The streets of downtown West Chicago are really blooming with color this year. There are the 20 flowering hanging baskets, donated by Ball Horticultural Company. All the landscaped flower beds and large planters are so very lush. Many of the business have added an individual artistic touch with their own planters. Adding a special flair are the new botanical street banners with the detailed photographs of the single blooms of flowers such as parrot tulips, lilac, dahlias, orchids and the purple coneflower, the official City flower of West Chicago. Also the various themes to the hanging community banners depicting the theme “Pop Art,” create a brilliance of color. When the judges for America in Bloom visit West Chicago Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, 2018, the downtown are is one of the areas they will visit. The categories for judging are Flower Displays, Landscaped Areas, Heritage Preservation, Urban Forestry, Environmental Efforts, Community Vitality and overall impression. Also the West Chicago Park District prepared the grounds around the City gateway signs, which will have plantings suitable for each site.
Have A Happy Fourth!
AROUND AND ABOUT
The West Chicago Park District hosts the Seminole Sports “Double Play Classic” softball tournament Friday through Sunday, July 6 to 8, 2018, at Reed-Keppler Park.
An art exhibit by local area artists takes place from Friday, July 6 through Thursday, August 2, 2018, at First Fridays in Kindred Coffee Roasters, 148 West Washington Street. The artwork of Abraham. Lewis Achenbach, Cesar Conde, Uwe “oova” Gsedl, Karl Jahnke, Detlef Koertge, Christopher Lucero and Buddy Plumlee is on display. The artists’s reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. July 6, 2018.
The artwork of the two First Star Art artists, jammer and jrr, is on exhibit during the month of July at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. The artists’ reception is from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, July 7, 2018. The Blue Ridge Strangers provide the musical entertainment, plus there are refreshments and door prizes. First Starr artist jammer is the drummer in the band.
Their artwork is simultaneously dramatic and whimsical, dark and intensely colored, in several mediums: acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel, chalk, ink, photography, and digital paint. They hold multiple awards for their work, including West Chicago’s People’s Choice 2014, Art For All Annual Juried Exhibit 2015 & 2017. Their works are in private collections internationally, have been featured in magazines, on events posters, used for community events and statewide conferences, and are studied in educational programs nationwide, as well as used as children’s book illustrations. (www.merleburl.com)
Illinois State Games Takedown tournament is Saturday, July 7, 2018, at Greg Gomez Trained Wrestling, 245 West Roosevelt Road, Building 4, Unit 29. Weigh in for tots through intermediate is from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., wrestling starts at 9:00 a.m. Weigh in for novice through high school is from 11:00 a.m. to noon, wrestling begins at 1:00 p.m. There is a $20 fee per wrestler. The format is four-man round robin periods. For more information, call Gomez at (630) 392-8615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Chicago Public Library District holds an Open Lab in Technology Skills at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 7, 2018, in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. Subjects include basic computer and mobile device skills, Word, Excel, Internet, social media, tablets and phones. Staff is on hand to assist persons. Persons bring their own devices or use the library’s laptops. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, Extension 4.
Energizing Yoga in the Park is the Outdoor Fitness program, geared for persons age 14 and older, at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, July 8, 2018, at The Shell. A certified Yoga instructor leads the class with traditional Yoga poses suitable for all skill levels. Persons need to bring a blanket and dress appropriately for the weather.
The celebration of Tortuga’s 11th birthday takes place Sunday, July 8, 2018, at Turtle Splash Water Park.
Healthy West Chicago hosts a Grocery Store Tour at noon Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at Jewel-Osco, 177 East Roosevelt Road. Jewel-Osco Registered Dietitians lead the tour. Participants learn how to find healthier options, compare list prices to find bargains, read food labels, how to identify whole grains and how to stick to one’s budget There are giveaways such as $10 produce gift cards, reusable grocery bags and healthy recipe ideas. To register, visit eventbrite.com.
