If you have a comment, question, suggestion, etc., you can call SPEAK OUT any time of the day or night. Call SPEAK OUT but do not leave your name or identify yourself in any way. If your comment or question concerns a particular town, please start your comment with “Lombard - I would like to know,” or “Villa Park - whose job is it to.” Please limit your call to one (1) minute. SPEAK OUT is a community service of the LOMBARDIAN/VILLA PARK REVIEW newspapers. When at all possible, we try to contact public officials to obtain the answers to questions that concern them, and residents are also encouraged to contact public officials with their inquiries. Due to space limitations, it may not be possible to print all calls. We reserve the right to edit calls for length, clarity and subject matter. Please remember SPEAK OUT callers are expressing their opinion as they see it and may not be factual. For verification purposes, cite your sources when quoting individuals or statistics.
********************************************** I have read stories about a Lutheran church's comfort dog named Eve traveling all over and here locally to schools, etc. but no stories about our own District 44 or District 87 schools. I have seen firsthand what a valuable asset she is to our community. Is she welcome there and are there any plans for her to visit, maybe let the little kids or special education students read to her like at Schafer? Or comfort high school students when there is a crisis?
District 87 Community Relations Coordinator Peg Mannion responded, saying: "Specially trained comfort dogs have a unique quality that is particularly helpful during difficult times. We continue to discuss the role a comfort dog could play in our support to students and staff in the aftermath of a crisis." Lombard Elementary School District 44 Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources & Public Relations Aldo Calderin responded: "We do not work with Eve; however, Cooper, our therapy dog, has been visiting with students for about 7 1/2-8 years and is licensed through Therapy Dogs International. This year Mrs. Brigitte O'Brien, his owner/handler, brings Cooper three times a month to visit with students in the English Language Program and SPAC, or Specialized Academic Classrooms. In the past, Cooper has gone to the preschool program at both Madison and Butterfield. "Cooper listens, and sometimes even falls asleep, when the students read stories aloud to him. The students' faces light up when they see Cooper and are comfortable because they know they can read to him in a relaxing environment! "No other service dog comes to Westlake or the district." –JAC * * * Great job Villa Park Library. Not only did you get the referendum passed, you already own the property, you have plans in place, you are building within your means and within the rules and regulations of the village and you did it with a bond referendum, not a permanent tax increase. I wish all libraries were this smart when wanting to add on or build a new facility. * * * To the Village of Lombard, I'm sure that I speak for many people when I say thank you, thank you, thank you for the stoplight at Madison and Route 53. * * * This is a minor problem but the clock on the Prairie Path at Ardmore Avenue, the village clock, does not display the correct time facing east or facing north and sometimes the one facing south is even wrong. Seems like the one facing west is correct. It's sort of an eyesore. If you're going to have a clock it seems like it should demonstrate the right time. If only one side works perhaps cover up the other ones with something scenic.
Editor's note: Several attempts to obtain a response from Villa Park officials were unsuccessful. Call 630-834-8500 for more information. –JAC * * * Did you notice with your Villa Park water bill that you received a card with all the many, many different kinds of ways the village has found to tax us on our water use? As seniors, we do not use the minimum gallons each month, but we still pay the full minimum cost. When warm weather comes we use over the minimum so we pay more. Why can't we pay for only the water we use all year round—seems our village would be able to buy less water and charge us less too. There is no incentive for seniors to conserve water when we pay for it whether we use it or not.
Editor's note: Several attempts to obtain a response from Villa Park officials were unsuccessful. Call 630-834-8500 for more information. –JAC * * * Did you know it was reported that if we kept our car gas tanks only around half full, there would be so much excess gas that the price could drop by at least $1 per gallon? It could happen, but it's up to you and me to do it. * * * As taxpayers not only are we worried about the seemingly excessive monetary spending by the District 44 administration, we are also very concerned about the climate in our schools. At our daughter's school, I witnessed an apparent decline in morale. This administration's seeming lack of respect for their employees has created an apparent lack of trust and a discouraging attitude I have not seen before in District 44. What has happened to "character counts"? Thank you. * * * One SPEAK OUT contributor said we glorify our so-called President Trump. Firstly, Trump is the president of the United States. Secondly, he is not glorified. People want him to do a job, which has not been done in 10 years. For the last eight years all the politicians did was spend, spend and spend more. We are so much in debt programs have to be cut. Our last president, Obama, brought America to its knees. We were in decline by Obama's policy of divisional tactics: Rich hated middle class, whites and blacks; anti-police rhetoric; behind closed doors deals mimicking Chicago politics. I believe the election of President Trump will inspire, improve and make America great. I'm from Lombard. * * * Hi, this is Lombard calling. You know, they're criticizing Vice President Pence because he won't have dinner with a woman alone unless his wife is there. You have to give the man credit. He's smart. All he has to do is go out to dinner with a woman and the same media who's criticizing him will be snapping pictures and putting him in the National Enquirer saying that there's trouble with his marriage. As for taking his wife to affairs that serve alcohol, why not? I mean, people