Stop spreading stereotypes

While it is certainly unfortunate what happened between the Marzullo’s in Forest Park, printing an opinion article calling Berwynites trash and telling them to keep on their side of Roosevelt is the exact same type of stereotypical and close-minded thinking that turns people like the Marzullo’s into what they were.

I am sure the restaurant where this took place does not share your view that Berwynites should stay in Berwyn as it is likely that Berwynites give a lot of business to that place and many other Forest Park restaurants, shops, etc.

Forest Park certainly has its own problems; one look at the past couple of years’ crime statistics will show that Forest Park has serious problems.

And gangs? Take a look at your western boundaries any given evening after about 10 p.m.

Instead of mudslinging like this, these two towns should try to support each other in stomping out crime and in becoming better neighborhoods.

Kristin Case
Berwyn

Heartfelt thanks …

This long-time resident of Forest Park would like to thank our very fine Police Department for their quick response to my call for help. I was the victim of a purse snatching at Beloit Avenue and Harvard Street on Tuesday, April 12, 2005.

Thanks to Officer Harrison’s being near the scene, and to his quick observation of  suspicious behavior, they caught the thieves immediately, and recovered my belongings.

I would personally like to thank the entire Police Department, but especially  Officers Harrison, Adams and Lee for their professionalism and understanding of a victim’s feelings.

A Forest Park resident

Letter of thanks

My heartfelt thanks to Proviso Township for their vote of confidence in me as a novice, independent candidate for Proviso Township High Schools District 209.

Forest Park residents and Forest Park Review you all are awesome for your strong support of my candidacy!

As a highly qualified educator, I am available to work together with all of the Proviso Township schools and communities to create solutions to improve student achievement, build positive relationships with the community, and enhance the quality of life for all residents in Proviso Township.

As we monitor the decisions and actions of those elected, let’s insist that they remain accountable and make decisions in the best interest of students, taxpayers, and Proviso Township residents.

As Proviso Township residents, we must advocate for more community involvement in the school board process and schools. School board elections affect us more directly than any other election: education of our children and grandchildren, property taxes, property values, community resources, and community services. We must participate in the process to create success for our students, schools, and communities.

It was my privilege to seek an elected position, and it is my honor to continue to be your independent voice for better schools throughout our wonderful Proviso Township.

With our daily actions, together we can build a legacy of learning and create a community heart for the love of learning.

Respectfully yours,
Gwendolyn Crayton

Pricipal forums for D209

On March 30, I attended one of the Principal’s Forums convened by District 209″announced in the March 23 Pioneer Press papers.

On March 31, a second forum was held at Proviso West that I did not attend.

The stated purpose of the forums was to gain community input into staffing the vacant Principal positions at Proviso East and West. The positions are vacant due to both principals retiring at the end of the school year.

I applaud the district for hosting these open meetings. Dr. Gilchrist chaired the meeting and provided a sample Principal Job Description. The stated objective of this process was to: “work as a team to develop a list of desired qualities for potential principal candidates that will be used as part of a ‘profile’ that members of the interview team will use in interviewing potential candidates.”

Notwithstanding this goal, the few people in attendance felt that the real discussion ought to center around what climate and culture must exist in the school in order for principals to effectively do their jobs.

Following are some of the issues discussed:

• Reduction of politics in decision making”recognizing, of course, that we live in a political society where politics cannot be completely removed.

• Elimination of political influence in hiring and firing”the recent $1.4 million judgment against District 209 due to the political termination of a custodian should reinforce this point.

• Empowerment of the Principal to provide leadership and management over the day-to-day operations of the school This requires a clear and agreed-upon delineation of decision-making protocol between the Superintendent and the Principal.

• Outreach to the community including parents, PTA/PTO, churches, business and community organizations to engage them in problem resolution for the school

• Inclusion of teachers in decision-making, before decisions are made, to create an atmosphere of teamwork

• Encouragement and support of teacher quality through Master Teacher and similar certifications.

• Hiring and training to achieve cultural relevance and sensitivity”even if extra incentives (bonuses, etc. have to be offered to attract qualified candidates.

These are a few of the “take-a-ways” that I left the meeting with. But lastly, and certainly not least, while I am a strong proponent of promoting from within, I also believe that:

• Under certain circumstances, it is best to bring in some “new blood.” I believe that the large numbers of students not meeting State standards is one such circumstance As a taxpayer, I would recommend a national search to attract high quality leadership with a proven tract record, even if we have to pay a premium to get them. Our children deserve this.

Barbara D. Cole
Maywood

Disturbing comments

In reading the REVIEW two weeks ago about the gas leaks at the ongoing Taxman Madison Commons project, I was quite disturbed to read Mayor Calderone’s comments concerning the inconveniences to the surrounding neighbors. I quote: “Every one of us suffers a little bit in light of progress-including me.”

I believe that if the residents were suffering as much as the mayor, there would be perfect harmony though out the neighborhood.

Last year, I asked Tim Hague of the Taxman Corporation point blank if Illinois Alarm, Mayor Calderone’s company, was doing the alarm work for Madison Commons. I included the fact that history has shown a pattern of developers in Forest Park using Illinois Alarm to do their security work and that there were some definite credibility issues involved.

His answer: “No. My construction manager has not considered the possibility.” I thought to my self that maybe Taxman is a better class of developer. “Case closed.”

Well something has happened since that conversation because Illinois Alarm was working, working, working at Madison Commons. I would have to say that is some serious progress…..for the mayor’s bottom line.

Steven Backman

No more ugly signs!

Does anyone else out there think that we are selling ourselves one piece of cement at a time with humongous, ugly highway signs in Forest Park?

They started creeping up the Eisenhower and that was bad enough. The one at the park is horrible to see as you drive into town on Desplaines.

And now I understand that the Village is also putting one up at Hannah and the Eisenhower? Can that be true?! When and where does it stop?

Kathy Collins
Forest Park