Local News, Opinion

The Weeks | Aug. 13: BMW parking, library carpeting, back-to-school, beer, roller derby, speaker delay, Wall of Honor, democracy watch

THE WEEK >

Meetings

Flossmoor Public Art Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, in village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road. 

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood School District 153 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, in the James Hart School library, 18220 Morgan St.

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood-Flossmoor School District 233 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, in the South Building library of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, 999 Kedzie Ave.

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Goldberg Administration Center, 3301 Flossmoor Road. 

  • Find the agenda here.

Flossmoor Green Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, in village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road. 

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood Public Library Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the library, 17917 Dixie Highway.

  • Find the agenda here.

Notice

Homewood library carpeting project
Homewood Public Library will be getting new carpeting installed over the next six weeks or so. Starting Monday, Aug. 14, study rooms will be inaccessible, according to the library website. The multipurpose room can be reserved online or by contacting a staff member. Carpet installation will begin Aug. 28. Other services will be limited during the project, including the fax/scan station, public computers, public printers, public seating and photocopiers. Library officials urge patrons to use the drive thru to pick up materials. Updates will be posted here.

Registration open for Foundation 153 Fund Run
Register now for the Foundation 153 Fund Run. The 5K and 153-yard kids’ race can be run in person on Sept. 17 or virtually. The fundraiser helps the foundation support education at Homewood School District 153.

Metra lists parking at Flossmoor station during BMW Championship
The 2023 BMW Championship will be held this week, August 14-20, at Olympia Fields Country Club. The club is adjacent to the Metra Olympia Fields station two blocks east of Kedzie Avenue. During the tournament, there will be limited parking available at the Olympia Fields station. The south portion of the parking lot will be reserved for the use of golf tournament attendees. The north portion of the parking lot will remain open with 207 commuter parking spaces available for Metra customers. Commuters are advised to give themselves additional time to park at the station throughout the week, or to use the Flossmoor or 211th Street stations to access Metra service.

Where’s the beer?
The Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau has released an updated version of its Cheers & Beer Guide. The 20-page guide lists 14 craft breweries in the South Suburbs, including Flossmoor Station and Homewood’s Rabid Brewing. It also notes that Homewood Brewing is expected to open in 2024. The guide also lists annual beer and wine related events. 

Stuff to do

Chess Club for Kids
The club is for kids from age 6 through 13 and will meet from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at Homewood Public Library, 17917 Dixie Highway. Practice chess skills or learn the basics.
Call 708-798-0121 extension 221 for more information.

Discovery Preschool open house
Discovery Preschool will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at Irwin Community Center, 18120 Highland Ave. Parents or guardians can meet teachers, tour the classrooms and ask questions. For more information, call 708-957-7275 or email [email protected].

Fitness in the Park
Meet on Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 6:45 p.m. in Homewood Estates Park, 18200 California Ave., for a free fitness class, Zumba with Edy. Arrive 10-15 minutes early to select your spot and sign a waiver. Take advantage of the many benefits of having your workout outdoors, including fresh air and natural light which boosts energy for the mind and body. This program is open to persons 13 and older. Those younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Homewood Farmers’ Market
The market will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, in Martin Square, 18000 block of Martin Avenue in downtown Homewood. There will be food, crafts, personal care products and live music at both events. 

Marian’s next Queen of Hearts raffle draw
The next drawing in the Marian Catholic High School Queen of Hearts 50/50 raffle will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, at Rudy’s at Balagio, 17501 Dixie Highway in Homewood. Tickets for the drawing are $5 and can be purchased at the bar or at the ticket machine inside Balagio’s during business hours.

Flossmoor District 161 Back to School Night
Families and school staff members will gather at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, in Flossmoor Park. There will be giveaways and treats. At about 8 p.m. or so the movie “The Super Mario Bros.” will be shown.

Final Cruise ‘n’ Que at Chevrolet of Homewood
The final Cruise ‘n’ Que event of the season will be held in the south lot at Chevrolet of Homewood, 18033 Halsted St., from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18. There will be trophies, music, food and classic cars.

South Suburban Humane Society fundraiser and adoption event
South Suburban Humane Society will hold a fundraiser and adoption event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Bottoms Up Bar & Grill, 1696 Thornton-Lansing Road in Lansing. There will be pets to adopt, free food, live music, raffles and merchandise. Tickets are $10 in advance, $20 at the door. Email [email protected] to purchase tickets in advance.
 
