Kopy’s Kolumn: Are You One of the Ear People?

Are you one of the ear people? Gary Kopycinski, Kopy's Kolumn, here's looking at you.
The publisher courtesy the Village Manager. (Feb. 20, 2019)
Commentary, Musings, and Some News by Gary Kopycinski
Editor & Publisher

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Are you one of the “Ear People?” Are you one of those people who are always on the phone no matter where you are? Walking through the grocery store, through CVS, Walgreens, standing in line at Subway, chatting continuously to someone on the other end of your phone.

You know: the Ear People.

I was in line at Subway today. There was a customer in front of me ostensibly paying for her dinner. She spoke without pausing, phone up to her ear, while the clerk calmly attempted to address her, talk her through her transaction.

She paid cash, so I found it amusing that the clerk still addressed her, calmly, taking her bill, counting back her change, while she talked and talked away. Did not listen well to her end of the conversation.

She left, I asked for my food — had already ordered and paid on the Subway app — then I stepped outside with my food. I saw this member of the Ear People in her car, the phone still glued to the side of her face, as she drove away.

Sometimes I have a tough time identifying the Ear People, misidentifying them for someone who might be experiencing other challenges as they walk through a store or parking lot talking away, no hands at either ear, focused on a convo with no one.

Then I see it: that small Bluetooth device parked under the hair. (I have little of that so any device I might have would be hard to conceal.) Then I know I’ve come upon one of the Ear People, loose, in their natural environment, free from the confines of holding a plastic rectangle above the jaw, free to stroll with hands in pockets or push a cart and place items inside.

And I shake my head, maybe scratch my ears.

Water Plant To Go Solar

The Park Forest Water Plant will go solar over the next several months. The Village Board approved a measure in August to work with a company called YellowLite as the construction partner. Total cost to the Village, after savings, rebates, tax incentives, etc., is just over $679,000. Payback over 10 years in the way of lower electric bills is over $1.8 million with 25.4 million fewer pounds of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

Your water bill will not rise because of this. The solar array will be installed on the roof of the water plant and, perhaps, in a field to the west of the water plant.

Right now, the water plant consumes more electricity than any other Village-owned facility.

More on that later.

Free Ice Cream Friday

There’s free ice cream in DownTown Park Forest Friday. The Commission on Human Relations is funding a Free Ice Cream Lunch Break in the lobby of Village Hall from Noon to 1:30 PM.

Enjoy!

FREE Workshop: Aging in a Changing Region

The Village of Park Forest has received a technical assistance award from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to participate in their “Aging in a Changing Region” program.  The goal of this program is to undertake a planning process that will identify specific action steps and strategies that the Village and its stakeholder partners can implement to support the senior population in Park Forest.  Note that this program is being provided to the Village free of charge as it is supported with funding from the RRF Foundation for Aging.

 In order to obtain public input to this process, you are invited to participate in a pair of stakeholder workshops led by Chicago-based aging-in-community specialist Brad Winick of consulting firm Planning/Aging.  The first workshop will be held:

 Date: September 2, 2021 

 Time: 1 pm or 7 pm (choose one to attend), each will be no more than two hours in length and will contain the same content

1 pm Location: Central Park Pavilion

  • 410 Lakewood Blvd, Park Forest

7 pm Location: Dining on the Green Banquet Hall

  • 349 Main Street, DownTown Park Forest

The second workshop will be scheduled for a date in November, and you will receive an invitation to attend that workshop as well. 

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact one of the following staff liaisons for this project: 

“While RSVPs are not necessary to attend, we would also appreciate knowing if you are able to attend, and which workshop you plan to attend,” the organizers say in a statement. “Please RSVP to any of the Staff noted above.  Feel free to share this notice with anyone else who might have an interest in participating.”

Vaccine Clinic

a person receiving a vaccination
MGN

Our numbers in Park Forest are still frighteningly low. Only 53.2% of all Park Foresters have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 41.8% of us have received two. (Source: CCDPH)

A total of 35 Park Foresters are now deceased from COVID-19. (CCME)

We are not safe yet, and we’ll be stuck in these damn masks until a lot more people get their shots. Remember, while most survive COVID, many are hospitalized, and some develop chronic, debilitating conditions in the aftermath of the disease.

So…

The State of Illinois is partnering with the Village of Park Forest to bring a free vaccine clinic to the DownTown Village Green, 349 Main Street, Park Forest.

The dates are August 28 and September 25 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Those are Saturdays, beginning with this Saturday coming up.

Again:

  • 1st Dose: 8/28/21
  • 2nd Dose: 9/25/21

If you can’t make this event, find a clinic near you by visiting coronavirus.illinois.gov or call 1-833-621-1284.

Save your life and the lives of those you love.

Please, get vaccinated.