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Write-in candidate hopes she won't be written off in race against incumbent mayor

By Laura Bollin

The mayor of Evergreen Park will face an election challenger for the first time in his four runs for the village’s highest elected office.

Write-in mayoral candidate Shawn Good, who was booted from the ballot after an electoral board deemed her nominating petitions invalid, is hoping to defeat Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton April 9. Three political allies of Sexton comprised the electoral board that threw out Good’s nominating petitions.

Jim Sexton
Sexton, 60, has lived in Evergreen Park for 37 years, and is running because he wants to continue the economic development he helped bring to the village, he said. Sexton owns a bachelor’s degree in education from Loyola University Chicago, and has spent 26 years on the Evergreen Park Village Board. He served as a trustee from 1987 to 1996, village clerk from 1996 to 2001, and has been mayor since 2001.

Bringing more commercial development to Evergreen Park is at the top of Sexton’s list of things he wants to accomplish. Big box retailers Meijer and Menards will be opening in a development on the old Evergreen Golf Club property at 91st Street and Western Avenue, and Sexton this week announced a developer’s plan to redevelop The Plaza at 95th and Kedzie.

“The Plaza would be up at the top, and the Webb property [2601 W. 95th St.] is toward the top of the list,” Sexton said. “We changed all four corners at 95th and Kedzie. Twelve years ago, that was all old, dilapidated buildings. We brought in Oberweiss, Jimmy John’s, Culver’s, all things I have been working on over the years that have come to fruition.”

Village officials should always be working on economic development, Sexton said. The mayor has been a staunch advocate of the “Keep the green in Evergreen” campaign, an effort to encourage residents to spend their money in Evergreen Park rather than other places such as Oak Lawn and Chicago Ridge.

“We want to encourage people to spend their dollars here so we keep the folks that we have here.” Sexton said.

Sexton hopes voters will consider his experience in municipal government.

“I started out on committees as youth commissioner and a police and fire commission member,” Sexton said. “I’m not just coming along looking to start at the top. I planted a framework and worked hard in this town. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and worked with a lot of people.”

Sexton is excited about the future of Evergreen Park.

“We’ve got a lot to do here,” he said. “We have a great town, and we have a lot to look forward to. We have the park and retail development at 91st Street and Western Avenue with the Menards, Meijer, and Michaels. We have to get the Mariano’s completed [on the old Webb site]. We have got to get The Plaza done – we have to scrap it and start over. That’s three major projects we’re in the midst of working on.”

Sexton, who contracted West Nile Virus last summer and spent nearly six weeks in the hospital, said the commercial development in town has helped him regain his strength, and keep the commitment to Evergreen Park he has held for more than 37 years.

Shawn Good
Good, 44, has lived in Evergreen Park for 40 years, and wants to address the concerns of the citizens in town. Good attended Moraine Valley Community College, and earned her master’s degree in political science and justice studies from Governors State University. Good is running for mayor the good of the community, she said.

“I want to address the concerns of the citizens and business owners,” she said. “I feel dedicated to Evergreen Park and the community. I want to do service here because I live here and am dedicated to public service.”

Good believes the Village Board should be making the best choices for everyone in town, and is concerned about taxes and business development. Evergreen Park has not raised its property tax rate in many years.

“We need to be working together with other communities to attract businesses and get taxes lowered,” Good said. “I’ve seen town change – we have a lot of auto dealerships and a lot of retail services. People are complaining about very high taxes that are just out of control, but they are not getting anywhere with their complaints.”

When talking to business owners, Good said some told her their property taxes are so high they are having a difficult time staying in business.

“I want to meet with local business owners and state representatives and bring it to a forum or committee so we can band together.”

She also wants to create incentives for businesses that have been in Evergreen Park for more than 30 years to encourage them to stay in the village. Good hoped to create a petition that would get the attention of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“If we get enough people to petition or get a group of people to bring it to his attention, I think maybe they have to start investigating and help our community,” Good said. “95th Street is being emptied out very quickly.”
 

ComEd denies responsibility for power outage, surge in Oak Lawn

By Laura Bollin

A power outage caused by a raccoon earlier this month in Oak Lawn was an “act of God,” according to ComEd, and the electric company is denying responsibility for any damages incurred by the 1,000-plus residents who were affected by the situation.

Village officials, meanwhile, plan to meet with ComEd representatives and residents in early April to further discuss the matter. Two representatives from ComEd met with about 25 Oak Lawn residents last Wednesday. ComEd will analyze each claim of damages on an individual basis, said Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen.

