• Don’t forget: The annual letter carrier food drive is coming up this Saturday, May 14. Forest Park’s letter carriers won’t just be dropping off the mail that day”they’ll also be looking to pick up canned and dry goods for our food pantry, which runs short of food this time of year. Last year they got 1,000 pounds. Let’s break the record this year FP!

• Reach for the Stars: Astronaut Pamela Melroy (pictured) spoke to students from the new Proviso Math and Science Academy on May 7 about her experiences as an astronaut. She told the students she foresaw a time when people with disabilities could be astronauts and added that there are now about 30 women in the U.S. Astronaut Corps, making up 25-30 percent of the corps. Of these, most are engineers and scientists.

• Got a call the other day … asking for more information on Oak Park events. So here are three you might want to catch:

Oak Park/River Forest Walk With Israel is Sunday 5/15. Registration is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Oak Park Temple, 1235 N. Harlem Ave. The 5.7K walk steps off at 10 a.m., with food and entertainment at 11:30 a.m. at Scoville Park, Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue, featuring singer Stuart Rosenberg. Call 312/444-2905 to register.

The Fourth Annual Walk for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Sunday 5/15 also, beginning at 12:15 p.m. with a Gathering Program at Ridgeland Common Park, Lake Street at Scoville Avenue, followed by a 1-mile walk and a Potluck Advocacy Buffet/Program at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., with speakers and performances. Call 312/427-2533 x18.

25th Annual Ethnic Festival is Saturday 5/14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whittier School, 715 N. Harvey Ave., sponsored by Oak Park School District 97. A parade steps off at 10 a.m. from Cuyler Avenue and Augusta Boulevard. The festival features culturally diverse performers, ethnic food, exhibits and cultural activities. Call the Multicultural Resource Center at 524-7700 for more information.

• Don’t forget our Public Works employees: The mayor proclaimed May 15-21 National Public Works Week. Public Works services are an integral part of our community’s everyday life. Coming up next week, commissioners Patrick Doolin and Theresa Steinbach said, will be a fun-filled day in which the village will celebrate these workers who keep our village going. So when you see a Public Works vehicle going by next week, or someone painting a curb on the street, honk your horn or wave at them. Let them know we appreciate their hard work.

• Save the date: St. Paul Lutheran has requested and received permission from the village to celebrate a festival on May 14. For the fete, they will be blocking off Brown Street, north of the alley between Grant-White School and St. Paul Church. The festival is scheduled to run from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 366-0058.

• Save the date II: The Forest Park American Legion Post #414 and the V.F.W. Memorial Post #7181 will be selling poppies on Thursday, May 26. Rain date: May 27.

• Don’t forget the basket: The Park District of Forest Park and the Chamber of Commerce will host the annual, highly anticipated All-School Picnic on May 26.

• Summerfest 2005 is still around the corner. It is on Friday, June 10 from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 11 from noon to 10 p.m. Businesses wishing to sponsor or participate in the festival should pick up forms at the Chamber of Commerce, 7344 W. Madison St. Get them back to the chamber by May 16.

• St. Bernardine Day Family Festival is scheduled for May 22, beginning with a special Mass at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until dusk. Admission is free and there will be food and beverages for purchase. St. Bernardine Day is a fundraiser for the parish, school, and other parish programs. Check it out at 815 Elgin Ave.
It’s a busy time. Enjoy.