Elmhurst Mom At Wits’ End After First Day of Spring Break

by Dave Noble, The Elmhurst Funion Weekender Editor 
ELMHURST – Envious of vacationing friends and fraught with anxiety over how to entertain her children over the next nine days, local mom Chandra Hudson told reporters Friday night she felt “exhausted” and “slightly deranged” after spending the first day of Spring Break cooped up with her three kids in their north Elmhurst home.

“We’ll have about 30 seconds of enjoyment followed by 30 minutes of crying at Saturday’s Easter Egg hunt, and then the kids will be on a sugar high all day Sunday with their Easter candy,” said Hudson, sweeping Legos and Shopkins under the living room couch and letting off an occasional “sigh” when glancing up at House Hunters International playing on the television.  “After that, I have to figure out what the hell we’re going to do for seven more days.”

With a limited budget, cold weather in the forecast, and her husband suspiciously scheduled to work a lot of overtime next week, Hudson vows to make the best of it.

“I’ll probably take the kids over to Chuck E. Cheese’s at least once or twice,” continued Hudson, who stated that liquor service was a determining factor between various local indoor amusement options.  “All of my friends are at Disney World and other international vacation spots.  And the only places I have to look forward to going are the library and Costco.”


Local Man Plots Defense of Family’s ‘Spring Clean-Up’ Curb Items

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods Editor

ELMHURST – Embittered and resentful after years of watching strangers rummage through his family’s mountainous piles of discarded antique paintings, chandeliers and appliances placed curbside ahead of Elmhurst’s Annual Spring Clean-Up, local resident Jim Bradbury is determined this year to stop garbage pickers from making off with his trash.

By scheduling family members for around-the-clock guard duty – supplemented by looks of disapproval from his living room window – the Sherman Avenue resident is confident that nothing will be removed from the curb leading up to his neighborhood’s April 23rd collection date.

“I would just feel better knowing that our former valuables wind up crushed, melted and molded into a soda bottle or something, rather than end up in the hands of somebody else,” said Bradbury, surveying his guest house for more items to dispose of.

While he is “95% sure” that two jet skis picked from his curb last year was the work of his next-door neighbor, Bradbury insists that most garbage looting is done by “outsiders”.

“You can tell that they’re not from around here,” said Bradbury, noting car models and unfamiliarity as indicators to support his statement.

At press time, Bradbury was still contemplating whether to ask the garbage man or his landscaper to clean up the mess often left behind from foragers.

Superintendent Defends Grade Level Centers Amid Parent Criticism

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhood Beat Writer
ELMHURST – Citing “invaluable” cultural and travel experience acquired from changing schools every few years and the potential for “the best damn fifth grade kickball team in the western suburbs”, District 205 Superintendent David Moyer on Monday emphasized the benefits of Grade Level Centers while trying to calm the nerves of local parents who fear that Elmhurst schools will soon be populated by children from the same grade level rather than by the neighborhood in which they live.

“I’m not sure if there’s a single disadvantage to this idea,” said Moyer, who inadvertently started a firestorm at the Board of Education meeting last week by stating that Grade Level Centers are “not necessarily ruled out” for Elmhurst schools.   “We’re not saying that this is going to be implemented in Elmhurst, but we’re not not saying it, either.”

Criticism of Grade Level Centers has been overwhelming since Moyer’s comments, as numerous eCommunity discussions and an online petition have made it clear that Elmhurst parents are against the program.

“People seem to be ignoring the many advantages of GLC’s,” continued Moyer, focusing on the absence of peer influence on younger students.  “Your kindergartner won’t come home from school one day crying because some fourth-grader told him that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and instead of being taught four-letter words from older kids on the playground, children will learn those words from their parents at home or in the car, as it should be.”

Moyer went on to list a projected 300% increase in local bus driver employment and “leveling the playing field” of property values in Elmhurst as additional benefits derived from Grade Level Centers.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 22nd at 162 S. York St.  Sources have confirmed that further discussion of Grade Level Centers may or may not take place at that meeting.

