The final countdown: Three vie for Dist. 127.5 top job

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  It’s down to three.

  Chicago Ridge School District 127.5 has entered the next phase of its search for a new superintendent.
  The three finalists for the position will meet Tuesday afternoon with members of the community as well as teachers and district staff members for “open discourse,” said Supt. Joyce Kleinaitis. The forum is not open to the public.
  The feedback from the conversations will help the school board choose a new superintendent, who likely will be selected in February, Kleinaitis said. The school board plans to conduct final interviews Jan. 18.

  The 26 community members who will meet with the candidates represent a cross-section of the community, including parents, school board members and library officials.
  The finalists will meet separately with the community members, teachers and district staff, Kleinaitis said.
  Group members are encouraged to ask a wide range of questions dealing with the candidates’ backgrounds, educational philosophy, approach to the community, among other queries, she said.
  Kleinaitis is retiring at the end of the school year after eight years in the position to teach graduate education classes. Specifically, she will teach school law, which prepares teachers to become administrators, she said. Her base salary for 2013-14 is $161,902.
  She would not offer any background on the finalists, who were chosen from a group of seven who interviewed with the school board. Twenty five individuals applied for the position. School board president Greg Hillman has said all of the candidates are from Illinois.

  Kleinaitis is 43-year veteran of education, having worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent before coming to District 127.5.
  She said she has not had time to think about her departure from the district.
  “We’ve been so busy pulling things together. I really haven’t had time to reflect,” she said.
  District 127.5 serves approximately 1,500 students in Chicago Ridge and a small portion of Oak Lawn. Students attend Finley Junior High and Ridge Central and Ridge Lawn elementary schools.

Two Worth fires produce no injuries

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Fire officials are investigating thepage-2-3-col-fire2Paradise Fashions in Worth had “a significant” loss when a fire gutted the building Friday but there were no injuries. Photo by Jeff Vorva. cause of Friday afternoon fire at a Worth clothing store.
  The North Palos Fire Protection District also is looking into the cause of a Sunday morning fire that destroyed a detached garage near 114th Street and Nina Avenue, officials said.
  The fire at Paradise Fashions, 11142 S. Harlem Ave., was reported at about 12:15 p.m. and extinguished in about 25 minutes, Battalion Chief Paul Mackin said.
  “There was significant loss,” Mackin said.
  No one was injured in the blaze, which did not spread to the other businesses in the strip mall, he said. The store was closed and unoccupied at the time of the fire.
  Firefighters from Chicago Ridge as well the Palos Heights the Roberts Park fire protection districts helped battle the fire, Mackin said.
  No one was injured in the 5:13 a.m. garage fire, which damaged two cars that were parked outside, fire officials said. The blaze was extinguished in about 20 minutes.

Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: Hank, Ralph and the gang make for great TV

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


jeff column  In the past few months, I’ve done columns on good TV (“Breaking Bad”), bad TV (“16 and Pregnant”) and a year-end list of people I enjoyed meeting in 2013.
  So mixing all of that into a stew, this column is about a list of my dozen favorite TV shows of all time. And I invite you to throw in your all-times favorites as well at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  Mine first:
  My all-time favorite show is the “Larry Sanders Show” which is surprising because I really don’t like any other oftv - hank Gary Shandling’s work. But his portrayal of a spoiled egomaniac talk show host is outstanding.
  Throw in unforgettable characters as the buffoonish Hank Kingsley and Artie, Larry’s wisecracking manager, plus some pretty famous guest stars showing up and it was quite a funny show, that you can watch over and over and still laugh out loud.
  The episode of “Hank’s Sex Tape” is the funniest show I’ve ever seen on TV but as you can deduce by the title, I can’t describe it too much. I can say Henry Winkler and Norm MacDonald have guest roles in this classic without having the newspaper shut down. Ginger and MaryAnn from “Gilligan’s Island” are paid a homage, but that’s all I can say….
  The next 11 are in alphabetical order because they are all great and it’s hard to choose and rank them.

