Successful Rib Fest

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. 12.

To our sponsors … Miller Brewing Company, Paramedic Services of Illinois, Robinson’s Ribs, Consolidated Auto, Children’s Dentistry, Ferrara Pan Candy Co., Recycling Systems, Inc., Ultra Foods, R-Place, Forest Park Firefighters, Shanahan’s, Chamber of Commerce and Development, Chicago Suburban Lumber, Nadeau Ice, My Best Friend Groom & Board, Conservation of Sculpture, Park District of Forest Park, Forest Park Montessori Child Development, Currie Motors, Crowe Horwath LLP, Christopher Burke Engineering, Louie’s Grill, Spotless Auto, Verhalen Engineering and Thiesse Plumbing.

To Larry Piekarz and staff of the Park District of Forest Park for all their help and to all our contestants and judges – we couldn’t do it without you. To the entire community center staff and all who volunteered: Sandy Burnes, Lou Thompson, Julie Thompson, Sue Boothe, Kathleen Ryan, Patty Marino, Bob Dowdle, Mike Dowdle, Bridgid Collins, Joanne Trocci, Chris Shorner, Brian Dowdle, Bryson Dowdle, Paula Garcia and Jayne Patten. 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. To Mayor Anthony Calderone, who emceed the event and announced the winners.

First place winner was John Spielman of Westmont; second place, Tim Clendenning of Hanover Park; and third place went to Jim and Monica Angelo of Forest Park. Congratulations to all the contestants and once again, thank you to everyone who came out to Rib Fest 2009.

Karen Dylewski
Director, Howard Mohr Community Center 

Opposition justified

Regarding the article in last week’s paper on Obama’s school speech, it seems the point was totally missed as to what the real objection was. The fact that CBS was the source for your information explains a lot.

The controversy came when it was discovered that the Dept. of Education was dictating what assignments should be given before and after the speech. They weren’t exactly mandating it, but they were pushing it. The two main assignments were to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” And after the speech, to discuss the question, “How did the president inspire you?” These assignments came before it was known what the speech was actually going to say. Because of the objections of so many across the country, the suggestion about writing letters was changed to “write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” Then they would be collected and redistributed at a later date to make the students accountable to their goals.

Obviously, the fact that the administration quickly changed the assignment to say something entirely different says they knew very well there was something wrong with the assignment. The Washington Times was the first to report that the plan was being reconsidered and also reported that presidential aides acknowledged that they helped the U.S. Education Department write the suggested assignments. The problem was not so much that the president was giving a speech to schools, but it was the accompanying materials from the Department of Education.

Obviously, CBS left all that information out of their news and reported the controversy in a way to make those in opposition look like idiots and to protect the administration from looking foolish. The main controversy came about before the assignment and the president’s speech was changed to a more non-controversial topic. In the end, it was good that there was opposition because what the federal department of education did in creating assignments for students at the local level was legally wrong.

Stephanie Wright
Forest Park

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and phone number for authorization purposes only. The Review will not publish phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing for space and content purposes and typically will be printed in the order they are received. While the Review does not impose a word limit, we encourage comments be held to 300 words.

Letters to the editor can be received by e-mail at, or by mail to Forest Park Review, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Ill., 60302.