Inside report 07/30/08

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Former WJ editor to cross the pond

And speaking of local media personalities, former Wednesday Journal business writer and news editor Drew Carter was informed by his new bosses last Tuesday that he's being promoted, and the new job will require some travel.

Travel, indeed. Carter will be headed across the Atlantic in September to his new base of operations in London, where he'll cover pension news for Pensions & Investments (P&I), a Crain's Communication publication.

For the next three years Carter will be covering England, Ireland, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, reporting for Crain's daily investment newsletter and their website, as well as contributing to the print edition of P&I.

"It's a thrilling opportunity to be able to work and live in London," Carter told us. He said his new position will require periodic travel to various locations in Europe and beyond, and he hopes he and his wife, Nicole, who's also a journalist, will be able to take some advantage.

"I hope to parlay some work trips into a long weekend from time to time," he said.

Carter, who left Wednesday Journal last August after nearly five years with the paper, said he's both grateful for the opportunities he had here, and excited by the ones that lie ahead in the Old World over the next three years though we find it hard to believe covering pension and investment news in, say Paris, could possibility be as stimulating as, say, the Oak Park village board policy discussions Carter covered so well.

But we could be wrong.

Media notes: Oak Parkers get their on-air due

Alert the village president! Marion Street, at least the $5 million portion of Marion Street, made its national television debut Monday evening. Tribune literary maven Julia Keller offered an essay on superheroes to close the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS Monday. And she did it while standing first on David Pope Way, er, Marion Street and then with the Lake Theatre marquee as the backdrop. ...

Dick Buckley, the greatest jazz host in Chicago radio history and an Oak Parker, retired Sunday after 31 years on WBEZ. Years back, Buckley hosted his first-person version of jazz every evening on the station. Most recently he has been doing a one-hour Sunday show featuring the great jazz players, most of whom Buckley knew. That's what happens when you are on the radio for 53 years. ...

Charlie Meyerson, a one-time Journal columnist, is about to be inducted into the Illini Media Hall of Fame at U. of I. Currently, he is editor of Daywatch at, but Meyerson is better known for being the morning news anchor for decades at, first, WXRT and then WNUA.

Ash borer imminent

Oak Park officials are saying it's only a matter of time before the invasive Emerald Ash Borer arrives in the village. So they're being pro-active by checking under the bark of some of the 2,600 ash trees on the public parkways around town. Workers also installed six traps on ash trees in Oak Park last week, according to a village press release.

The beetle has not been spotted yet in Oak Park. However, it has been sighted in Chicago and River Grove. Forester Jim Semelka said in the press release that the beetle represents the biggest threat to village trees since Dutch Elm Disease. About 14 percent of public trees in Oak Park are ash.

The traps were provided by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and are being used around the area. Village staff will also look for D-shaped holes left by the beetles.

Ash borers gnaw through trees in June, lay their legs on fresh bark. The larvae hatch and carve tunnels into the tree's vascular system, according to the press release.

A declining tree top or deadwood high up are signs of the ash borer. Residents with any concerns related to the beetle can call Forestry at 708/358-5700.

Book bonanza

It's time to stock up on your winter reading material. The annual Friends of the Oak Park Library Used Book Fair takes place Friday night (for the early birds) and all day Saturday at the OPRF South Cafeteria.

Batman's bartender

Local actor and sugar maple aficionado Lanny Lutz landed a scene in the summer's mega-hit film Dark Knight, where he plays a bartender, though not for long. He informs a patron that he has to "take a leak" and leaves. Lutz was last seen locally onstage in Festival Theatre's Tartuffe and All my Sons.


Channel 7's Steve Dolinsky and his Hungry Hound crew did get to Oak Park last week to film at PapaSpiros Greek Taverna, but that segment did not air Friday night, as we'd reported. WLS's Hungry Hound at PapaSpiros will air during the 10 p.m. newscast on Friday, Aug. 22.

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