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Happy homecoming for red-hot Richards

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  Richards students celebrate a big play during the Bulldogs’ 45-0 victory over Oak Lawn Friday night. Since suffering a 35-34 home loss to Evergreen Park, the Bulldogs have outscored their last three opponents — Reavis, Argo and Oak Lawn — by a combined 112-0 score.

  For more photos and details of the Battle of Oak Lawn plus a look at other area action, see the sports section.

Submitted photo.

EP woman arrested for concealing her role in 1969 terrorist bombing

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  A 66-year-old Evergreen Park woman who was convicted 43 years ago in Israel for participating in a terrorist bombing was arrested Tuesday morning by federal agents.
  Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was arrested shortly after the unsealing of an indictment filed in federal court in Detroit and made an appearance in the afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason.
  She was released on $15,000 bond after giving up her passports.
  Odeh was charged with immigration fraud for concealing her arrest, conviction and imprisonment, which were material facts for the United States government in determining whether to grant her citizenship, the indictment said.
  The indictment alleges that Odeh was convicted for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem, which were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization.
  Founded in the wake of the Six Day War of 1967, the organization is described as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group that was instrumental in the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  Odeh and others placed multiple bombs at the British Consulate and in a supermarket, according to the indictment. One of the bombs at the supermarket detonated, killing two Israelis and injuring 20 others. The other bomb did not detonate. The bomb at the Consulate four days later caused structural damage to the facility.
  Odeh was arrested several days after the bombings and sentenced by Israeli military authorities to life imprisonment but was released after 10 years as part of a prisoner exchange, and she then returned to the West Bank.
  The indictment alleges that Odeh, who was a Jordanian citizen, immigrated to the United States in 1995 and became a naturalized citizen in 2004.
  “The United States will never be a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts,” said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Detroit in a news release. “When individuals lie on immigration documents, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk.”
  “An individual convicted of a terrorist bombing would not be admitted to the United States if that information was known at the time of arrival,” United States Attorney Barbara McQuade said. “Upon discovery that someone convicted of a terrorist attack is in the United States illegally, we will seek to use our criminal justice system to remove that individual.”
  If convicted of the charge, Odeh will be stripped of her United States citizenship. She also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for naturalization fraud.
  This case was investigated by special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  Odeh was mentioned in an article, “Women’s Struggle in Occupied Palestine,” which was published on the website New Jersey Solidarity: Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.”
  The article said Odeh and other women “were arrested, accused of planning and executing two of the greatest military operations at that time: the explosion at the Supersol supermarket and the attempted explosion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.”

Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook -- Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and … Kara Kentner?

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

 

COLOR - Jeff I wouldn’t suggest to the students or faculty members of Moraine Valley Community College that they should bow or say “I’m not worthy” when they pass sophomore volleyball player Kara Kentner in the hallway.
  But it might be appropriate.
  Earlier this month, the national junior college rankings came out and she was second in the country in hitting with a .427 hitting percentage. And she was hitting .541 in conference play as well.
  For those who don’t follow volleyball statistics, those are just numbers.
  For those who do, those are numbers that could make you want to bow or say “I’m not worthy” when you are in her presence.
  See, hitting stats in volleyball are rougher than baseball hitting numbers.
  In baseball, you get credit for a hit and no credit for an out. If you get a hit and then strike out and ground out, you are 1-for-3 and are hitting .333.

  In volleyball, you get credit for a hit. You get no credit for a ball that you hit but gets returned. It’s similar to baseball. But in volleyball, you also get penalized for a hitting error such as bashing the ball out of bounds, hitting it into the net or into a successful defensive block.
  Thus, you can hit the ball into the net, have one returned and then get the match-winning kill and be carried off the court as a hero, but your hitting percentage is .000.
  I compare these stats with baseball stats.
  In major league baseball, just 28 players have hit .400 or better and no one has done it since 1941. Legends such as Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and Joe Jackson have done it.

  But imagine if the criteria was more like volleyball…2013 vball action 6Moraine Valley Community College volleyball star Kara Kentner has an incredible hitting percentage. Submitted photo.what if each of these .400 hitters were penalized a hit every time they struck out or hit into a double play?
  Back in 1894, Boston’s Hugh Duffy set the all-time major league record for hitting with a .440 average. It’s a record that stands today and it’s unlikely that it will ever be broken unless some really wonderful miracle steroid is invented.
  He was 237-for-519. Back then, the stat of grounding into double plays was not kept but strikeouts were. He had 30. So subtracting 30 from his 237, he was 207-for-539, which is .384. That’s still pretty good, but no .400.
  For those who think volleyball stats and baseball stats are apples and oranges, let’s go with the Joe Smalzer argument.
  Smalzer is a former Marist volleyball star from Palos Heights who is now playing for Loyola. He is a 6-foot-8 hitting machine who was named first-team All-America as a junior last year. He had 430 kills in 32 matches for 11.2 kills per matchto help the Ramblers reach the NCAA Final Four.
  This kid is really good.
  But this first-team All-America stud had just a .261 hitting percentage because he made 188 hitting errors. And the Final Four Ramblers had a .291 hitting percentage at a team while opponents were held to .231.

