Top Elmhurst News Stories for August, 2016

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Here is a brief review of the top stories in Elmhurst for the month of August.


Elmhurst City Centre Announces 2017 ‘Cicadas on Parade’ Public Art Exhibit  

August 1, 2016

Following well-received public art exhibits of painted fiberglass cars and bicycles from previous years and this summer’s flower statues located in planters and on the sidewalks around the downtown shopping area, Elmhurst City Centre announced plans Monday to “swarm” the town in 2017 with decorative cicada sculptures ranging from 2 1/2 to 5 feet in length.

More than 300 pieces resembling the Magicicada cassinii, Magicicada septendecim, and Magicicada septendecula species will be placed throughout the downtown shopping area, including on the exterior walls of City Hall and the York Theater, and in the stairwells of the Addison St. and Schiller Parkway parking garages. An auction of the cicada artwork will take place following the exhibit, with all of the money to be donated to different local charities.



Local Dad Emasculated at Elmhurst Park District’s ‘Kite Fest’

August 6, 2016

Noting his general incompetence when it comes to putting together anything other than a school lunchbox meal, local dad Pete Newhouse told reporters that his inability to assemble and fly a kite during the Elmhurst Park District Kite Fest at Berens Park on Saturday left him feeling “less than manly” in front of his wife and two sons.

“I can’t get this stupid thing to fly,” said Newhouse, who admitted that he was too embarrassed to ask for additional help after he became confused by “contradictory” written instructions on the kite pieces provided by the park district and the verbal cues from staff members, on hand to help parents and children build the frame and attach the sail. “And they didn’t give us a kite tail. How are you supposed to fly a kite without a tail?”

At press time, Newhouse was seen resting on grass about one quarter of the way up the park’s sledding hill next to the kite while his wife and children began building another one on their own.



Jefferson Elementary Cancels ‘Darkwing’ Theatrical, Tweaks Halloween Activities Amid Bat Anxiety  

August 26, 2016

Sorrowful in tone and needlessly wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit, principal Jeff Winckler told reporters gathered near the monkey bars of the Jefferson Elementary School playground during recess on Tuesday that in light of the lingering bat anxiety still impacting both students and teachers, the school has cancelled their theatrical adaptation of “Darkwing”, a fantasy novel set 65 million years ago about a group of bats who defend their island from deadly predators and a flesh-rotting virus.

“We’ve decided to eliminate any references to bats and all other flying creatures from all of our programs and events this year,” said Winckler, somewhat inaudible through the facepiece respirators of the chemical resistant suit that he has been wearing since the school found two bats in a multipurpose room last Wednesday, the day before the scheduled start of the school year. Jefferson Elementary began school on Monday, after crews did a deep-cleaning of the entire building. “This includes a ban on Batman, Tinker Bell and all other winged or flying creature costumes at Halloween, as well. We don’t want any reminders of this horrific incident.”



Elmhurst Residents Struggle with Complex Auto Theft Prevention Tips Issued by Police Department  

August 29, 2016

Worried, frustrated, and just looking for some clear advice, local residents voiced their displeasure on Monday with an alert issued by the Elmhurst Police Department that included a “maze” of elaborate step-by-step instructions to prevent auto theft.

“What does it mean that ‘burglars often look for unlocked car doors’?” asked Elmhurst resident Lori Nowak. “At one point they’re telling us to lock the car doors and don’t leave the keys in the car. But then they also want us to remove valuable items. It doesn’t say which one you’re supposed to do first.”

Residents also demanded a further explanation of the vague statement “Burglarizing an unlocked vehicle is much more appealing to criminals”.


Bensenville Rallies to Support Elmhurst Victims of O’Hare Runway Rotation

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

BENSENVILLE – Standing behind a neglected bridal party table littered with lipstick-stained wine glasses and half-eaten slices of mocha buttercream cake from Saturday night’s Dietz-Lombardo wedding reception, Village President Frank Soto implored more than 300 empathetic Bensenville residents, business owners and dignitaries gathered in the Pine Room of the White Pines Golf Course Sunday morning to help Elmhurst citizens cope with the runway rotation schedule at O’Hare International Airport that will direct departures and arrivals over their “great city” during the late-night and early morning hours this week.

The baffling inclusion of Elmhurst for a second time in the “Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Plan” – a six-month test that distributes jet noise among suburban communities near O’Hare by rotating the runways used for overnight flights – sparked Bensenville’s effort to assist Elmhurst residents and led Soto to declare August 21st through August 27th “Elmhurst Aircraft Noise Awareness Week”.

“It’s our humanitarian obligation to do everything within our power to make sure the people of Elmhurst get their rest at night,” said an emotional Soto, wearing an Elmhurst Aircraft Noise Awareness Week t-shirt with a line-drawing of an airplane flying over the York Theater. “My understanding is that many of the families in the flight path had to sleep in their basement media rooms and guest bedrooms last time. And that makes me sick to my stomach.”

