Barry Greenwald, former District 200 Board of Education president, admitted recently that he and Susan Bridge, superintendent/principal at OPRF, often saw eye to eye-literally.

At a farewell reception for Dr. Bridge last Saturday at Oak Park and River Forest High School, Greenwald said his friendship with Bridge was strong enough to withstand teasing each other about their relatively short statures. He even had a nickname for her: “Short stuff.”

Bridge, Greenwald revealed, always replied with her own standard zinger.

“I have always teased her because I’m so tall, and she’s always given back as good as she’s gotten,” said Greenwald, who stands at … well, less than 6 feet.

“In my year in the presidency,” he added, “we tried to have breakfast together once a week off campus to share ideas, and it really has enriched our relationship.

“I think of her not just as the superintendent, but she’s become a really good friend-but she’ll always stay short-and you can quote me on that,” Greenwald kidded.

Which is worse: skeeter spray or West Nile?

On-street mosquito fogging in Oak Park has become controversial in recent years, with opponents claiming it doesn’t work and that the spray is more harmful than most realize.

The spraying-both into water catch basins to limit skeeter reproduction and the into the air for widespread mosquito murder-is handled by the Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District. The district tests mosquitos for West Nile and fogs when counts are high.

Now you can be alerted if/when those foggings are scheduled by registering with the Oak Park Department of Public Health. Visit or call 708/358-5694 to sign up to be notified by an automated telephone system or e-mail. If calling, be sure to leave your name, address and the telephone number where you want to be reached.

The abatement district sprays with EPA-approved products that “pose no undue risk to humans or animals,” the village says. “However, persons with asthma or other respiratory ailments, or who believe they are chemically sensitive, may wish to add their names to the notification list so they can choose to stay inside during spraying with their windows closed, and air conditioners off or set to recirculate and the exhaust closed.”

Or, you can call the abatement district at 708/447-1765 to discuss not spraying directly in front of your home.

Kelly on the move again

Mike Kelly’s FBOP Corp. hopes to buy a Puerto Rican bank for $610 million, the Associated Press reported Monday.

FBOP Corp. is the parent of Park National Bank, formerly known as First Bank of Oak Park.

The company offered to buy an 80 percent stake in San Juan-based Doral Financial, plus lend it $150 million to help Doral make a $625 million payment to its bondholders on July 20, the AP reported.

Mike Kelly, FBOP Corp.’s owner and president, is likely Oak Park’s wealthiest denizen with a net worth estimated at $3 billion in 2005, but he rarely talks to the press. The AP called him a “reclusive billionaire.”

Kelly’s banks regularly rank near the top of lists published by Crain’s Chicago Business of the area’s most profitable financial institutions. Although he shuns the limelight, Kelly is highly regarded in Oak Park, both for his business acumen and his contributions of time and money to the community.

Pobst named principal at Hinsdale Central

OPRF High School has begun a search for its new principal (new position, in fact), but they won’t be hiring Kevin Pobst, a former OPRF teacher. Pobst left OPRF for Hinsdale Central a few years back, and was recently named principal at the school.

But Pobst may have the greater challenge. According to the Chicago Tribune, the school has faculty morale issues following a scandal involving a teacher and coach who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting two former students.

ACL to take strays by month’s end

The Animal Care League won’t close on its new building just to the east of its 1013 Garfield St. facility until June 29, but it will start taking Oak Park’s strays by the end of the month.

“We’re hoping the last week of June,” said Tom Van Winkle, executive director of the ACL. He called the purchase of the next-door building a “done deal. It’s all ours except for the closing.”

The ACL signed a deal with the village in October 2006 to serve as a dual animal control/shelter, with the village providing funds for the nonprofit to add a second floor to its building. But service was delayed when the ACL discovered it had the chance to buy the next-door property, and then delayed again when the village board took a few weeks to approve the change.

“That put the seller in sort of a bind,” Van Winkle said of the amendment process, which kept the seller from finding a new space for his business. “It pushed us out a month.”

Meanwhile animal advocates said last week that interim care for strays continued to be sub-par.

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