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pools, more ice among citizen suggestions for park ridge's oakton park


bringing back pools to oakton park and expanding the amount of ice for skaters were among the top suggestions generated by a group of about 40 citizens during a park ridge park district brainstorming session on the future of the 16.5-acre park.the park district, working with wight and company architects and two other professional firms, held the nov. 30 community meeting to seek input from residents as part of the planning process for oakton, said park district executive director gayle mountcastle."everything's on the table," she said.but, mountcastle cautioned, the challenge is how to pay for any improvements that are eventually made at what is the park district's largest park."we're a long way from making decisions," she said.park district officials began discussing changes for oakton pa






instead of trashing sculpture, glencoe park district will pay artist $1,700 more


the glencoe park district will pay an artist to remove a sculpture he created roughly 40 years ago from district property, a move that will cost the district about $1,700 more than simply throwing it away.the park district will pay chicago-based artist barry tinsley $3,720 to remove the "breakwater" sculpture on old green bay road and beach road, as opposed to junking it at a cost of about $2,000, according to park district officials.park district officials began discussing what to do with the sculpture after the district's insurance company reported that it was decaying, even though tinsley disagreed with that assertion.a formal vote wasn't required because of the amount of money - less than $25,000 - involved. commissioners informally agreed that letting tinsley retrieve the sculpture wo






lawmaker proposes stealing $10.5 million from east bay regional park district –


assemblyman jim frazier’s proposal to steal $10.5 million annually from the east bay regional park district to fund a local fire agency ranks as one of the dumbest pieces of legislation we’ve seen.east bay residents should be outraged at his attempt to raid the coffers of their treasured park district. frazier, d-oakley, should be embarrassed by his dimwitted bill, ab 898. and every other east bay legislator should vehemently oppose it.there’s little doubt the east contra costa fire protection district is underfunded. because of historical anomalies of proposition 13, the statewide 1978 property tax-cutting initiative, the fire district receives a disproportionately small share of property tax revenues.but that doesn’t mean that the regional park district, which serves alameda and contra c






instead of trashing sculpture, glencoe park district will pay artist $1,700 more


the glencoe park district will pay an artist to remove a sculpture he created roughly 40 years ago from district property, a move that will cost the district about $1,700 more than simply throwing it away. the park district will pay chicago-based artist barry tinsley $3,720 to remove the "breakwater" sculpture on old green bay road and beach road, as opposed to junking it at a cost of about $2,000, according to park district officials.park district officials began discussing what to do with the sculpture after the district's insurance company reported that it was decaying, even though tinsley disagreed with that assertion.a formal vote wasn't required because of the amount of money - less than $25,000 - involved. commissioners informally agreed that letting tinsley retrieve the sculpture w






oak brook will pay park district $255,000 to begin managing bath and tennis club


the oak brook park district will receive $255,000 upfront to manage the village-owned bath and tennis club swimming pool in 2018 under an intergovernmental agreement being worked on between the park district and village officials.the village board is scheduled vote on the agreement jan. 9, followed by a park board vote jan. 15, said laure kosey, the park district's executive director.kosey said representatives of the village sports core advisory committee, created in november, approached the park district about swimming pool management.village officials received several complaints over the summer of problems with operations at the bath and tennis club, including a lack of sufficient staffing of lifeguards for the pool."our mission is to do what's best for the community," kosey said. "the p






deadline today for south bay, peninsula school tax mail vote


today is the deadline for voting on parcel taxes in the menlo park city school district and the lakeside joint school district in the santa cruz mountains.ballots in the all-mail elections must be postmarked by today. no neighborhood polling booths are open, but voters may cast ballots at registrar of voters offices — at the san mateo county registrar for menlo park and  at the santa clara county registrar for lakeside — until 8 p.m.both measures require a two-thirds vote to pass.for the second time in less than a year, the menlo park district is seeking supplementary local revenue. measure x would impose a seven-year $360 annual tax on each parcel, or piece of property. that would replace a $207 parcel tax that is expiring this year.last year,  district voters resoundingly defeated two pa






instead of trashing sculpture, glencoe park district will pay artist $1,700 more


the glencoe park district will pay an artist to remove a sculpture he created roughly 40 years ago from district property, a move that will cost the district about $1,700 more than simply throwing it away. the park district will pay chicago-based artist barry tinsley $3,720 to remove the "breakwater" sculpture on old green bay road and beach road, as opposed to junking it at a cost of about $2,000, according to park district officials.park district officials began discussing what to do with the sculpture after the district's insurance company reported that it was decaying, even though tinsley disagreed with that assertion.a formal vote wasn't required because of the amount of money - less than $25,000 - involved. commissioners informally agreed that letting tinsley retrieve the sculpture w






