Worth Village officials did some housekeeping at Tuesday’s board meeting. Trustees approved ordinances eliminating the village’s youth and recreational facilities commissions, committees that have not met in several years. “We’re cleaning up the code book,” Mayor Mary Werner said. The board also approved a waiver of conflict of interest that will allow its law firm, Ancel Glink, to continue to represent both the village and the Worth Park District as the park district assumes control of Worth Days.
The village decided last year that the park district was better suited to run the fest, which this year will serve as the village’s primary 100th anniversary celebration.
Trustee Mary Rhein voted against the measure, saying that a conflict of interest exists if Ancel Glink represents both the village and the park district. “I’m definitely not comfortable voting for this,” Rhein said. “It’s just too big a conflict of interest.” Rhein added that Werner’s husband, Steve, is president of the park board. And, she said, different municipal attorneys might examine various issues in different ways. Village attorney Robert Bush said the two intergovernmental agreements between the village and the park district are fairly routine and his firm would recommend another law firm if needed. He added that sticking with one law firm will save the village time and money. In addition to the agreement transferring control of Worth Days to the park district, the two taxing bodies plan to sign an agreement authorizing the police department to patrol village parks—a duty the department already performs but which has never be formalized, Warner said. Trustee Colleen McElroy said the Worth Days agreement should already have been presented to the board. The timing is important because centennial plans are already underway.
In other business, Werner’s appointments to the centennial committee were approved. Committee members are: Gene Sikora, Linda Dawson, Bahira Karim, James Plahm, Barb Dziedzic, Robert Burns, Kari Fickes, Georgia Prendergast and Jeanne Elder. The members will serve through the end of the year. The next meeting is Feb. 3.
The centennial kickoff celebration will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight Feb. 8 at the Chieftain Pub, 6906 W. 111th St. Admission is $10 and features food and live entertainment.
A man driving an SUV attempted Friday to lure an Evergreen Park girl into his vehicle, police said. Police said the girl was walking in the 2700 block of 98th Street to Central Junior High School. The man, described as white, mid 40s, average build, bald with a black and brown mustache and wearing a black jacket, slowed his Chevrolet Suburban alongside the girl and said: “Do you want a ride? Get in.” The student did not reply and the man drove away south on Washtenaw Avenue, police said. —Regional News report
A stolen car was the key to Evergreen Park police arresting four individuals involved in several recent resident burglaries in the area, police said. Police on Oct. 20 spotted a car at the Shell station in the 2600 block of 87th Street. The car was reported stolen 30 minutes earlier from a residence in Evergreen Park.
Police later learned that the car’s keys were taken during a Sept. 6 residential burglary and that the driver and three passengers were involved in several burglaries in the area. A subsequent search of an abandoned building in the 8200 block of Kedzie Avenue in Chicago revealed several items which were taken during the burglaries, police said. Christopher A. Sparks, 30, and Robin M. Fields-Tiner, 23, both of Chicago, were charged with retail theft. Ryan N. Fields-Tiner, 22, of Chicago was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and Levert P. Wragg, 59, of Chicago, was charged with criminal trespass to motor vehicle.
The investigation is ongoing and has revealed the offenders’ involvement in incidents in Chicago, police said.
Evergreen Park certainly did Reavis no favor. By squeezing out a victory over Richards in the closing seconds of a Week 5 showdown between two unbeaten squads, the Mustangs no doubt put Bulldogs players in an ugly frame of mind. Richards coach Tony Sheehan didn’t deny it, but stated that his guys used the Evergreen “wake-up call” in a positive manner. “This was probably one of our best weeks of practice,” Sheehan said. “The kids were really focused. I think they realize what’s in front of them and what’s at stake, and we came ready to play Friday night.” Did they ever. While the visiting Rams threatened to make some early noise, the Bulldogs’ defense refused Reavis entry into the end zone. Richards’ offense, meanwhile, racked up four first-half touchdowns and eventually claimed a resounding 40-0 South Suburban Conference Red triumph at Korhonen Field. “I hope it will continue,” Sheehan said of his team’s solid exhibition,” and I think it will. You’ve got to play your best every week or you’re going to get beat because this conference is so balanced. We learned that last week.
“I’ll tell you what, if I hear Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer one more time, I’m gonna go up on a tower with a high-powered rifle.’’
