Local News

The Weeks | Oct. 1: Active government transparency, Recyclepalooza, exotic critters at the library, Trader Joe’s pitch



Flossmoor Board of Trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners will hold a committee meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the Goldberg Administration Building, 3301 Flossmoor Road.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlights: The board will discuss the 2023 Lions Club Pool season and the Starry Nights concert series.

Stuff to do

Monday, Oct. 2
Book Challenges on the Rise: Support Your Freedom to Read. Flossmoor Public Library is one of a number of libraries offering a webinar moderated by syndicated columnist Heidi Stevens on how to effectively support intellectual freedom. Register here. For more information, contact Janet DiCastro at 708-798-3600 ext. 112 or [email protected].

Tuesday, Oct. 3
Community bonfire. H-F Park District will host a free opportunity to gather around a bonfire and get to know neighbors from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Pinewood Park, Hedgerow Lane and Fresno Avenue in Homewood.

Storytime in the Park. Children of all ages are invited to join Miss Jenny of Flossmoor Public Library and a special guest reader at 10:30 a.m. in Leavitt Park in Flossmoor. Register here. Bring your own blankets or chairs. Storytime will be moved to the library in the event of bad weather or heat advisories. Children under 9 years old must have an adult caregiver stay with them at the program.

Wednesday, Oct. 4
Scales and Tales Traveling Zoo. The Scales and Tales Traveling Zoo will be visiting the Flossmoor Library, 1100 Sterling Ave., from 6 to 7 p.m. Children will be able to learn about a range of exotic wildlife. Children under 9 years old must have an adult caregiver stay with them at the program. Register here.

Read, Rock n’ Rhyme Storytime. Read, Rock n’ Rhyme storytime is a Homewood Public Library program designed for kids up to 7 years old. It’s time to get up and dance, shake, and wiggle to stories, songs, rhymes and more. Meet in Rauch Reading Room at the library, 17917 Dixie Highway. Registration is not required but is preferred.

Friday, Oct. 6
Anew Sneaker Ball. The fundraising gala for Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse will be from 6 to 10 p.m. at Olympia Fields Country Club. Purchase tickets here for $75 per person. Music will be by DJ Love and there will be an auction. All proceeds benefit the Anew’s work to provide wrap-around services to families impacted by domestic violence. Flossmoor Service League will receive the Diane Kessler Community Champion Award, and Harlene Friedman, will receive the Velton Lacefield Memorial Award.

The Addams Family at The Drama Group. America’s kooky, spooky Addams Family, recognized by many through the television series, will be on stage at The Drama Group’s studio, 330 202nd St. in Chicago Heights, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, with repeat performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12, 13, and 14. Matinee performances will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8; Saturday, Oct. 14; and Sunday, Oct. 15. Ticket prices for The Addams Family are $19 to $25. Tickets are sold online by visiting The Drama Group’s ticket site at dgbooktix.com. Tickets are also available through The Drama Group’s box office at 708-755-3444.

Saturday, Oct. 7
Recyclepalooza in Flossmoor. The annual opportunity to clean house and recycle hard-to-recycle items. The Flossmoor Green Commission volunteers will collect items from 9 a.m. to noon in the Parker Junior High School parking lot across the street from village hall in the 2800 block of Flossmoor Road. Participants should stay in their vehicles with items sorted by category, clearly marked and placed in the trunk so volunteers can unload them. See a list of acceptable items and more information at flossmoor.org. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and items benefitting Anew will be collected at Recyclepalooza. Needed supplies include new toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby diapers, baby wipes and gift cards. These can be labeled “Anew Donation” when brought to the event. 

NAACP Chicago Far South Suburban Branch. The meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. will be in the Homewood Public Library meeting room, 17917 Dixie Highway.

Community bike rides. Barb and Dan Lawler’s Road Ride starts at 8 a.m. at GoodSpeed Cycle, 2125 183rd St. in Homewood. It’s a 25-mile fitness ride. The Off-Leash ride is a 9-mile ride at about 9 to 10 mph that starts at GoodSpeed at 8:30 a.m. and lasts about an hour.

Homewood Farmers Market. The final outdoor market of the summer season will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Martin Square between Chestnut Road and Ridge Road with live music, fresh produce, baked goods, craft vendors and more. 

Meet the Mayor. Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld will hold open office hours in the village hall lobby, 2020 Chestnut Road, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Sunday, Oct. 8
Climb Out of the Darkness. The walk at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in Izaak Walton Nature Preserve, 1100 Ridge Road in Homewood, will be dedicated to raising awareness of pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders.


Chipping day in Homewood. Public Works will host its annual Chipping Day from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 17755 Ashland Ave. Residents can bring branches and limbs to be chipped for no charge. Limbs cannot be larger than six inches in diameter. No shrubs, pine or other evergreens. For more information or questions, please contact Homewood Public Works at 708-206-3470.

Trader Joe’s defers decision on Flossmoor. In June, Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson asked residents to help persuade grocery store chain Trader Joe’s to open a store in the village. This past week she reported back on the effort’s results.

“Thanks to YOU, the update is … they DIDN’T say no! They asked us to check back with them in Q1 of 2024,” she said, and noted that the campaign can continue. “Whether you already submitted a request or not, please let them know (again) that they would be welcomed and successful.”

Visit the company’s Request a Store page to make a pitch for Flossmoor.

Diversity Dinner set for Oct. 12
Tickets are on sale for the next South Suburban Diversity Dinner from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 at FCC Community House. Debby Irving, author of “Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race,” will be the guest speaker. Her book will be available for sale at the event.

Haunted Homewood decoration contest open
The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Oct. 20. Judging will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27. Winners will be announced on Oct. 30. The guidelines and application form is available online. There will be three categories in the competition: scariest, special effects and child friendly.



Novelist Douglas Adams captured well the frustrations of citizens trying to find public information from government agencies that employ passive transparency. 

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

Douglas Adams
From “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Homewood and Flossmoor residents are fortunate to have village governments that employ increasingly active transparency. Two recent examples include Flossmoor’s proposed drainage project rating program, which trustees will consider authorizing at Monday’s meeting, and Homewood’s social media posts on government services and policies. 

Flossmoor’s drainage program changes, if approved, will be important because localized stormwater flooding is a problem for more than a few residents. The new system will provide residents with a clearer view of what kinds of projects they can get help with, and it will spell out a method for prioritizing village assistance, so people will be able to get an idea whether their drainage problems might qualify.

It removes the mystery from an important village service.

Homewood staff have been for about the past year or so increasing the amount of information they push to the community about village services like how to apply for a building permit, about the role of various committees, safety advice from the police and fire departments or what residents should do if their sanitary sewer backs up.

The information is not new, but in the past it resided somewhere in the bowels of the village website, where a determined resident might find it, eventually. Now people have the information on village policies and operation come to them.

Elusive information is now accessible.

Both examples serve democracy by making it easier for village residents to interact with and understand local government.

Quote of the Week
Politainment? Since actor Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the boundary between politics and entertainment has been increasingly fuzzy, and in 2016, the nation elected a reality TV star. So Rick Reilly’s musing about the potential political power of the latest entertainment power couple, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce (aka K-Tay), does not seem far fetched at all.

“Between X (formerly Twitter), Instagram and Facebook, (Swift) has around 450 million followers (Kelce has “only” about 5 million). What if they decided a fun couples thing to do would be to … I don’t know … save democracy? K-Tay could stir up voters, from homecoming queens to assisted-living grandpas, from Castro Street to Wall Street, and rock polling places the way they rock stadiums. That might be something even Trump couldn’t shake off.”

Rick Reilly
Washington Post commentary

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