In and Around Park Forest Week of March 12, 2012

Sharon Johnson, Helene Gibson and Hortense Remie
Sharon Johnson (left to right), Helene Gibson, and Nortense Remie showed up for Park Forest’s New Residents’ Night Friday evening at the Holiday Star Theater. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—March 12, 2012. Did you know that the nearest Level 1 Trauma Unit for those of us living in the south suburbs is at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn – some 25 miles from Park Forest? And if Christ Medical Center is on by-pass, i.e., handling so many trauma emergencies that it cannot accept additional patients, the next Level 1 Trauma Unit is located at Stroger or Northwestern Hospitals – almost 40 miles from Park Forest. Since it is widely believed that the victim’s chances of survival are greatest if they receive definitive care within the first hour, those in the south suburbs in need of critical trauma care could spend the majority of this critical 60 minutes en route to finding a Level 1 Trauma Center. Mayor Ostenburg’s Citizens Advisory Council will be hosting a public forum on this serious issue on Sunday, March 25 at Freedom Hall. Learn more about this important event in the ‘Village of Park Forest’ section below.

Also, remember that early voting ends on Thursday, March 15. More information on the election can be found in the ‘General Primary Election 2012’ section.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

General Primary Election 2012

Early Voting for General Primary Election – Available Through Thursday, March 15

The General Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Early voting is available Monday, February 27 through Thursday, March 15 to registered voters in both the Cook and Will County sections of Park Forest.

Cook County

Early voting for Cook County residents will be conducted at the Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, in the Board Conference Room or at any of the County’s early voting sites. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For a complete list of voting locations, please see the Cook County website at www.cookcountyclerk.com.

Will County

Early voting for Will County residents will be conducted on the second floor of the Park Forest Village Hall, in the Administration offices. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For detailed information regarding Will County early voting options, or to request an absentee ballot by mail, visit the Will County Clerk’s website at www.thewillcountyclerk.com  or call either (815) 740-4632 or (815) 774-6367.

State law requires that a registered voter show valid photo identification before voting early. Voters casting an early ballot must display a current driver’s license, a state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph. For questions, contact Sandi Black at [email protected] or by phone at 708-748-1112.

Village of Park Forest

Village of Park Forest Advisory Board & Commission Meetings

The following Park Forest Commissions will meet the week of March 12:

  • Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations

The meetings will take place at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Dr. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Council, Park Forest

Public Forum on Lack of a Level 1 Trauma Center in the South Suburbs – Sunday, March 25

On Sunday, March 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest, the Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Council will host a Public Forum on the lack of a Level 1 Trauma Center in Park Forest. While hospitals in the south suburbs have Emergency Rooms (ER), none are Level 1 Trauma Centers. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) transport complex injury victims meeting special triage criteria past local hospitals to trauma centers when a sophisticated and highly trained interdisciplinary team of health care professionals provide the services needed to save that person’s life and prevent further disability or physical deterioration. Currently, the nearest Level 1 Trauma Unit for those of us living in the south suburbs is at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn – some 25 miles from Park Forest. And if Christ Medical Center is on by-pass, i.e., handling so many trauma emergencies that it cannot accept additional patients, the next Level 1 Trauma Unit is located at Stroger or Northwestern Hospitals – almost 40 miles from Park Forest. Since it is widely believed that the victim’s chances of survival are greatest if they receive definitive care within the first hour, those in the south suburbs in need of critical trauma care could spend the majority of this critical 60 minutes en route finding a Level 1 Trauma Center. William McNary, Executive Director of Citizen Action and one of the state’s leading advocates for citizen rights will emcee the event. Speakers include Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Dr. Ram Raju, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer for the Cook County Health and Hospital System, and Park Forest Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Ziegle. South suburban elected officials have also been invited to participate in this important event. The forum is free and open to the public. Residents are strongly encouraged to attend.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd., Park Forest

Build a Bird House – Sunday, March 18 — Registration Required

On Sunday, March 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., those of all ages can participate in this fun family workshop where you will build a bird house. The results will give our feathered friends safe places to live and survive in your backyard. Materials will be provided but participants should bring a hammer. There is a fee of $10 per house. Registration is required. For additional information or to register, call 708-534-8499.

Woods Music: A Benefit for Thorn Creek Woods –Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Woods Music’ a benefit concert for Thorn Creek Woods that will be held on Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. As spring begins, come celebrate the woods with music. With generous donation of the musicians’ time and expertise all proceeds will benefit Thorn Creek nature Preserve. Refreshments will be available. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and under. Advance purchase of tickets is strongly recommended. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-534-8499.

Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club, Palos Park, IL

Monthly Meeting – Monday, March 12

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, March 12 at 7:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Road (just off Rt. 30). Sauk-Calumet member Jerry Heinrich will speak about the proposed Illiana Expressway that would connect Interstate 65 in Indiana with Interstate 55 in Illinois, and the potential environmental impacts of the project. The route is significant because it would access the proposed but controversial third airport in the Peotone area. The meeting is free and open to the public. People interested in enjoying outdoor activities, preserving the environment, and protecting the world in which we live, are encouraged to attend. For additional information, e-mail Patrick Coffey at [email protected].

Village of Park Forest

Community Garden Kick-Off Meeting – Save the Date

The kick-off meeting for the 2012 Park Forest Community Garden Project will take place on Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Members of all gardening groups that will be gardening on Village plots should plan on attending this meeting. If you are interested in gardening and do not have a group to garden with, please attend the meeting and we will get you in a group. There is also still time to choose a Village lot to use for gardening (see related story below for additional information on the project). We’ll also be looking for volunteers to assist Habitat for Humanity in building raised garden beds and water harvesting systems. In addition, we’ll be needing volunteers interested in helping with fund-raising and art activities. For additional information on the project, or to obtain a list of the available Village lots, call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991.

Park Forest Community Garden Project

The Park Forest Environment Commission is facilitating the development of community gardens throughout Park Forest in support of the Village’s Sustainability Plan. While the gardening will be a volunteer effort by Park Forest residents, churches, civic, community groups, and businesses, there will be costs involved in testing the soil, building raised beds when necessary, and constructing rain harvesting systems. For those that choose to garden on one of the Village’s vacant lots, the Village will contribute $370 per community garden to defray some of these costs (this amount represents the cost to mow one lot on an annual basis). The Environment Commission is also be appealing to the business community to contribute towards the cost of creating this community gardening project. If you are interested in making a contribution or learning more about the community garden project, please call Rosemary Piser, a member of the Environment Commission, at (708) 747-1991.

Park Forest Draft Sustainability Plan Open House – Tuesday, March 20

The Park Forest draft Sustainability Plan will be available for public review and comment on Tuesday, March 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 pm. at Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street, Park Forest. Exhibits on display will include goals and strategies for addressing topics like land development, transportation options, water resources, and energy efficiency. The purpose of the Open House is to receive public comment prior to beginning the formal review process with the Village Board and other Park Forest officials. Representatives from the Village and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will be available to answer your questions and provide clarification. No formal presentation will be given, so please feel free to drop in at any time between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Additional information about the Sustainability Plan is available at www.cmap.illinois.gov. For additional information, call Jessica Simoncelli at 312-386-8631 or e-mail [email protected].

Safer Pest Control Project (SPCP), Chicago

Natural Lawn Care Workshop for Landscape Companies, Turf Managers, Municipalities and School Districts – Wednesday, March 21

Chip Osborne, renowned natural lawn care expert, will be one of the speakers at the ‘Natural Lawn Care Workshop’ taking place on Wednesday March 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Indiana University Northwest’s John W. Anderson Library/Conference Center, 3400 Broadway, Gary, Indiana. Representatives from landscape companies, turf managers, municipalities, and school districts will learn from national and local experts how to succeed with organics; build healthier, resilient turf; grow your business; and become more sustainable. Continuing Certification Hours (CCHs) are available for this workshop. There is a fee of $125 with discounts available for multiple registrants from the same organization. For complete seminar information or to register, please visit www.spcpweb.org/training or call SPCP at 773-878-7378.

Natural Lawn Care Workshop for Schools and Childcares – Thursday, March 22

A Natural Lawn Care Workshop for Schools and Childcares will be held on Thursday, March 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Northwest Indiana Educational Service Center, 2939 41st Street, Highland, Indiana. Chip Osborne, renowned natural lawn care expert, will be the featured speaker. Participants will find out how the ‘Indiana Pesticide Rule for Schools’ impact your facility and staff. You will learn how to protect children’s health; use the soil food web, optimal grass selection and effective controls for weed and pest management to create durable high quality turf; discover the advantages of organic fertilizers, natural pest control and compost teas; transition athletic fields, reduce pesticide use and communicate clearly with the public on your actions. There is a registration fee of $35. Continuing Certification Hours (CCHs) pending and certificates will be made available for attendees looking for credits for Paths to QUALITY™ and other licensing credits. To register or for additional information, visit www.nwiesc.k12.in.us and click on ‘Workshop Registration’ link or call SPCP at 773-878-7378.