All in the Family
  Comedy writing doesn’t get more creative than the “Everybody Tells the Truth” episode in which Archie Bunker and his meathead son-in-law, Mike Stivic, tell different stories about a broken refrigerator incident.
  The first four of five years was great television and broke a lot of barriers for language and controversy that may seem tame today. But the storylines are still hysterical.

The Andy Griffith Show
  Yeah, it’s old but it’s still very funny.
  I’ve seen so many of these episodes dozens of times involving Sheriff Taylor and the Mayberry gang but the humor still holds up in 2014 as it did 50 years ago. The episode in which Floyd and Barney are kidnapped by female prisoners still makes me laugh out loud.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
  “Seinfeld” does not make my dandy dozen, but “Seinfeld” creator Larry David’s “Curb” makes it easily. You never knew how Larry would mess up a situation but he never failed to deliver. Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and Wanda Sykes are as good as it gets when it comes to a bang-up supporting cast.

Friday Night Lights
  I hate, HATE!, inconsistencies in storylines (Whatever happened to Chuck in “Happy Days”? Did he die? Did he go into the Army?) and FNL was full of them. Why was East Dillon High school never mentioned until the end of season three?
  Despite all of that — and the fact that some of the actors were in their late 20s playing high school kids — this show was dramatic and funny. Sometime just one look on coach Eric Taylor’s face said a million words. Priceless stuff.

The Honeymoonerstv - ralph
  Bang, zoom.
  The classic 39 episodes first aired before I was born and the adventures of Ralph, Ed, Alice and Trixie are still great.
  Jackie Gleason was so talented in many different ways and people may forget he was a fine dramatic actor. But he will always be Ralph Kramden in my heart.
  Art Carney? He was one of the great improvisers of all time and it’s been said that he and Gleason rarely followed a script when they performed on “The Honeymooners.”

The Newsroom
  Not to be confused with the show currently running on HBO, this is a show from Canada that lasted just three seasons. The first was 1996-97 and the second and third came in 2004 and 2005.
  The show has a “Larry Sanders Show” vibe to it as it features the innerworkings of a TV newsroom in Canada. The anchorman, Jim Walcott, is a shallow piece of work who has no shame. George Findlay is a self-absorbed unlikeable, likeable character who makes Sanders seem humble. It’s a little slow at times but it’s wicked.
  It’s not easy to find this show on DVD, but it’s a good one to seek out.

The Office
  Not to be confused with the NBC show with Steve Carell (very good in its own right, but not top 12 material), this is the British show that inspired the NBC version. Once you get used to the thick accents and subtle humor, this show is gold.
  It was smart enough to last just a couple of seasons — 12 episodes in all — and pull out. But the brilliant part is that there were a couple of episodes that came out after the series was over. Remember how in the NBC show that this was supposed to be a mock-documentary? That’s why they have those cutaways and people looking funny into the cameras. Well, the British version follows the gang and their fame and misfortunes after the so-called documentary aired. Great stuff.

Rescue Me
  Denis Leary is really funny. So when you put him in a show about New York firemen and some of the characters are funnier than he is, you really have something here.
  The drama is solid but some of the ghost scenes and dream sequences dragged it down. But overall, it was a must-watch series while it was on.

The Shield
  This blows all of the cop shows that I’ve seen — including the excellent “NYPD Blue” out of the water.
  The star of the show is Michael Chiklis who plays Vic Mackey, a rotten cop who you actually root for. All of the other characters are stained or have baggage, too, so it’s not always easy to figure out who the good guys are.

Sons of Anarchy
  Don’t get me wrong, I loved “Breaking Bad” but the tv - sonsfirst season of SOA makes that show looks like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
  Like with “The Shield” there are some bad people in this motorcycle gang here that make you root for some of them. The violence is intense. Look, I know it’s not real, but when a guy is getting a large back tattoo removed by a blowtorch…Ouch!