The power outage and subsequent power surge that Oak Lawn village officials claim overwhelmed surge protectors and damaged electronic equipment such as televisions and computers occurred early in the morning March 10 in an area bounded by 87th and 99th streets and Cicero and Central avenues. ComEd claims 1,044 customers were affected by the outage. The Oak Lawn police and fire departments received calls from residents about the smell of smoke in their homes, village officials have said.

“It is clear that those who attended the meeting experienced damage to appliances, like their refrigerators, ovens, DVD and Blu-Ray players, computers and television sets,” Deetjen said. “Some people had very sophisticated and expensive surge protectors, but they were not helpful. Some of their devices were permanently damaged by the surge, which is extremely frustrating.”

Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak said he has visited residents who had had appliances fried by the power surge that followed the outage, and claims some people incurred as much as $6,000 worth of damage.

At the neighborhood meeting planned for next month, residents will be able to hear ComEd’s assessment of the outage and why it occurred, Deetjen said.

“We don’t want to get people’s hopes up,” Deetjen said. “It is common across the country [that] for acts of God the power company is not liable. It has to be a human error in terms of operating the system, poor maintenance or inadequate equipment. At this point, they’re taking the position that they have no liability.”

Residents can fill out claim forms in case it is determined ComEd was responsible. Claim forms can be found on Oak Lawn’s website, oaklawn-il.gov.
 

Variety by Brian Lowry

Variety by Brian Lowry

’Net gain falls short
  Given all the attention showered on “House of Cards” — Netflix’s high-profile voyage into prestige drama, with Kevin Spacey and director David Fincher onboard — one could easily assume Web-originated content has officially turned a corner. Such an assumption would be partly right, and mostly wrong.
  Original production for the Web has steadily been gaining steam, with experimentation becoming more ambitious. Producers are investing more, and asking viewers to watch longer — a big leap over the byte-sized bits that initially characterized such efforts. That said, most of these productions are characterized by deficiencies on one front or another, reflecting some of the Web’s off-Broadway-style limitations.
  Two recent efforts are illustrative in this regard. Crackle’s “Chosen,” starring and produced by “Heroes” alum Milo Ventimiglia, features a tautly constructed little story resembling a “The Twilight Zone” episode: An ordinary guy is tapped by unseen forces to participate in a “game,” which requires the players to kill random strangers. Yet while the six roughly 20-minute chapters have the feel of an indie thriller, they also exhibit some of the challenges producing for the Web can impose. Although the performances are strong and the ethical considerations intriguing, scenes drag on a little too long, presumably due in part to production demands that don’t allow for sprawling casts or multiple locations and sets.
  By contrast, Syfy premiered “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome,” a TV movie assembled from 10 webisodes produced for YouTube’s premium channel Machinima Prime. Extending one of the network’s signature franchises, the show actually looks great — using virtual sets and CGI to create action sequences almost comparable with the original (or rather, rebooted) series; it’s in the so-so acting and writing where the project feels a noticeable cut below its predecessor. Both programs have been deemed successful by their distributors, even if the metrics remain a tad confusing to those accustomed to a Nielsen yardstick.
  In the case of “Chosen,” for example, Crackle was touting both the number of streams and the fact more than half the people who watched the first installment hung around for the rest. In certain ways, the Web is creatively liberating. With something like “Chosen,” the format allows producers to “tell the story that we want to tell,” says Eric Berger, GM of Crackle and exec VP of digital networks for Sony Pictures Television, without needing to stretch the length — either of the run or individual episodes — to accommodate a network’s schedule. “When you get out of the TV world, which has very rigid parameters, you can have more flexibility with the content,” Berger explains.
  “Blood & Chrome” has the advantage of being tied to a pre-sold title, which might be the best way lure traditional TV viewers into this relatively new space. That logic also explains Prospect Park’s decision to try using the canceled ABC soaps “All My Children” and “One Life To Live” to anchor what they’ve dubbed the Online Network — a proposed migration that has hit multiple hurdles and snags along the way, reflecting some of the complications associated with this still-fledging model.
  Clearly, content for the Web is becoming harder to differentiate from conventional TV, and much of the better stuff will invariably be shared in various distribution windows to help defray the costs. Yet while the lines continue to blur, for now, a few big gambles like “House of Cards” haven’t completely erased them, and it remains uncertain how many entities that test these waters will exhibit the fortitude to repeatedly risk seeing their houses come toppling down.
  For its part, Netflix has stated it won’t release user data regarding “House of Cards” results, seemingly determined to trump even pay-cable networks like HBO in the “It’s a hit if we say so” department. Ultimately, though, the plots of the latest iteration of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Chosen” contain unspoken messages for the industry about the current phase of made-for-the-Web evolution: In the first case, the sleek new technologies being created can come back to bite you; and second, even if you’re just trying to mind your own business, not everyone is going to get out alive.
 