Those were the words of wisdom from Peter Buck in REM’s holiday tune “Christmas Griping,’’ which is a sort of rap set to the beat of a poor man’s “Tusk” while the boys talk about throttling the person who invented fruitcake and having nightmares about Burl Ives.
Like Buck, a lot of people are driven crazy by some Christmas carols. Many of them are lame and sung lamely by lame artists. My daughter Lauren makes me listen to Justin Bieber’s version of “The Christmas Song” in which he sings “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” and the word “fire” seems like it has 13 syllables. If I have to hear that one again, I may join Buck on the tower.
But there are some good Xmas tunes out there. I have about 100 or so in my iPod, including the aforementioned REM gem. Like most people, I listen to a batch of them around this time of year. Unlike a lot of people, I will play some of them on days when the temperatures are in the 90s and 100s. But only for a few minutes.
Last week, we asked people in our Viewfinder to tell us their favorite Christmas carols. Today, it’s my turn. Out of the 100 or so holiday songs from my collection of oddball and traditional songs, here are my 12 favorite in reverse order.
12, The 12 Gifts of Christmas by Allan Sherman
This novelty song features Sherman merrily singing about the 12 gifts he will return including a statue of a woman with a clock where her stomach ought to be and a Japanese transistor radio. Over the years, I haven’t enjoyed the song as much when I found comedy’s Santa Claus was really sad and miserable most of the time. It’s still a fun song, though.
11, I Saw Three Ships by Blackmore’s Night
Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar riff in “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple is a classic and lately he’s been heavily involved with a project in which they play a bunch of songs in a Renaissance style. Break out themandolins and flutes. This Christmas ode is no “Smoke on the Water” but it is special.
10, Let Me Sleep by Pearl Jam
Eddie Vedder’s haunting voice sings about a lost soul – possibly a hobo – thinking about the magic of Christmas when he was younger. But this Christmas he just wants to sleep. It’s kind of a downer with a trace of sentiment.
9, Silver Bells by REM
The Athens boys are just horsing around here, singing this classic with a hillbilly twang but for some reason, it works!
8, Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys
Dismiss them as just a hot rod and summer band if you will, but these guys save some serious harmonic chops and show it on their “Christmas Album.” This song was the best of the batch with “Merry Christmas Baby” not far behind.
7, The Christmas Song by the Ravonettes
I am not a big fan of the Ravonettes and less of a fan of slow songs but for some reason, this original song has an old 50s or 60s-ballad feel that strikes me just right. It really should be a classic. Maybe in 20 years.
6, Jingle Bells by Yello
It’s basically the Swiss electronic pioneers’ hit “Oh Yeah” meets Jingle Bells but it works. The group probably just mailed this in as a song for the soundtrack for the 1995 film “The Santa Clause” but it’s fun and bouncy in which sleigh bells meets electronic gizmos.
5, Feliz Navi-nada by El Vez
The Mexican Elvis Presley impersonator turns out a wicked version of this song with the punky “Public Image” riffs in the background. Wild stuff. It should make even the Scrooge-like Johnny Rotten smile, since he wrote the background tune.
4, Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) by the Ramones
My favorite group of all time came up with a novelty tune in which the so-called brudders dialed down the punk guitars and added sleigh bells. The song is about a couple who are fighting during the holidays and the video of the tune ends with an elf throwing up in a toilet. Nothing says Christmas more like an elf barfing!
3, Jingle Bells by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
Crosby is insanely famous for his version of “White Christmas” but for my money, his bouncy version of “Jingle Bells” with the iconic Andrews Sisters is superior. Aside from the great vocal talent, we have a hot band swinging away toward the end of the tune.
2, Little Drummer Boy by Sparks
One of the quirkiest musical acts around (“Eaten by the Monster of Love,” “Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls,” “Angst in My Pants” and “Pretending to Be Drunk” are just a few of their song titles) play it straight on this live BBC rendering of the classic. It’s always been one of my favorite Christmas songs growing up and the Mael brothers make it greater.
1, Blitzkrieg Santa by Divide and Kreate
Some mashups work. Many don’t. This one is great as it mashes the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” with the Jackson 5’s version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’’ No, I never thought that high-voiced Michael Jackson before puberty would ever be able to blend in with the Ramones, but there you go.
As a bonus, my favorite Christmas song title is “I Farted on Santa’s Lap (Now Christmas is Going to Stink For Me) by the Little Stinkers but it didn’t find its way to the Top 12.