Elmhurst Mom Still Uncommitted as Deadline Arrives for Discounted Pool Passes


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Local mom and family “Master of Coin” Jill Garvey told reporters gathered this morning around the koi fish pond in the backyard of her Bonnie Brae home that she still hasn’t decided whether or not she will purchase park district pool passes for her household of five before the $20 discount per family member ends today, as she continues to “crunch the numbers” and weigh the pros and cons of spending her summer hanging out at Elmhurst’s swimming pools and water spray park.

“If I don’t buy the passes, it will cost $32.00 each time we go to Smalley or East End Pool,” said Garvey, who is confident that she can save money by asking her youngest daughter to play the part of a 2 ½ year-old for the third consecutive summer.  “And we always end up spending more money at the pool on top of that.”

Noting inevitable monetary costs for Jolly Rancher Bomb Pops and Sponge Bob Square Pants Ice Cream Bars – along with “Big Squirt” refillable water toys from The Hub at Berens Park that will break or become lost within 15 minutes – Garvey also listed non-financial factors like unsolicited conversations with other moms and a strong “no alcohol” policy for the case against getting the summer passes.

“If I can’t fit into my new bathing suit, then for sure I’m not going to a public pool this year,” continued Garvey, referring to the La Blanca Caged Strap one-piece she purchased at Nordstrom in February as a motivational tool to prepare for summer.  I might just buy a ‘Slip ‘N Slide’ and a $4.99 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Walmart instead.”   

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Barista Feels “Like a Rock Star” at New North Elmhurst Starbucks Location


by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods Beat Writer

NORTH ELMHURST – Reaching into his apron pocket to retrieve a pile of neatly-folded, biodegradable brown napkins with the names and phone numbers of women he has served at the new North Elmhurst Starbucks location, barista Chuck Stankey told reporters Tuesday that the adoration and gratitude he’s received from customers has made the last five days the most exciting time of his life and has him feeling “like a rock star”.

“I can’t believe how happy the locals are to have a Starbucks in their neighborhood”, said Stankey, a part-time employee who mostly works the morning shift.  “I was eating a Monte Cristo over at Christopher’s Restaurant the other day when three good-looking women recognized me and asked if I would pose for pictures with them.  They had yoga pants on and everything!”

Since its grand opening on Friday, the highly-anticipated York Street and Industrial Drive location has been immensely popular, with as many as 40 cars lined up daily at the drive-thru window before the coffee house opens at 5:00 a.m.  Peak morning hours have seen vehicle lines extending out of the parking lot, creating bumper-to-bumper traffic both northbound and southbound on York Street, with the northbound line reportedly stretching as far as halfway up the York Street exit ramp from westbound I290.

“Men want to be me, and women want to be with me,” continued Stankey, who noted that he’s normally attracted to lifeguards and other baristas.   “I had a guy tell me other day that he’d rather be me right now than Tom Brady.”

The only negative of his job thus far has been educating the locals on unfamiliar Starbucks product names, ordering protocol and lingo.

“I learned on my first day here that you can’t just suggest complicated drinks like a Triple Venti Half-Sweet Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato to North Elmhurst customers,” said Stankey, who acknowledged that many of them were struggling with even the simplest of terms like “bold” and “extra room”.  “But as long as they keep treating me like a God, I’ll keep teaching them how to order.”

Middle School Task Force Pleased with Survey Results


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Boastfully reciting responses like “I need more information” and “Yes, I love my child” from a parent survey aimed at shaping the future of Elmhurst School District 205’s three junior high schools, Middle School Task Force co-chairman and District 205 Superintendent David Moyer told board members last week that the survey results clearly indicate community support for all future decisions from the task force and vindicate the school district’s controversial $225,000 contract with the creators of the survey, District Management Council.

“The results are exactly what we expected,” said Moyer, who is a Tier 3 Double-Platinum Member of DMC, where disciples representing school districts from across the country attend conferences and summits such as “Getting the Survey Results You Desire”, “Flashmob Focus Group Interview Techniques” and “Clever Mottos for Today’s School Districts”.  “We’re confident now that we have the support of middle school parents to take these results and apply them to all grade levels in D205.”

Comprised mostly of teachers and principals from all three Elmhurst middle schools, the task force was formed in 2015 to define the philosophy of the D205 Middle School Program and narrow the achievement gap between students, which is a focal point for many educational reforms.  Conducting group interviews, lurking around local social media circles, and administrating the survey comprise the majority of research executed by the task force to fulfill Moyer’s “All Means All” rallying cry and assist each school in forming “one overachieving goal” for the 2016-2017 school year.  About 3,160 surveys were issued, and almost 400 were completed by parents. The announcement of the survey results has since triggered questions from the community regarding the DMC contract and Moyer’s affiliation with the company.

“People fail to realize something very important about the contract,” said Moyer.  “We only need to get two more school districts to sign up with DMC – and for those school districts to each sign up two more school districts – and then our district gets all of its money back.”

Perceived by some to contain odd queries presented in a somewhat scattered format, the parent survey included several questions with only “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” as possible answers, and a section where parents were asked to choose between math, science and lunch period as their preferred program to be cut for the 2016-17 school year.

