Internet Research Helps Local Man Win eCommunity Coyote Argument

by Dave Noble, eCommunity Beat Writer

ELMHURST – Jubilant and a tad haughty, Elmhurst resident Larry Sizemore told reporters Wednesday that information he obtained from the World Wide Web was crucial to his victory in a recent eCommunity discussion-turned-argument that pitted him against several “lesser-informed” group members who disagreed with Sizemore’s position on the potential danger of coyotes, increasingly spotted throughout town over the last six months.     

“I destroyed everyone’s opinion in that post,” said Sizemore, who had trouble recalling which Elmhurst-based parents or news group where the coyote squabble originated.  “It took me about five or six hours of research over the course of a couple of days to prove everyone wrong, but it was well worth it.”

Sizemore recounted that he found a wealth of information for replying to multiple misconstrued group comments by typing “Coyotes” into the internet search bar of his cell phone.  “I jumped right in and attached a link to the Wikipedia page on coyotes,” continued Sizemore.   “Because, really, is there a better source for hard facts than Wikipedia?”

Deftly scrolling past off-target web sites for a Chicago restaurant and a west coast professional hockey team of the same name, Sizemore proceeded to identify even more information he deemed useful in contradicting every opinion and first-hand account from other group members, who’s concerns ranged from the safety of their small pets to adoption protocol and permit fees.  Attaching a related link to nearly every one of his thread comments proved to be a decisive factor in Sizemore’s triumph.  

“Winning internet arguments is what I live for,” summarized the 29-year-old, who acknowledged that he often contracts himself when arguing with other people.  “I’d like to thank my girlfriend, my parents, and Google Chrome for giving me the strength and wisdom to come out on top.”


City Offers Rain Barrels to Curb Residential Flooding

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Emphasizing that it is not the final solution to solve residential flooding in Elmhurst which often occurs during heavy rainfall, Stormwater Communications Committee Chairman Ben Olsen told reporters at a press conference Monday that rain barrels available for purchase through the city are an excellent transitory stopgap for flood zone residents to “stymie” water from saturating their backyards and submerging their basements.

“This is a ‘win-win’ concept for residents and for Elmhurst,” said Olsen of the city’s partnership with The Conservation Foundation to sell the 55 gallon reclaimed and “up-cycled” barrels.  “Homeowners get a suitable band-aid to prevent flooding, the city collects a $70 permit fee and can start concentrating on long-term stormwater projects, and on top of that, it’s eco-friendly.  So actually it’s a ‘win-win-win….win’.”

Designed to catch and store rainwater from the roof of a home, the barrel attaches to a gutter downspout.  A hose is attached to a valve at the bottom of the barrel, which allows for lawn and garden watering, or to divert water to a neighbor’s backyard.   

“The barrels will hold about 30 minutes worth of rain from the roof of an average-sized home,” stated Olsen, who became visibly angered when asked about rainfall lasting longer than 30 minutes.  “Precipitation of that length only happens during a 100-year flood.”

While residents may purchase a rain barrel from anywhere they choose, the city’s barrels – available for $57 through the Finance Counter at City Hall – come with free delivery and are abundantly available.

“We’re counting on people to buy the barrels through us,” said Olsen, noting that the city purchased more than 1,500 rain barrels earlier this year from web sites such as eBay, Amazon and Craig’s List.  “But if we have any left by the end of May, Elmhurst City Centre is going to use them for a public art exhibit of local culture.”

Heavy Congestion, Gapers Delays Ravage Prairie Path During First Warm-Weather Weekend

by Dave Noble, City News Editor 
ELMHURST – Near-collisions, pulled hamstrings and profanity-laced verbal exchanges were among the traffic issues reported up and down the Elmhurst segment of the Illinois Prairie Path on Saturday as an estimated 4,500 walkers, runners and bicyclists flooded the trail during the first warm-weather weekend of 2016.

Travel came to a crawl in both directions during the morning rush hour when a family of five heading east from the Salt Creek Bridge rode bicycles side-by-side down the middle of the path.  Congestion in the area was alleviated when the family merged off at the Berkley Avenue exit.

Later in the morning, a man on a recumbent bicycle spun out into the grass just east of Spring Road while attempting to pass a woman pushing a baby stroller, temporarily closing down the eastbound lane and causing a westbound gapers delay.  Eastbound traffic was detoured onto Prairie Path Lane while authorities investigated the accident.