After hearing reports of how frightened and inconvenienced their neighbors to the south were during the first flight rotation over Elmhurst last month, “hordes” of Bensenville residents reached out to Soto, asking what they can do to help Elmhurst persevere through this week’s noise intrusion.

“The pillars of our business community have really come through with provisions for Elmhurst citizens this week,” continued Soto, highlighting the 75-pound donation of Chaleco cheese fondue dip from De Campana Restaurant and Jade Dragon’s contribution of 200 egg rolls and roughly 1,300 packets of sweet and sour sauce, scheduled to be dispatched with other supplements to those neighborhoods impacted the most by the treacherous sound of cargo aircraft and Boeing 747’s flying over their homes between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. “And I would like to give a special thanks to the guys over at Victory Auto Wreckers for delivering everything in one of their flatbed trucks.”

While Elmhurst homeowners are thankful for Bensenville’s support, many are still struggling to understand how living seven miles from the fourth-busiest airport in the world can be such a nuisance. 

“When we bought this house, the realtor told us that O’Hare recognizes the more prestigious towns surrounding the airport and directs fewer planes over them,” said miffed N. Ida Lane resident Mark Rubio, who confessed that he only travels to Bensenville to shop for a new car or to enjoy the LibertyFest Fourth of July fireworks show at Redmond Park. “I’ve called every complaint number and filled out every survey, and I haven’t heard back from anyone.”

The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission and the Chicago Department of Aviation are asking people within hearing distance of O’Hare to fill out surveys weekly describing noise levels after each rotation at

Breaking: Morning Storm Spoils “First Day” Photos for Emerson School Mom

by Dave Noble, City News Editor 
ELMHURST – Hastily searching the App Store through her iPhone 6S Plus for a minimally-priced photo editing software program, local resident and Emerson Elementary School mom Holly Abate told a handful of soaked reporters squeezed inside the backyard gazebo at her W. Fay Avenue home Thursday that heavy rain over Elmhurst earlier in the morning ruined all of her “first day of school” photos that were to be posted on social media sites and emailed to her parents in Boca Raton, Florida.

“We never catch a break,” said Abate, who noted that last year’s pictures of her son starting his first day of school were tarnished by a poorly executed “frohawk” he received a day earlier. “And on top of having to walk into school drenched from the rain, he’s going to be really upset at lunch time when he realizes I forgot to pack his juice bag.”

Describing the details of a hectic morning at her home that began with her son spilling a full bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios onto the living room floor during an episode of “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”, Abate told reporters that a photo session of her son inside the house was “off the table”.

“The maid doesn’t come until Friday,” lamented Abate, who added that she didn’t realize just how hard it was raining until she successfully petitioned her son to stand in the driveway for a few “quick pics” before driving him to school in her Honda Odyssey. “And I haven’t even started to clean up the house before she comes to clean my house.”

At press time, Abate was trying to decide whether she should use the best photo from this morning or Photoshop a backpack onto her son’s shoulder from a picture taken in front of her home earlier this summer.

Coach Joe Newton, The Orwells Selected for Historic Elmhurst Quarry Monument

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Calling it the “Mount Rushmore of Elmhurst”, mayor Steve Morley told reporters gathered just outside the entrance to the Chicago-Elmhurst Stone Co. Monday afternoon that the city has commissioned The Elmhurst Artists’ Guild to create a monument dedicated to local heroes by sculpting the likenesses of legendary York High School Cross Country coach Joe Newton and the five members of the hometown rock band “The Orwells” into the upper north wall of the quarry’s east lobe.

The project – which will feature 75-foot tall faces of Newton and each of The Orwells – is the brainchild of EAG president Cassandra Swierenga and is intended to honor the achievements of Elmhurst natives and those who have worked in or served the community. The recent announcement of Newton’s retirement from coaching inspired Swierenga to come up with the idea. Mayor Morley said that it didn’t take long for him to sign off on the historic monument.

“This is a great way to commemorate what these individuals have done for Elmhurst,” said Morley, who on several occasions during the announcement made a direct or indirect reference to his own likeness someday joining those of Newton and Mario Cuomo, Dominic Corso, Grant Brinner, Henry Brinner and Matt O’Keefe of The Orwells. “I foresee a spike in tourism once this is complete. And if we can eventually add some faces of prominent local politicians, then it will really be something special.”

Sculpting of the monument will begin next spring and is expected to be completed by August.