Arts & Entertainment

Rich Township, Village of Richton Park, and MuzicNet

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Musical Concert – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, March 24 beginning at 6 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest, a musical concert will take place remembering Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. The concert will feature District 227 Alumnus Artist Reunion Valerie Nicholson Marla Dillard-Lemons, Dana Devine from WGCI Radio Station, pianist Chris Allison, Alan Franklin and MuzicNet Trio, Phillip Crews and the Rich Central Jazz Band. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Park Forest Village Hall Manager’s Office, 350 Victory Drive. For additional information, call 708-748-6722 or 708-261-5708.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Library:

  • Monday, March 12 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Monday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. – Basic Mouse – Registration Required.
  • Tuesday, March 13 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. – Pajama Storytime – For all story lovers Ages 2 thru 12. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Tuesday, March 13 at 7:15 p.m. – Microsoft Excel – Registration Required.
  • Wednesday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. – Breaktime! Ages 6 & Up. Stop in to see what we’re doing — crafts, games, more.
  • Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. – Basic Mouse Practice Session – The first ten people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration required for the practice sessions.
  • Thursday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m. – LapSit – Ages 0 – 35 months with caregiver. Registration Required.
  • Thursday, March 15 at 11:15 a.m. – Toddler Art – Ages 2-4 with caregiver. Registration Required.
  • Thursday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. – Microsoft Excel Practice Session – The first ten people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration required for the practice sessions.
  • Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. – Learn to Use Your Kindle – An introduction to using an Amazon Kindle. Please note: you must bring your own device for this class.
  • Friday, March 16 at 4 p.m. – Teen Time – Ages 12 & up. Wii games, classic TV reruns, board game competitions, teen crafts.

For additional information or to register for these events, call the Park Forest Library’s Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731.

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, March 15

On Thursday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m., the Potpourri of Lectures series will feature “Montford Point Marines: A History” by Edwin Fizer in the Library’s Ringering Room.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Walkway, Park Forest

‘The Cocktail Hour’ by A. R. Gurney – Through March 18

Tickets are now on sale for A.R. Gurney’s ‘The Cocktail Hour’ which will run through March 18. This modern comedy of manners was described by the New York Times as “an examination of an over privileged family that fights domestic battles while downing drinks.” A successful playwright must endure an evening with his wealthy parents as he breaks the news to them that they are the subject of his new play. It’s another sparkling gem from one of America’s most prolific playwrights. Tickets are priced at $22 and $20. There is a $1 discount for students and seniors. For additional information, show times, or to purchase tickets, call 708- 481-3510 or visit www.ilthctr.org.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard, is decorated to depict life in Park Forest when it was first built. One room represents a classroom in the first school, Forest Boulevard School, which was set up in a row of townhomes in 1949. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donation is Adults-$5; 12 & under free. The tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store brick at 1 for $15; 2 for $25. Convenient, free, street parking available right outside the front door. For additional information, visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

Volunteers Needed for Increased Hours and Work on Archival Collection

The Park Forest Historical Society needs many more volunteers to cover the additional hours at the House Museum and to trim, photocopy and label article and documents for the archival collection. Some of the collection is in the Park Forest Library. Projects will include filing photocopied articles and documents at the library, and searching the files for answers to questions from out of town. Publicity volunteers are needed to design or distribute fliers, and help blog and fill in announcements on social media sites. If you have a talent to offer or need to put in some public service time for school, please contact Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252 or contact the society by e-mail through the website at www.parkforesthistory.org.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artist Walk, Park Forest

‘African Expressions’ Art and Artifacts of Africa – Through March 18

‘African Expressions,’ an exhibit featuring arts and artifacts of Africa, will run through March 18. The exhibit will feature Neolithic artifacts through 20th century sculpture, metal work, figurative wood sculpture and prestige items. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For Gallery hours or additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit: www.tallgrassarts.org.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

‘Ways of Making: Painting’ Exhibit – Through March 30

GSU’s Visual Arts Gallery is presenting ‘Ways of Making: Painting’ through March 30. This exhibit features the artwork of 25 painters, all women, in recognition of the 25th year of Women’s History Month. A closing reception celebrating the artists will be held on Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursday, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and by appointment. For additional information or to schedule an appointment to visit the Gallery, call 708-534-4021 or visit www.govst.edu/gallery.

