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Around and About in West Chicago - 26 July 2012



  • District Community Theatre 2012 Summer Production, “Honk”

  • Game Day U.S.A. Midwest National Championship

  • Summer Camp Olympics

  • National Night Out Against Crime


              At the Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Community High School Board of Education meeting, Dr. Moses Cheng, high school principal, gave a presentation, “The College and the Career Consortium.” This is in regard to a possible grade 9 through 12 partnership between College of DuPage and the high school for creating a 21st century education for 21st century college and career success.

              “The educational concept for the new millennium includes significant changes.”  These include increased emphasis on literacy, competency in the areas of science and mathematics and career application within content areas, plus increased focus on pre-kindergarten or preschool education and post high school or grades 14 though 16 education.  Cheng further explained public high schools no longer can see their responsibilities ending at the end of 12th grade, but need “to communicate the expectation that all students should pursue education and learning beyond the senior year.” He added, “Learning is a life long experience.”

              The goal is not a four-year degree for all students, but for students to realize that education and learning is continuing and taking college courses is open to all. There is a need “to communicate a college education and a successful career are very attainable goals.” He added a partnership with College of DuPage and CHS “is most ideal for accomplishing this task. It offers a tremendous benefit for the students.” The students will gain a familiarity with the COD, similar to how eighth grade students now become familiar with high school and the expectations.

              There are several goals in the partnership. These include “providing each student with a positive connected experience with COD, addition of new courses at the high school, have each student earn at least one college credit through COD, and to provide the students an opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree while in high school.” Ways to accomplish these goals include hosting high school classes such as science, foods and drafting at the college, hosting college classes at the high school (dual enrollment) and increasing dual credit offerings. Other ways are the sharing and collaboration in the use of both facilities, such as the greenhouse at the high school and the Culinary Institute at the college, creating partnered vocational opportunities and “expanding the partnership to other community organizations for educational and vocational opportunities.”

              Among future considerations are the creation of a funding source to offset the cost of enrollment into college courses, exploration of opportunities to share facilities for key departments and expansion of vocational/career experiences, the use of COD facilities and programs, plus the exploration of the concept of creating college opportunities for adults in the community at the high school.

              Cheng stressed that these are long-range goals. “We are beginning with the expansion of dual enrollment and credits as we work with the depth of the partnership with College of DuPage and, hopefully have a long relationship with the college.” Although COD has agreements for dual credits and enrollments with the high schools, “the comprehensive picture and depth of the partnership will be unique to our high school.”


              Gary Saake, school board vice president said, “The Career and College Consortium is a unique and innovative approach to provide a more integrated and holistic approach to preparing students for college and careers through a strategic partnership with College of DuPage. This has phenomenal potential.”



              West Chicago Park District Community Theatre 2012 summer production is “Honk.” Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, and at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 28, 2012 in the Fine Arts building at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing Road. Based on the children’s story “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Anderson, this family musical tells the story of the little duckling that is not quite like the others. On the journey to find himself, he discovers it is not what is on the outside that counts, but that every ugly duckling can grow up to be a beautiful swan.  The book and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe. The music is by George Stile. “Honk” was the winner of the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical, which is the British equivalent of the Tony Award.



              Cast members are Colm Keeney as Ugly, Jim Raahtjen as Drake, Mark Kenneally as Cat, Mark Fortman as Greylag, Dan Bovey as Bullfrog, Kathy Rahtjen and Rosemarie Nolazco as Queenie, Laura Johnson as Lowbutt, Payton Gryniewicz as Jay Bird and Dan Bovey as Father Swan.

              Other members of the cast are Ruthie Bovey as Young Beaky, Nicolas Sole as Barnacles, Jessica Vandermey as Young Billy, Brooklyn Worth as Young Fluff, Perrie Gryniewicz as Young Downy, Molly Fritz as Young Quacky, Micalah Bovey as Young Swan and Baby Bovey as Baby Swan and Baby Duck.

              Also in the cast are Madysen Simanonis as Ida, Ashley Tijerina as Maureen, Emily Roldan as Henrietta, Jan Amodeo as Dot, Amanda Ryan as Grace, Anna Nolazco as Penny, Nicholas Amodeo as Turkey, Alono Smiley as Floor Manager and Jody Bovey as Mother Swan.

              Included in the cast are Theresa Cox as Pinkfoot, Valerie Wiesner as Snowy, Olivia Smiley as Adolescent Beaky, Natalie West as Adolescent Fluff, Kaleigh O’Brien as Adolescent Downy, Sabrina Aratp as Adolescent Puff, Sydney Johnson as Adolscent Quacky, Neil West as Farm Boy and Kelsey Kennaelly as Camaraan.

