 7, through July 19, 2011 at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court. Through the drawing of simple still life projects, students learn basic principles and techniques. Classes are open to students age seven and up, with the cost of $8 per session. Persons may register at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, or on line For further information and a supply list, call Easley at (630) 337-8973 or e-mail

     “Lego Mania” is on board from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9, 2011 in the meeting room at the West Chicago Public Library District, 118 West Washington Street.  It is the perfect show for Railroad Days as Joe Ellenbecker returns with his trains and buildings constructed from Legos. One such building is the replica of the West Chicago 1912 Chicago and Northwestern Railway Depot. Ellenbecker, an avid Lego showman and collector, interacts with guests as they view his layout. There is no charge for tickets, but they are required for entrance to the event. Tickets are available at the desk in the Youth Services department. For further information call the Library at (630) 231-1552, Extension 3.

     During Railroad Days, the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission sponsors the 18th annual Fine Arts Fiesta Friday, July 8, through Sunday, July 10, 2011 in the Scout Cabin at Reed-Keppler Park. The exhibit is open to artists with a West Chicago connection through residence, employment or school. Categories for the non-juried show are Crafts; Fine Arts—Photography; Fine Arts—Two-dimensional/Sculpture; and Students. The charge is $5, with a limit of two entries. Application forms are available at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street; City Hall, 475 Main Street; or online at under Forms. Artists bring their completed application and artwork from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 7, 2011 to the Scout Cabin. For further information, call the City Museum at (630) 231-3376.

     The show is open to the public from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, from noon to 9:00 p.m. Saturday and from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday.

     The West Chicago Park District and Western DuPage Chamber host a 5K Run/Walk to benefit Friends of West Chicago Parks Foundation and Feeding Northwest DuPage. It takes place Saturday, July 9, 2011starting at Turtle Splash parking lot in Reed-Keppler Park. The route proceeds to Arbor Avenue to Hawthorne Lane, to Ingalton Avenue, to Grand Lake Boulevard, to Arbor and back into the park

     Age groups are 19 and under, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59 and 60 and above. Registration is at 6:30 a.m. The race begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The fee is $25, including race day. Registration forms are available at the Park District office, 157 West Washington Street, or online For further information, call the Park District office at (630) 231-9474.

     The West Chicago Park District holds a Bags Tournament from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, July 9, 2011 in the Beer Tent at Railroad Days. Play is a double elimination with cash prizes for first and second place winners.  Pre-registration is preferred, by phone at (630) 231-9474 or at the district office, 157 West Washington Street. Two players per team walk-ins are welcome, but must register 30 minutes before the tournament. Pre-registration charge is $20 per person, $24 with two beer tickets. Same day registration is $30, $34 with two beer tickets. There is a limit of 20 teams 

     The West Chicago Railroad Days Parade steps off at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, July 10, 2011. To celebrate how many sacrifices those serving in our armed services have made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy, the theme is Honor and Sacrifice. Parade Grand Marshall is Chuck Scheckel, World War II veteran and currently chaplain for both American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791. For applications and more information, visit or call the chamber office at (630) 231-3003.

     Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Charles P. “Chuck” Deutsch, who at the age of 86 passed away Friday, June 24, 2011.

     There is a good reason persons are discovering more leisure time this July. There are five Fridays, 5 Saturdays and five Sundays. Enjoy as this only happens every 823 years.

     From July through September, some of the original artwork from the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission 2011 Banner project is on display at City Hall, 475 Main Street. The theme is “Motion—The Way Things Move.” In addition to City Hall, ballots for the People’s Choice entry are available at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street; and Gallery 200, 200 Main Street.

     More than 200 persons celebrated the 100th Anniversary of West Chicago Printing Company at the Open House Wednesday, June 22, 2011. It definitely was a “where history and progress meet ” event. Photographs and memorabilia of the past were on display and nearby was the modern day printing equipment. Adding to the zest of the party was the presence of Bill and Joan Treudt, the third-generation of the four-generation owned family business. Squeals of delight and surprise greeted many who have known the Treudt family throughout the years. One such person was Dr. Jerry Musich, the first director of the West Chicago City Museum. Again, it was an event that highlighted the heart of the community—the people.

     A gentle reminder to bicyclists, young and old— the Rules of the Road also apply to you. I have seen many bicyclists coast through a Stop sign or blatantly ignore signal lights.

     The annual report for West Chicago Youth programs was submitted at the West Chicago Public Affairs Committee meeting Monday, June 20, 2011. It focused on the Leaf Raking activity, Pioneer After-School program, Open Gym and Youth Council.