Monkey Mind Art Studio, 3 W. Nebraska St., Frankfort

‘Sounds’ Paintings by Patricia Moore – Through April 6

‘Sounds’ featuring painting by Patricia Moore will run through April 6. The exhibition features acrylic and mixed media paintings expressing the sounds of Jazz and Bach through moving abstraction. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For Gallery Hours or additional information, call 815-464-8818 or visit www.monkeymindartstudio.com.

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Botanic/Organic’ Spring National Juried Exhibit – Through March 31

USC will be hosting its spring national juried exhibit ‘Botanic/Organic’ through March 31. This exhibit features art by 52 artists from 21 different states. Art displayed is inspired by nature and the natural world and represents a variety of styles, techniques and media. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For Gallery hours or additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

BIG Event 2012 Being Held Earlier This Year – Save the Date

Sertoma Centre’s BIG Event 2012 will be held this year on Saturday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3350 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park, IL. For just $10, you can feast on delicious ribs, sensational chicken or firehouse chili. Magician and juggler, Dave Fleming will perform on stage at 6:30 p.m. and live music will be provided by Sound Barrier. There will be raffles and plenty of fun for the entire family. If you are a firefighter or know someone who is a firefighter, then consider competing in the hottest firehouse cook-off in town. Trophies and prizes are awarded for each category: chicken, ribs, chili, and ethnic dishes. Chefs prepare sample size portions for 500 people and are reimbursed up to $500 for food expenses. For event information, fireman registration, or sponsorship details, see www.sertomacentre.org. Proceeds from the event benefit the almost 700 individuals with disabilities served by Sertoma Centre, Inc.

State Farm Insurance, Edward Ford Jewelers and Corpus Christi Alumni Association

‘For the Love of Hales Franciscan High School’ – Sunday, March 18

‘For the Love of Hales Franciscan High School,’ the fourth concert extraordinaire will be held on Sunday, March 18 at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago. This year’s concert will include awards to Distinguished Ladies: Sister Isabelle Brazier, Rev. Helen Carry, Mrs. Doris Ford, Ms. Connie Lindsey and the Ladies of the Knights of St. Peter Claver. Derrick Blakely of CBS Channel 2 will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Performers for the concert include Milas J. Armour III, ‘Baritone Extraordinaire,’ Anisha McFarland, lyric soprano, and Kennedy Simone Wilson. Proceeds from the concert will be used to provide scholarships to students of Hales Franciscan High School. Tickets are $50. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call Herbert Hill at 773-783-0150 or Charles Rawlings at 773-401-1581.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Park Forest Nurses Club

‘Palliative Care’ to be Discussed at Park Forest Nurses Club Meeting on March 15

The Park Forest Nurses Club will meet Thursday, March 15, 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Protestant Church, 425 N. Orchard Dr. (corner of Lincoln Highway and Orchard Dr.), Park Forest. "Palliative Care" will be the topic presented by Rebecca Wolfe, RN., Nurse Practitioner, Vitas Hospice. All Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, active or inactive, are invited to attend. For further information call 708-481-8387 or visit www.pfnursesclub.org.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

CenterPoint March Workshops on Starting Businesses

CenterPoint at GSU is sponsoring ‘Starting a Business in Illinois’ workshops for Chicago Southland residents. The free, two-hour workshops focus on personal, financial, and legal aspects of starting a business. Participants will learn what steps to take and what resources are available to assist new business owners succeed in today’s challenging economic climate. Workshops will be presented on:

  • Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at Richton Park Village Hall, 4455 W. Sauk Trail, Richton Park. Elliott Johnson, Regional Representative for GSU CenterPoint, will present the program.
  • Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Lemont Public Library, 50 E. Wend Street, Lemont. Judi Mack, Regional Representative for GSU CenterPoint will present the program.
  • Wednesday, March 21 at 9 a.m. at Kallsen Center in Tinley Park Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park. Dan McAllister, Regional Representative for GSU CenterPoint will present the program.
  • Monday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Old Plank Trail Bank, 20901 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort. Judi Mack will present the program.
  • Wednesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at the Markham City Hall, 16313 S. Kedzie Parkway, Markham. Elliot Johnson will present the program.

Interested individuals can contact CenterPoint at 708-534-4927 or visit www.centerpointgsu.com.