  So if one of the best volleyball players in the nation has that low of a hitting percentage, it makes me appreciate Kentner’s accomplishments even more. The Sandburg High School graduate had 316 kills in 657 attempts and just 40 errors a few weeks ago.
  So, if anyone sees Kentner, you don’t need to bow.
  But a high-five might be in order.


Supper with the Snakes
  My favorite excerpt from a press release this week comes from out of the area, but still made me sssssssnicker:
  “October is a spook-tacular month at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with a plentiful Halloween program schedule catering to guests of all ages. Young Frankensteins are invited to paint a pumpkin and get up close and personal with some of the ssssssslithery members of the Museum’s Living Collections for its popular dinner party, Supper with the Snakes.
  Guests are encouraged to show off their Halloween costumes while enjoying asssssscrupmptious pizza dinner. Following dinner, the Museum’s biologists will introduce the evening’s guests of honor, their slithering counterparts. Attendees will have the chance to get up close and personal with more than eight species of native and exotic snakes and enjoy a variety of sssssseriously fun activities, including a relay, scavenger hunt, crafts and more. Plus, the Museum’s newest exhibit, Animal Secrets, will be open where kids can see more of the Museum’s slithering residents.”
  The dinner is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Museum, 2430 N Cannon Drive in Chicago. The cosssssssst is $20 for non-members and $10 for children over 3.

 

A healthy dose of arguing at Oak Lawn meeting

  • Written by Bob Rakow

 

Whacking board members’ health insurance and

many hot issues dominate Tuesday’s gathering

 

  Several political hot-button issues dominated Tuesday’s Oak Lawn Village Board meeting as trustees bickered over transparency, the future of the senior center and political fundraising techniques.

  A majority of trustees, however, expressed support for a proposal to eliminate health insurance for board members.
  The proposal was put forth by Trustee Tim Desmond, who called for “shared sacrifice” at a time when the board is considering several significant cuts to balance the village budget.
  Desmond, who joined the village health plan in April, asked that the proposal be placed on the Nov. 12 agenda.
  Several trustees and Mayor Sandra Bury currently take full or partial health benefits.
  Trustee Alex Olejniczak said he does not plan to participate in the village health insurance plan in the next fiscal year. Bury said she does not take her salary as liquor commissioner, which is comparable to the cost of her insurance and praised Desmond for his leadership in making the proposal.

  “I think he sees the hypocrisy, as I did,” Bury said.
  While Desmond’s proposal was met with approval, discussion on other topics was not as harmonious.
  For example, Olejniczak took issue with Streit’s contention that he participated in a secret meeting with Bury, Village Manager Larry Deetjen, Park Board Director Maddie Kelly and Park Board President Sue Murphy to discuss a plan to transition senior services to the district.
  He said Streit misled people by saying that the meeting was attended by a majority of village board members.

  Trustee Carol Quinlan, meanwhile, repeated her request for a meeting between the board and seniors to garner feedback regarding plans to outsource senior services and renovate the Memorial Park bathhouse into a senior center.
  Quinlan, who previously called for such a meeting, did not receive a response to her proposal.
  “I’d love to know what’s going on,” Quinlan said.

  Olejniczak also chastised Streit for pressuring residents and businesses to attend his recent fundraiser by calling them numerous times in the days leading up to the event.
  “You would think that if somebody said, ‘No, I’m not attending or no, I’m not going to be there,’ that would be enough,” he said.

  Three people who placed the fundraising calls attended the meeting and said they were offended by remarks made at the Oct. 8 board meeting alleging that pressure tactics were used to convince people to attend the fundraiser.
  “It never occurred,” Streit said. “People have a right to make campaign donations. My campaign fund is in complete compliance with all laws.”
  Streit, meanwhile, proposed an ordinance requiring website transparency, which would require a plethora of information such as videos of meetings, public records, budgets, audits, contracts and salary and benefits be available on the village’s website.
  The information is similar to items on the Illinois Policy Institute’s transparency checklist, which Bury is following in the development of a new website.

 

Go (huff) shawty — it’s your (puff) birthday!

