Apologies to Jewish Women’s Archive
The Historical Society of Forest Park would like to apologize to the readers of the Review and the Jewish Women’s Archive for forgetting to site the source of the photos and story on Emma Goldman.

The source of the story was the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, MA.

For more stories like Emma please visit the archive at http://www.jwa.org
Rich Vitton
Historical Society of Forest Park

Suggestions for new Park District commissioners
Last week the voting residents of Forest Park, well the 20% that showed up, re-elected and elected two park commissioners. I applaud everyone who ran for office and good for you for not just standing on the sideline, but actually getting involved in the process, unlike me who is standing on the sideline (although I did vote).

Nonetheless I do have a few comments/suggestions for our Park District officials.

I have only been a resident in Forest Park for six years, so those of you who like to reflect fondly of times past enjoyed by “life-long residents” may want to stop reading now.

Still there? Cool. Now I think some of the activities that the Park District offers are certainly first rate. The No Gloves tournament seems to be their main event of the summer and it certainly adds some excitement to the village.

The pool is arguably the best in the western suburbs, and hopefully someday my 3-year-old son will want to venture away from the sandpit and into the pool.

The Soap Box Derby, Movies in the Park, Camping in the Park, these are all great events and they should continue, but we also need to be pushing the park district for more.

They asked for a tax increase and we gave it to them. They have made some capital improvements and the park does look much better. Too bad we can’t use it.

It is springtime, we have already had some great weather days, sunny into the 70s, but if you go to the park to play basketball the court is locked. No problem, let’s play some soccer or football, nope the gate is locked for the field.

Well we can always throw the Frisbee in the area of the ball fields. No, not really, that area is only for softball and little league (even when there are no games).

I don’t know the reason for all of these hoops you have to jump through just to play hoops, but I have seen in the paper that the reason for the soccer field to be locked up is that the district is afraid of it being destroyed.

Here’s a solution, the park district offices are on the park grounds, I do not know what the staffing situation is like, but in the summer I always see someone motoring on the golf cart around the park, couldn’t they check in on the field during regular hours?

Our neighbors to the east have also built a soccer field with a track around it and they do not seem to have a problem with it getting destroyed and they keep it open until 10 p.m.

I heard one of the candidates say we need more programs for the teenagers of this community and I agree, but I would not stop there.

Programs for active adults would be nice too.

An example to consider, there is the inline skating rink which is great”I have fallen down and looked like a fool in there many times. Since it has been built I have not seen anything in the programs about leagues. I did enquire once and the person at the park district office said they have no one to run the league.

OK, well let’s get creative here. Gunzo’s,  the best hockey store in the Midwest, is on Madison Ave. (alright they are in River Forest). Maybe they would be interested in sponsoring a league. Do it in collaboration with River Forest or even Oak Park.

Budgeting is of course a big concern and sometimes you just have to roll the dice (I had to, one Reno reference in).

There are many creative ways to get staffing, we have many local universities in the area (Concordia, UIC) that have education or physical education programs that require students to perform internships. Work with the universities to set-up an internship program over the summer so it allows the park district to offer more programs without hurting the bottom line.

I am just throwing out a few things that I have observed over the six years that I have been here.

I look forward to continuous improvement and creativity by the park sistrict and I hope that the meetings don’t get as nasty as our council meetings have become.

From the sidelines,
Kevin P. Bartlett
Forest Park

Campaign hasn’t ended, it’s just beginning
As the Melrose Park machine thundered through Proviso Township on Election Day, Integrity swept Forest Park.

One of my stated goals prior to the election was to help change the culture of Forest Park politics. With a double digit victory here in Forest Park, our voters have said they agree and for that I am truly grateful.

But the campaign for good government hasn’t ended, in fact, it is just starting.

In two years we will have the opportunity to elect a village council whose only interest is in doing what is good for the Forest Park taxpayers. In order for this to occur, we need to continue questioning what is happening in the village and demand specific answers. This can be accomplished by talking to your neighbors, attending council meetings and visiting on-line message forums that discuss current issues.

Poor government exists when nobody pays attention. By focusing in on how our tax money is being spent, good government will prevail as the profiteers wither and go away.

Thanks for supporting Integrity.
Steven Johnsen

Campaign was not easy
I would like to thank the people who worked so diligently on Mike Espinosa’s campaign for re-election to the Park District. It was not an easy campaign, with a lot of mud slinging and innuendo, but you continued the fight. Unfortunately, it did not turn out the way we wanted.

I would also like to thank the people who voted for Mike. However, to the voters who did not vote at all (over 7,000 registered voted with only 10-12% voting), I hope you will not regret inadvertently helping to elect these new officials.

Even though the election is over, I am sure that everyone still realizes that it is our responsibility to make sure that the newly elected officials live up to their promises. There have been too many times when an official becomes elected and then forgets why he or she was put into office in the first place and the amount of work involved to accomplish what was promised.

I personally hope to see the new commissioners work as hard as my husband did on the Fourth of July, softball tournament, campout, Relay for Life and throughout their term.

I also would like to say that I have been married to Mike for 35 years and know him to be one of the most honest men I have ever known. He is dedicated and loyal to his friends, family, church and community. I hope that you find that same integrity in your newly elected officials.

I also hope that Mike does not give up on continuing to work with our community and making it a better place to live.
Debbie Espinosa
Forest Park

I am truly saddened
I am truly saddened.

The Village of Forest Park lost a great public servant in Park Commissioner Michael Espinosa.

Having known and worked with Mike for the last five or so years. I can say Mike is a very dedicated and hard working person who has the utmost integrity. Everything he did for the park district and the people of Forest Park was of an unselfish nature.

I can only hope that, in the future, if the citizens of Forest Park have a problem with what’s happening in their community, that they attend the board meetings and address their concerns in a way to which the board can respond properly. Not by having to defend their decision in the newspapers.

I wish the newly elected Commissioners the Best, for they have big shoes to fill.
Maurice Sivek
2004 Community Service Award Recipient

From the bottom of my heart, thank you
I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all those people who supported me during my campaign.

There are many more little details to running a campaign than I ever would have imagined. The citizens of Forest Park who helped me are unbelievably dedicated and supportive people, and I’m lucky to have them in my corner.

You all know who you are, and hopefully by now you realize how much you mean to me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

A special thank you goes to those who stood at the polls shaking hands and asking people for votes. It was a long, hot, tiring day and I truly appreciate your efforts.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the citizens who voted for me. You showed the current board that you are ready for change. Let’s hope they consider your desires as they move forward in planning for the future of our park district.
Marcy Wozniak
Forest Park

Sincere thanks!
We are writing this letter to express our sincere thank you to the many voters who went to the polls on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 and gave a resounding vote of confidence in us and our efforts to improve Proviso Township High School District 209.

We will now roll up our collective sleeves and begin the work that you have elected us to do. We will continue to make the tough choices to implement innovative changes that will enable Proviso graduates to compete in an ever changing technological world.

We wish our opponents in the race all the best, and we ask them to stay involved in Proviso High Schools. Attend Take Your Parents to School Day, volunteer to be a member of the Dad’s Club and/or PTSA, or volunteer to be a tutor. By working together, we will always achieve more.

Finally, now that the election is over, we hope that everyone recognizes that history is being made right here in Proviso Township with the opening of the first suburban based magnet high school, the Proviso Math & Science Academy. Please join us in the coming months at an open house and you will truly see that we are creating opportunities for our success stories of tomorrow.

Remember, “When you help a child today, you write the history of tomorrow.”

Forever putting Students and Education First,
Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Daniel J. Adams, Reatha “Sue” Henry