Mayor Morley’s Self-Portrait Collection Steals the Show at ‘Art in Wilder Park’

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Universally praised by art critics from the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild, The York High School student newspaper and Hobby Lobby, Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley’s expansive collection of self-portraits on display this weekend at the 22nd Annual “Art in Wilder Park” drew large crowds and overshadowed the works of more than 125 other artists.

A whopping total of 48 pieces portraying the mayor – comprised mostly of paintings, abstract line drawings, and sculptures created using raw materials sourced from Salt Creek and the Elmhurst Quarry – covered numerous artistic styles and were quickly purchased for $250 to $14,000 apiece. A renaissance piece titled “Mona Morley” Morley donated to the Elmhurst Art Museum and a screen print titled “Morley Monroe” purchased by The Elmhurst Park District were among the critics’ favorite pieces.

“I see a man-child crying out for love – an innocent orphan in the post-modern world,” said Elmhurst Artists’ Guild President Cassie Swierenga, staring at an oil painting of the mayor posing in a wide-collared leisure suit. “He disgusts me. Yet, I can’t look away”.

Held on Saturday and Sunday outside of Wilder Mansion, “Art in Wilder Park” drew thousands of thrifty Elmhurst residents eager to “bargain with gypsies”. The outdoor event featured live music, food vendors and children’s activities.

Artists from throughout the Midwest who took part in the event were reportedly in “stable” condition Sunday evening after being exposed to Elmhurst for two full days.

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Trader Joe’s Announces They Will Never Open a Location in Elmhurst

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by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Stating that the courtship from both residents and City Hall has grown “tiresome” and that the town fails to meet both the social and economic standards required by his company, Trader Joe’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Bane issued a press release Tuesday morning stating that the “fresh format” grocery store will never open a location in Elmhurst.

The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the community and was met with disappointment by the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission, who was convinced that Trader Joe’s would eventually open a new location in the mid-sized suburban town that already has a Whole Foods, a Mariano’s, two Jewels, and a population of fault-finding grocery shoppers.

“They’ve made it very clear with this statement that they don’t want to open a grocery store here,” said Assistant City Manager Mike Kopp, who noted that he has reached out to Trader Joe’s executives on “dozens” of occasions over the last year or so to gauge their interest in various properties that are available in Elmhurst. “I just called them last week to see if they wanted to take a look at the old location of Rainbow Restaurant. There’s not much parking on the site, but there are a couple of parking garages within a few blocks.”

Elmhurst residents were devastated by the news.

“I had my heart set on Trader Joe’s opening in Elmhurst,” said resident Julia Formari, eating a $15 egg salad sandwich and a drinking a $7 organic juice at the Whole Foods café on Route 83. “Frankly, I’m not satisfied with Whole Foods’ selection of organically grown, environmental-friendly products with no genetically-modified ingredients.”

The decision to eliminate Elmhurst as a potential future location was an easy decision for Trader Joe’s, according to Bane.

“There are dozens of reasons why we would never open a store in Elmhurst,” said Bane, who declined to comment on a rumor that the Economic Development Commission offered to amend some zoning ordinances for Trader Joe’s to open a 25,000 square foot store adjacent to “The Hub” at Berens Park. “The residents are very picky, and they have a reputation for asking a million questions about the origin of products. On top of that, Elmhurst is a revolving door of businesses that open and close.”

Bane added that he is close to completing two separate deals that will bring Trader Joe’s grocery stores to both Bensenville and Schiller Park.

Hundreds of Elmhurst ‘Puppets’ Participate in Student Walkout Designed to Take Away Your Guns

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Following an obvious agenda set forth by their parents and the United States government to strip away the Second Amendment right of every red-blooded American to bear arms and “shoot shit”, hundreds of mind-controlled students at York High School and Bryan Middle School obediently took part in a national student walkout Wednesday morning by leaving their classrooms at 10:00 a.m. local time in protest of an isolated incident that took place last month in Parkland, Florida.

Herded like sheep through the hallways and outside of their schools, most students interviewed during the education-depriving 17-minute walkout were suspiciously consistent with their feelings about gun control and why they chose to take part in the “student-led” walkout.