The West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street, hosts Lawn Games from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays, July 11, 18 and 25, 2018. In case of rain, there are board games inside the library.
The monthly West Chicago Park District social gathering for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, July 12, 2018, at the ARC in Reed-Keppler Park, 201 West National Street. To celebrate National Park & Recreation Month, the occasion is a hamburger cook-out. Guests bring a dish to share and a complete place setting. Although there is no charge, reservations are required and may be made in person at the ARC or online at we-goparks.org. Reservations are due Friday, July 6.
West Chicago Railroad Days takes place from Thursday. July 12, through Sunday, July 15, 2018, at Pioneer Park. 479 West Forest Avenue. Hours are from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Thursday, from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 2:00 to 10:00 Sunday. At the park is a variety of foods, carnival, beer tent and musical entertainment.The parade begins at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
As part of its Art of Relaxation Series, the West Chicago Public Library District holds a Paint By Numbers Event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018, in the main meeting room. The District provides the Paint-by-Number kits, music and light refreshments. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 5.
West Chicago resident Kathy Steere is running the Adult Coloring Night, Troll Hunt Edition, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53 in Lisle.
The We-Go Community Theater of the West Chicago Park District presents “The Wizard of Oz.” Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 12 and 13, and noon Saturday, July 14, 2018, in the Wheaton Academy Fine Arts Center, 900 Prince Crossing Road. The ticket price is $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Tickets are available at the ARC, 201 West National Street, or on line at www.we-goparks.org. Advance tickets must be purchased by Monday, July 9, 2018.
Glen Arbor Community Church, 204 Church Street, holds a bible and Sports Camp from noon to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, 2018. The free camp is geared for children ages 5 though 13. One team is for playing sports and the other team is for playing games and making crafts. There are team awards, individual awards and crafts awards. Also through the teen conference, the Church has volunteers to assist with tasks in the yard, such as painting a fence and trimming bushes . To register for either of these, visit http://glenarborchurch.com or call (630) 293-5989.
The Class of 1978 of West Chicago Community High School holds it 40th union Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, 2018. On Friday the attendees meet at Hawthorne’s Backyard & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The gathering place on Saturday is in a tent at Pioneer Park, 479 West Forest Avenue, the site of the annual Railroad Days celebration. For further information, visit the High School website, https://www.d94.org, under alumni, reunion information.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2018, at the museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch; dessert and a beverage are provided. The movie to be discussed is the first hour and a half “WWI 100th Anniversary Collection.” A copy of the movie is at the Museum. Reservations are not required for this free program. For further information call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 or email email@example.com.
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program Thursday, July 19, 2018, in the McCormick House at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Social time is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7:00 p.m. The topic is “Immigration—Untangling the Facts, History and Economics” A question and answer session follows. Complimentary coffee and dessert are served. Tram service is available. Registration is required for the free program. To register visit www.wheatonlwvil.org. Parking is free.
Rob Paral of Paral and Associates, a consulting firm that helps philanthropic foundations, service organizations and government agencies understand the communities they serve through applied research methods, is the featured speaker.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
The West Chicago Community High School Class of 1973 holds its 45th Class reunion Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, 2018. All classes are welcome to come. The event Friday is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The cost is $19,73; a cash bar is available. The event Saturday is from 5:00 p.m. to midnight at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street. The cost is $45; a cash bar is available. Payment can be made in several ways: Checks or money orders made out to Class of 73/Roxanne Hamlin, Cash sent to Roxanne Hamlin or Credit card at PayPal account: if you have a PayPal account, choose pay or send money, then choose to send to friends or family in the US (this will keep fees from being charged). Use email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both of the West Chicago veterans’ organizations hold Bingo as a fundraiser on a weekly basis. The games at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street, are on Fridays. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., games start at 7:00 p.m. Games at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard, are on Wednesdays. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.;games start at 7:00 p.m. The Auxiliary games are Sundays. Doors open at noon, games start at 2:00 p.m.
