St. Pat’s Parade a huge success
Practice makes perfect…and perfect it was! The weather was great, the attendance outstanding and the record-breaking number of parade entries were the best yet, making the Forest Park Chamber’s 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade a huge success.

Although the above-mentioned elements are essential to the parade’s success, we would be unable to host this event without the generous support of the following sponsors: Forest Park Liquor Association,

Burke Beverage, Oak Park Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Mohr Oil Co., Ultra Foods, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, Spotless Carwash, Healy’s Westside, Kay’s Bakery, Arborwood & Briarwood at Altenheim, Doc Ryan’s, Gallery Etc., Shanahan’s, Tefco Construction, McGaffer’s, O’Sullivan’s Public House, Harrison Street Café, Ento Pest Control, My Best Friend Groom and Board, Duffy’s Tavern, Dr. Lori Lipkin, Claddagh Ring Club, Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753, The Furniture Recycler, American Family Insurance, Beret Ltd., Chix With Stix, Louie’s Grill, Todd & Holland Tea Merchants, St. John Lutheran School & Early Childhood Center and Golden Steer. Your generosity and continued support is truly appreciated.

We’d also like the thank the Village of Forest Park, the Forest Park Police Department and the Public Works Department for excellent service and support.

A big thank you to our volunteers, parade participants and parade watchers for helping make this event a huge success. Remember to support our sponsors…and shop Forest Park.

Laurie Kokenes
Sherri Ladd

Forest Park Chamber of Commerce
Parade Committee

Welch responds to endorsement of Yarbrough
I am very excited to be running as a Democrat for State Representative from the 7th District. A district I have resided in my entire life. My calling to public service has led me to be the President of the Proviso Township High School District 209 Board of Education where I have dedicated my energies to helping provide a better tomorrow for our young people. Because I believe there is so much positive change that can be made in the General Assembly, my calling to public service compels me to now seek election to the legislature and serve my community in the State House.

My message of education innovation, economic security, and crime prevention has and continues to be offered as a positive alternative to the status quo.

I am in this race to advance progressive ideas for the good of our community, not to tear down the ideas of anyone else. If we fund and manage our school system better, if we support an economic culture of good jobs right here in the 7th District, and if we confront arm-in-arm the crime in our streets, we will reap the benefits together.

On February 23, 2006, The Chicago Tribune agreed with me and honored me with their endorsement. The Tribune noted that I have “an understanding of the education funding issues” facing our state, and I have “clever ideas” on how to handle other issues our community face on a daily basis. I thank the Tribune for their endorsement, and I will not disappoint them or you.

The politics of personal destruction are counter-productive and do nothing to enhance the public debate on the major issues facing our community.

Unfortunately, there are some who believe more in defeating a particular candidate for seemingly personal reasons than in discussing various view-points in public forums for the public good. I have strived as a public servant and as a candidate to elevate the level of public discourse and to seek opportunities to learn from those with whom I may not readily agree. I will continue to do so.

As we enter the last few days of the Primary campaign, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to not only those many thousands of people who are supporting me, but also to all those who care enough about our community to participate in the political process.

In that spirit, I am asking for your votes on March 21st. But more importantly I am asking for everyone to participate in our democracy.

Emanuel “Chris” Welch



Water Reclamation District race
Often, voters tend to focus on high profile races, forgetting to cast votes in lesser known races. I am writing to remind voters about the smaller, often overlooked races, such as the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The Board handles treatment of wastewater and stormwater and has a $1 billion per year budget.

In this race, I am voting for Frank Avila. Frank has been a supporter of good government and protecting city workers, including defending Patrick McDonough, the whistleblower in the “Hired Trucks” scandal, and defending another city worker’s right to free political association. Frank’s great track record in defending the rights of the little guy is the reason he’ll get my vote in the Democratic primary on March 21st.

Michael L. Muslin



Immature behavior by public figures is embarrassing
Explain to me why I get the impression that our Forest Park leaders think the kindergarten teacher has left the classroom.

My wife and I have been residents of Forest Park for two and one-half years now. We love the community and location, we think the Madison Street development is great, our police force works hard to make this a safe place and we see many positive effects to the community of past leaders and present ones. Forest Park is at a point of positive sustained improvement and change. It is not your old Forest Park anymore from the perspective of a newbie.

So what we want to know is what will it take to get our community leaders together in agreement on a set of public emotional intelligence objectives?

We are appalled by the level of immature behaviors demonstrated by our Village Council, select police officers, select village workers, and certain individuals who are in the community spotlight. I do not think we have to name individuals. One can just think about what one has heard and read over the past several years.

To these individuals we say the following: most of us in this community are not in the least interested in your personal confrontations. It is neither acceptable to put a community light on them nor is to justify them as being in our interest. They are a private matter and your timing should reflect such. That is your role as a public persona.

To read and to hear and see personal driven disputes between public leaders is embarrassing to us. We would like to see you maintain a public professionalism that leads award winning local papers to focus on more important community issues of growth and prosperity.

