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Classrooms should mirror reality

I agree with the Review regarding the drawbacks to this proposal, which include having students adjust to a new school every few years and the logistics of getting multiple kids to more than one school. I would like to bring up a benefit of schools that have both younger and older students together. When multiple ages interact, the younger children have someone to look up to and the older children are in a position of leadership and mentoring. This arrangement more closely mirrors real life than being isolated within age groups. I believe that this isolation encourages self centered behavior which may result in increased bullying and peer pressure.

My own children have benefited by being in a pre-school through eighth-grade environment for 10 years while attending Walther Lutheran Academy (formerly St. John Lutheran School). When they were in the lower grades older students served as buddies both in chapel and in their reading programs. Now, as fifth and eighth graders, they are serving in these roles.

I’m all for considering new ideas, but if the main issue is class size, the ones who should be penalized are those families who wait until the first day of school to register rather than those families that are established in their neighborhood school.

Catherine Hegarty
Forest Park

Good food

On behalf of the village of Forest Park, I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who contributed to our Rib-Fest on Saturday, Sept. 13. To our sponsors: Miller Brewing Company, Paramedic Services of Illinois, Children’s Dentistry, AT&T, The Roos Homes, Ferrara Pan Candy Co., Recycling Systems, Inc., Farmington Foods, Christopher Burke Engineering, Mohr Oil Company, Forest Park Liquor Association, Storino, Ramello & Durkin, Community Bank of OPRF, Ultra Foods, R-Place, Broadway Warehouses, Chris Guillen Photography, Forest Park Firefighters, Shanahan’s, Byron’s Hot Dogs, Two Fish, Chamber of Commerce and Development, Chicago Suburban Lumber, Robinson’s Ribs, Nadeau Ice and S & S Electric.

To Larry Piekarz and the staff of the Park District of Forest Park for all their help. To our contestants who came out and weathered the rain with us: Joe Milosovic, Tom Beizaks, Tim Clendenning, Perry Bax, Don Cheval, John Spielman, Steve Archer, Larry Buckley, John Doss, Michael Abdul, Chris Leahy, Michael Racanelli, Adam Muransky, Brian Moritz, William Teague, Walter Cole, Mr. and Mrs. Angelo, Anthony Lazzara, Adam Shauer, Robert Walsh and Al Robinson.

To our judges: Mike Sturino, Anthony Buoniconti, Tim Murray, David Muchowicz, Mark Brown, Nancy Robinson, Scott Crawford and Bob Morgan. To Chef Denise Murray who prepared delicious samples.

To our food vendors: Robinson’s Ribs, R-Place, Chase Root Beer and One Potato Too for all the great food. To the entire Community Center staff and all who volunteered including, Bob Dowdle, Brigid Collins, Kathleen Ryan, Lou Thompson and Sandy Byrnes. To John Doss and the public works department for helping with grove set up and trash removal and Chief Jim Ryan and the police department for maintaining public safety.

Thank you to all who attended the Rib-Fest and sampled the delicious ribs and to Mayor Anthony Calderone who emceed the event and announced the winners. First place winner was Don Cheval; second place, Tim Clendenning; and third place was Robert Walsh. Crowd favorite went to Chris Leahy and best decorated tent went to Brian and Vanessa Moritz. Congratulations to all the contestants and once again, thank you to everyone who braved the weather and came out.

Karen Dylewski
Howard Mohr Community Center

Local items, please

In our Forest Park Review for two or three times, they are leaving out the column on the government announcements of meetings in the Calendar section. We are getting a lot of information there for Oak Park and River Forest. This is supposed to be the Forest Park paper.

Hope Simon
Forest Park

Speed table fable

Tasha and Kelly eagerly bounded up to Madison Street for their daily walk. The village Web site advertised a special crossing that will slow cars down and allow them to go see their buddy Max’s new doghouse.

Reaching Constitution Court, they noticed a crowd standing along the curb on Madison with a befuddled look on their faces. Tasha pushed ahead to the front of the line and saw a lump of asphalt level with the sidewalk. Just as she looked to cross, a car whizzed by almost pulling her into traffic with the tail draft.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Tasha heard. It was the local dog sage, Duke. “The new raised pedestrian crossing or speed table is not the standard length, has improper signage and temporary pavement marking. The cars are not slowing!” he warned.

Duke further explained that due to the flattop construction, vehicular speeds are only minimally diminished and most vehicles can still cross at 35 mph. He said other devices would slow traffic significantly.

“Wait a minute – isn’t the speed limit 25 mph and why didn’t they try something else?” Kelly asked.

“That question is best left to the village beer tender and the maestro,” Duke whispered.

“You see measures required for safe pedestrian crossing will bring complaints and drivers will find other routes. Madison Street would soon suffer the fate of storied roads such as Route 66 or State and Lake streets when they were street malls,” Duke continued.

“But it’s so beautiful with all the bells and whistles,” squeaked Guido, the biggest small dog in town.

“Well it should be for the price and it’s a lot more than $7,600,” Duke bellowed. “With the message board, extra traffic control and stamping the asphalt a second time, a lot more!”

“It doesn’t work,” Tasha sighed as they all headed to the dog park.

The moral of this story boys and girls is that complex problems can not be solved with bells and whistles.

Tony Sarley
Forest Park