WHATIZIT? 1-30-14

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

 You folks were certainly wizards last week and dr-color-2-col-waz-1-30I don’t mean Washington Wizards.

  Speaking of the Washington Wizards, last week’s Whatizit was a photo of the leg and foot of the statue of Washington Wizard Michael Jordan outside the United Center. Oh, yeah, he played for the Bulls, too.
  Many of you Whatizit wizards guess right and a few guessed wrong. Once again, Harrison Debre of Willow Springs was the first to ring in with the correct answer.
  Other six-time world champions were Chicago Ridge’s Kelly Peterson, Patty Vandenberg, Dan Higgins, and Bill Ivers, Hickory Hills’ Jack and Griffin Burke Faddis, Oak Lawn’s Bob Foley, Worth’s German Cordova, Russ Martin, Theresa and George Rebersky and Robert Solner, Evergreen Park’s Vince Vizza, and John Schikora and Palos Park’s Michael Staron.
  An MVP award goes out to Henrietta Mysliwiec of Evergreen Park, who added this tidbit: “I did not know this, but this statue is attached only in one place at the knee.”
  Those who shot airballs were those who guessed a leg and foot from the little girl on the bench statue outside of the Palos Heights library and a left-handed pitcher.
  This week’s clue is that it’s been handy to have around for the past couple of weeks.
  Send those guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with WHATIZIT? on the subject line. Don’t forget your name and hometown. Photo by Jeff Vorva.

Stagg adds carbon monoxide sensors after Dec. evacuation

  • Written by Tim Hadac

Students, faculty and staff at Stagg High School may breathe a little easier now that carbon monoxide detectors are being installed at the school, 8015 W. 111th St., Palos Hills.
The action is in response to a Dec. 4 incident at the school, in which a strange odor led to a mass evacuation, with about a dozen students and teachers transported to local hospitals as a precaution.
School officials have said they believe that unusual weather conditions on that day caused a high amount of motor vehicle exhaust to be pulled into the building’s fresh-air intake vents.
“School staff have performed air quality checks multiple times per day since the initial incident and have found no issues,” High School District 230 Director of Communications Carla Erdey told The Regional News. “Carbon monoxide sensors are being installed on the fresh-air intakes throughout the school. Three sensors have been installed, and eight more are in process. If these sensors detect an issue, they will shut down the air intakes and notify maintenance staff.”
According to a statement released by the district last month, “emergency first responders determined that there was no hazardous condition in the school building [on Dec. 4] and released the building back to the school district late in the afternoon. This determination was based upon analysis of air quality in the building and thorough checks of the school’s mechanical systems. In addition, Nicor checked the building twice and determined that there was no natural gas leak.
“At the hospital, some students and staff were shown to have had carbon monoxide exposure, according to medical personnel,” the statement continued. “However, first responders determined that there was no evidence that the carbon monoxide was generated from systems within the building and at the time of their response, no carbon monoxide was present in the air in the school building.”
“We tested before school, during school, after school, outside, inside, in spaces near the boiler,” stated district Superintendent James M. Gay at a district meeting late last month. “We had an outside contractor--White Environmental—come in to help.”
The additional steps are expected to be a topic of discussion at tonight’s District 230 meeting, set for 7 p.m. at Sandburg High School, 13300 S. La Grange Road, Orland Park.