  • Written by Claudia Parker

Evergreen Park mom runs Marathon to celebrate

her 40th birthday — and get away from the kids

 Editor’s note: Reporter correspondent Claudia front-color-2-col-claudiaEvergreen Park’s Claudia Parker celebrated her 40th birthday by running in the Chicago Marathon. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Parker ran in the Oct. 13 Chicago Marathon and shared some of her amusing thoughts throughout the race

  I celebrated my 40th birthday by running the 2013 Bank of America, Chicago Marathon.

  Don’t be impressed. I have a confession. I ran it to get away from my kids. Running 26.2 miles through 29 Chicago neighborhoods is easy compared to some of my days as a stay-at-home mom. Trying to catch a Kenyon wasn’t my objective, I took my time, relishing in “me” time.
  This race was special because it was the first major U.S. race since the Boston Marathon bombings. There was unity among us. Within the first mile of the race, I witnessed a runner turn around to grab a protein bar that had fallen from another runner’s waist strap. Then she scurried up to him to return it.
  Unfortunately, when I looked down, the only thing my eyes found were remnants of furry, grey, animals, plastered to the pavement. Never mind looking down, it was exhilarating looking up into the faces of the spectators cheering.
  “What at a great way to celebrate my birthday,” I thought, while belting out a few lyrics of rapper 50 Cent’s, “In Da Club,” “Go shawty it’s your birthday…we gonna party like it’s your birthday.”
  I’m sure my horrid singing was like bad Karaoke to my running mate, Tracy Tryban of Chicago. Our conversation was steady the first five miles. This was her first Chicago Marathon, my second, so I knew the route.
  “We’re in Lincoln Park Zoo. Next water stop is around the curve.” I told her.
  We felt good.
  We had energy to laugh at a little old lady who apparently missed the memo about the marathon. We were on North Lake Shore Drive about mile 8 when we spotted her waiting at a stoplight. When it changed, she began to cross, pushing a milk crate cart on wheels. A course marshal had to quickly whisk her back to the corner. She looked perturbed, as if to say, “I have the right-of-way!”
page-4-jump-3-col-runnersFrom left, Adriana Carmona of Bridgeview, Maria (Angie) Santana of Chicago, Tracy Tryban of Chicago and Lily Tong of Chicago stand behind Evergreen Park’s Claudia Parker at a belated birthday party last week at TGI Fridays in Oak Lawn. Parker celebrated her birthday by running with her friends in the Chicago Marathon. Photo by Jeff Vorva.  Shortly thereafter I saw Erin Mendoza of Chicago, a childhood friend, with her family, cheering in the crowd. I hugged them hello and continued. She has a son a little younger than my preschooler. Instantly, I began to miss my girls. They didn’t attend my marathon last year because it was cold. Knowing they were there this time made the race more meaningful. All I had to do was make it to mile 23, where they would be camped.

  By mile 10, I was still feeling good. Taking in hydration at every water stop along with a couple Clif Shot Bloks helped. North Broadway was putting on a show that took my mind off the miles. The ROTC soldiers had batons that looked like rifles, flipping them around like a high school drill team alongside several other performances down that strip.

  My enjoyment turned to dread mile 15 after seeing my friend, Angie Santana’s, son Nicholas Carter of Chicago.
  Angie and I got separated at the start line. Tracy and I had been looking for her. I yelled, “Nicholas, have you seen your mom?” He smirked. “Yeah, she passed here 20 minutes ago.”
  He may have said, “passed here” but my mind repeated, “passed YOU.” My competitive nature thought, “Oh yeah, I’ll show you.”
  I then accelerated my pace.
  Bad idea!
  Everything began to ache. In all my suffering, I knew seeing my kids would give me a boost. “Just get to mile 23,” I thought.
  My quads burned, my calves felt like knots and my feet throbbed.
  But I forged ahead.
  Once I arrived at mile 23, my eyes met my husband Don’s eyes.
  Joy set in.
  “Where are the kids?” I huffed. He began to jog alongside me. “At home.” He replied. “I’ve been tracking you. You’re estimated to finish during naptime. I know how you get about their schedule.”
  I was a little shattered.
  “But this is my birthday party…” I thought.
  He proceeded to chat, as if I could carry on a conversation.
  Tracy and I hadn’t said two words since mile 15. We used gestures. A course marshal directed him off the course as I arrived at mile 25. People screamed, “Almost there! One mile to go.”
  It felt like five. I didn’t know where Tracy was. I just kept running until I crossed the finish line. Tracy finished one minute later. I found Angie. Our finishing time was exactly the same.
  I set a personal record; finishing 17 minutes faster than last year. I credit my daughters. I may have started the race running away but they were the two faces I couldn’t wait to run back to.
  I came in 33,501st place out of 45,000 in this race but at home, I came in first.