Evergreen officials ready to game plan where medical marijuana will be sold

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Evergreen Park officials Monday took the first step toward controlling the location of clinics that distribute marijuana for medical purposes.

Photo by Jeff Vorva. Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton wants to limit where medical marijuana can be sold in his community.Photo by Jeff Vorva. Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton wants to limit where medical marijuana can be sold in his community.Trustees approved a resolution that “authorizes a moratorium on the establishment of medical cannabis facilities and the issuance of building permits or zoning certificates of compliance for construction or operation of such uses in the village.”

Mayor Jim Sexton said the resolution is designed to buy the village time until the village board decides on approved locations for medical marijuana facilities that locate on the village in the future.

The village’s zoning board will meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Residents are welcome to express their opinions at the hearing, Sexton said. The village board will consider the zoning restrictions proposed by the zoning board, he said.

“You can’t say ‘no’ (to a clinic),” Sexton said. “We can limit where they go.”

For example, he said, a medical marijuana clinic would be best suited for a commercial or medical district, such as Little Company of Mary Hospital. It would not be appropriate in a residential area or near a school, he said.

No clinics have petitioned to locate in the village, the mayor said at the meeting.

Ridge parking restrictions about to get tighter near Desmond’s Pub

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne, Correspondent

Irish eyes won’t be smiling

Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. Chicago Ridge officials are expected to create permit parking only on Kerry Ridge Court, off Birmingham Street, which is across from Jack Desmond’s Irish Pub, 10339 Ridgeland Ave. Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. Chicago Ridge officials are expected to create permit parking only on Kerry Ridge Court, off Birmingham Street, which is across from Jack Desmond’s Irish Pub, 10339 Ridgeland Ave.

Chicago Ridge officials hope barring pubgoers from parking on Kerry Ridge Court, located on Birmingham Street, will give rest to the residents living across from the popular Jack Desmond’s Irish Pub on Ridgeland Avenue.

Chicago Ridge Attorney George Witous along with officials from the building, fire and police departments are working together to create an ordinance that will bring peace to the residential area while allowing access to emergency vehicles that otherwise are unable to fit down the packed street on Friday and Saturday nights.

“The problems are continuing over there and I feel sorry for those people,” Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar said. “They’re dealing with all sorts of litter; broken bottles, broken glass, cups and people are fighting in the streets and coming out at 2 a.m. in a residential area.”

If passed, Chicago Ridge residents who do not live in the small townhome subdivision are prohibited from parking in Kerry Ridge Court. Violators will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Photo by Kevin M. Coyne.Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. The residential parking is for members of the townhome subdivision only.

“A lot of people have the idea that if they have the Chicago Ridge vehicle sticker that constitutes residential parking and that’s just not the case,” trustee Daniel Badon said.

Village officials have yet to determine which side of the street will become permit parking only. Chicago Ridge Fire Chief Robert Muszynski said at Tuesday’s board meeting that he wants access to the fire hydrants and access to the buildings along Birmingham Street.

“This has been going on for quite a while now and a fire truck or ambulance wouldn’t be able to get down that street especially on a Friday or Saturday nights,” Muszynski said.

Tokar reiterated that the Chicago Ridge vehicle sticker is not considered a residential parking permit. Kerry Ridge Court will not be the only area with residential parking. Streets such as Princess Avenue, Oxford Avenue and Oak Avenue also prohibit non-residential parking.

“We need to let people know in our next newsletter that a vehicle sticker is not a residential parking sticker,” Tokar said. “We should also put this on our website so people are made aware of the residential parking area.”

B-Side: Childhood friend was an extraordinary Joe

  • Written by Bob Rakow

I learned that the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team defeated the Soviet Union when my best friend, Joe, raced out the side door of his house screaming the news. If memory serves, we were playing ball hockey in his driveway—using a section of the garage door for a goal—when he rushed outside with the exciting, unbelievable news.

I thought about that moment last week when I learned via a Facebook post that Joe had died. I had not seen him in more than 25 years. People move on, go their separate ways. But news of his death truly saddened me. He’s not the first member of the Class of 1978 at St. Thomas More School on the southwest side of Chicago to pass away, but he’s the first one I knew well.

Joe and I were as close as could be for about three years from 7th grade until freshman year, when my family moved out of the neighborhood. During those years, we did everything together, and the memories came flooding back upon news of his death. I’m told he suffered from a host of maladies, and I know that he lived a tough life, but the thought of someone passing away at 49-years-old is tough to comprehend.

I don’t remember what brought the two of us together, but I vividly recall how we spent our time. Neither of us had much in the way of athletic ability. In fact, when we played together on a on an organized softball team, we took turns playing catcher. But, we did it together, had fun doing it and somehow that was enough. Who could imagine that 35 years later, I’d learn of Joe’s death from another player on that same softball team via social media?