Old fashioned gala kicks off Chicago Ridge anniversary

With “100 Years of Progress” to celebrate,page-5-2-col-bannerBanners for Chicago Ridge’s 100th anniversary are adorning the village. Photo by Jeff Vorva. the Village of Chicago Ridge will kick off the yearlong celebration with a Centennial Gala, which will be held April 12 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Glendora House, 10225 S. Harlem, Chicago Ridge. The Centennial Gala will be semi-formal or 1914 period attire and will include a catered dinner, live music, a silent auction, raffle baskets and a 100th Anniversary souvenir.
Ticket prices for the Centennial Gala will be $40 for adults and $35 for seniors 65 and older. The event is open to adults only. This event is not just for residents of Chicago Ridge, but for anyone that would like to celebrate the 100th Anniversary. Tickets for the Gala will go on sale the end of February.
In addition to the Centennial Gala, Chicago Ridge businesses have an opportunity to participate in a 100th anniversary souvenir ad book. A letter with an application was mailed out to all Chicago Ridge businesses. This is also open to all Chicago Ridge families who may like to congratulate Chicago Ridge on this milestone.
Residents and local businesses may also notice that 100th anniversary banners are being placed on the streetlights near participating businesses or near residential homes. Applications for both the ad book and the banner program are available at the Village Hall or on the newly improved Village website –
If you or someone you know has moved from Chicago Ridge that might be interested in attending the Centennial Gala, please call the Chicago Ridge Village Hall with the names and contact information, so that invitations can be sent.
For more information regarding the purchasing of tickets for the Centennial Gala, the Souvenir Ad Book or Anniversary Banners, call the Chicago Ridge Village Hall, 708-425-7700.

– Submitted by Village of Chicago Ridge

Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: She’s finally the retiring type

  • Written by Jeff Vorva



Regional Publishing’s Ulanowski leaves after Page-3-2-col-Sharon-for-JV-COLOne of the last stories that retired Regional Publishing typesetter Sharon Ulanowski worked on was this column. Photo by Jeff Vorva.decades of service

  When Sharon Ulanowski walked into the Regional Publishing office as the company’s new typesetter for the first time in the summer of 1972, it was hot outside.
  It was worse inside.
  “There was no air conditioning,” she said. “We had fans blowing. The old press was here and that gave off heat. It was hot and muggy.”
  Ulanowski walked out of the Regional Publishing office Tuesday on her final day as a typesetter in temperatures on the wrong side of zero with plenty of snow piled up visible from the parking lot.
  In between the sizzler of ’72 and the freeze of ’14, Ulanowski has spent decades typesetting copy of stories and ads for the Regional and Reporter newspapers. It’s almost impossible to figure out how many stories she has seen and it’s unimaginable to figure out how many words her eyes have seen jeff columnduring her career here.
  “I love my job,” she said. “I like the typing. I like reading the news. I don’t read the newspaper at home because I read the stories here.”
  In recent years, she has used a computer to get the work done. In the old days, it was different.
  “We punched holes on a yellow strip,” she said. “It went into a big machine. We called it ‘Beauregard.’ It ran through the machine and it came out on film. Then we ran it through the smelly chemical processor. We had to let the film dry and we had to trim it and ran it through a waxer and then we had to paste it all down.”
  I’ve known Sharon for the past 16 months of her career and have stayed on her good side for most of them.
  She did most the news work for the Regional and sports for both papers. In July, when I was mulling if I should move from Regional reporter to Reporter editor, she insisted I stay with the Regional because we worked so well together.
  The next time I saw her after I accepted the job as Reporter editor in August, she greeted me warmly with a “Good morning, traitor.”
  Aside from that day, we got along pretty well even though I know she wasn’t happy a few weeks later when I approached her about the Football Forecast feature in sports that we wanted to try out for the first time.
  While it sounds simple to have five goofballs picking about 10 prep football games a week, it took a lot of work on her end to get everything lined up just right to make the graphic look as good as it did.
  When we did our last Football Forecast after the state championship, I jokingly announced that we were going to do it for basketball as well. Have you ever heard of the term “stink-eye?” Well, that day I got it.
  Before coming to our offices, Ulanowski worked at Chicago Title and Trust and took four years off before coming to our offices in Palos Heights on that hot day in 1972. She is originally from Chicago and attended Immaculate Conception Grammar School and St. Peter and Paul High School — both have ceased to exist after her departure (hope that’s not an omen).
  It’s the end of an era for us at the Regional and Reporter. Few papers use typesetters anymore.
  Ulanowski lives in Bridgeview with her husband, Tom (of 45 years) and together they have made some of the best Christmas sweets you ever wanted to eat. We will insist that she stops by in December to fill our bellies with holiday goodness.
  Their son, Paul, is a Cook County Sheriff’s officer who teaches at Moraine Valley Community College and is a gun range instructor. Her daughter-in-law is also in the printing business at Fischer Printing in Bridgeview. Her retirement will feature fun with her grandkids, Raymond Richard (age 9) and Madison Mae (7).
  “They are the love of my life,” she said.
  So our loss is her grandkids’ gain.
  Just two pieces of advice to the kids:
  First, make sure you hug your grandma often because she loves her hugs.
  Second, don’t make her do any Football Forecasts.