residents threaten legal action in park ridge community garden debate


plans for a community garden at north park are on hold as the park ridge park district contemplates its next steps following a legal threat from residents living near the park.an attorney retained by residents calling themselves the north park preservation group has ordered the park district to "cease and desist" from any activities at north park that go against its "dedicated purpose" — in this case, that it be used only as a public "playground."the cease and desist order was laid out in a letter addressed to the park district's legal counsel and read by park board president jim o'brien during a nov. 16 meeting.legal action was also threatened by parkside drive resident grant petersen, who told the board that 110 residents have "signed on to be part of a class-action lawsuit to prevent th






fox valley park district wants your input in naming new park


just how important is a name?to fox valley park district executive director jim pilmer, "very important."especially when the name is attached to a historical and highly visible piece of property that will soon be turned into a community park for all the city to enjoy.the two-acre site we're talking about, which sits at the corner of blackhawk street and galena boulevard, once was home to old west aurora high school; then aurora christian school, which occupied the site until 2004.but the building, erected in 1905, fell into disarray as it sat empty and was demolished in january of 2015. in september of last year, the city deeded the land to the park district for redevelopment; and the design was turned over to the same team that had been used to give a major face lift to mccarty park.const






naperville park director's pay is $50k more than fox valley, others


a recently approved 3 percent raise for naperville park district executive director ray mcgury locks him in as the highest paid park director in the area with a base salary of $207,618.mcgury, hired to lead the park district in 2008, is also set to collect $5,634.28 a month in pension payments from the 21 years he spent with the naperville police department, according to the naperville police pension fund board.in addition to his base salary, mcgury was also approved for $10,000 in deferred compensation and $7,200 in auto allowance for 2018. the parks director has been receiving the car allowance and deferred compensation in those amounts since 2015.prior to taking the helm at the naperville park district, mcgury worked for 21 years for the naperville police department, where he rose to th






plenty at stake on election day


norridge district 80 superintendent paul o'malley estimated he gave 40 presentations over the course of the past year about the district's reasons for placing a referendum on the spring ballot in an effort to address its financial situation.that figure doesn't include the informal conversations he had with community people."we did our best to inform the community," the superintendent said. at the same time, "we understand people have a financial position that doesn't match what the district needs."the referendum before voters on the april ballot sought a $1.25 million increase to allow the district to avoid further significant cuts and a projected deficit. officials have already made one tough financial decision, backing a move to separate grade centers to address an estimated $750,000 def






rare white wolf in yellowstone park euthanized over injuries


yellowstone national park, wyo. — one of only three white wolves roaming yellowstone national park has been put down by park staff after it was found with severe injuries.p.j. white of the national park service says hikers found the female wolf tuesday on the north side of the park.white says the wolf was in shock and dying, leading to the decision to euthanize it and investigate what caused the injuries. the nature of the animal's injuries could not immediately be determined.the predator was one of three known white wolves in the park.it had lived to 12 years old, twice the age of an average wolf in the park, and was one of the most recognizable and sought after to view and photograph by park visitors.






summer carnival not returning to park ridge this year


a summer carnival won't be coming back to park ridge's hinkley park this year.hinkley fest, a park ridge park district-funded event that had taken place for three consecutive summers, was canceled this year due to the anticipated construction work on restrooms at hinkley park, said mary bart, recreation supervisor of special events."we made the decision to take a year off from the event," she said. "we are just beginning our budgets for 2018 and staff is evaluating if we are going to bring back hinkley fest in 2018 or try something new instead."originally called the family carnival when it was launched in 2014, the three-day event marked the park ridge park district's 100th anniversary that year. in addition to traditional carnival rides, it featured games, food and, beginning in 2015, liv






two men in custody, another sought in attempted carjacking at oak park gas stati


oak park police said two men are in custody, and a third is being sought, in connection to a carjacking attempt that took place saturday afternoon at a gas station on harrison street at austin boulevard.according to a news release posted on the village's website, a woman told police she was preparing to pump gas at about 4 p.m. saturday at the shell station at 1 harrison st., when a man entered the driver's side door of her unlocked car. police said she confronted the man, and he implied he had a gun. he left the car and ran north on austin boulevard, accompanied by two other men, according to the release.police said responding officers spotted the men and stopped them, but one was able to get away. police said the suspect sought is described as black, 18 to 22 years old, standing about 5-






snakes on the prairie


three rivers park district has been restoring wildlife habitat in its parks for 50 years. the park district has successfully reintroduced a number of wildlife species over the years, including trumpeter swans, osprey, bullsnakes, and spring peepers. the park district's newest reintroduction project is bringing plains hog-nosed snakes to the prairies at crow-hassan park reserve, rogers. plains hog-nosed snakes are medium sized with an average size of two feet long. females are normally larger than males. their color is brown/gray with dark blotches. the nose is turned up and has the appearance of a hogõs nose. they are a secretive snake that spends most of its time underground or under the grass.






