Customer Monica Kumar checks out the new shop with manager Sara Kolovitz.

Too bad if you missed the latest (and last) school board and park district candidates’ forum Saturday March 30 at First United. As a citizen of Forest Park you would have been impressed by the attitude, honesty and intelligence of those candidates who showed up. Unfortunately one candidate didn’t show up for either of the forums. School board candidate Rafael Rosa and Mike O’Connor represented the school board, Mary Win and Eric Connor had made previous Easter commitments and were not in town, but each of them submitted statements to be read at the forum. I think a special Honesty Honorable Mention award should go to Mike O’Connor for answering one question with “I don’t know.” Imagine a politician saying “I don’t know” instead of rambling on for twenty minutes.

A big loud “Welcome!” to JAYNE, the latest boutique in town, located at 7423 Madison. Stores like JAYNE and the other attractive shops and restaurants on the street are what will really keep Forest Park competitive.

That reminds me: Remember if you would like gambling in Forest Park, vote “no” on the advisory referendum on the April 9 ballot. If you DO NOT WANT gambling vote YES. The wording may seem confusing, but you’re smart enough to figure it out.

Animal lovers who love music and music lovers who love animals are invited to an open free rehearsal of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. The is a special rehearsal/performance to be held at the Arts Center of Oak Park, 200 N. Oak Park Ave. You are asked to make a free will donation to the Animal Care League of Oak Park that evening.

Forest Park’s own Allium Press will release their newest title this June. Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold is Tim Chapman’s debut novel. It’s a 1930s tale about a man who searches for a cache of gold buried for 80 years. Look for Allium Press at the Pop Up Book Fair Sunday, April 14 1:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Empty Bottle 1035 N. Western Avenue, Chicago.

Your bi-monthly newsletter from the Community Center has probably arrived by now. Terry Meffley is excited about the two new destinations planned for this period. One is at Memories Dinner in Port Washington, Wisconsin : the other is the Mercury Theatre where you’ll see “Barnum”.

Congratulations to Aaron Kolb who earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue in December.

The yearly book sale at the library is planned for May17-19. Bring in your pre-read books for someone to enjoy again. The sale is downstairs in the Austin Room. Some of us were around in the days of Josephine Austin, what a great lady she was…read every book in the library and knew everyone’s taste in books.

A belated happy birthday wish to Claire Sanchez and Claire Manor.

Time for the April birthday cakes for Jim McGuin, Kyler Pacyga, Todd Bower, Nick Novak, Ryan Tomaso, Tony Calderone, Dorothy Bertel, Roseann McGuinn, Ed Charvat, Maura Flanagan, Lorraine Crowley, Keith Hickey, Nico Rubio, Jessie Jones, Mary Jones, Rich Schauer, Nick Tricoci, Rick Barger, Bill Freeman, Vito Gabino, Joe Bugajsky, Jan Leganski, Jeanette Gerger, Mitzi DeVilbiss, Tom Callis, Kaylee Reese, and Sherri Sandow.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...