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Sexton fired up to get Plaza conversion rolling

  • Written by Bob Rakow

 

A commercial developer’s plans to acquire the Plaza andPAGE-5-2-col-plazaEvergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton want to see changes to the old Plaza as soon as possible. Photo by Jeff Vorva. build a build a new mall on the site will happen sooner rather than later, Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton said.
“I’m not going to wait until summer,” Sexton said Tuesday. “Summer’s upon us.”
Evergreen Park trustees last week discussed the possibility of using powers of eminent domain to acquire the mall and the remaining businesses: Carson Pierre Scott and Planet Fitness.
Sexton said DeBartolo Development, the company that plans to convert the Plaza into a “lifestyle center,” is in negotiations with Carson’s to acquire the store lease.
Carson’s has indicated that it wants to stay at the redeveloped mall, Sexton said.
“The bottom line is to get the developer and Carson’s close on a deal,” Sexton said. “Everybody is slow to make a deal. We’re closer.”
Planet Fitness, which currently is located at the north end of the mall along 95th Street, also has indicated it wants to stay at redeveloped version of the mall.
Representatives from the fitness center attended the April 7 village board meeting to question the village’s

Hickory Hills resident unleashes complaints about loose dogs

  • Written by Kelly White

 

The law in Hickory Hills is that dog owners need to keep their dogs leashed.
But resident Beth Medeiros is claiming that law isn’t being enforced and brought her complaints to the Hickory Hills City Council last Thursday, two weeks after she said he had a frightening experience with a large dog that bit her right hand.
“There are too many loose dogs roaming the neighborhood,” said Medeiros of 9100 block of South 88th Avenue. “I walk my dog frequently, and on more than one occasion, we were confronted by what I would consider to be a either a stray or loose dog.”
Medeiros said she was attacked by a neighborhood dog two weeks prior to the meeting and said after police did not issue a citation was issued to the attacking dog’s owner.
“I have a 22-pound little dog and I was walking my dog past a home nearby my house when a large dog charged out at me from a house without a fenced-in yard,” she said. “I then went to pick up my dog because it is so little, I didn’t want to see it get hurt, and that is when the larger dog bit me on my right hand.”
Medeiros added that one of the dog’s owners, a young girl, was calling for the larger dog to return to the yard but the dog failed to respond to the child, and continued charging forcefully at Medeiros and her dog.
Medeiros said she instructed the child to go inside and have her parents call the police to report the attack. The police spoke with Medeiros and an adult owner of the dog and left after giving the owner a verbal warning, Medeiros said.
“The dog’s owner did take responsibility for the attack, knowing that he did not have a fenced-in yard and was not outside properly watching the dog,” Medeiros said and added that a citation should have been issued at the time of the attack instead of a verbal warning.
Police Chief Alan Vodicka said he will look into why no further action was taken.
This is not the first time Medeiros said she has come across problems with unleashed dogs in her neighborhood. She said other residents have similar complaints. Unleashed dogs have been reported on Maple Lane and Forest Lane, and 88th Avenue.
Medeiros also told the council that some residents ride their bikes with their dogs walking alongside without a leash. The dog may appear to be well-behaved but if natural instinct strikes or an unfamiliar person or animal appears, the dog may attack, she said.
“It is simply neglectful owners,” Medeiros said, “Dogs need to be behind fenced-in yards or on leashes while walking with their owners. I worry about when school gets out for the summer and more kids will be walking their dogs. What if a child is walking a dog and an unleashed dog approaches them with a similar situation as to what happened with me?”

Rice honored
Hickory Hills said goodbye to their deputy director of publicPage-5-3-col-riceHickory Hills Mayor Mike Howley, Regan Rice and City Clerk D’Lorah Catizone celebrate Rice’s retirement after 39 years with the Public Works Department. Submitted photo. works this month. After 39 years of service, Regan Rice officially retired.
Rice retired on March 15, leaving the city council and public works department with nothing but kind words to say about him.
“We are losing a very valuable employee and he will be missed,” Larry Boettcher, director of public works said.
Rice began his career with the public works department in 1974, while still attending Stagg High School. He would come in before and after school as a part-time employee. After graduating from high school, he joined the public works department fulltime and rose quickly through the ranks to become a heavy equipment operator and a certified water operator before advancing to become the assistant public works director.
“It was with Rice’s inspiration that public works initiated the public works department to actually do the water-based repairs themselves, rather than taking the repairs out to a private contractor,” Boettcher said and added that throughout the years, Rice’s inspiration has saved the city a great deal of money by completing water repairs this way.

