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Kopy’s Kolumn: The Editor’s Blog for January 3, 2020

Gary Kopycinski, Kopy's Kolumn, here's looking at you
The publisher courtesy the Village Manager. (Feb. 20, 2019)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Hello and let’s try this again.

Happy New Year!

It’s good to be back. I’m going to knock on wood and work like everything is fine without another “health hiatus” in the future. Time to write again, bring everyone up to speed with what’s happened, what’s happening now, and what is scheduled to happen in Park Forest and beyond.

For what it’s worth, that was our slogan when eNews Park Forest launched in 2006: “News for Park Forest and Beyond.” Others have nabbed it here and there.

We were first. 🙂

It’s time to be first again with all the news that’s fit to print for Park Forest and beyond.

Yeah, “borrowed” that “fit to print” line from somewhere else. Another publication out of somewhere?

Welcome to 2020

Cook County States Attorney Kim Fox, attorney for Odelson & Sterk, Park Forest Police Chief Chris Mannino
Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx, an attorney for Odelson & Sterk, and Park Forest Police Chief Chris Mannino at a forum on the new cannabis laws in Illinois held at Theater 47 in Park Forest on Dec. 28, 2019. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

There are a number of things to be hopeful for in Park Forest as we begin the new year.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois. That’s the most recent big news, and I doubt you missed it.

What will happen with those who had non-violent pot convictions prior to the new law becoming effective on January 1? For the first time ever, Cook County will be working to help people vacate and expunge these convictions.

Here’s a preview of articles to follow. This is Toi Hutchinson on the new pot laws in Illinois.

Former State Senator Toi Hutchinson helped craft the new pot laws in Illinois. She is now the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, special advisor to Governor J.B. Pritzker, in a role created by the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

We also have Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx. The forum happened on December 28 at Theater 47 in DownTown Park Forest and it was pack full of information.

Here Illinois’ “Pot Czar” Toi Hutchinson explains the new laws and what legalized marijuana means for Park Forest and beyond

The video is still uploading as this article is being written and published. And, apologies, Toi. Had to use that title once. It was too tempting. 🙂

Still haven’t been to Theater 47?

Theater 47
Theater 47 in DownTown Park Forest. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Stop by and check them out sometime soon.

Have You Visited Serenity’s Place in DownTown Park Forest?

waffle, eggs, sausage at Serenity's Place
This was my late brunch at Serenity’s Place this past Saturday. It was delicious. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Have you been looking for a place to sit down in Park Forest, have coffee, eat a pastry, a healthy breakfast, panini, salad, or more?

That place exists now. Visit and order food! Don’t just walk in and say, “We just wanted to see what you had to offer.”

Saw that happen a couple of times. That’s not supporting a business. That’s not making the leap.

And you need to take the leap to Serenity’s Place. Today.

I did a proper interview with Serenity, owner of Serenity’s Place in DownTown Park Forest. That’s yet to come.

But before I write up that interview, trust me, and make a visit to meet Serenity and her family: 323 Main Street, Park Forest.

Their website is live and they have an active Facebook page. This is not the time to sit at home “thinking I should visit there someday.”

This is the day to make the short journey and order from their vast menu, with all foods prepared fresh from fresh ingredients.

You’ll be glad you did.

Park Forest PD Is 70

Among the items we have yet to cover in-depth, the Park Forest Police Department celebrated 70 years as 2019 came to a close. The celebration happened in November and we’ve got the entire celebration from beginning to end.

Look for the write-up later. For now, have you seen the video?

And, yes, we still have a small backlog of reports to catch up on.

Yes, Park Forest, There Is A Grocery Store Coming

Jet Foods in Park Forest
Jet Foods is slated to open in Park Forest. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

We’re still not sure what Jet Foods will be like when it opens at 120 South Orchard Drive, but their pre-opening PR was incredible. The store gave away hundreds of turkeys prior to Thanksgiving. All you had to do was show up and take one.

But the opening of the store is still on the horizon. As of this writing, their website is up and live and taking job applications. They do have an active Facebook page as well.

