The Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District plans to spray insecticide in Oak Park to kill mosquitos after 9 p.m. tomorrow, weather permitting, according to a statement from the Village of Oak Park.

The village’s Department of Public Health will notify residents of spraying via its automated emergency telephone system.

Oak Park had the highest percentage of West Nile virus-bearing mosquitoes gathered in traps over the past few nights within the district’s 77-square-mile area, the statement says.

Georgeen Polyak, director of public health in Oak Park, said mosquito counts have risen dramatically recently and that hot, dry summers that come after wet springs, like this year’s, produce the most mosquitos.

Polyak said rain, wind or a sudden drop in temperature would keep the spraying from taking place Thursday.

Spraying is done by truck-mounted, low-volume sprayers that drive down streets, she said. Anvil, which is approved by the federal EPA, will be the insecticide used.

The statement says the spray “breaks down in sunlight within 24 hours, produces little residual effect and should not pose any undue risk to humans or animals. However, persons with asthma or other respiratory ailments, or who believe they are chemically sensitive, may wish to stay inside during spraying with their windows closed, and air-conditioners off or set to recirculate and the exhaust closed.”

Residents also may call the abatement district at 447-1765 to discuss not spraying directly in front of their homes.

The Mosquito Abatement District has been killing mosquito larvae since the spring. Oak Park stopped spraying for nuisance mosquitoes more than 20 years ago, except in health emergencies.

The last time Oak Park sprayed for West Nile mosquitoes was in late summer 2002, when Illinois led the nation in human cases and deaths from the virus.

Beating the heat

Joe Russo was featured on the front page of the Aug. 1 National Report section of the New York Times, pouring a bottle of water over his head at Oak Park’s Russo’s Auto-Service Garage during the recent heat wave. The Times used the picture to highlight the effects of the heat wave that had swept across the Midwest.

“I was very surprised and excited at the same time,” Russo said of his picture appearing in the Times. He knew an Associated Press photographer had taken the picture, but had know idea it would appear in the Times, much less in such a prominent place.

“It was late in the day, and we were working in the heat all day,” he recalled. “Pouring the ice cold water over my head felt quite good.”

‘Deadline’ for ribbons remains

Blue ribbons signifying support among neighbors on the 600 block of Franklin who oppose tearing down a 110-year-old building on that block appear to be growing in number-despite an Aug. 10 deadline from the village to take them down.

The blue bows have been observed by Wednesday Journal staff gracing trees as far as a mile away from Franklin. And one River Forest said ribbons are numerous as far north as the 1000 block of Keystone and between Chicago Avenue and Augusta Boulevard. He questioned why green ribbons expressing support of last spring’s schools referendum had been allowed on trees, and not for his issue.

However, Assistant Village Administrator Steve Gutierrez said Tuesday his recollection was that village staff had contacted people displaying those ribbons and asked that they not be tied around parkway trees.

“We have consistently asked that ribbons not be placed on parkway trees,” said Gutiererrez. “We called [the referendum supporters] and asked them to spread the word, that is, no ribbons, regardless of the cause espoused.”

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