Omarr

Omarr’s Weekly Astrological Forecast
by Jeraldine Saunders

 ARIES (March 21-April 19): First come, first served. St. Patrick’s Day gives you an excuse to drink green beer or hunt for four leaf clovers. Even without a lucky charm, you could be lucky in love or money in the upcoming week.
  TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Do exactly what you agreed to do and honor meaningful commitments in the week ahead. Being true blue and dependable is the best way to maintain your reputation and pleasant working relationships.
  GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You won’t need to have the best of everything if you make the best of everything this week. You may get a chance to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, but aren’t in much danger of becoming green with envy.
  CANCER (June 21-July 22): Rely on intuition to follow a carefree path. Float along on inspiration, while others struggle along on the hard cold ground. This is a week when you can make your dreams come true if you let go of hang-ups.
  LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the upcoming week, use the litmus test to see who is true blue and devoted to you. Achieve harmony by presenting a united front and keeping romance alive. You and a partner will be on the same wavelength.
 VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A leprechaun’s pot of gold is within your reach. When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, the rock may be the Blarney Stone and offer you a way out by using your charismatic appeal.
  LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” you could be swept away by a hot new office romance. In the week to come, you might be the center of attention when praise or promotions are passed around at work.
  SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it is also the color to wear today. You can enjoy and share in other people’s success in the upcoming week without discarding your own habitat.
  SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your impishness sometimes appears when you get a chance to improvise. In the week ahead, you will find that your practical jokes and a devil-may-care attitude receive a warm reception.
  CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Get buttered up, buttercup. Someone in the immediate vicinity may seem to have kissed the Blarney Stone and you could receive more than your fair share of flattery. Enjoy praise in the week ahead.
  AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Stick close to hearth and home in the week ahead, giving all your devotion to those you can depend upon and trust. A friend could give you a tip about something worthwhile if you follow through.
  PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Partners can take a trip through paradise. If you have love and affection on your mind, or a job offer on the table, the first part of the week could offer a chance to make some of your dreams come true.
 

Broaden Your Horizons

This Week

Seder luncheon

  A Seder meal luncheon is offered at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, on Tuesday, March 26, at noon.
  The Rev. Chris Hopkins and her husband Dr. William Hopkins will invite participants to share in the readings and partake of a traditional Jewish Seder Passover meal, and then conclude the program with a Christian understanding of the Last Supper Passover meal.
  The luncheon costs $16, and requires reservations. Call The Center at 361-3650.

Womantalk discussion

  The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, will host its monthly Womantalk coffee hour and discussion on Tuesday, March 26, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  Led by MaryAnn Grzych, ladies are invited to join the discussion of “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach or other inspirational readings that participants wish to bring.
  There is no cost, but reservations are required. Call The Center at 361-3650.

The Bridge Teen
Center events

   • Pizza Making will be offered from 11 a.m-2 p.m. March 27 by The Bridge Teen Center, 15555 S. 71st Court in Orland Park.
  The offsite culinary demo will be held at Parmesan’s. Participants will get a chance to go behind the scenes and learn how this local restaurant makes their artisan pizza. Students will also create their own pizza.
  • Soul Café — 5-6 p.m. March 28, with singer/songwriter Ashleigh Ashton. Participants will get the chance to hear Ashleigh’s story and how she began her music career.
  • Spring Break Bash — 7:30-10:30 p.m. March 29, with music from pop band Sugar Rush. Experience the tropical Costa Rican themed night with samples from TCBY. This free event is for teens in 7th through 12th grade with a completed student membership application on file.
  • Saturday Night — 7:30-10:30 p.m. March 30, with acoustic music from singer/songwriter Mark Rose plus free samples from White Castle. This event is exclusively for students in 10th-12th grade and is free with a student membership application or $5 with a school ID.
  To sign up for any program, call 532-0500, or visit thebridge
teencenter.org.

