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Park Clips

Evergreen Park

Step & Strength Training is from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St.

Hickory Hills

A preschool open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Cynthia Neal Recreation Center, 8047 W. 91st Place. Event is for parents who want to enroll children in a program for the first time in the 2013-14 school year. An informational pamphlet on preschool programs will be available, or call 598-1233 to have one mailed.

Palos Hills

The Resource & Recreation Department will offer programs at the Activity Center, 8455 W. 103rd St.

Parent and Tot classes for children 2 to 3 years old and a parent are from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $30 for Palos Hills residents, $35 for non-residents.

Huggy Bear Twos is Thursday, Feb. 28 to April 4.

Cooking/Craft classes for children 7 to 10 years old are Tuesdays, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Cost is $12 per student.

Green & Lucky St. Patrick's Day will be March 5, Hopping Into Spring will be March 26.

Disney Dance Class for children 6 to 10 years old will be Saturdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Cost is $25 per session.

Oak Lawn

The park district offers duplicate bridge every Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. Cost is $7 per person and includes a light lunch. All ages are welcome. For more information call 857-2200.

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Registration is underway for before- and after-school FLASH (Fun & Learning After School Hours). The park district has partnered with Ridgeland School District 122 and Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 and is in all of those districts' elementary schools - Columbus Manor, Harnew, Kolb and Lieb in District 122, and Covington, Hannum, Hometown, Kolmar and Sward in District 123. For more information call the FLASH director or the FLASH assistant director at 857-2420.

Worth

The Worth Park District Historical Museum is offering a bus-and-walking tour of Historic Pullman Town from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March. Fee is $33 and includes a light lunch. Registration deadline is Feb. 20.

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An antique appraisal with professional appraiser Rex Newell of Rex's Antiques will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 at the Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave. Appraisals are available for the first 40 patrons for $5 an item. Only one "hand-held" item permitted. Call 448-7080 to register. Deadline is March 6.

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Little Club offers benefits such as free indoor playground usage. Fee is $10 resident, $15 non-resident. For more information call the park district.

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Jazzercise for persons age 16 years and older will be from 9:20 to 10:20 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday; and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at the Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave. Fee is $37 monthly for an Easy Fit Ticket and a registration fee of $25. For more information call 448-7080 or visit worthparkdistrict.org.

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The Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., has an indoor playground featuring slides, a climbing wall, tree house and more for children who can walk through 4 years old. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fee is $1 for residents, $2 for non-residents. For more information call 448-7080 or visit worthparkdistrict.org.

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The Worth Park District Historical Society meets at 7 p.m. every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Worth Historical Museum, in the Terrace Centre at 11500 Beloit Ave. Meetings are open to the public. Membership is free but is not required to attend.

Volunteers are welcome to come to the museum from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays to assist with projects. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Curator hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For group visits call 448-7080, Ext. 107.

Whatizit?


Last week's "Whatizit?" was water and ice, as many of you knew. Congrats to Bella Fruendt, Carol DenBesten, Dana Oswald, Kristen Bute, Dan and Kathy Higgins, Alfredo Hardin, Russell Martin, Theresa and George Rebersky, Eddy and Jackie Wilch, Carol Maroney, Mike Small, Jan Merchantz, E.J. Oakeuke, RobertSolner, Jane Foley, Carol and Jerry Janicki, Frank and Donna Hirsch, Patty Vandenberg, James Wucka, and Dan and Laura Heneghan.

This week's clue is: The Lizard King. Send responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject Whatizit, and include your first and last names and where you live.

Park Lawn raffle will award trip to Vegas

Just days remain in Park Lawn's contest to win a trip for four to Las Vegas and a stay at the Venetian Hotel.

Tickets are available for $100 each by calling 425-6867 or at Park Lawn, 10833 S. LaPorte Ave. in Oak Lawn. The winner will receive an Italian-themed escape for four days and three nights that includes two suites at the Venetian Hotel, outdoor gondola ride, a visit to Madame Tussauds Interactive Wax Attraction, dinner at a Venetian restaurant, a Vegas show of their choice, and four round-trip tickets on Southwest airlines including hotel-airport transfers. The trip is transferrable to another destination up to a value of $4,500.