water continues to recede from grayslake parks after all flooded earlier in week


water was starting to go down friday at jones island park, one of the hardest hit facilities in the grayslake park district, said joe vocke, the district's superintendent of parks.as of late friday morning, vocke said he could see the seats of the picnic table benches at jones island, while thursday he could only see the tops of the tables. the only part of the park not flooded was the playground.video taken via a drone launched by sky's the limit dronography on wednesday showed the five-acre park, which sits on the north side of grays lake off harvey avenue, all but submerged in water.vocke estimated water levels have fallen about 2 to 3 feet at the park, which remained one of the most affected sites in the district, along with doolittle park on lake street, chesapeake landing park in the






chicago park district shows off three visions for jackson park, south shore cult


the chicago park district on thursday presented three unique proposals to redevelop jackson park and the south shore cultural center as part of its south lakefront framework plan.but while the vision of how the large swath of parkland on the south side will eventually be updated over a decade was presented, there was no discussion of the obama presidential center or a looming multimillion-dollar golf course project.images of the three buildings that will make up the presidential center and the proposed parking lot were on the district’s presentation boards. there were no markups of the still-debated new golf course, which officials said could come later.“we will not talk golf. we’re not ready,” said michael kelly, ceo of the park district. “i stand true to what i’ve said before: we will no






chicago park district seeks to raise property taxes as part of $462 million budg


the chicago park district is proposing a property tax increase to help pay for an expansion of recreation programs as part of its proposed $462.3 million budget, released online late wednesday, the afternoon before thanksgiving.the park district’s budget includes a tax increase amounting to an additional $6.48 for the average homeowner, generating $7.6 million in revenue.in a news release that offered few details about the planned property tax increase, the park district said the tax increase would help fund an expansion to “special recreation programming” and sites. a follow-up email from the district said it would offer programming at 10 new locations, and new programs in englewood, uptown and kenwood. a portion of the funds would also go toward pension obligations, the email stated.the






chicago park district seeks to raise property taxes as part of $462 million budg


the chicago park district is proposing a property tax increase to help pay for an expansion of recreation programs as part of its proposed $462.3 million budget, released online late wednesday, the afternoon before thanksgiving.the park district’s budget includes a tax increase amounting to an additional $6.48 for the average homeowner, generating $7.6 million in revenue.in a news release that offered few details about the planned property tax increase, the park district said the tax increase would help fund an expansion to “special recreation programming” and sites. a follow-up email from the district said it would offer programming at 10 new locations, and new programs in englewood, uptown and kenwood. a portion of the funds would also go toward pension obligations, the email stated.the






park district of highland park cancels tackle football after sharp registration


the park district of highland park has scrubbed its tackle football program this fall due to a drop-off in participation attributed to concerns about the risk of head injuries."our enrollment declined so much with everything that has been going on in football that the tackle program will not be taking place in 2017," said liza mcelroy, executive director of the park district, during a park board meeting tuesday.the park district offered the tackle football program to fifth through eighth grade students in collaboration with the highland park high school football staff. teams have competed in the central suburban youth football league.mcelroy said the traveling program drew more than 150 participants at its peak. "we fielded a ton of teams and little giants has always been a big tradition,"






residents threaten legal action in park ridge community garden debate


a plan by the park ridge park district to establish a community garden inside a local park isn't germinating much enthusiasm among some neighbors. and a 70-year-old document restricting how the park can be used could plant another obstacle for the project. about 20 residents attended a sept. 19... (jennifer johnson)






maggie daley park restaurant deal dead


the plan to bring a glass-enclosed restaurant to maggie daley park is off the table, but chicago park district officials still hope to attract a restaurant to the popular site.it’s been nearly three years since the park district board approved a 10-year concession agreement with the four corners tavern group to build and operate a restaurant at the park’s southern end near the children’s playground.the group had scaled back the square footage of the restaurant and reduced the height of what was to be a glass-enclosed building at the urging of friends of the parks, the park preservation group, and ald. brendan reilly, 42nd, before securing approval by the chicago plan commission in april 2016.then, the start of construction stalled.now, park district ceo michael kelly said the restaurant de