“Civilians should not have access to automatic weapons,” said York High School junior Brandon Jenkins, who denied being a crisis actor despite his unnatural display of poise and confidence while talking about school shootings that have purportedly occurred around the country over the last two decades. “We’re not old enough to vote, so today we’re trying to send a message and show our feelings about gun violence in American schools.”

The student walkout required a strong police presence at both schools and was covered by several media outlets that were conveniently on hand to cover the story. While the students were happy to take a short break from their studies to blindly follow their peers, many of the teachers were frustrated by the interruption to the school day.

“This is a waste of time,” said York High School chemistry teacher Nancy Williams, who has been teaching at York for 35 years and remembers a similar walkout in 1989 when the school removed the student smoking section adjacent to the baseball field. “I don’t understand what these kids are trying to prove.”

Classes resumed at both schools around 10:20 a.m.

Spring Road Family Abruptly Cancels Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Viewing Party

The 22nd Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade Takes Place This Saturday at Noon

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Pointing out that the toilet in her downstairs half-bathroom is in need of repair and that she doesn’t have enough folding chairs, shot glasses or patience this year to accommodate 45-50 “spirited” guests from morning until night, Spring Road resident and family matriarch Janis Trammel told reporters seated in the family room addition of her Cape Cod home Wednesday afternoon that she has cancelled her family’s annual Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade viewing party.

The “Trammel Parade Day Blowout” – which was scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. Saturday on the Trammel’s front lawn in the 600 block of S. Spring Road, but was more likely to begin with a handful of tailgaters who typically show up around 6:30 a.m. with coffee and Malört – has a reputation for having great food, loud Celtic music and an abundance of alcohol available in its traditional liquid form as well as in Jell-O shots and vodka-soaked Gummy Bears.

“We’ve hosted a party for the last seven years, and something in my house gets ruined or broken every time,” said Trammel, pointing to a large stain on her nylon carpet where a full glass of Pinot Grigio tinted with green food coloring was spilled by her sister-in-law during the 2016 parade party. “I know that a lot of people will be mad that we’re cancelling at the last minute, but I’m tired of feeling obligated to host a party on parade day just because we live on Spring Road.”

Thousands of people attend the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year, where local organizations, businesses and clubs are represented, along with a variety of animated characters and dozens of fraudulent Irish dancers and musicians.

Fellow Spring Road residents are both shocked and disappointed at the Trammel’s decision.

“There’s nothing more un-Elmhurst than owning a home on Spring Road and not hosting a party on parade day”, said next-door neighbor Jim Michaels, who hosts his own party every year and will likely see a measurable increase in the number of strangers drinking his beer and using his bathroom as a result of the Trammel’s party cancellation. “They are a disgrace to our block and to the entire city of Elmhurst.”

Trammel stated that she doesn’t regret cancelling the party, despite the criticism she has received from family, friends and neighbors.

“We’ll probably walk the kids over to Doc’s Victory Pub and watch the parade from there,” said Trammel, who is under the impression that her family will find an open table by the window facing Spring Road if they arrive at Doc’s by 11:45 a.m. “I’m sure that our front yard will be a disaster by the time we get back, but at least the inside of our house won’t.”

Winter Storm No Match for Resilient Elmhurst Residents

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Stocked up on enough provisions to survive for months without leaving home yet determined to escape the feeling of being trapped inside of their multi-million-dollar mansions, Elmhurst residents collectively shrugged their shoulders on Friday and ventured out into the middle of a winter storm that buried the town in nearly a foot of snow over a 24-hour period.

Whether it was to walk their dogs, catch the Metra train to downtown Chicago or make their 6:00 a.m. spin class at FITT/RX, residents bundled up in their heaviest REI-purchased winter gear and went about their daily routines without thinking twice about the hazardous conditions brought on by the snow that began Thursday evening and continued through Friday.

“Regardless of the weather, ‘Cubby’ here wants to go for a walk and will have to take a few dumps throughout the day,” said Elmhurst resident Eric Miles on Friday morning, kicking some snow over a small pile of feces left moments ago by his Boston Terrier on the anonymously-snowplowed sidewalk of 900 S. Hawthorne St. “Elmhurst always comes together as a community to get through times like this. So, we’ll be alright.”