Some think they are never too old to rock and roll

 

jeff columnThe guy who wrote the song
“Too Old to Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young to Die’’ has been too old to rock ‘n’ roll and too young to die for a couple of decades now.
Ian Anderson, the creative force and lead singer for the band Jethro Tull penned that song of wisdom in the 1970s about rock and rollers who are washed up and still trying to hang on to their careers.
Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch a youthful Ian and his mates perform that song in 1976 when he had long hair and wore some loud blue outfit. Great stuff. Great song. Fun video.
That was back when he hadsome energy, funny facial gestures and when he could dance and spin around on one leg whilst playing the flute.
Also through the magic of YouTube, there is a performance from 2008 of the same song by some old geezer with a beret with a bunch of wrinkles on his clock. Wait a minute! That’s Ian!
The 1976 performance featured a pretty cocky Ian singing the tune.Page-3-1-or-3-col-Adam-ant-now-reverseAdam Ant then, left photo, and now, right photo. Rock and rollers have aged in different ways.Page-3-1-or-2-col-adam-then-for-col-reverse The 2008 performance is ironic as he is living the life of that song.
Rock and roll stardom is an odd thing. While some of it is based on musical talent, a lot of it is based on image and being cool. Sure, once in a while a not-so-attractive performer, such as Christopher Cross, can make it big. But for the most part, you need to be decent or unique looking and have an air of cool about you.
It’s funny what happens to some of these rockers when they get older. It can run the gamut.
Paul McCartney in his 70s looks like an older version of Paul McCartney from his youth. Mick Jagger looks like an older version of Mick Jagger. Keith Richards seems like he always looked like he was 65 back then and now doesn’t look a day over 66.
Those guys still have it.
While not considered rock, people like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin kept their air of cool through their old age. I think that if you dug up Martin’s coffin and looked at his decaying bones, they would still emit a coolness factor.
Then there are some rockers who morph into old guys gradually.
Billy Joel used to be a hip New York kind of guy who was skinny and marrying supermodels. Over the years, we got to watch him turn gray and lose a lot of his hair. Yeah, he put on a few pounds, too. Now he looks completely different, but we all saw it coming.
Peter Gabriel is another guy like that. The new Rock and Roll Hall of Famer seemed like he was stylized guy who did videos with a sense of humor and the next thing you know, he became grandpa. Others may have noticed the gradual change from “Solsbury Hill” to over-the-hill but I missed it.
And then there are artists in what I call the “Holy-$#%*-what-the-heck-happened-to-that-guy?” category.
I first noticed that phenomenon when Adam Ant started touring again a few years ago.
Ant was one of those guys in the 1980s who was considered sexy and vamped it up with makeup and wild clothing and jumping around to tribal beats singing songs ranging from “Goody Two Shoes” to “Strip,” “Whip in My Valise’’ and “Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face).’’
Now he looks old, stiff and wears Buddy Holly-type of glasses although he still wears attention-getting clothes. As a young man, it worked. As an old guy, he looks daffy.

Stop it!

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

 

CR residents and officials believe stop signs near Metra station are a hazard

Chicago Ridge trustees mayPage-3-3-col-signsSigns on the Ridgeland Avenue and Washington Street area are becoming more of a hazard, say Chicago Ridge residents and officials. Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. try to put a stop to recently erected stop signs at the Ridgeland Metra station.
Nearly five months ago, the village installed three new stop signs that were designed to offer Metra commuters with safe passage across Ridgeland Avenue. Instead, the signs, coupled with trains stopping at the intersection, have caused a major hazard for those who have only a temporary window of safe passage.
One resident complained of trains blocking the intersection – especially during busy rush hour traffic.
“I’ve been riding the train for 30 years,” said Lynn Barker, a Chicago Ridge resident who spoke out during Tuesday’s board meeting. “Some of the trains block the busy intersection and allow for the commuters to cross the street. I don’t know how it’s feasible for one train and not another, especially during rush hour.”
Trustee Sally Durkin said the number of trains that block the intersection have been reduced over the years. She

Office manager tagged by FBI for alleged wire fraud

  • Written by Bob Rakow

An Oak Lawn man who allegedly used his position as a back office manager at a Chicago trading firm to steal or divert payments intended to go to the firm’s co-owners was charged with wire fraud last Friday.
Joseph Tagler, 29, of the 5100 block of 105th Street, was charged with fraud after the FBI discovered a $9,550 wire transfer that took place in January.
The charge was announced by Robert J. Holley, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI field office, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Tagler was arrested last Thursday by FBI agents at his residence and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan, who released him on a $50,000 bond. No future court date has been set.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.
The complaint, filed last Wednesday, alleges that Tagler, a back office manager and member of the board of directors for Eagle Market Makers, stole a total of more than $700,000 during a 26-month period and that the money was used for his personal use, including the purchase of a property for himself and his brother-in-law in Walkerton, Ind.
The complaint further alleges that the scheme was discovered last month when one of the company co-owners was preparing file tax returns and noticed that the amount he received in dividend payments was less than what it appeared he was paid in paperwork he received from the company.
According to the complaint, Tagler transferred funds in July 2011 and March 2013 for the purchase of two real estate parcels in Indiana. The complaint further alleges that the same account was used to deposit funds in the amounts of approximately $323,700 in 2012 and approximately $496,000 in 2013, which funds were primarily a co-owner’s dividend checks.
Most deposited funds were withdrawn from the account through checks made out to “cash.” The checks appeared to be endorsed by Tagler, who allegedly signed a co-owner’s name, the complaint said.