who go to those cocktail parties have loose tongues and better to have his wife along as a witness to what somebody says he said. I think the man is very astute to do this and shouldn't be ridiculed. * * * With everything that has to be done in Washington, D.C., health care, tax reform and all the problems that are prevalent in the United States, what do our great legislators do? They go on a two-week vacation. * * * This is Lombard concerning District 44. Your words, superintendent, and assistant superintendent, have come a little too late. We understand you are using the same tactics you used in District 89 to target our experienced teachers. District 44 prides itself on its outstanding test scores. These scores are achieved by the hard work and diligence of our excellent teachers. These teachers vary in age and years of experience. Research has shown that a variety of staff members, from new college graduates to experienced teachers, promotes higher student learning. * * * I just want to put the word out that my bird, a gray cockatiel with orange cheeks named Scooter, flew out the front door today, April 10, and he's 18 years old. He flew out on the corner of West Road and Goebel. He should stay kind of local, so if anybody finds Scooter, he knows the Andy Griffith song and he talks a lot and he's very people-friendly so he might fly up to you. If you see Scooter or find him, please return him to me. Call the police department or the Lombard Veterinary Hospital and they will give you all the information. Thank you. * * * Remember when Rauner first ran for governor and he said that he was only planning on being a one-term governor? Later he said that if the voters really wanted him to run that he would run for a second term. Well, Governor, we have seen the poll numbers; the voters really don't want you to run again. * * * Oh, the irony. When Democrats thought dear Hillary Clinton was going to win the Nov. 8 election, they admonished Donald Trump when he wouldn't commit to accepting the result. According to Hillary herself, Mr. Trump was posing a direct threat to our democracy by suggesting he might not accept the outcome. Once Trump defeated Hillary, it was the unhinged sore-loser Democrats who refused to accept the will of the people. Apparently it's OK for losing Democrats to question the results of an election. So here we are, five months later. Democrats continue to whine. "Trump's not my president…he's an illegitimate president…Neil Gorsuch is an illegitimate Supreme Court justice…all of his decisions will be tainted…Russia, Russia, Russia." Will dear Hillary be true to her word and admonish her fellow Democrats for threatening our democracy? * * * It's such a shame about what appears to be a decline in trust among taxpayers in District 44. My kids went through the district a number of years ago and there was never anything like the rumblings going on now. But keep in mind that while the SPEAK OUT calls are primarily directed toward administrators, it is the school board that approves the spending of our tax dollars. I didn't see anyone stepping forward to challenge the current regime this election cycle. The only other solution is to attend board meetings, let our voices be heard and hold the district's feet to the fire. They work for us, the taxpayers. * * * All of the Villa Park residents must have won the lottery because somehow they voted for a man who's proudly been on the board of trustees for 10 years and seems to have gotten nothing accomplished, including the train station and redevelopment. And, they decided to pass more taxes to build new projects for the same man to presumably not get anything done for another four years. So, all the other residents of Villa Park who weren't happy lottery winners have to pay for the taxes of his dream. Lucky us. Goodbye. * * * I don't doubt I will be chastised for saying so, but as awful as the United Airlines incident was with Dr. Dao, I can't help but observe he was not totally innocent in the whole situation. Admittedly the airline officers did everything wrong by using force—three against one— yet I can't help but wonder why he behaved in a belligerent fashion. He can be heard telling the airline officers he refused to leave and would rather go to jail. He also managed to get back on the plane and run down the aisle. Granted, this whole bumping of passengers should have been handled before anyone boarded, but had Dr. Dao been more cooperative—maybe by asking to explain to someone in authority his need to get home—this situation may not have escalated to the extent it did. * * * A previous caller speaking harshly of global climate change mentioned the commentator John Hinderaker to bolster his/her negative view of the reality of global climate change. I wonder, is this the same John Hinderaker, an extreme right-wing blogger who once wrote a blog entitled "An Argument for Armed Citizenry"? In this blog he seemingly promotes concealed-carry vigilantism. So, no thanks, I'll pass on his opinion of global warming, climate change zealots—people who promote vigilantism are just zealots of another stripe. Thank you. * * * If you have lost a Lombard library reading road trip book in the vicinity of Adams and Liberty, I have returned it to the children's desk at the Lombard library. If you go and give your name and the name of the book they will return it to you. Thanks. Bye. * * * [Recently] I observed a police car going east on Michael McGuire Drive between Elizabeth and Lincoln. This street is one-way westbound. The police car was seemingly not responding to an emergency. Why are police allowed to commit illegal driving acts when there is apparently no emergency? Thank you.
Your question was forwarded to Village of Lombard officials, who responded: "Based on this limited information, it is very difficult to make any determinations about the actions of the officer. Police officers very often respond to certain calls for service without emergency equipment activated. There is also the possibility that the vehicle was from another jurisdiction such as the Union Pacific Railroad police, Metra police or the DuPage County Sheriff's Office. In the future, it would be prudent to contact the Lombard Police Department directly at the time of the occurrence, so that these types of questions can be answered. Please feel free to call 630-874-4400." –JAC