Despite the change of routine for some people brought on by the closing of schools and the cancellation of carjackings and home invasions, residents adapted to everything that came with the heaviest snowfall in Elmhurst since 2015 and challenged themselves against the elements through means such as jogging down the unplowed Prairie Path and driving through town without any effort whatsoever to remove the fallen snow from their vehicle.

“I simply snow-skitched over to Starbucks for a latte,” said S. Kenilworth resident Mindy Riesling early Friday afternoon, sharing the warmth of a trash can fire with a handful of other Elmhurst residents inside the abandoned construction site across the street from City Centre, where Plass Appliances once stood. “People who live around here adapt well to the conditions.”

While some businesses were closed because of the winter storm, places like Portillo’s, the York Theatre and Doti Liquors were packed throughout the day and into the evening. Residents also took advantage of the opportunity to go sledding at Crestview Park and Eldridge Park. The sled hill at Berens Park remained closed, however, after it cracked into two pieces last month during a stretch of sub-zero temperatures.

This story will be updated throughout the weekend, as Elmhurst is expected to get more snow on both Saturday and Sunday.

WGN-TV Seeks Permission to Keep News Chopper in Elmhurst for Ease of Covering Local Crime

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Live footage of police chasing suspects through residential neighborhoods, aerial views of current crime scene investigations, and a guaranteed local traffic report during the morning and evening television news programs are among the potential benefits for residents if the City of Elmhurst grants a request from WGN-TV to keep its news helicopter somewhere in town for the convenience of reporting on the massive crime wave that continues to plague the once-peaceful suburb of Chicago.

Known for million-dollar homes, nail salons, and the reluctance of its residents to utilize basic crime-prevention measures, Elmhurst has been the recent target for criminals who prey upon cities with multiple escape routes and unlocked doors. After dispatching their news helicopter from downtown Chicago to Elmhurst dozens of times over the last year, WGN-TV approached the mayor’s office last week with a request to park the chopper atop the Addison St. parking garage or in the City Centre Plaza so that a news team can be quickly dispatched to cover breaking stories.

In exchange for a space to take off, land, and store the helicopter, WGN-TV has offered to report on Elmhurst traffic during its Monday through Friday morning and evening television news programs. Drive times for Spring Rd., York St., and St. Charles Rd. are expected to be included in the coverage.

According to Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley, the city is leaning toward signing off on the request from WGN-TV.

“The could be a tremendous opportunity for Elmhurst and its residents,” said Morley, who has reportedly asked WGN-TV if the city’s slogan “Close to Everything, Unlike Anything” could appear at the bottom of all live videos aired from above Elmhurst. “I think people would enjoy watching more footage of our police force in action. And if they’re like me, they would also like to know how traffic is moving along St. Charles Rd. from York St. to Route 83 during rush hour.”

While some members of City Hall have approached the mayor with concerns over a helicopter flying over Elmhurst on a regular basis to report on unfavorable stories like bank robberies, burglaries and carjackings, Morley believes that the positives of having a news crew capturing crimes in progress far outweigh the negatives.

“I believe that any publicity is good publicity,” continued Morley, who downplayed a recent report that Elmhurst has been added to the list of “Shithole Cities” whose residents are no longer welcome in the Village of Hinsdale. “We still have a great community, and unfortunately, haters are always going to hate.”

The City of Elmhurst is expected to finalize the deal with WGN-TV later this week.

Breaking: Elmhurst Police Department Cancels Controversial ‘Boo-tiful Saturday’ Activities


Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Bowing to enormous pressure from the community and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Elmhurst Police Department this morning announced the cancellation of today’s activities for children that were to take place at the station as part of Elmhurst City Centre’s “Boo-tiful Saturday”.

After receiving negative feedback from Elmhurst residents with regard to the inappropriateness of a “meet and greet” with incarcerated individuals from the community and an overnight program for children 8 years and older called “The Scared Straight Adventure”, Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth told reporters that being forced to cancel both activities is “unfortunate”.

