Two La Catrinas and a skeleton were at Fall Fest to promote Homewood's Dia de los Muertos festival on Oct. 15. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Local News, Opinion

The weeks | Sept. 25

<- Weeks ->

Every day is Democracy Day
Technically, International Democracy Day was Sept. 15. Like other observances, Black History Month, for instance, Democracy Day is useful in drawing attention to something that needs attention. But one day (or one month) is not nearly enough. If we ever learn to do democracy right, it’ll be because we prioritize it all the time and, most importantly, keep working at it.

One of my favorite articles contributed to the Montclair State University Collaborative Journalism Democracy Day project was “American Democracy doesn’t need saving — it needs creating.” It includes approaches designed to include people in governing processes, like budgeting and community project development.

The distrust and disgust with government is often rooted in the feeling people have that government is something being done to them, not something they get to help do.

The article also includes a section on “public-powered journalism.” I’d be interested in hearing what folks think about that. Give me a shout.


Make voting easy
Election Day is Nov. 8. Cook County residents who prefer to vote by mail can now simplify the process of choosing the permanent vote by mail option, according to the county clerk’s office.

Permanent vote by mail allows voters to vote by mail in all subsequent elections held in Cook County. Voters will still have the option to vote by mail in a single election if they choose.

To be permanently be placed on vote by mail status fill out the application at

You may apply online now to Vote By Mail for the Nov. 8, Gubernatorial Election.

When you apply online to Vote By Mail, the Cook County Clerk’s office will send you emails:

  • When your ballot is mailed to you.
  • When the Clerk’s office receives your Ballot Return Envelope.
  • When your ballot has been processed and counted.

The county will start mailing ballots in early October. All Vote By Mail ballots come with postage-paid Ballot Return Envelopes. For more information, call 312-603-0946 or email [email protected].
(Information from the Cook County Clerk’s website.)

Want to serve in local government?
The next election for local government seats on village, school, parks and library boards will be April 4, 2023. In its email newsletter last week, Flossmoor provided information for prospective candidates about how to get the process of running for office started. 

Key forms, including petition for nomination sheets, statement of candidacy and optional loyalty oath are available for pickup at Flossmoor village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

The village also noted important dates in the process.

  • Sept. 20: First date to pick up and begin circulating petitions.
  • Dec. 12: First date to file petitions.
  • Dec. 19: Last date to file petitions
  • Dec. 28: Last date to file objections to petitions.

More information is available from the State Board of Elections at 217-782-4141 or at

Week -> 

The District 161 Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, at Normandy Villa 41 E. Elmwood Drive, Chicago Heights.

  • The full agenda can be viewed here.
  • The meeting will be streamed live and can be viewed here.
  • Highlights: The agenda includes discussion of fall assessment data, a summer academy recap, discussion of elementary school extracurricular programs and an update on playground projects.

Homewood Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. 

  • Read the agenda here.
  • Watch the livestream of the meeting here. Use meeting ID 980 4907 6232, password 830183.
  • Highlights: Trustees will consider granting a special use permit and variance to  Payton Bernard, which would allow him to open a tattoo shop in the Cherry Creek shopping center. Two police officers will be honored. There will be two proclamations, one in honor of St. Joseph Catholic Church parish, and one urging residents to learn the facts about the Homewood School District 153 referendum.

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Goldberg Administrative Center, 

  • Read the agenda here.
  • Highlight: The board will consider a resolution on the District 153 referendum and a contract for roof work on the ice arena.

District 153 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at James Hart School, 18220 Morgan Ave. in Homewood.

  • Read the agenda here.
  • Highlights: The board will open the meeting with public hearing on its proposed 2022-23 budget.

Plant the Gem

The Hidden Gem Half Marathon route has been run, cycled and now it will be planted. Plant the Gem in Flossmoor from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. could be one of the largest mass tree planting events in the state, according to Flossmoor officials.

The village email newsletter on Sept. 22 called it a “massive environmental initiative to keep our region healthy and vibrant! Plant the Gem is a great way to get out, meet friends and neighbors, and do something special for the Flossmoor community.”

Information about how to participate is at

Save the date:

  • Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse Sneaker Ball fundraiser will be on Friday, Oct. 7.
  • Homewood Fire Department open house will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Recyclepalooza in Flossmoor will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Homewood Farmers Market’s last summer session will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Dia de los Muertos festival on Martin Square in Homewood will be Saturday, Oct. 15.
  • Plant the Gem mass tree planting will be on Saturday, Oct. 15. 
  • 5TH Rabidaversary Box Battle Bash-O will be Saturday, Oct. 15.
  • Cancer Support Center “Pink-a-Boo” Walk of Hope will be on Sunday, Oct. 16.
  • Homewood Science Center‘s Walk Walton fundraiser will be Sunday, Oct. 23.

<- Week

HFHS lands new basketball coach
Homewood-Flossmoor High School scored a staffing win when Jamere Dismukes agreed to helm the basketball program. Dismukes is considered one of the top young names in the region.

Jamere Dismukes is Homewood-Floossmoor High School’s new boys basketball coach. (Provided photo)

Ridgewood could get makeover soon

The Ridgewood Tap could soon get a makeover.
(Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

The Homewood Board of Trustees gave preliminary approval for a liquor license on Sept. 20 to Scott Donkel, who has a contract to purchase the Ridgewood Tap at the southeast corner of Ridge Road and Harwood Avenue. Donkel said he plans to renovate and rejuvenate the longtime drinking establishment.

Homewood marks water project completion
The infrastructure to move from Chicago/Harvey to Hammond/Chicago Heights for the village’s Lake Michigan water supply took two years to build, but the project was years in the making. Homewood and engineering firm Burns & McDonnell marked the accomplishment on Sept. 20 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new pump station in Thornton.

Fall Fest
Folks who attended Homewood Fall Fest were treated to gorgeous weather, live music, numerous food vendors, the pumpkin patch and the annual Chili Cook-off. This year, the mother-son team of Carol and Brian Reichard of Glenwood took top honors. Two costumed La Catrinas and a tall skeleton figure from Xicantl Productions made an appearance to promote Homewood’s Dia de los Muertos festival on Oct. 15.


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