As always, our fingers are crossed and we’re hoping this new business finds success. Orchard Plaza saw new owners in 2019. That bodes well for current and new tenants as the former owners, Matanky Realty, appeared at times to be at war with their business owners. The relationship there was tenuous at best.

We have high hopes for Jet Foods.

Chicago Rush ER Is No Chicago Med

View from Chicago Rush Tower
A view from the Tower at Chicago Rush. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

One more doc trip tomorrow morning.

Went to the Chicago Rush device clinic on Dec. 30, Monday, to have my pacemaker/ICD read. Checked out. However, had dull ache in my chest intermittently for over a week plus my resting HR is at 120+ a lot. Tylenol always took care of the ache.

Nurse Practitioner at the device clinic walked me down to the ER.

They were packed. Chicago Rush ER is not “Chicago Med.” I was there six hours and only got into triage for them to take vitals and draw blood.

Told ER doc I had HCM. He asked, “What’s that?”

I said, “Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” He said, “Oh.”

Was this guy a real doctor? He was, I’m sure, but he was waaaaaaay overworked that day. Saw him and another person I thought might be a doctor as I waited.

That was it. The ER was packed. Who was managing that place? Why didn’t Rush bring in more doctors?

Left the ER after six hours waiting. Spoke with the nurse at the desk after I had been there five hours. She said there were still 12 people ahead of me and they had not yet done “the most important test,” the troponin, that they couldn’t do that test and send me back to the waiting area.

Checked with her almost an hour later. There were now 11 people ahead of me. Told them I understood, I must not be that emergent. Left for home about 6 p.m. Could not wait any longer. Dogs had to get out. Took Tylenol at home and felt fine.

Have an appointment Friday morning with my electrophysiologist.

Just rambling.

After this, it’s back to work, back to writing my news, back to exercise (holding off while my HR shows 120+ resting and I’m not supposed to take my HR above 110), back to personal projects, back to life.

But, hey, if anyone tries to tell me that people have to wait in Canada (I waited months for my first ablation and then had a circus of a time when I finally had the hybrid ablation.

What Shall We Do About Donald Trump in 2020?

In one of his latest rants, the president lashes out at California and New York about “their TREMENDOUS Homeless problems.” [SIC] In a typically rude and backhanded manner, Mr. Trump brings notice to nationwide problems, poverty and homelessness, but sets himself up as “The Don” in Godfather fashion, “They are setting records! If their Governors can’t handle the situation, which they should be able to do very easily, they must call and “politely” ask for help. Would be so easy with competence!”


Like all things Trump, is this a diversion? Is he serious? Must the “Governors” [sic] of New York and California approach Mr. Trump on bended knee, perhaps, and offer supplications so that the poor and homeless might be helped by the Feds? Why does Mr. Trump take no ownership or responsibility for the existence of the poor and homeless? Why are they the problem of the “Governors?”

Has he taken any ownership or responsibility for any challenge facing this country?

We have a decision as a nation to make in 2020. We must not let this vacuum of leadership persist in the White House.

Years ago, I recall people telling me that someone with the name “Barack Obama” could never be elected president.

“Who? Osama?” a friend laughed.

President Obama was exceptional. He served everyone regardless of their party or lack-of-party affiliation. And he fully satisfied neither liberals nor conservatives.

But his existence, his very being as a Black man in office, in that office, further spawned this malaise which made the presidency possible for Donald Trump.

But there’s more we need to consider. More I need to learn, to understand.

This is from Facebook friend Neil Steinberg, in response to a post in my news feed about Ted Cruz, “Trump’s just the latest manifestation of a global malaise. Were he to vanish in a puff of smoke, the problem remains—at least Trump is a more obvious buffoon than that man above. I can’t get too excited about Trump winning in 2020 because I don’t think his losing would mean all our problems were solved. This is a long-term, global slog that, my apologies, is just getting started.”

But electing a different president would be a step in the right direction.

Your thoughts?


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