Gallery Theater Studio needs volunteers. There are many different ways to help. These include box office, publicity, set building, stage manager props, costumes, lights, sound, website, and refreshments. The next season begins with the production of “Southern Fried Funeral” in August. For more information or to volunteer, email email@example.com.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Andrew Albert Nimmo, who at the age of 78 passed away Saturday, June 8, 2018.
At the Tuesday, June 19, 2018 meeting. Community High School District 94 Board of Education ratified a new four year contract with the West Chicago High School Support Staff Association effective July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2022. The contract calls for increases comparable to those agreed to with the teachers. Board president Gary Saake said, “I believe that this demonstrates that when both sides come to the negotiating table seeking a fair and equable contract from the outset that it can be accomplished quickly and easily. I applaud the negotiating teams efforts in reaching an agreement that addresses the concerns of both the employees and District.”Salary increases for 13 Confidential staff members were approved with the percentages commensurate with those offered to the Support Staff.
With the expiration of the prior lease, the Board approved a new three-year lease for a Driver’s Education car with Haggerty Ford.
Also approved was the contract for purchase of new Chromebooks and software licenses for the incoming Freshmen class, and replacements for those used by the faculty, in the amount of $246,375 to CDW In Lincolnshire. “The new models offer sturdier cases, and touch screens. We are now in a cycle of purchasing Chromebooks for the incoming class each year. ” Saake added, “This spring, outgoing seniors were offered the ability to purchase their Chromebooks, which had reached the end of their useful life for the district’s needs, instead of returning them to the District upon graduation. Approximately 98 percent of seniors took advantage of the offer.”
The Board approved contracts with Otis Elevator and Phoenix Systems to install card access controls for one of the school elevators. “This is to support an incoming student that requires the use of the elevator, but has a medical condition that would not allow him to use the current key/lock system.”
Also approved was a contract for emergency management communication software with Raptor, who currently provides the school with Visitor Management Software. “The need for this was determined as we debriefed following the May 2 bomb threat.” (The follow up letter from District 94 Superintendent Dr. Doug Domeracki to parents is at another place in my column.)
The Board approved a contract for student transportationIn the estimated amount of $605,682 to Illinois Central Bus Company. The contract for special education transportation is bid separately.
Dear WCCHS Parents,
The FBI and West Chicago Police Department recently informed us that the person responsible for the May 2, 2018 bomb threat at West Chicago Community High School (and one other school) is in custody. As a result of the on-going investigation we won’t have specific information we can share.
In the wake of this event, there are many takeaways. We have debriefed with both the West Chicago Police Department and the West Chicago Fire Protection District. From the initial phone threat, to evacuation, to the release of students, we have analyzed the event to determine what we need to improve upon, what went well, and have processed what we learned from the experience for inclusion in future crisis scenarios.
Future modifications to our Crisis Plan include:
- Drills will include a universal command center model with the fire department, police, and school officials taking the lead as determined by the type of crisis
- Identifying the hierarchy of school district decision-makers who will be included in a universal command center with police and fire
- Cross-training for both communications (phone, text, and database access) and decision-makers to ensure all positions are covered when personnel are out of district
- Coordinate messaging with police and fire to ensure the timing of message release does not jeopardize the safety of students
- Researching and adopting a crisis app for direct notifications to staff via electronic devices
- Additional joint training provided to school personnel by Emergency Management Services.
The safety and security of our students is always our top priority. Procedures are reviewed at minimum annually, and every drill is analyzed to learn what we could do better. In a crisis situation, please know that every effort by police, fire, and school officials, provides for the safety of your child.
Jel Sert was featured in the “Made in the Suburbs” Section of the June 2018 issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger. It was titled “Chillin’ Out,” Family key is success of Jel Sert’s products, business culture.
Mike Buenrostro, Sr, recently celebrated his 30th year with the West Chicago Fire Protection District.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.