Chicago Knockouts Roller Derby bout on Aug. 19
North Side will meet South Side in a roller derby bout at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, in the Homewood Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.  General tickets $15; trackside tickets $20. Accessible seating available at no extra charge.

< THE WEEK

Supporters gather for Wall of Honor groundbreaking ceremony
Flossmoor Veterans Memorial Inc. officials presided over a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Wall of Honor veterans memorial. One guest of honor, Richard Condon, was present for the dedication of the village’s original veterans’ memorial in 1945.

Homewood residents question parking lot redevelopment plan
Parking is an issue in downtown Homewood. Residents recently spoke out at a village board meeting to question a proposal to build a five-story apartment building on a portion of the village hall parking lot. Village officials note that efforts have been made in recent years to expand parking capacity.


Homewood trustees table sound system upgrade
Homewood trustees voted unanimously on Aug. 8 to table a measure that would have authorized a $30,000 upgrade to the village’s downtown sound system after residents, including several who live downtown, opposed the move.

District 233 seeks volunteers for strategic planning project
The district is launching a new strategic planning effort and is seeking community members willing to participate in in-person and virtual meetings to help develop the plan.

Flossmoor celebrates the Railriders threepeat
Flossmoor Baseball & Softball (FBBSB) Pony Division team the Railriders was honored by the Flossmoor village board at its Aug. 7 meeting for winning the South Suburban Youth Baseball League (SSYBL) title for the third consecutive year.

3 cyclists pedal 130 miles for charity
Three local cyclists, Dana Noble, Greg Castady and Chris Dedo, set out Thursday, Aug. 10, from Homewood on a 130-mile trek to raise money for Jackie’s Warriors, a foundation that raises money for dementia support. 

Cyclists, from left, Greg Castady, Dana Noble and Chris Dedo head down the driveway to start their 130-mile trek for Jackie's Warriors, a foundation that raises funds for dementia support, while Nate Olson records the moment and supporters cheer them on. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Cyclists, from left, Greg Castady, Dana Noble and Chris Dedo head down the driveway to start their 130-mile trek for Jackie’s Warriors, a foundation that raises funds for dementia support, while Nate Olson records the moment and supporters cheer them on. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

DEMOCRACY WATCH

It’s always good to see another mainstream voice discover the value of local news. This past week, it was the Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank singing the praises of small town journalists

I’m not fond of the headline, “The country has come apart. Rural America has a cure.” I’ve lived in rural America (grew up there, in fact) and don’t see any evidence that lack of population density confers any particular virtues. 

What Milbank discovered was the value of local focus and he happened to find it in a rural setting. I see the same focus at work here in the South Suburbs with the Chronicle and our Local News Alliance colleagues at the Lansing Journal, Harvey World Herald, Park Forest eNews and Southland Investigative Reporting Center. I see the same focus at Block Club Chicago, which is an urban news organization, but it’s focus is on neighborhood news. 

Milbank cites the headlines in the “Rappahannock News” of Rappahannock County, Virginia, as worthy of attention because they lead readers to news that is immediately useful and relevant. “Pickleball, playground focus of county park overhaul,” “New eatery coming to town location where Tula’s once served” and “Amissville’s shuttered Hackley’s to become deli, market.”

If you look at < THE WEEK above, you’ll see links to similar stories. We cover our people, our issues.

What does reporting on a charity bike ride, a youth baseball team’s success and a controversy over a downtown sound system have to do with democracy? Plenty, according to Milbank.

“Research shows that in these ‘news deserts’ where community journalism has died, voter turnout in local elections and other forms of civic participation decline, and local governments’ corruption and financial mismanagement worsen in the absence of watchdogs. Without a source of news on local matters of shared interest, people instead turn to the polarizing environment of national news, often filtered through social media or ideological outlets that churn out disinformation,” he wrote.

In addition to providing a reliable source of the daily comings and goings of our communities, local newspapers actively promote participation in democracy. Before the 2023 local elections, the Chronicle published more than eight stories, 27 candidate profiles and video interviews with 20 candidates. We believe it’s our job to make it easy for voters to go to the polls well informed about their choices.

The Chronicle and our sister papers in the area continue to thrive because of the support we receive from our communities. Advertisers and subscribers should be proud that local news is strong in H-F. That’s not the case in many parts of the country. 

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