The Sopranos
  Funny. Dramatic. And, again, like with “The Shield” and “Sons of Anarchy,” you end up rooting for the bad guys.
  But I still want to know whatever happened to those Russians whom Paulie and Christopher were shooting at in the woods.
  Again, if you have any favorites you want to share with the class, e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Reckless parents targeted with new signs in Chicago Ridge

  • Written by Kelly White

  Reckless parents, beware.
  Residential Permit Parking Only signs popped up last month along the stretch from 108th and Lyman Ave. to 108th and McVicker Ave. in Chicago Ridge due to complaints received from residents and the Chicago Ridge Police Department.
  Last winter, Police Chief Rob Pyznarski said he had more officers are patrolling the area during pick-up and drop-off hours than in the previous school season. It was at that time when Terri Bollinger, principal at Ridge Elementary School, 10800 Lyman Ave., said she was also concerned about the reckless driving of parents during pickup and drop-off hours of Ridge Central and Finley Junior High School students.
  Since then, the department has reported people have continued block crosswalks and driveways with their vehicles while waiting for their children, and that some parents even pull into residential driveways, resulting in the decision by the Chicago Ridge Village Board to place three Residential Permit Parking Only signs along the 108th street stretch. The signs display the following message: Residential Permit Parking Only 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vehicles will be ticketed and towed away at the owner’s expense.
  Residents living within the homes along 108th St. have obtained permits for each car registered to Chicago Ridge within their household and must have the sticker displayed on their car window on the right-hand side under their Chicago Ridge city sticker in order to park on the street. Police officers have been patrolling the area during pickup and drop-off hours and tickets have been issued to parents choosing to ignore the signs.

Oak Lawn tavern socked with a $3,000 penalty

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  An Oak Lawn bar has been fined $3,000 for underage drinking and failing to have a liquor license, Mayor Sandra Bury said Monday.
  George’s Lounge, 5407 W. 95th St., was fined $500 for serving four underage patrons on Nov. 9 and an addition $1,000 for not posting a valid liquor license, the second such violation, Bury said.
  An expired liquor license was posted in the tavern, said police, who could not find a valid license in the state’s database.
  The $500 fine per violation is the minimum fine that can be assessed by mayor, who also serves as the village’s liquor commissioner. The fines were handed down one week after a village liquor commission hearing. John Cerniuk, owner of George’s Lounge, did not appear at the hearing.
  “He claims he was out of town visiting family,” Bury said.
  The underage drinking was discovered when police arrived to conduct a spot check, they said. The ID check revealed four underage patrons, one who had a fake ID, police said. The four were charged with underage drinking.
  Cerniuk denied that the four individuals were drinking at his bar, according to police reports.
  He can appeal the decision within 20 days to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
  Bury said she plans to meet with Cerniuk, who is making some “positive changes” to prevent additional problems his tavern, including an ID check system.
  Bury said she hopes the penalties assessed against George’s Lounge will encourage other bars to be responsible when it comes to underage drinking and adhering to the liquor code.
  “My hope is to go back to when we had excellent compliance,” she said. “My goal is compliance.”
  The liquor commission is scheduled to meet Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. for the continuation of a hearing regarding TC Pub, 9700 S. Cicero Ave.
  Police entered the bar Dec. 13 after spotting a fight and hearing loud conversation, according to reports. The bar has a 2 a.m. liquor license, but at least one person in the bar was drinking when police arrived. A bar patron was intoxicated and uncooperative with police, they said. Police also found a bag of cocaine in the office, according to reports.
  Robert Olson, owner of the establishment, said he does not know who’s responsible for the incident, which occurred at 3:38 a.m.
  Olson said after the Dec. 23 hearing that he had hired Dan Brueck of Oak Lawn to promote the bar and attract clientele. Olson took over control of the bar from his father, who owned it for many years. He is working to open another bar on Southwest Highway in Oak Lawn.
  Olson said he has “put together a plan” to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. He said he would share that plan with village officials before the January hearing.
  He said the bar’s alarm system, which includes motion sensors, will notify him and police if it is triggered after 3 a.m., one hour after the tavern closes. Employees should have cleaned up and closed the facility by that time, he said.