              Cast as Ducklings and Froglets are Cassandra Villa, Elizabeth Ryan, Corey Losacco, Cynthia Espino, Frances Graf, Hampton Gryniewicz, James Losacco, Mia McKone, Nathan Shwatel, and Nicole Vandermey.

              Ensemble members include Dana Howard, Ellen Schwatel and Neve Ryan.

              Tickets purchased in advance cost $7 and are available at the Park District office, 157 West Washington Street. Tickets purchased at the door cost $10. For further information, call the Park District at (630) 231-9474.


              Game Day U.S.A. Midwest National Championship for baseball and fast pitch takes place from Thursday, July 26, through Sunday, July 29, 2012 at Reed-Keppler and Pioneer parks. Participating are more than 60 teams from seven states.


              Coffee with the Mayor is from 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 28, 2012 at City Hall, 475 Main Street.


              Instead of two services, Water’s Edge Bible Church, 209 South Oakwood Avenue, is having only 10:00 a.m. Sunday worship services from July 29 through September 2, 2012.


              The Garden Conservancy Open Garden Day is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, July 29, 2012 at the Gardens at Ball Horticultural Company, 622 Town Road. The gardens are usually reserved for the company’s wholesale customers. Thousands of annual, perennial and shrub varieties are showcased in the main gardens along with flowers and vegetables in the All-America Selections evaluation trials. Additional native plantings are in the wetlands and woodlands restoration areas. Guides are available. Persons should plan to spend at least two hours to view the extensive gardens. All in all, there are more than 10 acres to view. The charge is $5 per person and is payable at the main garden entrance.


              Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services hosts the Summer Camp Olympics from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at Wayne Township building, 27W031 North Avenue. Last year more than 200 youths participated. For further information call WAYS at (630) 231-7166.


              “Characters” is the exhibit for the month of August at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street. The display features theatrical portraits by renowned photographer Mike Smith. The artist’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, August 3, 2012.


              Ride for Liberty 2012 is a fundraiser, organized by Dwight Hora, a Marine Corps veteran, who is passionate about veterans issues and committed to bringing awareness and support to suffering veterans. To raise funds for Edge Alliance, he and other motorcyclists start from Beaufort, South Carolina to San Diego, California and back to Beaufort via a different route. The Midwest stopping point is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4, 2012 at the American Legion Post 300 Hall, 123 Main Street. The fundraiser is open to the public and includes dinner and a beverage. Persons have the opportunity to visit with Hora and the other riders. Tickets cost $25 per person and are available at the door. To purchase tickets in advance visit www.ticketleap.com; key word Ride for Liberty.

              Edge Alliance is a not-for-profit whose mission includes serving homeless veterans.  One project is The Alpha, a Chicago greystone, which is the newest addition to its North Lawndale campus, provides four-flat housing to low income and homeless vets. The Liberty, currently in pre-development, is a 36-unit studio apartment building for senior citizens who are veterans.

              The 23rd annual planned West Chicago National Night Out Against Crime is from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at Reed-Keppler Park. The event includes many activities for all ages such as fire district demonstrations, law enforcement displays, various information booths, raffles and give away items. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention, generate support for and participation in local anti crime efforts and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.


              The West Chicago Park District monthly senior citizen gathering is at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, August 9, 2012 at the district office, 157 West Washington Street. It highlights a favorite summertime activity—an ice cream social. Guests bring a dish to share and a complete place setting. The park district supplies the ice cream and toppings. Reservations are due by Thursday, August 2, 2012 and may be made by calling the district office at (630) 231-9474.


              The Community High School District 94 budget for 2012/13 is on display in the administrative office at the school, 326 Joliet Street. The public hearing for the budget is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 4, 2012.


              Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Janet Lee Schrader, who at the age of 99 passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2012.


              Due to a conflict with another well-established ministry, Feeding Northwest DuPage recently changed its name to Neighborhood Food Pantries. There are seven sites in northwest DuPage County. The one in West Chicago currently is located at St. Mary’s Parish, 163 Garden Street. 


              At the Monday, July 16, 2012 meeting, City Council approved the use of façade improvement funds for two structures. One was in the amount of $1,675 for painting and tuck-pointing at 201 West Washington Street. The other was for the amount of $4,684 for painting, roof coating and tuck-pointing at 216-222 Main Street.

              Also at the meeting, City Council passed a resolution to place a referendum on the ballot in the General Election November 6, 2012. The question is “Whether the City should have the authority to arrange for supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers under an opt-out program?” Municipal aggregation allows local governments to bundle residential and small commercial retail electric accounts and seek bids for a lower cost source of power, similar to how the City negotiates contracts for waste disposal or cable television, explained City Administrator Michael Guttman.  Although all eligible residents and businesses are automatically enrolled, anyone can opt-out of the program. Ward 1 Alderman/Public Affairs Committee Chairman Lori Chassee explained, “Residents would continue to call ComEd regarding service disruption and ComEd would send the monthly bills. She added, “The aggregate process is not difficult, but the State requires several steps and having the question on a ballot is one of the requirements.” The municipal aggregate question was on the March 20, 2012 General Primary Election ballot of 17 DuPage County communities, and approved by voters in these communities..

