It may be worth noting that outgoing River Forest Park District President Stephen Dudek, who was at the center of the contentious Keystone Park West lights issue that led to threats of possible legal action against the village, received fully 200 votes less than the two other candidates in the uncontested River Forest Village Board election last week.

While 735 people took the time to vote for current Village Clerk Susan Conti, and 720 for Stephen Hoke, only 520 bothered to vote for Dudek. Perhaps it’s only a coincidence. Or perhaps it’s a message from voters tired of secrecy and contentiousness from their public servants.

We all croon for ice cream?

One of last year’s American Idol finalists, the long-maned crooner Ace Young was at the River Forest Jewel store on Lake Street for an exclusive area appearance from 2 to 4 p.m. last Wednesday.

“There were a lot of people here,” said assistant store director Dan Sweeney, who estimated between 150 and 200 “young, young girls and older women” showed up to help Young promote the new line of “American Idol” ice cream. Everything went just fine, Sweeney said, but River Forest police were called in early Wednesday afternoon to put up barricades and provide crowd control just in case.

“We didn’t know what would happen,” said Sweeney. “In Belvidere, over 600 people showed up.” Sweeney said they decided to play it safe and call in police after a woman called the store looking for directions from Highland Park.

“He’s a really great guy,” said Sweeney. “He took pictures with every person, and the smile never left his face.”

Is OP the new Forest Park?

Recently posted on a real estate agent’s blog: “I just sold a beautiful townhouse in Forest Park to another couple who started looking in Chicago but ended up looking in Forest Park and the adjoining town of Oak Park.”

Oak Park the adjoining town? Step aside Wright, Hemingway, historic districts and the Fair Housing Movement-affordable townhouses close to the CTA trump all of that.

“You get more for your money in Forest Park yet are close enough, depending on your location, to walk to Whole Foods in River Forest or the cute outdoor shopping mall on Lake St. just east of Harlem in Oak Park,” Judy Orr, who’s based in Orland Park, wrote in her real estate blog.

OK, “cute outdoor shopping mall on Lake Street”? The Shops of Downtown Oak Park (Pier 1 Imports, The Gap, etc.)? Is that a mall? We’re losing faith.

And that’s borne out by reading her previous blog entry, titled, “Berwyn Offers Much More than Being Svengooli’s Home Town.” She describes our neighbor to the south as “a vibrant community” that is “surrounded by Riverside, North Riverside, Stickney and Cicero and the Riverside shopping mall is close to the western portion of Berwyn.”

It borders Stickney and Cicero? What about Oak Park?

Another centennial?

Boy, 1907 was a busy year around here. In addition to last week’s list of centenarians (Oak Park Hospital, Lincoln School in Oak Park, St. Edmund and Ascension parishes, and Trinity Lutheran Church), we just got notice that the Oak Park Women’s Guild will be celebrating their centennial with a champagne cocktail fundraiser, titled, “A Toast to the Future … A Salute to the Past!” on Saturday, April 28 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The event is being held at the Nineteenth Century Club, which, as the name indicates, is well over 100 years old.

The Women’s Guild is best known these days for their annual backpack project, supplying all the kids at Hephzibah with a backpack full of school supplies each August. They also have a scholarship fund for those kids when they turn 18.

If you’d like to find out more about this venerable institution, call Marci Battersby at 386-8098.

Leona’s Woo! Oak Woo! Park Woo!

A representative of Leona’s Restaurant, 848 Madison St., confirmed that Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers dined there recently.

Ronnie Woo Woo was seen entering the restaurant on Friday the 13th (uh-oh), wearing a blue Cubs hat and the Cubbies’ pin-striped white home uniform with “Woo Woo” written on the back. The restaurant confirmed he dined there with a friend.

Ronnie Woo Woo is widely recognized as the greatest Cubs fan alive and is the subject of the documentary film WooLife: One Life Saved by the Game of Baseball.


In our haste April 17 to post the results of the election, we gummed up the totals in the Cicero Township Treasurer’s Office referendum. The actual final results were 5,478 (86.7%) in favor of abolishing the office and 844 (13.4%) opposing. Makes one curious about why the 844 wanted to keep open an office that almost everyone agrees is obsolete.

Join the discussion on social media!