In the days long before Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the like, Joe and I spent our time outside in the neighborhood—me peddling Joe’s old Schwinn while he sat on the handlebars. We were not especially popular, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason we became friends.

We played endless hours of home run derby with a Wiffle ball and bat. The batter stood on the sidewalk across the street from Joe’s front lawn, the outfielder was positioned on the lawn. A caught ball or one that did not get across the street was an out, while a ball that fell on the lawn counted for one run. A ball that landed on the lower-level roof of Joe’s house was a grand slam, and the rare ball that reached the upper roof counted for eight runs. We played basketball, ball hockey, tossed around a football, you name it—sports were everything to us.

On Fridays during the NFL season, we got together after school and bet on the games. It was a simple affair. We threw the names of the all the teams in a hat and took turns selecting one. One week the big wagering—50 cents a game—was conducted my house and the next week we’d circled back to Joe’s place. We made endless calls to Sports Phone to track the Sunday scores in the days long before sports radio and the Internet.

Saturday’s were reserved for trips to Ford City. We’d get together at Joe’s house, walk to 79th Street and hop a bus to the mall. It seems one of us would always buy an album, t-shirt or sports apparel. We’d have lunch at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, and more often than not I’d have to quash Joe’s plan to dine and ditch. But that was Joe. He was a crazy guy that occasionally would step over the line. I routinely reached over than line and reined him in. I’d get mad sometimes, but somehow our friendship maintained.

In the years after I moved out of the neighborhood, I’d talk to Joe now and then, spend a little time with him occasionally, but it wasn’t the same as the bond between us as kids. Still, Joe’s death really saddened me. It’s as though a lot of childhood memories—good times—died along with him.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Bob Rakow is a news reporter for the Reporter.

‘A direct slam to the family’

  • Written by Bob Rakow


Two months after death, family of Brittany lashes out at local police


Brittany WawrzyniakBrittany Wawrzyniak Two months after Brittany Wawrzyniak’s death, the family of the 18-year-old girl have broken their silence and are strongly criticizing the Worth police department for failing to keep them apprised of the investigation.

“We’ve got a dead 18-year-old girl with no information on how she died other than they state she was jumping out of a moving car on a drug buy. That’s ludicrous,” Wawrzyniak’s step-grandfather, Earl Lane, said Tuesday.

Wawrzyniak’s mother, Rebecca Tully, is equally dismayed over the police department’s failure to inform the family of the investigation’s progress, but did meet briefly with Police Chief Martin Knolmayer on Monday afternoon.

“The [Worth police] chief basically told her she ought to go out in [her] car, climb in the back seat and jump out and see how it’s done”

— Earl Lane

“I feel like they were more polite with me because Brittany’s dad called (Worth Mayor Mary Werner),” Tully said on Tuesday.

Tully said she had no intention of returning to the police department following a Dec. 2 meeting with the chief.

Tully’s mother, Rebecca Lane and Earl Lane sat down on Tuesday with The Reporter to talk about the police department’s handling of the case.

“It seems like a direct slam to the family,” Earl Lane said of the police department’s refusal to share information about the case.

Knolmayer has refused to publically comment on the case, saying only that his department is the midst of an ongoing investigation.

“She wanted to know what was going. What was happening, who they interviewed,” Earl Lane said of the December meeting.

“They weren’t returning her phone calls. She finally got to make an appointment,” Rebecca Lane added. “She figured if she went in in person she might be able to get some answers.”

Tully brought a close friend to the meeting, who was escorted out at the chief’s request when she began to ask questions about the witnesses police had interviewed, Tully said.

Tully asked the chief how her daughter could have fallen out the car. The chief’s response shocked her.

Man charged with stabbing wife, daughter in Palos Hills

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Waldemar DzbikWaldemar Dzbik


A Palos Hills man was charged with two counts of attempted murder Tuesday afternoon after allegedly stabbing his wife and daughter with a collector’s keepsake knife during a domestic disturbance, police said.


Waldemar Dzbik, 50, stabbed his wife multiple times in the bathroom of their home in the 9700 block of Maple Crest Drive, police said. He stabbed his 19-year-old daughter once in the chest when she tried to pull him off her mother, police said.

Both women were taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where Dzbik’s wife underwent surgery, police said. Information on her condition was not available.

The incident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. When police arrived, they located the victim and her daughter at a neighbor’s house. Dzbik, meanwhile, fled in his Volkswagen Jetta. Palos Hills Police Chief Paul Madigan found Dzbik sitting in his car at 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a McCook trucking company, police said.

Dzbik drove away when he saw Madigan approach his car, but was later arrested by McCook police near 47th Street and Harlem Avenue, according to reports.

Police have responded in the past to domestic disturbances at the house, they said.