century park in vernon hills earns rare arboretum accreditation


century park in vernon hills has become the first park district property in illinois to receive an arboretum accreditation under the morton arboretum’s international arbnet program.the vernon hills park district’s application was approved this week. officials at the morton arboretum say the north suburban property is now the 15th accredited location in illinois.rick krocza, parks foreman and horticulturist at the vernon hills park district, said he counted around 60 different species of trees on his first tour of century park when he was hired in 2015.after a more detailed cataloging of trees, krocza planted several new species in recent years, including some that were native but got eradicated by invasive plants.“they’re not rare trees, but they’re trees you don’t usually see on park dist






south suburban schools, libraries close due to storm


many south and southwest suburban schools and some libraries announced they will be closed friday in anticipation of a significant winter storm.chicago public schools also announced its schools would be closed.suburban elementary district closings include:homer community consolidated school district 33c in homer glen, lemont-bromberek consolidated 113 in lemont, palos community consolidated 118 in palos park, oak lawn-hometown 123, atwood heights district 125 in alsip, alsip, hazelgreen and oak lawn district 126 in alsip, worth district 127, orland school district 135 in orland park, kirby district 140 in tinley park, forest ridge district 142 in oak forest, arbor park district 145 in oak forest, tinley park district 146, dolton-riverdale district 148, dolton district 149, south holland di






local investors want to turn closed highland park course into 'golf mecca'


as highland park officials move closer to a sale of the highland park country club property to the park district, a business partnership has come forward with a private proposal to convert the majority of the golf course to a golf practice and family entertainment facility.the 18-hole golf course at the highland park country club was closed dec. 31, and the park district of highland park plans to convert most of the property into a nature preserve with walking trails.on tuesday, a proposal to instead create an entertainment center named the golf mecca was presented to the park board. david fairman, a former park district commissioner and one of the principal partners, stressed the practice facility would complement, rather than compete with, the park district's sunset valley golf club. tha






community garden debate: amid continued neighbor objections, park ridge park boa


the park ridge park district board of commissioners tabled a scheduled vote on whether to create an estimated $75,000 community garden at north park after hearing from supporters and opponents alike thursday.commissioner robert leach suggested the board wait to vote until park district staff provide "backup" locations for a community garden. the board was told that, at this time, only north park, located at 1400 n. western ave., is under consideration."i would appreciate hearing what the alternatives are," leach said. "there's clearly a lot of negative sentiment here."leach was referring to the objections that were again voiced by largely neighbors of the 5-acre park during the board's nov. 2 meeting. the park board is expected to resume discussion, and possibly vote, on the north park gar






pass menlo park parcel tax hike or fire teachers?


menlo park city school district officials are urging residents to approve a parcel tax to prevent a projected budget shortfall, but opponents contend it isn’t necessary if the district learns to live within its means.teachers will have to be laid off, class sizes increased and programs cut if voters reject measure x in the march 7 special election, according to the district. the $360 parcel tax would generate roughly $2.8 million a year for schools if approved.the libertarian party of san mateo county, which opposes the measure, argues the district already receives enough money to offer a good education to its approximately 3,000 students in menlo park and atherton.property owners currently pay $875 to $891 a year through five parcel taxes for district schools. but one of those parcel taxe






elmwood park schools no longer in soft lockdown


a soft lockdown of three elmwood park district 401 schools has ended, according to a message posted at the district's website.the message stated that students at elmwood park high school, elmwood elementary school and elm middle school were released at 4:05 p.m.a previous message at the website indicated that the schools had been "in soft lockdown at the request of the elmwood park police department."






football field, park ready to open at titletown district


ashwaubenon, wis. — a new football field created with ground up old tennis shoes will soon open in the shadow of lambeau field.the green bay packers say the titletown district park will open sept. 15. packers vice president and general counsel ed policy says the team partnered with nike on the field.wluk -tv reports the field is open to the public, but also can be reserved. playgrounds with packers' themes have been installed adjacent to the field. a nearby sled hill already has grass, but won't open until november. the building under the hill includes a cafe and event space for 200.the park is included in phase one of the titletown district, which eventually will include commercial and residential development.