     Seventy-five volunteers raked yards for the elderly or chronically ill at the annual activity Saturday, November 13, 2010. Volunteer groups were Neighborhood Resource Centers from Westwood, Main Park and Riverwoods apartments, Wheaton Academy, Interact Club from Community High School District 94, Wheaton Bible Church, Community Fellowship Church and the high school Horticultural Club.

     WeGo Together for Kids is an after-school program at Pioneer School, administered in partnership with West Chicago Elementary School District 33, and designed to target kindergarten through sixth grade at-risk students. Teachers refer students into the program, which consists of homework tutoring and character mentoring. The participating students receive a healthy snack and participate in a physical activity such as basketball, soccer or kickball. Youth Services coordinator Kevin Holguin, with assistance from volunteer students from Community High School District 94, administers, coordinates and supervises the program. The two-day-a-week program is serving twice as many students than from the previous year, with a waiting list of 20 students. Volunteers were Jenny Ballines, Ernesto Hernandez, Celia Zarate, Lourdes Perez, Jasmin Galindo and Josie Mattern.

     Open gym is geared for fifth through eighth grade students and takes place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on most Fridays during the school year. In its 10-year existence, the program usually is held at West Chicago Middle School. Seeing a decrease in attendance in the last three to four years, this year the program alternated between the middle school and Pioneer School. The first Open Gym at Pioneer was February 18, 2011, with more than 60 youths attending and remained constant the rest of the year. Volunteers were Michael Lopez, Josie Mattern, Jessica Amero, Ernesto Hernandez, Celia Zarate, Alejandro Centeno, Benito Zarate, Isaac Rocha, Yogi Patel and Edgar Garcia.

     The Youth Council membership is the youth services coordinator and eight to ten students from West Chicago Middle School, Wheaton Academy and Community High School District 94. The group meets monthly to discuss ideas for programs needed in West Chicago and enhancing and expanding delivery of programs. Outlining its purpose, their mission statement states, “Our challenge is to develop the necessary programs to provide our youth with better life skills to meet future challenges.” Serving on the council now are high school students Edgar Garcia, Isaac Rocha, Alejandro Centeno, Dani Salinas and Josie Mattern. From the middle school are Brenda Perez, Mariana Weber and Antonio Velazquez.

     Although West Chicago did not have severe storm damage Tuesday, June 21, 2011, there were power outages throughout the community. Kudos extended to the City Streets Department crew on clearing the fallen limbs and branches from trees diligently and promptly. One other note on storms, when the siren sounds, take cover.

     West Chicago Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Bob Hodge said, “When the siren sounds, it means a trained weather spotter saw a funnel cloud in the area.” Often the local area-warnings are not announced through regular radio stations or television channels.  Hodge explained the best way to monitor the severity of the storm is on a weather alert radio, radio or television weather channel. Places to take shelter are basements, bathrooms and closets. Stay away from windows.  Take a flashlight with you, and, if available, a battery-powered radio.

     Accepting a position in another school district, Christopher Covino resigned from his position as Director of Student Activities and Division Head for Language Arts at Community High School District 94. He has been with the district since 2006. His new position is Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at York High School in Elmhurst Community School District 205.

     At its annual recycling event May 21, 2011, Wayne Township collected 13,716 pounds of electronics, 59 American flags, one box each of eyeglasses, cell phones and inkjet cartridges, 17 bicycles, 60 car batteries, 26 fire extinguishers, 40 propane tanks, one quarter load of scrap metal and a variety of pet items for a local animal shelter.

     The West Chicago Lions Club held its Installation of Officers Thursday, June 23, 2011. Newly elected officers are Laz Perez, president; Bob Hodge, 1st vice president; Tony Faronella, 2nd vice president; Fred Bucholtz, 3rd vice president; Russ Radkiewicz, secretary; and Mike Uplegger, treasurer. Others are LuAnn Bombard, tail twister; Clarence Shankle, lion tamer; Lori Chassee, membership; John Klingberg, chaplain and corporation coordinator; and Joe Jedlovec, past president. One-year directors are James Dutkovich and Ed Leman; two-year directors are Gary Major and Evelyn Canabal.

     Game Day USA presented West Chicago Keppler Classic, a baseball and softball tournament, from Friday, June 24, through Sunday, June 26, 2011 at both Pioneer and Reed-Keppler parks. States represented were Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and New Jersey.

     Tuesday, June 9, 2011 West Chicago Ward 4 Alderman Al Murphy announced his candidacy for the Sixth District Commissioner of DuPage County Forest Preserve.  Several items in his platform include a 20 percent reduction in commissioner’s pay, elimination of extra benefits of cellular telephones and laptops, restructuring of method of payment for commissioners and elimination of the position of forest preserve president.

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