We would also ask the community of Forest Park Review readers in general; let us think hard about the positive aspects of our community and its future. Understand that most of the items to improve are in place and can be handled better by a more emotionally stable leadership. We need to either force our leaders to be that or find new ones. It will require each of us to look at what we have now and know them not only by their works but also by how they carry themselves publicly at all times.

Forest Park needs to rise above unproductive and potentially expensive sideshows. The silent majority must stop being silent and begin to contact our leaders to set the agenda. The behavior modification must begin with our leaders collectively or we must collectively find better leaders.

To sum it all up we ask the leaders to get out of the kindergarten classroom and on with the business of guiding our community professionally in the public eye. We also ask that those of you in agreement with the above help our leaders by voicing your concern.

Drew and Melinda Peterson

Backman responds to domain name allegations
I am giving fair warning: This is a long letter. If it doesn’t interest you, may I suggest moving on to the obits? That’s what I do.

I am responding to last weeks letter from Mark Hosty. I will get to the domains in a moment, but first I wish to clear up some of the assertions Mark made about Citizens United in Forest Park. In November of 2003, eight people sat around a table in the lower level of St Peter’s Church and started sharing ideas about starting a citizen’s organization. It was an exciting night of positive brainstorming and when we finally quit, we all felt we were on to something really good. As it has turned out, we were (check out CUinFP’s list of accomplishments at

After incorporating in May of 2004, all eight of us became charter members and four were selected to become the first board members. Kathy Moran was elected President and we were off and running. Soon after, we added a fifth board member. In May of 2005, the entire board was re-elected to another term, and I was voted in as President. In two months CUinFP will again hold elections and I will run. The membership will decide if I stay or go.

Sue Who? After the February 27 council meeting, Vanessa Moritz (Village Clerk), my wife Gloria and I were talking about some documents when Mark Hosty interrupted us by shouting out “do I have to sue you to get my name back?” We three struggled to continue our conversation but Mark kept shouting. When I finally broke away from the ladies to address him, I tried to inform him how domain ownership works and how the claim process is basically a…but at that moment he spotted Seth Stern of the Forest Park Review. Leaving me at mid-sentence, Mark ran over to him shouting out “thief, thief, identity thief.” Had he listened for two more minutes, I could have explained how he could initiate the process on his own, without a lawyer. I think this is a good example of why our town has had so many fiscal problems over the last seven years.

This past week has been a tough one for me because the Review attributed a comment to me that I never made. “Sue me.” (I suspect the last time I said that in earnest was before my voice changed.) For an entire week many people were given the false impression that I am some immature wise guy. This has cost me a lot of credibility to those who don’t know me.

I don’t know how or why Mr. Stern chose to print Hosty’s account of my statement without including my side of the story, but he did. During my interview with him, he asked me directly if I said, “sue me”, and I told him, “no.” I didn’t really understand the context of the question and essentially forgot about it until I read the letter and story last week. Yikes! Mr. Stern has offered to fix it somehow. Better late than never, I suppose. I am very suspicious about the origin of the “sue me” comment, but I can assure you one and all, it did not come from me.

Need a break?

The Domain Game. Three years ago I bought the hosty, gillian and calderone domains as a deterrent. I must admit that over the years I have had fantasies of setting up the sites with the three of them in Pinocchio costumes and on one occasion in July of 2003 when Mark Hosty made disparaging remarks about the residents of Robert Taylor homes, I had a vision of a…..never mind. A cooler head and a total lack of technical know how prevailed.

Last fall, I got a call from Bob Skolnik of the Forest Park Review about a possible story. He had just finished an interview with Mayor Calderone where the mayor had told him all about my domains plus the doolin domain. Patrick Doolin! The mayor’s camp bought doolin? I went on line and sure enough, May of 2005. My wager had paid off. For whatever reason the Calderone people bought the doolin domain, they validated my theory. I do find it odd that over all this time, neither Hosty, Gillian or Calderone have ever contacted me or my domain broker about the domains, until Mark brought it up after the February 27 council meeting.

What Now? I’ve talked to several of my friends and associates about the next step. In my mind, I see the next election as still a year off and anything can happen. But from their collective view, they see that the Calderone camp proved my point and future attempts to use domains would be the kiss of death…Done.

Sow’s ears and Silk Purses. If having domains has become a problem, I say let’s turn a liability into an asset. In this milieu, I own the domains, there is nothing to “give back” to anybody. I have two choices, I can release the domains, which, after a 35 day waiting period, they would cease to exist in any form, and anybody who wants to recreate them can. First come first served. Or, I can transfer them to any person I wish. So to Mark Hosty, Tim Gillian and Tony Calderone, I made this offer: In exchange for the transfer of each domain, you make a $150.00 donation to the Friends of the Forest Park Library. Some may say this is horrible, others may say brilliant. Most could care less.

Steven Backman