One-on-One Language Instruction for Your Child Available at GSU

Free, one-on-one language instruction for qualified middle school children is being provided by GSU as part of a research study. All instruction is conducted by a certified, trained speech-language pathologist. The summer language intervention program provides one or two hours of instruction per week for nine weeks. Instruction focuses on building knowledge of advance sentences that are important for reading comprehension, writing, following verbal instructions, and verbal expression in middle school and beyond. Participation is based on eligibility screening which takes place in March and April. Students must have documented language or learning disability, be between 10 and 14 years old, have normal hearing, and meet certain reading and language criteria. Transportation to and from GSU is not provided. For additional information, and to register your child for evaluation, contact Dr. Catherine Balthazar at 708-534-4592 or e-mail [email protected].

Reading Tutoring Available at GSU

GSU’s Graduate Program in Reading is sponsoring The Literacy Zone, a reading tutorial program for students in grades six through high school, on Tuesdays from January 24 through April 17 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This 12-week, one-to-one program brings students experiencing reading problems together with teachers who have the skills to help them. Students meet on the GSU campus with certified, experienced teachers enrolled in the Master of Arts Reading Program at GSU. Enrollment is limited and based on the number of tutors. Students will be accepted in the order in which the completed application and registration fee are received. There is a $70 registration fee. Snacks are provided at each session. Transportation is not provided. For additional information or to register, call 708-534-4122 or e-mail [email protected].

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday At GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Financial Aid Workshop –Wednesday, March 14

PSC is hosting a workshop to help students and parents file the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online on Wednesday, March 14 at PSC. The workshop is free and open to the public and advanced registration is requested by calling 708-709-3735, or by completing the registration form online at prairiestate.edu. Assistance is also available in Spanish. In order to complete the FAFSA, applicants will need to provide a completed or estimated 2011 tax information (parent’s and student’s 1040, 1040A, and/or 1040EZ federal tax applications and W-2 forms); the student’s driver’s license and social security number, the parent’s social security number and date of birth; records f untaxed income (welfare, social security, AFDC/ADC, or veterans benefits); current bank statements; current mortgage information for properties other than the family’s principal residence; records of businesses, farm (if not the family’s principal residence), and assets (stocks, bonds, and other investments); and a calculator. For more information on the FAFSA workshops at PSC, contact the college’s Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs at 708-709-3735.

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

Representative Anthony DeLuca, Chicago Heights

2012 General Assembly Scholarship Program – Applications Accepted Through March 15

Representative Anthony DeLuca is accepting applications for the 2012 General Assembly Scholarship program through Thursday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. The scholarships are available o residents of the 80th District and will cover one year of tuition to the following universities:

  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield)
  • Chicago State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Governors State University
  • Illinois State University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Western Illinois University

Eight recipients will receive one-year tuition, including summer semester. Fees, books, room and board are not covered. For additional information or to receive an application, call 708-672-0200 or visit www.housedem.state.il.us.

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site located inside the Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level)

Walk-In Flu & Pneumonia Clinic

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. flu and pneumonia immunizations will be available while supplies last. For fee information or questions, call the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118.

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

Babies, teens and adult immunization and flu and pneumonia clinics will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118. The Health Department is a low cost provider for children and adult immunizations.

Blood Pressure Screening

A free Blood Pressure Clinic is held at the Park Forest Health Department Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Walk in or call ahead at 708-748-1118.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private programs available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

This & That

Park Forest Vehicle Stickers

Vehicle Sticker Sales Now in Progress – Stickers MUST Be Displayed Prior to May 1

The 2012-2013 Park Forest vehicle stickers go on sale beginning March 1. Vehicle stickers must be displayed, prior to May 1, on every vehicle that is registered with the State of Illinois with a Park Forest address; even if that vehicle is not located in Park Forest. Vehicles driven in Park Forest without a current vehicle sticker are subject to citations by law enforcement officers, until a sticker is purchased and displayed. The cost to purchase a vehicle sticker is $50 before May 1. Vehicle sticker purchases made on or after May 1 will be assessed a late charge of $25.  An additional late fee will be assessed to vehicle sticker purchases made on or after August 1. Stickers can be purchased at Village Hall during the normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday – with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. To print an application, click here. For additional information, including more details on rate changes, click here.

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock St., Park Forest

Free Java Tuesdays

All are invited to Faith United Protestant Church for FREE Java Tuesdays. Visitors are asked to go to the Indianwood Boulevard side entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for free curbside service or to come and sit a bit. The event will continue each Tuesday as a form of outreach to the community throughout the summer and fall. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

‘Southland Jazz Collective’ to be Featured at 2012 Lenten Season Activity – Friday, March 16

The Fellowship Ministry of Faith United Protestant Church will host its 2012 Lenten Season activity on Friday, March 16 beginning at 7 p.m. Come out and experience the spirited and uplifting music of the ‘Southland Jazz Collective’ as they present our “Lenten Jazz Vespers.” Members of the Collective are Rob Calhoon, Phil Crews, Mark O’Connor, Valerie Nicholson, Saalik Ziyad and Shaun Johnson. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-747-8966.