              Also approved were two resolutions regarding the mayoral emergency line of succession. One states that only those serving in the capacity of aldermen are eligible to be considered. The second one makes the Mayor Pro Tem the first person in line in the succession, eliminating the need to appoint specific aldermen.


              Approximately 460 small rubber ducks went down the big water slide at the “Great Duck Pluck” fundraiser Saturday, July 15, 2012 at Turtle Splash Water Park. Winning first prize was the Losacco family. The second-prize winner was the Johnson family. The winner of the third prize was Wayne Bradley. The monies raised were for the production costs, set design and costumes for the West Chicago Park District’s Community Theatre production “Honk.”


              West Chicago Police Commander Eric Shipman recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. The 10-week program involves advanced investigative, management and fitness training for selected officers who have proven records as professionals in their agencies. FBI Academy instructional staff, special agents and other staff members with advanced degrees provide the training.

              In 1993, Shipman started his law enforcement career in West Chicago as a police officer. During this time period he worked in various sections such as patrol, problem-oriented policing, Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructor and investigations.  He also received juvenile officer and gang specialist certifications. He is a state-certified fire/arson investigator and serves on the DuPage County Investigation Task Force.

              As Commander of Support Services, Shipman is responsible for the maintenance and repair of police facilities, fleet and equipment. He also oversees the records division and personnel in the Social Services Unit.

              His educational background includes a certificate in Criminal Justice from Harper College and training in the curriculum on Supervision of Police Personnel from Northwestern University.


              The West Chicago Community Education Center of College of DuPage, 900 East Roosevelt Road, closed its doors June 2012.


              Through the end of this year, the West Chicago City Museum has an exhibit to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.  The exhibit consists of four panels. One panel presents a brief history of the war and the others are short biographies of the four veterans from West Chicago buried in Oakwood Cemetery. The veterans are James Snyder, Daniel Benjamin, Daniel Wilson and Daniel Wood.  The book, “They Did Their Duty: Oakwood Cemetery and the War of 1812,” by West Chicago resident Cheryl Waterman is available and sells for seven dollars. Waterman did extensive research on the War of 1812 and the four veterans, plus worked on putting together the exhibit and the cemetery walk Saturday, June 29, 2012.


              Being a judge at the West Chicago Public Library District’s “Iron Chef” Teen Competition was a tasteful experience fraught with difficult decisions. The competition took place Tuesday, July 17, 2012 with five teams competing. The 28 teenagers ranged in ages from 13 through 18. Based on the Food Network program “Iron Chef America,” the teams had 90 minutes to prepare a three-course meal, using the secret ingredient, which was lime.

              Members of the winning team were West Chicago residents Catherine Bass, Sophia Bass, Ricky Robinson and Abbey McCleery. Their cuisine entry was lime tuna crostini, open-faced lime chicken sandwich with pineapple, melted cheese and chives, and banana/lime pudding with fresh fruit.

              Judges were library staff members Peter Thompson and Abraham Fernandez, and members of the audience Andrea and Chris.


              At the 19th annual Fine Arts Fiesta, sponsored by the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, held in Reed’s Place during Railroad Days 2012, there were 69 pieces of artwork submitted by 44 artists with a West Chicago connection. Visitors had the opportunity to vote for their favorite in each of the four categories for the People’s Choice Award. Again this was no easy task as the artwork was outstanding, highlighting the artistic talent of our community.

              First place winner in the Craft category was Dorothy Andrews with her quilt, “Colorwheel.” Taking second place was Tom Obright with his woodcarving, “Carousal.” Winning third place was Judith Horsley with her quilt, “Through the Years.”

              Taking first place in Fine Arts: Photography category is Uwe Gsedl with his digital photograph, “The Peasant Girl.” Second place winner was Christine Rakow with her photograph, “Derecho.” David Toney took third place with his photograph, “United We Stand.”

              In Fine Arts: Two-Dimensional, Sculpture category Leroy Fennewald took first place with his basswood carving, “1930-1932 Aston Martin International.” Winning second place was Tom Obright with his wood inlay, “Wooden Bowl.” Wesley Watanabe won third place with his oil painting, “Sharbat Gula.”

              For Student: Kindergarten through 12th grade category Joe Favia won first place with his photograph, “Camero.” Winning second place was Diana Beltman with her pen and ink drawing, “This World.” Molly McGhee took third place with her photograph, “ ’57 Chevy.”


              My email address is merleburl@earthlink.net.

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