More Eggs, Less Parental Involvement Expected at Wilder Park Egg Hunt 

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods Staff Writer

ELMHURST – Eager to please children and parents slighted by an insufficient number of Easter Eggs filled with candy at previous egg hunts, the Elmhurst Park District has “guaranteed” that at least one in seven children participating in this year’s annual event will find an egg during the mad scramble scheduled to take place at Wilder Park on Saturday, March 26th at 10 a.m.

“(Administrative Assistant) Betty Jacobson is going over to Costco next week to buy one of those jumbo bags of candy,” said Park District Executive Director Jim Rogers, who admitted that he usually purchases a few packages of Skittles and M&Ms at 7-Eleven to fill 40-50 plastic eggs for the hunt.   “I imagine we’ll have about 100 eggs out there this year.”

Adults entering the ring and assisting children during the egg hunt has also been addressed by the Park District this year, as parents will be required to wear human leashes affixed to nearby trees.

The Egg Hunt is followed by “Doggie EGGstravaganza” at 10:30 a.m. and “Unrestrained Exotic Pets” at 11:00 a.m.

City Braces for Population Surge from Condo and Apartment Construction

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Large-scale condominium and apartment development in downtown Elmhurst is expected to triple the city’s population over the next ten years and will require some innovative planning to meet the needs of an estimated 80,000 new residents, according to a study conducted by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

While Elmhurst officials eagerly await the increase in property and sales tax revenue from over-populating the town, issues like infrastructure, logistical concerns and the obvious need for additional yoga studios will test the patience and stamina of various city departments.

“There are countless pieces to this puzzle,” said City Manager Jim Grabowski.  “First of all, we’ll have to build another parking garage.  Or two.  And then we have to consider alternative transportation options for people to get around town, like zip lines or a subway system.”

Appeasing current and future residents is also in the forefront for city officials, as initial discussions to replace the YMCA with an elementary school and the construction of a playground atop Community Bank of Elmhurst have already taken place.

Planning strategies for the dramatic rise in population were accelerated recently with the announcement of a massive 1,200 unit apartment building at 100 N. Addison Street, scheduled to replace the building formerly occupied by U.S. Bank.  Developers are hoping that Elmhurst will continue to embrace new multi-family dwellings, and are working with the city to find more apartment and condo location opportunities.

“We have identified several more places near the downtown area where condos or apartments could go,” said David Carlins of Magellan Development Group.  “I think we can fit a high rise in Wilder Park, for example.”

The Elmhurst City Council is scheduled to share proposals for further development during its regularly-scheduled meeting on March 21st at City Hall.

City Dyes Salt Creek in Honor of Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Photograph by Elisa Ridolphi

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Mayor Steve Morley – with the help of Elmhurst City Council members and Park District officials – temporarily changed the color of Salt Creek’s water to an emerald green this morning in honor of today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, pouring 15 pounds of an eco-friendly vegetable-based dye into the creek.

The process took place at the Elmhurst Salt Creek County Forest Preserve, just north of St. Charles Road and west of Route 83, where flour sifters were used to pour the powdery substance into the water.  A small motorboat piloted by Mayor Morley helped spread the dye, and within an hour, nearly the entire Elmhurst segment of Salt Creek had turned bright green.

The creek color will return to its natural murky-brown by Sunday morning.

Wow House! Sordid Past Makes This Elmhurst Home a Bargain

by Dave Noble, Real Estate Section

ELMHURST – Create some new history in this 19th century Second Empire-style home near Butterfield Park, priced to sell and fully furnished.  Iron cresting, a central tower and a floating mist are just some of the exterior features.

Gothic touches throughout, the 8 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths are filled with an abundance of ornamentation and amenities, including nailbeds, iron maidens and stockades.  Tunnels and passages connect the lab to the infirmary, while others lead to some yet-unexplored areas of the property.

Flickering lights and moving shadows are just some of the whimsical features that will keep you and your family in touch – sometimes physically – with those who lived here before you.

For more information and legal disclosures (including an explanation of a “stigmatized property”) call Mike Sparrow of Schiller Real Estate at #630-834-4374.

  • Address: 343 E. Adams St.
  • Cost: $379,999
  • Bedrooms: 8
  • Bathrooms: 4.5
  • Crypts: 1
  • Square Feet: 18,884
  • Built: 1872