Radice back on OL payroll despite protest from Streit

  • Written by Bob Rakow

The Oak Lawn village board on Tuesday approved a contract with a part-time village employee who will provide inspection and business development services to the village.

Steve Radice, a former chairman of the village’s planning and development commission, will be paid $75,000 via the annual contract, which was approved by a 4-1 vote. He will not receive health insurance benefits as part of the deal.
The contract replaces the village’s previous arrangement with Radice, who worked as a part-time inspector and later took on business development consulting work through a contract the village had with his company, Bring It Inc.
Payments to Bring It, which developed a basketball game available in various sporting goods stores, caused quite a stir as former mayor Dave Heilmann and Trustee Bob Streit alleged that they were illegal because the village cannot do business with a company owned by an employee.
The pair attacked Mayor Sandra Bury, who campaigned on a platform of ethics reform and increased transparency, and village manager Larry Deetjen, for awarding the payments to Radice’s firm.
“This whole scheme is part of a massive cover up and I can’t support it,” Streit said Tuesday night.
Trustee Carol Quinlan abstained from the vote because of her friendship with Radice and his wife.
Streit voted against the contract, saying it was illegal and Radice lacked business development experience.
Radice took on a part-time inspector’s position with the village in October, 2012. At that time, he resigned from the planning and development commission to avoid a conflict of interest. Several months later, Radice and three other village employees applied for the new business development consultant position.
Radice was chosen, and the village board in October made a $3,400 payment to Bring It Inc. In November, the board made a $4,706 to the company. The new agreement calls for Bring It to reimburse the village for those payments.
Streit said Tuesday that awarding the personal services agreement was “an attempt to erase a serious violation of the law.”
“It was not legal,” said Streit, who added that Radice received the contract because he is a political supporter of Bury.
He added that Radice is not qualified to work in the business development arena.
“I like Steve,” said Streit, who recommended his appointment to the planning and development commission. “He is not qualified to provide consulting in the area of economic development. He doesn’t have a degree in this area or any area for that matter and he has zero experience.”
Radice has said that his experience as a corporate recruiter and consultant coupled with his time on the planning and development commission and his vast network of business contacts qualify him for the position, which is responsible for bringing new businesses to Oak Lawn.
Trustee Mike Carberry took issue with Streit’s allegations.
“Surely we didn’t enter into this, Bob, to jam us up and make us look stupid politically,” Carberry said.
He added that Radice is doing a good job providing inspection services and is an asset as a business development consultant.
“Right now, we have a guy who’s from Oak Lawn, who has a vested interest here. He’s not getting benefits or insurance. Quite frankly, I don’t know why. He’s met with several [retail] brokers that I know and every one of them has given him high praise.”
“I don’t think it was hidden from me or anything was done illegally,” Carberry said.
Quinlan criticized village attorneys for mishandling the agreement between with Radice and the village.
“You guys blew it,” Quinlan said. “I think you made this board look terrible.”
She added that Radice was blindsided because the attorneys did not look ahead to catch any problems that existed with the initial arrangement.
Village attorney Paul O’Grady said he initially was unaware that Radice was a part-time village employee.
Deetjen said the responsibility ultimately is his.
“If you want to blame anybody, blame me,” Deetjen told trustees.
He added that the idea of a part-time employee taking on a second role is not new.
“I saw some talents that he had. It is a little bit creative,” Deetjen said. “There is nothing secretive or covert.”