The drawing will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Alsip during Park Lawn's "A Rhapsody in Blue" live and silent auction. Tickets to the auction are sold separately. Winner need not be present to win.

Park Lawn provides residential and vocational support at 12 facilities throughout the south and southwest suburbs for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The raffle proceeds will benefit the Park Lawn programs and services.

Focus on Seniors

Tax Filing Help

The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services offers a volunteer tax filing program in Room 110 at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St. E-filing and direct deposits are available. Call 422-8776 for an appointment. Counselors are volunteers and are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Assistance with circuit breaker, property tax exemption forms, and notary service is also available. Bring last year's federal and state returns, bank statements, and all forms showing income including social security, pension, dividends, interest and property tax bill. Business returns and complicated returns will not be accepted.

Rules of Road

The Worth Township Seniors will hold a free Rules of the Road class from 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. April 3, June 5, Aug. 7 and Oct. 2. Appointment must be made to attend; call the Worth Township Senior Room at 371-2900, Ext. 28. Worth Township Center is at 11601 Pulaski Road in Alsip.

Meals on Wheels

The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services offers a Meals on Wheels program for village residents 60 years and older who are unable to prepare their own meals. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday. For more information call 422-8776.

55 and Up

Palos Hills residents 55 years and older meet from noon to 2 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St. Tickets for events must be purchased one week in advance. Entertainment includes musicians, singers, luncheons, movies, plays and bingo.

Pinochle

The Worth Senior Pinochle club is seeking new members. Membership is free. Visit the group at the Worth Park District Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Games begin at noon. Call 448-1181 for information.

Travel Troubleshooter

By Christopher Elliott

A fee for lighting up in my rental? But I don't smoke

Q: My wife and I traveled to Las Vegas for a trade show. I decided to use my credit card points to cover my car rental through Dollar Rent a Car.

At the car rental desk I was pressured to take the optional insurance, but I told them I had checked with my insurance agent and that I was covered. After 10 minutes of saying "no" she insisted on making a copy of my credit card. I let her and went on my way.

I rented the car for five days, drove a total of 83 miles, and returned the car with a full tank. A Dollar employee checked the car when I returned it and said everything was "OK."

On my next credit card bill I noticed a $125 charge from Dollar, 19 days after the car was returned. I complained to Visa, and a month later I received a letter from Visa saying that Dollar claimed the car needed excessive cleaning due to pet hair, smoke and dirt). We don't smoke and we don't have a pet. Dollar refuses to remove the fee. Can you help? - Joe Galindo, Anoka, Minn.

A: Dollar should have notified you of any cleaning charges when you returned the car, not as a surprise on your credit card bill almost three weeks later. Even if Dollar suspected that you'd smoked a pipe next to your Great Pyrenees after a long day of hiking in the desert, it should have notified you promptly of the cleaning fee and offered evidence of your allegedly messy ways.

What kind of evidence? Well, photos would be a good start. A signed incident report, documenting the condition of the vehicle might work, too. You didn't get any such proof, and neither did your credit card.

But in disputing this charge, you took a shortcut, moving straight to a credit-card dispute instead of contacting the car rental company directly. I might have started with a brief, polite email to Dollar sent through its website, and if necessary, an appeal to a manager at the local or national level.

A credit card dispute removes an entire level of appeal. Think of it as taking your small-claims case directly to a higher court. And speaking of court, your only real recourse after losing a credit-card dispute is to take your case to court. That probably wasn't practical, given the amount of your claim.

I think you would have had a good chance of prevailing in court, by the way. Dollar didn't offer any documentation, as far as I can tell. It simply asked you, and your credit card, to take its word.

I contacted Dollar on your behalf, and it removed the $125 charge from your credit card.

( Christopher Elliott is the author of "Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals" (Wiley). He's also the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine and the co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers. Read more tips on his blog, elliott.org or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Christopher Elliott receives a great deal of reader mail, and though he answers them as quickly as possible, your story may not be published for several months because of a backlog of cases.)