Art at SXU

  Saint Xavier University senior and Honors Program member Maureen Riley will serve as curator for “Revelations: Interrogating the Sacred” art exhibit on display through Monday, April 8 at the Beverly Arts Center East Gallery, 2407 W. 111th St. in Chicago. An opening reception and a panel discussion about the intersections between religion and art in contemporary times will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23 in the Butler Reception Room in the Warde Academic Center. Art can be viewed from 5 to 7 p.m. and a panel discussion will be from 8 to 9 p.m.
  Panel participants include Saint Xavier professor Jaime Lara, Loyola University Museum of Art director of cultural affairs Pamela Ambrose; School of the Art Institute of Chicago professor Frank Piatek; and executive director/curator of Open Concept Gallery Zora Carrier.
  Artists whose work will be in the exhibit include Wayne Adams, Keith Barker, Aaron Lee Benson, Roz Dimon, Robert Eustace, Charles Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman, Patrick Luber, Allison Luce, Linda McCray, Thomas McMillen-Oakley, Anthony Santella and Helen Zajkowski.
  For more information, please contact the Department of Art and Design at (773) 298-3081.

Spring break
mini-camp at McCord

  Haven’t planned activities for spring break yet? It’s not too late!
  Your children can travel the worlds of their imaginations as they take part in the mini-art camp at the McCord Gallery and Cultural Center, Monday, March 25, through Thursday, March 28, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  Instructor Liz Wall will teach portrait painting, paper mâché sculpture, painting of pets and imaginary creatures on canvas, along with tile painting and collage. All art projects will go home with students.
  Students may be registered $20 per day or $70 for the entire session. All supplies are included. Please call the office at 671-0648 for more information.
  The McCord Gallery and Cultural Center is at 9602 W. Creek Road (129th Street and La Grange Road), Palos Park. For more information, call 671-0648, or visit mccordgallery.org.
 

Upcoming

Pottery class

  A Poetry Workshop will be offered at The Log Cabin Center for the Arts, 12700 Southwest Highway in Palos Park, on the first and third Tuesdays of April and May, from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m., beginning April 2.
  Under the guidance of MaryAnn Grzych of Palos Heights, the class shares and supportively critiques each others’ works as they learn together to express significant feelings and ideas through their writings.
  The cost of the workshop is $35 for 4 sessions. Registration is required. Call 361-3650 for more information.

Spring Mandala class

  The Log Cabin Center for the Arts, 12700 Southwest Highway in Palos Park, will offer a Mandala class on six Wednesday afternoons, beginning April 3, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
  Robin Neumann will help students create mandalas using metallic gel pens and vibrant Prismacolors to create symmetrical circular-patterned designs. Mandalas are an ancient symbolic art form. Examples of Neumann’s mandalas can be seen on her blog (openeyesmindheart.blogspot.com).
  The class costs $103 plus a $5 materials fee. Registration is required. To register and to receive a list of required supplies, call The Center at 361-3650.

Films in the BAC

  The Beverly Arts Center will present movies at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in April. Cost is $7.50 ($5.50 for arts center members).
  “Mulberry Child” (Unrated) will be April 3. Award-winning filmmaker Susan Morgan Cooper tells an international coming-of-age story based on the memoir of Jian Ping, who grew up as the daughter of senior government officials during the decade of Chairman Mao’s “Cultural Revolution.”
  “Amour” (PG-13) will be April 10. An elderly pair of retired music teacher finds their relationship tested when the wife has an attack.
  First Nations Film & Video Festival presents “Path of Souls” on April 11. Admission to First Nations Film Festival events are free, but donations for the Beverly Art Center are accepted and help cover screening costs. When an Ojibway graduate student researching the legends surrounding the spirits depicted in North American rock carvings and paintings dies, his grieving fiancé and best friend decide to complete his thesis by embarking on a cathartic road trip, which takes them deep into Indian country and the Path Of Souls.
  Oscar-nominated animation shorts will be April 17 and feature “The Longest Daycare,” “Adam and Dog,” “Fresh Guacamole,” “Head Over Heels,” “Abiogenesis,” “Dripped,” “The Gruffalo’s Child” and Oscar-winner “Paperman.”
  “Lore” (Unrated — contains brief nudity, adult situations and violence) will be April 24. After their parents — an SS officer and a staunch Nazi — are interred by the Allies at the end of World War II, five German children led by the oldest sibling, Lore, face the consequences of their parents’ actions as they make their way across their devastated country to reach their grandmother.