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The Weeks | Feb. 19: Developer scolds Chronicle editor (and that’s OK)


A couple days after the Hazel Crest board voted to annex Calumet Country Club, I emailed the owner of the golf course, Walt Brown, and asked if he would like to comment on the board’s decision. Here’s his first reply, verbatim:

“Eric, your to dishonest and one sided against Catalyst proposed project. 

“Fact is your the cancer in your newspaper and your writings.


“No interest as you you have been so one sided, harmful to a project that brings major jobs and employment and in fact is a great asset for the community of Hazel Crest, but you personally continue to harm and stay one sided against the success of a world class project proposed by Catalyst. 

“No interest is saying anything to you, or your paper because of your harmful position against the project.”

Thanks, Walt!

I don’t mind getting criticism. In fact, I occasionally hear someone report something someone else said about a problem with a Chronicle story, and my first reaction is always, “Why didn’t they tell us?” I’d rather hear about problems so we can address them. As I told Mr. Brown, we can’t fix what we don’t know about.

In this case, I can see why he objects to our coverage. There is strong community opposition to his project, and we’re a community newspaper, so we pay close attention to the views of the people who will be most directly impacted by redevelopment.

We have not ignored redevelopment plans. In fact, we have to report on them as thoroughly as we can so we can help readers make informed decisions about whether to support the plans for redevelopment.

I have attended two meetings where Catalyst Consulting partners presented their plans and answered questions. I have asked Catalyst partners for a meeting so we can better understand and clarify their plans. Reporter Carole Sharwarko also met with the Catalyst group.

If we miss something, or get something wrong, please let us know. Email me at [email protected] or Marilyn Thomas at [email protected].


Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, in Normandy Villa, 41 E. Elmwood Drive, Chicago Heights.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlights: Discussion items will include several facility improvement and transportation matters plus a mid-year School Improvement Plan update. 

Flossmoor Board of Trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, in the board room at village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road. 

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlights: The board will consider three ordinances on its consent agenda for establishing a tax increment financing district and redevelopment plan in the downtown area. The board will discuss concept plans for a Planned Multi-Family Development at 19020 Kedzie Ave., site of the former Ken Norman house. The unique but abandoned and dilapidated home was demolished in January 2022.

Homewood-Flossmoor Board of Education will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Homewood-Flossmoor High School South Building, 999 Kedzie Ave., in Flossmoor.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlights: The board will consider a resolution to abate property taxes as part of the Property Tax Relief Grant and an intergovernmental agreement with area schools participating in the Career Preparation Network. 

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Goldberg Administration Center, 3301 Flossmoor Road.

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. 

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Join the meeting virtually here or dial 1-312-626-6799. ID: 991 8481. Passcode: 1606 573812.
  • Contact the commission by email at [email protected].
  • Highlight: The commission will continue zoning code discussions to clarify definitions and application of personal services, salons and spa establishments and massage therapy uses. 

Visit the Chronicle table at Homewood’s indoor farmers market
The Chronicle will have a table at the Homewood farmers market in the auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 25. Stop by and chat. We’d be glad to hear what’s on readers’ minds. We’re especially interested in hearing what questions you have for candidates in the April 4 consolidated election. We’re setting up interviews with candidates for Homewood and Flossmoor boards of trustees and District 161 and District 233 boards of education. If you have questions to share before Saturday, send them to [email protected].

Kirk Lindstrom’s last Homewood Stories performance
Local guitarist Kirk Lindstrom has retired after 27 years with the Homewood Public Works Department and will be headed to Wyoming soon. He’s been a regular performer at Homewood Stories, but the show on Tuesday, Feb. 21, will be his last. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. at Flossmoor Community House, 847 Hutchison Road in Flossmoor. The stories will begin at 7:30 p.m. with tellers Jack Zimmerman, Mike Speller, Paul Teodo. Errol McLendon and Homewood Stories host and producer Karen O’Donnell. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Homewood train station renovation to start soon
A notice posted at the Homewood train station is alerting riders that Metra’s renovation project is expected to begin March 6. The major renovation will cause periodic disruptions to routine for some time. Metra urges riders to heed signs posted at the station. Access to boarding platforms from the west side of the station should be unaffected. Amtrak completed renovations to the west side last year.


Protesters from South Suburbs for Greenspace rally before the Hazel Crest
Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Hazel Crest annexes Calumet Country Club
In 2021, Homewood officials entered into a settlement agreement with Calumet Country Club owner Diversified Partners because they feared if they didn’t, the property would be disconnected from the village and annexed to Hazel Crest, giving Homewood no say in its redevelopment. The property was disconnected in April 2021. Hazel Crest officials voted Feb. 14 to annex the property during a raucous meeting interrupted several times by the removal of loud protesters who oppose the redevelopment plan. We posted a breaking news story Feb. 14 after the meeting, but we’ll have a series of stories this week with a more complete account of the meeting and the issues raised by area residents.

Bike to School session at GoodSpeed
Nick Ulanowski sat in on the bike shop’s weekly happy hour on Wednesday to learn about safe ways kids can bike to school.

Bicycle advocates Jane Healy, left, and Elizabeth Adamczyk speak to a crowd at GoodSpeed Cycles about cycling safety. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)
Bicycle advocates Jane Healy, left, and Elizabeth Adamczyk speak to a crowd at GoodSpeed Cycles about cycling safety. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)

Grady’s gets robot server
Nick also reported about the new robot server at Grady’s Snak ‘N Dine. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like the machines in “iRobot” but looks like it makes life a little easier for the human servers who help customers get their meals.

Grady’s Snack ‘N Dine server Neka Williams takes plates off Servi, the restaurant’s new robot server. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood precincts return home
Homewood officials reported this week that the Cook County Clerk’s office agreed to return four polling places to Homewood. Mayor Rich Hofeld said he heard from residents that previous locations were not as convenient.

Construction progress
The foundation of Homewood Brewing on Dixie Highway is taking shape. Work continues on the Hartford Building in downtown Homewood. Ground preparations continue on the site of the future Wind Creek Casino just south of Interstate 80/294 and west of Halsted Street.

Metra news: New train tracker

Metra launched a new tool for monitoring train status and trip planning back in January, but I missed it. I thought I better post the news now in case I’m not alone. provides real-time train-tracking so riders can see where their trains are. Metra says the new tool will make it easier to view schedules and plan a trip, too.

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