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The Weeks | May 28:

THE WEEK >

Memorial Day in H-F
Homewood VFW Post 8077 will host its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park, Olive Road and Harwood Avenue. The James Hart Band will perform,  Homewood Police Department’s Color Guard Unit will participate and there will be a wreath-laying ceremony. Harwood will be closed from about Lane to 183rd Street from 10 a.m. until the ceremony concludes.

Flossmoor will host Taps Across America at 3 p.m. downtown. There will be a moment of silence to honor those who died in military service and taps will be sounded.

Homewood and Flossmoor police honor guard fire off shots in honor of fallen and MIA soldiers on Memorial Day in Homewood. (ABS)

Trombone Choir concert
The South Suburban Trombone Choir will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 1, in the Irwin Community Center bandshell, 18120 Highland Ave. in Homewood. Seating is on the lawn, so organizers suggest bringing blankets or lawn chairs.

The South Suburban Trombone Choir performs its first set of the afternoon in Flossmoor Park. The group later moved to the lawn of Flossmoor Library to continue entertaining the crowd at Flossmoor's holiday festival. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
The South Suburban Trombone Choir performs its first set of the afternoon in Flossmoor Park. The group later moved to the lawn of Flossmoor Library to continue entertaining the crowd at Flossmoor’s holiday festival. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Artisan Street Fair
Homewood’s big spring festival will feature food, music, activities and about 90 craft and art vendors. The Artisan Street Fair will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 2, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 3, on Martin Avenue in downtown Homewood.   

Live music performances on Friday will include 28 Days from 4 to 6 p.m. and Not My Dad from 7 to 9 p.m. On Saturday, Fifty One Lincoln Band will perform from 10 a.m. to noon, TiMELess will perform from 1 to 3 p.m. and Big Weekend will perform from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Village is trying to replicate the success of events such as Homewood’s Artisan Street Fair, which has grown in popularity. (Chronicle file photo)

The Homewood Business Association decorated planter silent auction to benefit Open Access will conclude at 3 p.m. on June 3 at the fair. 

Bike the Gem
Check-in will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, for the annual community bike ride, and cyclists will depart at 11 a.m. The ride this year will cover only a portion of the Hidden Gem Half Marathon route. Check-in will start at 10:30 and young cyclists with parents or guardians will start on the 13.1-block kids right at 11:30 a.m. The rides start at Infant Jesus of Prague School parking lot at Douglas Avenue and Flossmoor Road in Flossmoor.

Cyclists head west along Flossmoor Road east of Governors Highway to begin the Bike the Gem ride on Saturday, June 4. (EC)
Cyclists head west along Flossmoor Road east of Governors Highway to begin the Bike the Gem ride on Saturday, June 4. (EC)

< THE WEEK

Flossmoor Road flood reduction plan discussed at D161 board meeting
Flossmoor officials presented a flood reduction plan to the District 161 Board of Education Monday, May 22. The plan calls for shipping stormwater from the viaduct downtown to a detention basin on park district land near Heather Hill School. D161 board members expressed concerns about safety.

A march down memory lane
James Hart School graduates got to go back in time Monday with a visit to their old haunts at Willow and Churchill schools. The younger students cheered the graduating eighth graders as the latter marched through the halls.

After 15 years in District 161, Carol Humm hired to head Heather Hill
Carol Humm has been appointed the new principal of Heather Hill Elementary School. She has been the district’s curriculum coordinator for the past four years.

State of Faith: Catholic parish merger brings church ‘back to discipleship’
Renew My Church resulted in consolidating six Catholic parishes in the H-F area. Reporter Carole Sharwarko interviewed John McNichols, director of lifelong faith formation at St. Veronica, formerly Infant Jesus of Prague, about the how the process has affected the congregations involved.

Mom Walk Collective embraces motherhood one step at a time
Reporter Jalyn Edwards reports on a group of mothers in Homewood and Flossmoor who formed the Mom Walk Collective create a sense of community. 

USTA event beckons new players to try tennis
The United States Tennis Association sponsored free introductory sessions Saturday, May 20, in Flossmoor to give new and relatively inexperienced players a taste of the game.

Marian Catholic welcomes new director of bands
Marian Catholic High School announced on Friday, May 19, the appointment of Steven Pyter as its new director of bands following the retirement of longtime director Greg Bimm.

DEMOCRACY WATCH

Pandemic silver lining: Remote meeting access
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, local government boards were allowed to meet remotely because it was safer for members and the public. That meant boards had to set set up the technology to make remote access work.

There were times during the emergency when controversial issues created a spike in public interest, and in a few cases, hundreds of people were able to attend and some to speak who in past times would not have been able to squeeze into the board room.

That improvement in local government accessibility is a win for democracy.

I realize that for most routine meetings, few people will take advantage of remote access, and it might start to seem to be extraneous now that the public health emergency is officially over.

I don’t think it’s extra. It make sense to maintain the new routine.

Keeping remote access available will always be useful for residents with mobility, hearing or sight issues. It’s also useful for those who (like me) are often short of time to get to all the meetings they want to attend.

Remote accessibility also has symbolic value. Even if lightly used, it’s a gesture of welcome that says to constituents that government leaders want to include them in deliberations over public matters and are glad to make meeting participation more convenient.

So I want to give a shout out to the Homewood Board of Trustees, the Flossmoor Board of Trusteees and the Homewood Planning and Zoning Commission, which have, post-emergency, continued to livestream meetings.

The Flossmoor Community Relations Commission did not offer video conferencing access to its May 22 meeting as it had during the emergency, but I think that might have been the result of a misunderstanding of the post-emergency rules. According to the Guidance to Public Bodies on the Open Meetings Act at the Expiration of the Gubernatorial COVID-19 Disaster Proclamation from the state attorney general’s office, updated May 15, 2023: 

So long as public bodies allow the public to attend meetings in person, they may, additionally, live stream a meeting on a website, social media, or a public access television station. Public bodies may also establish video or audio conference access to meetings for interested members of the public. 

Remote access is not required, nor is it forbidden. Now that our local government boards have the means to provide more access, I hope they all will follow the example of Homewood and Flossmoor trustees and keep the virtual doors open.

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