“This would have been a great opportunity to teach kids that being a criminal is not cool,” said Ruth, who added that common pranks like “Ding Dong Ditch” and peeing in the Millennium Fountain outside of City Hall are “gateway crimes” that often lead to more serious offenses. “But we heard from a lot of parents this week who were worried about certain aspects of our planned activities.”

While some parents expressed concern over their children running into a friend of the family during the “meet and greet”, others pointed out that picking up their kids late Sunday morning from “The Scared Straight Adventure” would cause them to miss soccer practice. However, not everyone was pleased with the police department’s late announcement.

“My kids were really excited about participating,” said Elmhurst resident George Callahan, waiting in line outside the York Theatre with his three sons for a free 9:30 a.m. showing of The Exorcist. “Ace Hardware is letting people carve up scarecrows with a chain saw, so what’s the big deal?”

At press time, Ruth said the department will still be offering adults the opportunity to be shot by a Taser gun in the police department’s parking lot.

Elmhurst Residents Lay Siege Upon Kohl’s with Myriad of Amazon Returns


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Osetra Russian caviar, hissing pet cockroaches, and a “Cat Dressed as Rambo Riding a Fire-Breathing Unicorn Mouse Pad” were among the unique and infinite number of items taken in during the first week at the new Amazon Returns Service desk located inside of Kohl’s as Elmhurst residents descended upon the department store with their unusual and unwanted online purchases.

Caught off guard by what has become an “endless” line of customers returning products they ordered from Amazon.com, employees from both Amazon and Kohl’s are scrambling to find solutions for making Amazon’s return service run smoother while ensuring that regular Kohl’s customers and shoplifters are not inconvenienced by an estimated increase of 500 customers in the store each day.

“There has been a constant line for returning things since the day we opened, and there are people walking all around the store with boxes of items they wish to return,” said Amazon service manager Mark Janikowski, who also oversees the “Amazon Boutique” adjacent to the returns desk where customers can purchase voice-activated personal assistants and government listening devices like Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot. “I can’t see how anyone could have imagined that combining Amazon and Kohl’s in Elmhurst would have this type of fallout.”

Introduced at the Elmhurst Crossing store last week and at a handful of other locations around Chicagoland and in Los Angeles, the service allows customers to return items purchased from Amazon.com free of charge. For many Elmhurst residents, the convenience of returning merchandise at a place where they frequently shop anyway is a “win-win”.

“I’m really excited about this new service because I’m here all of the time anyway,” said Elmhurst resident Meagan Cromwell, waiting in line to return two pairs of Christian Loubouton Crystal Platform boots after intentionally ordering sizes of 6, 6 1/2, and 7 from Amazon.com for the convenience of trying them all on at home. “I just wish they allowed Amazon Prime members like myself to move up to the front of the line.”

While the Amazon Returns Service has had to enforce their “no return” policy numerous times thus far on items such as wine, fresh flowers, and flammable liquids, customers have been allowed to return almost anything else they purchased from Amazon.com regardless of whether or not they still have the original packing materials.

“They’re certainly trying to make it easy for returning things,” said Elmhurst resident Blake Stone, waiting outside of Kohl’s in one of the designated parking spots for Amazon customers after deploying his 12-year-old son to run inside and see how long the line is before unstrapping the 394 gallon hot tub from atop his Range Rover. “But I just don’t like long lines. So if there’s more than four people waiting, then I’m probably just going to donate this to Goodwill.”

Officials from Amazon and Kohl’s have vowed to solve all of the issues involved with having a “store within a store” as quickly as possible.

Villa Park Announces New Ad Campaign Aimed at Attracting Elmhurst Spending Dollars


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

VILLA PARK – Capitalizing on the prestige of being ranked #28 for “Best Places to Live in the United States” by Money Magazine last month and eager to exploit a declining interest to “shop local” by their neighbors to the east, the Village Board of Villa Park approved a $50,000 budget last week for a new ad campaign titled “Villa Park is Money!” aimed in part at luring Elmhurst residents and their prolific spending habits across Route 83.