group raising money to restore illinois riverboat tours


rockford, ill. (ap) — a group of residents is raising money to keep a park district-owned riverboat operating in northern illinois this summer.the rockford park district’s forest city queen riverboat has offered scenic tours on the rock river for almost four decades.the rockford register star reports park district commissioners this year suspended the riverboat’s operations in rockford as a cost-cutting move. other programs and services also were cut.chris manuel is ceo of prairie street brewing company. he’s leading a “save the queen” effort to raise $22,000 by april 13. he says that would allow the park district enough time to get the boat ready to operate this summer.most read nation & world storiesunlimited digital access: $1 for 4 weeksmanuel recalls riding the forest city queen as a






after $18,000 vacation payout, east bay park district changes policy – the mercu


pleasant hill — after a retiring employee cashed out $18,000 in accrued vacation, the pleasant hill recreation and park district changed its policy to encourage the staff to take time off and reduce the likelihood of such large payouts in the future.when former recreation superintendent tina young retired at the end of march after a 35-year career with the district, she had 364 hours of unused vacation on the books — 164 hours over the official limit.although the recreation district’s written policy allowed employees to accrue a maximum of 200 vacation hours, former general manager bob berggren waived the restriction while the district was building new teen, senior and community centers since staff members were unable to take much time off during that busy period, according to michelle lac






state's attorney warns waukegan park district commissioners about free golfing p


lake county state's attorney michael nerheim has informed the waukegan park district that the park board is in violation of a state law making it illegal for volunteer board members to receive compensation, such as in the form of free rounds of golf at popular times of the day and week.in a jan. 4 letter sent to board president george bridges jr., nerheim addressed concerns about the free use of district golf courses during peak hours by commissioners.the state's attorney wrote in the letter that his office believes the violations to have been "unintentional," but added, "please allow this letter to serve as notice to the waukegan park district, the waukegan park district board, and its individual members, that any policy allowing for board members to receive free use of facilities beyond






threatening messages prompt school closure


bethel park, pa. (ap) — a pennsylvania school district is closing thursday after new threats emerged against schools on social media.bethel park had instituted a strict security policy allowing only necessary bags in schools after threatening messages were found last week that mentioned oct. 12.district officials say while the bethel park police department does not believe the latest threats to be credible, they felt it was in the best interest of students and staff to cancel school on that date.the missed day will be made up on feb. 19.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.officials are asking anyone with information on the threats to contact the bethel park police department.






bill would take money from parks for fire safety – the mercury news


a state lawmaker introduced a bill wednesday to reopen three shuttered fire stations in far eastern contra costa county by taking away $10.5 million annually in property taxes from the east bay regional park system and giving it to a financially ailing fire district.the park district is fighting the bill, calling it a thinly veiled “robbing” of regional park money that would trigger closures or reduced hours at some regional parks and postpone the opening of a long-awaited new park at the old concord naval weapons station.“this is robbing money from concord, oakland, fremont and other east bay communites and giving to an area where we don’t even get property taxes,” said bob doyle, general manager of the regional park district covering contra costa and alameda counties.the bill’s author, a






methodist hospital joins watershed district to build flood wall in st. louis par


as april rains fall, patients and staffers at park nicollet methodist hospital in st. louis park can rest a little easier this year than they have in the past.this spring offers the first test of a 370-foot concrete flood wall between minnehaha creek and the lowest part of the hospital campus — even though so far, as bob riesselman said, “it looks like mother nature is being kind to us now.”added riesselman, director of engineering for park nicollet health services: “i think that in 2014 we were in the same position. then, june was a tremendously rainy month and it surprised everyone.”in 2014, methodist hospital’s operations were imperiled by flooding after sustained rains raised the creek’s water levels. the encroaching water nearly cut off access to the hospital’s loading docks, which wo






methodist hospital joins watershed district to build flood wall in st. louis par


as april rains fall, patients and staffers at park nicollet methodist hospital in st. louis park can rest a little easier this year than they have in the past.this spring offers the first test of a 370-foot concrete flood wall between minnehaha creek and the lowest part of the hospital campus — even though so far, as bob riesselman said, “it looks like mother nature is being kind to us now.”added riesselman, director of engineering for park nicollet health services: “i think that in 2014 we were in the same position. then, june was a tremendously rainy month and it surprised everyone.”in 2014, methodist hospital’s operations were imperiled by flooding after sustained rains raised the creek’s water levels. the encroaching water nearly cut off access to the hospital’s loading docks, which wo






refugees race clock to enter u.s. while courts weigh ban


closeskip in skipxembedxshare about three thousand demonstrators have marched near president donald trump's florida estate to protest his now-blocked executive order temporarily limiting immigration. (feb. 4) apdemonstrators protest against president trump's ban on refugees entering the u.s. outside the white house on urday.(p o: molly riley, afp/getty images)refugees and some foreigners were racing the clock to enter the united states as the trump administration prepared to press a federal appeals court monday for reinstatement of its controversial travel ban.the san francisco-based court denied the trump administration's request sunday but ordered the states of washington and minnesota, which filed suit to halt the ban, to provide more details. the justice department was told to file its