“We learned a lot from the survey,” summarized Moyer.   “It was interesting to find out that most of the parents want what’s best for their kids.”

An excerpt from the Middle School Task Force Survey is below.

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Report: Ski Jump Ramp at Ben Allison Park is City’s First Step to Host 2026 Olympics


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – A construction project currently underway and purported as the removal of safety hazards from the Ben Allison Park sledding hill will in fact become a 265-foot tall ski jump ramp that is reportedly the first step in Elmhurst’s secretive bid to become the host city for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, according to sources from within City Hall.

Kept under wraps from the public until the city can annex several homes on South Rex Boulevard that will eventually serve as the landing area for jumps beginning at Ben Allison park and passing over the Prairie Path, the ski jump ramp is one of several venues and stadiums in the works to meet International Olympic Committee requirements for applying as a host city.  The project is reportedly the brainchild of Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley.

“Bringing the Olympics to Elmhurst is something that the mayor has dreamed of for a long time,” said an Elmhurst alderman, who asked to remain anonymous.  “The ski jump ramp is only the beginning.”  With less than 12 months before the application deadline for host cities, multiple Elmhurst agencies are working together and with the Park District to finalize other event locations within town and prove to the IOC that the city is a viable candidate to host the Winter Games ten years from now.

“There are still a lot of questions to be answered,” continued the alderman.  “Is Salt Creek an option for curling?  Would rifle shooting from a biathlon held in Wilder Park pose a danger to nearby residents?  Can we use the Elmhurst Express Trolley to move spectators from one venue to another?”

While he is aware that competing against other potential host cities like Innsbruck, Austria and Stockholm, Sweden is an uphill battle, mayor Morley is reportedly confident that minor adjustments to existing venues in town will give Elmhurst a real shot to host the Winter Games.

“If we can do some creative things like build bleachers around the YMCA ice rink and displace the residents of the Elmhurst Terrace apartments to make room for tourists, then I don’t see why the IOC wouldn’t consider us,” the mayor reportedly told city council members.

Elmhurst Man Shops Local for Mother’s Day, Fails Miserably


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Still visibly shaken from his wife’s “stink eye” as she opened Mother’s Day gifts moments earlier that included Krugerrands and Mercury Head Dimes from Elmhurst Coins & Collectibles and a vintage Rosewood Finish chess set from “It’s Good To Be King”, local resident Seth Masterson told reporters Sunday morning that his first-ever attempt to “shop local” was a mistake he’ll regret for a very long time.

“My wife is always telling me to shop local,” said Masterson from the kitchen of his South Ridgeland Avenue home, carefully carving M-O-M with a butter knife out of three freshly-microwaved Kellogg’s Eggo Buttermilk pancakes.  “But other than Jewel and Starbucks, I’m pretty lost in the downtown area.”

Recalling his stressful Saturday afternoon spent in downtown Elmhurst with all three kids in tow and a brief two-hour window to knock out Mother’s Day shopping, Masterson stated that he normally drives to Oakbrook Mall for all of his gift purchases.

“I know there used to be a Honey Girl somewhere on York Street,” stated Masterson, who had his kids sign the Mother’s Day card he picked up at Jewel with her new Cross Bontanica Red Hummingbird Ballpoint Pen that he purchased at West Suburban Office Products.  “Downtown Elmhurst is like a foreign country to me nowadays.”

Masterson noted that while his wife is probably still steaming over the Orange Elite Package he bought for her at Orangetheory Fitness, she managed to keep her anger contained while opening the gifts in front of the children.

“I’m probably not golfing today after we have brunch at Nu Crepes,” added Masterson.

The Pros and Cons of Having a Party City in Elmhurst


by Dave Noble, Infographic Editor

ELMHURST – The recent news that Party City will be opening a store this summer at Elmhurst Crossing has drawn mixed reactions from local residents.   Here’s a look at the pros and cons of having a Party City located in town:

Pros

  • You can pretty-much assume that Party City will have a kick-ass float every year in the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • Tax revenue from the sale of ten-cent jawbreakers stays right here in town.
  • It’s just one more excuse to stop at Portillo’s.
  • Shrewd negotiating on the part of Elmhurst calls for Party City to provide confetti cannons and streamers during the opening roll call of City Council meetings through the year 2025.
  • Compared to the Oak Brook location, it’s a shorter (and safer) distance to drive home in your SUV filled with 30 helium-inflated balloons.
  • Every national retail chain store that succeeds in Elmhurst gets us one step closer to having our own Dollar Store.

Cons

  • The convenience of a local Party City puts undue pressure on residents to decorate their homes for holidays like Presidents’ Day and Cinco de Mayo.
  • It’s just one more excuse to stop at Portillo’s.
  • You might run into one of your neighbors while trying on a Batman costume in the middle of July.
  • A low nostalgia-factor does nothing for local residents who want to turn back the clock 50 years.
  • There’s a very real chance that Kohl’s may be unseated as Elmhurst’s leader in retail theft.
  • The selection of supplies for adult parties pales in comparison to Studio 21.