By mid-afternoon, long wait times were reported at each of the six lemonade stands in operation between Poplar Avenue and Route 83, with “Maddie’s Organic Strawberry Lemonade” averaging more than 40 customers at a time in line. 

Other issues reported throughout the day included a temporary lane closure near Pioneer Park while workers repaired a puddle, and an unannounced Elmhurst Police Department safety check near the York Street pedestrian crosswalk.  Travel times returned to normal around 4:00 p.m., with express lanes saving path users approximately two minutes from Berkley to Villa Park, and three minutes in the reverse direction.

Local Woman Already Regrets Not Checking with Husband Before Making Large eCommunity Purchase


by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods Beat Writer 

ELMHURST – Dragging the last cedar side panel from a mostly-disassembled gazebo across the driveway and into her backyard, Elmhurst resident and stay-at-home mom Amy Willingham told reporters Wednesday afternoon that she probably should have checked with her husband first before spending $600 on the oval-shaped 10 ft. x 14 ft. backyard structure, purchased from another woman in a local buy, sell and trade Facebook group.

“(Husband) Greg is going to be home any minute, and I think he might be mad when he finds out that I just bought this thing out of nowhere,” said Willingham, shooting quick glances toward the end of the driveway each time a car passes by her W. McKinley Avenue house.  “But gazebos like this cost $3000 brand new, so I know I got a good deal.”

Willingham reported that it took her eight trips to the seller’s north Elmhurst home and nearly half of the day to load pieces like support posts, fascia trim and roof braces in and out of her minivan.

“He’s going to notice these scratches I made on the passenger side door,” stated Willingham.  “And I just remembered that we have to go back there later tonight and pick up the second tier of the gazebo.  So yeah, he’s definitely going to lose his shit.”

Sidewalks, Street Lamps Highlight North York Corridor Proposals

by Dave Noble, City News Editor 
ELMHURST – Planning consultants met high expectations from north Elmhurst residents and business owners and “hit a home run” with their proposals for the city’s North York Corridor Plan, presented last night during an open house held at City Hall’s Council Chambers.

Renderings and photographs of future north side streetscape elements like sidewalks and street lamps – along with aesthetically-pleasing graffiti to disguise vast areas of “scattered, disjointed land use” – were among the highlights and “wow” moments that dazzled attendees and gave hope for the future of the often-overlooked 1.8 mile corridor of York Street stretching from North Avenue to Grand Avenue.

“I thought sidewalks were a pipe dream,” said longtime north side resident Rory Lester, eyeing an illustration of a concrete footpath in front of a wall with “Straight Outta North Elmhurst” colorfully spray-painted in interlocking letters.  “And now we’re getting street lamps, too?   This is going to be the most exciting thing to happen on our side of town since we got indoor plumbing back in ’78.”

More than 50 people were in attendance at the open house, and representatives from consultants 3D Designs and Gewalt Hamilton were on hand to answer questions and receive feedback from the public.  While swank north York Street businesses like Mariano’s, L.A. Fitness and Viking Awards Trophy Shop are expected to be anchor tenants for years to come, the city’s goal for the “northern gateway into the community” is to increase pedestrian connectivity and stimulate economic development. 

“These elements will really move the north side into the 20th century,” said Gewalt Hamilton senior engineer Donald Mathews.  “And we’re going to come in way under budget.”

Breaking: Ace Hardware Associate Begrudgingly Places Snow Blowers Back on Display


by Dave Noble, City News Editor 

ELMHURST – Moments after opening for business at 8:00 a.m. this morning, First Street Ace Hardware Lawn and Garden Associate Luke Bingham was ordered to immediately pull all patio furniture, gas grills and other Outdoor Living items from the front sidewalk and replace them with snow blowers.

“It’s supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow,” said Bingham, angrily pushing a four-wheel cart full of lawn seed and fertilizer toward the stock room.  “The snow isn’t even sticking to the ground.”

Despite earning the same hourly wage during his scheduled six-hour shift today regardless of what he is asked to do at the store, Bingham stated that he’s simply more comfortable working with spring and summer items like planters and pest control.

“I was planning on putting together two bird houses this morning and stringing some patio lights down Aisle 3,” added Bingham.  “Frankly, I haven’t had the proper training to sell snow blowers.”

Store Manager Tony Martz was unavailable for comment.