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Here First | April 1

Quote of the week

“An expansion of trails and open spaces is sorely needed across our neighborhoods to benefit existing residents and for the city to achieve health, economic, climate, and transportation goals.”
— Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot,
referring to plans for expanding biking trails in the city


The future

Only a few board meetings next week, but we predict there will be an uptick in business at both village halls because it’s vehicle sticker season …

  • In Flossmoor, stickers for the current year must be purchased and displayed by April 15 for every vehicle registered to a Flossmoor address, including leased vehicles, company cars and vehicles kept outside the village. For more information, visit the village website or contact village staff at 708-798-2300.
  • Homewood residents whose vehicles are registered with the village should soon receive applications in the mail for the current year’s vehicle stickers. Using these applications, residents can now buy vehicle stickers online using a unique PIN. May 31 is the deadline for all vehicles registered in the village to display a new sticker. See more info at the village website, which also includes a downloadable form that residents should fill out before heading to village hall to buy stickers.
  • The Flossmoor Board of Trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in the board room at village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road. Check here for the agenda.
  • The Homewood-Flossmoor District 233 Board of Education will meet twice on Tuesday, April 5. The board will convene in the district conference room at 7:30 a.m. to discuss a student disciplinary matter in closed session before meeting in open session to vote. The board will meet again in the Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Check here for the agenda.
  • The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board meets in special session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Goldberg Administration Center, 3301 Flossmoor Road. The board will consider financing the improvements at the H-F Ice Arena.

The past

You were there because we were there …

On Wednesday, the Chronicle’s April 1 print edition was mailed out. There’s a special pullout section in this edition, our annual Health & Wellness guide, sponsored by Franciscan Health.

The cover story is a feature by Carole Sharwarko on a local MRI technician Rose Wiley. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been surrounded by numbers — infection rates, death counts, hospitalizations, vaccinations and so on — but the stories of people who have been impacted the most are more compelling than stats as we grapple with what we’re going through. Rose was a health care worker who saw up close the devastation of the disease on so many local families, and then her own health was damaged by it. It’s a must read.

Carole wrote two other stories. One was a follow-up on Tiffany Castleberry, a former Flossmoor resident who we featured in a story about health care workers early in the pandemic. The other reported on recognition for Flossmoor District 161 nurse Kathy Knawa, who provided much-needed support for families during the pandemic.

The special section has 11 more stories, including one provided story we’ve already published online about Franciscan staff pitching in to help Ukraine. We also have a story by Marilyn Thomas about a special service offered by Mark Levy to help people deal with the complications of senior life.

There’s a story about Pam Oliver, who provides evidence for the value of getting screening scans. As in, they can save your life.

Carrie Steinweg and I wrote stories about primary care physicians. My story is about their roles — plural — in helping people achieve their best health (you’d be amazed at all they do) and Carrie’s is about the need for people who deferred visits to their doctor during the pandemic to reconnect and make sure their health needs are being addressed.

Nick Ulanowski contributed a story about occupational therapists and how they can help people regain basic functions after injuries disrupt the activities that make up the routine parts of life.

Angela Denk reported on how social workers provide a wide variety of supportive services as people deal with the challenges of health problems and the corresponding trials of dealing with health care bureaucracies.

I’m biased, but I think it is a very interesting, informative and compelling collection of stories. We appreciate Franciscan’s help in making it possible.

The Health & Wellness stories will be posted on line in coming days, but in the meantime, grab the paper from your mailbox and check it out.

What we’re watching

Cycling surge. Block Club posted a story Friday about Chicago’s plans to add 48 miles to its network of biking and pedestrian trails. The city also plans to give away 5,000 bikes, helmets and locks, thereby making sure there’s plenty of two-wheel traffic on the existing and expanded trail network. There weren’t many details available yet about that part of the plan.

We don’t have a bike giveaway planned that I’m aware of, but Homewood is not idle. Village officials are exploring ways to make 183rd Street less scary for cyclists and pedestrians, and the village, Homewood Business Association and GoodSpeed Cycles are collaborating on a public art project that will add 20 bike racks to business areas in town to promote shopping by bike.

Hartford Building update.

Progress as of April 1. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

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