“We want to show Elmhurst that Villa Park has more to offer than Walmart and head shops,” said Village President Al Bulthuis, who rejected “Say ‘Yes’ to Villa Park” and “Park Your Ass in Villa Park” from the Economic Development Committee before selecting the new slogan that will be included in print and social media ads and on billboards near each portal separating the two towns. “If (Elmhurst residents) aren’t happy with their own options for local goods and services, then why not entice them to spend their money here in Villa Park?”

Acknowledging that radio advertising in out-of-state markets like St. Louis, Des Moines and Indianapolis has failed to garner a measurable number of visitors over the last few years, Bulthuis admitted that previous attempts to promote Villa Park as a destination spot by highlighting local businesses like The Dollar Tree and Brer Rabbitt Motel was “probably” a mistake.

“Not many people are going to travel more than 200 miles or so to visit Villa Park,” continued Bulthuis, who stated that the new ad campaign will instead feature local businesses that sell what Elmhurst residents are known to squander their money on. “They have a well-known love for food and alcohol, and we have plenty of options for them to choose from.”

One of the local businesses scheduled to be included on billboards is Mike’s Meat Market at 32 S. Villa Ave., a family-owned butcher shop praised for the quality of their gourmet meats, poultry, and fish. Long-time cashier Lindsay Weber said that targeting Elmhurst residents to increase business is a great idea, despite the distraction created by those who already shop there.

“We don’t get too many people from Elmhurst, but the ones who do shop here stand out like a sore thumb,” said Weber, who noted that people who ask numerous questions about the origin of products, display highly-visible defensive mannerisms, or have a look of disorientation if spoken to by another customer are usually from Elmhurst. “They have cash to burn though, so I’m pretty sure we’ll see more of them once Mike’s Meat Market is featured in the ads.”

In response to the new ad campaign, the City of Elmhurst has approved a 2% duty on all imports from Villa Park and will authorize border patrol agents along Route 83 to search vehicles and to document foreign purchases brought into the city.

Other Villa Park News Stories:

Comparison Study: Elmhurst Farmers Market vs. Villa Park French Market

Villa Park Head Shops ‘Fired Up’ for Black Friday Deals

Superintendent Agrees to Hire Additional Teacher After Exploring All Options for Reneging on Class-Size Promise

 

District 205 Superintendent Dr. David Moyer

Dr. Moyer Cancels Jackson Elementary Parent Meeting
Amid Fear of ‘Uncivil Discourse’ from Deranged Parents

by Dave Noble, City News Editor 

ELMHURST – Unnecessarily shouldering the blame for something no one could have predicted, District 205 Superintendent David Moyer told reporters Monday morning that all options to back out of a promise he made earlier this year have been exhausted and that he is regrettably left with no choice but to recommend the addition of a fourth section of third grade at Jackson Elementary School after a family with an 8-year-old child had the audacity of moving to Elmhurst six weeks into the new school year.

Burdened by his heroic pledge to hire another teacher if any third-grade classroom reached 30 students at the elementary school for underprivileged Elmhurst children, Moyer apologized for not producing a viable excuse for reneging on the verbal commitment he made in May to a room full of Jackson parents.

“At this point, it looks like we’ll have to bring in another teacher,” said Moyer, who stated that hiring a classroom assistant, creating one “mega-class” of third graders and rooming all of them in the school’s gym, or simply cancelling third grade at Jackson were some of the alternative solutions he considered before authorizing a job post aimed at attracting the very best of viable candidates still looking for a 2017-18 teaching gig. “Regrettably, I didn’t see any indication that this would be an issue.”

Following the school district’s vision statement to create a highly-collaborative and relationship-driven culture, the superintendent called for a meeting Monday night between the parents of third graders at Jackson and the school’s principal for the purpose of discussing possible alternatives for living up to his word. But Moyer was forced to cancel the meeting once it became clear that parents were incapable of engaging in civil discourse.

“There were too many people questioning whether or not we would reach this likely outcome,” said Moyer, referring to the reaction of parents who started a petition to ensure that Jackson’s current third grade class sizes of 29, 29 and 30 students would be broken into four sections. “Any time you have parents who are this involved with their children, it potentially puts me and my staff in the awkward position of being held accountable for our words and our actions.”

The school board is expected to approve the hiring of a new teacher when they next meet on October 10th.