Park Forest Stamp Club

52nd Stamp Show, PARFOREX 2012 – Saturday, March 31

The Park Forest Stamp Club’s 52nd Postage Stamp Show, PARFOREX 2012 will be held on Saturday, March 31 at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church’s Gymnasium, 78 Cherry Street, Park Forest (corner of South Orchard Drive and Cherry Street). Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Displayed will be more than 500 pages of competitive exhibits prepared by club members from Novice to National award winners. Exhibits will be evaluated and awarded ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. A Grand award winner will also be chosen. A judges’ critique will take place at 4 p.m. World-wide stamps, covers, cards, collections and supplies for collecting will be bought and sold at dealer tables. Free appraisals of stamps and collections will be made available. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are invited to receive aid in qualifying for Stamp Collecting merit badges at the show. The show theme, Remembering the Titanic 1912, reflected in a cachet and cancel, will be available at the show for $1 or 3 for $2.50./ To purchase by mail, send a check and SASE to the park Forest Stamp Club, Box 606, Park Forest, IL 60466. For additional information about the show call 219-613-6561 or e-mail [email protected].

Rich Township Senior Center

Free Income Tax Preparation for Citizens Over 60 – Through Thursday, April 12

Free income tax preparation, including electronic filing, is available for citizens over 60 years of age through Thursday, April 12 at Rich Township’s Leonard Robinson Family Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. AARP is sponsoring this Tax Aide Program. For an appointment, please call the Rich Township Senior center at 708-748-5454. No walk-ins will be accepted. This service is available each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with the last scheduled appointment taken at 2 p.m. Please bring copies of your 2010 tax return, 2011 W-2s, 1099s, your property tax bill, and all other income forms (except for self-employment and rental income). Transportation is available through Rich Township by calling 708-748-6727.

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Sertoma Needs Volunteers on Tuesday, March 13

Sertoma Centre is looking for people willing to donate one evening of their time on Tuesday, March 13. Join other volunteers for a bus ride to McCormick Place in Chicago and a few hours of packing exhibitor booths at the International Housewares Show. For ten years, Sertoma Centre has been fortunate enough to be one of five charities allowed to receive donations from the exhibitors at this trade show. Products from the Housewares Show are used in all Sertoma facilities and residences. Programs including Developmental Training which utilizes many housewares items such as electric skillets and cooking utensils to help individuals with disabilities develop cooking skills. In addition, donated merchandise is sold at Sertoma Centre’s Thrift Store Good As New in Matteson. On Tuesday, March 13, coach buses will leave Sertoma Centre, 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip, at 4 p.m. SHARP and return by 9:30 p.m. Participants will receive a boxed dinner during the ride into Chicago. Sertoma staff will accommodate anyone interested in joining. Participants must be at least 18 years of age. Register as a volunteer by Tuesday, March 6 by calling Karey Wentz at 708-481-5627 or e-mail [email protected]. For additional information, visit www.sertomacentre.org home page and click on the Housewares Show Volunteer Information link.

Good As New Thrift Store – Seeking Donations

The Sertoma Centre’s Good As New Thrift Store, 4331 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, is seeking donations of gently used furniture and other household items in good condition. Proceeds from the sale of items at the Thrift Store go directly to supporting the 14 programs offered by Sertoma Centre. The store also serves as a training program for consumers at Sertoma to allow them to gain experience and transition into permanent retail jobs. The Thrift Store will pick up furniture donations within the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago free of charge. To make an arrangement to make a tax deductible donation of furniture to Good As News, call 708-481-5627. For additional information, to schedule a tour, volunteer or to make a donation, please call Amy Chmura at 708-730-6206 or e-mail [email protected].

Garden Club of Park Forest

"A Gardener’s Cookbook"

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

The Rotary Club of Park Forest urges you to purchase a Golden Opportunities 2012 book to help support its youth activities. Books are only $25 and are now available for purchase at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: Park Forest 2011 Autumn Recreation Programs & More Brochure, 2011/2012 Park Forest Fall/Winter Calendar, Park Forest ‘Discover’ magazine, Rich Township Report, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.