Elmhurst Couple Eager to Revive Weekly ‘Nooner’ Once School Begins

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods

ELMHURST – Using a black Sharpie to cross off another date from the Stolper State Farm Insurance calendar hanging on the side of his refrigerator, local husband and father of four Dan Michaels told reporters Saturday morning that he and his wife are counting the days until their kids return to school next week so that they can resume their Tuesday afternoon ritual of engaging in sexual intercourse at their W. McKinley Avenue home while the house is empty.

“It’s been a rough summer for finding time to do the ‘horizontal tango’ with (wife) Megan, other than between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.,” said Dan, who works as a mortgage broker in Oak Brook and claims that it takes him only eight minutes to get home from the office and “less than half of that time” to satisfy his sexual desire that often comes on during the late-morning hours. “When the kids aren’t in school, at least of one of them is at home and awake almost around-the-clock, so Meg and I have to make time to make whoopee.” 

While the couple’s Tuesday afternoon ritual during the school year has proven to be a reliable day and time to have intimate relations, Megan – a stay-at-home mom who notices a spike in her own sexual appetite after drinking her third or fourth Folgers Vanilla Biscotti K-Cup of the day – will miss the excitement of finding creative times and places to shag with her husband in the summer. 

“I love the thrill of Dan and I knocking out our grocery list at Mariano’s as fast as possible and then finding a secluded parking lot off of Industrial Drive to do the nasty,” said Megan, who has been leaving her 15-year-old son in charge of their other kids for “about an hour” on Saturday mornings during the summer while she and her husband go off to the store. “And it’s even more exhilarating when we drive the Jetta instead of the SUV.”

At press time, Dan was heard calling for his wife to help him with something in the garage.

‘Scrappy’ Third Ward Dominates Inaugural ‘Elmhurst Olympics’

by Dave Noble, Sports Editor

ELMHURST – Competing for neighborhood bragging rights, civic pride and a $25 property tax credit in 2017 for every household within the team’s electoral subdivision, Elmhurst residents representing each of the city’s seven wards battled one another in both traditional and non-traditional games of skill at Berens Park this week during the “Elmhurst Olympics”, a six-day event co-sponsored by the Elmhurst City Council and the Elmhurst Park District.

With decisive victories in Lawn Darts, Beer Pong and the Hoverboard Freestyle Half Pipe – along with a shocking upset Thursday morning over the heavily-favored Seventh Ward in Mixed Pairs Unflooding – the Third Ward team bulldozed the competition en route to 23 gold medals and 47 medals in total. More than 150 Elmhurst residents participated in 63 events from Sunday to Friday that utilized various parts of Berens Park, including the sledding hill, soccer fields and The Hub’s batting cages, mini golf course and sprayground.  

“Our team fought like hell,” said Michael Bram, Third Ward alderman and co-captain of the team comprised of citizens who live on the north side of Elmhurst. “And I think that if we had a little more time to practice, we could have won the Rhythmic Yoga all-arounds and the Wine Bottle Uncorking relays, too.” The city’s Fourth Ward finished a distant second in most medals with 29 total, edging the First Ward (27 medals) on Sunday with a medal sweep in the Yogurt Eating Contest.

During the two-hour opening ceremonies on Sunday, Elmhurst mayor Steve Morley welcomed competitors and spectators with a rousing eight-minute speech, during which he referred to participants as “tributes” and incorrectly explained that each contest would be a “fight to the death”.

“I’m already looking forward to the 2017 games,” said Morley in a press conference following the closing ceremonies Friday afternoon. “And if we can add a ‘no-holds-barred’ cage match or some kind of human sacrifice, I think we’ll get some interested sponsors for next year.”

Students, Administrators Brace for ‘Devastating’ Impact of New Parking Restriction

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – An ordinance expected to be approved by the Elmhurst City Council later this month to prevent York High School students from parking on Mitchell Avenue could lead to over-crowded sidewalks, a sharp rise in school bus usage, and a dramatic ego-blow to students who feel they are “too cool” to walk or ride the bus to school, according to assistant principal Drew McGuire.

Aimed at appeasing Mitchell Avenue residents concerned with the safe maneuverability of emergency vehicles, landscapers, pool cleaners and furniture store delivery trucks down a street normally lined on both sides with parked cars during the school year, the ordinance calls for a 2-hour parking limit on Mitchell between St. Charles Road and Eggleston Avenue during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days. 

“Many of our students have very little experience riding a school bus or utilizing sidewalks and crosswalks,” said McGuire during a press conference held in a section of the school’s parking lot normally reserved for valet parking. “By taking away those coveted parking spots on Mitchell, we’re setting these kids up for ridicule and embarrassment. This could threaten the entire student social hierarchy based on who has a parking pass.”

Early feedback from York students confirms McGuire’s assertion.

“I was counting on a boost to my social status this year based on driving my dad’s Range Rover every day,” said senior Parker Schultz, who stated that he typically rode his skateboard to school last year and actually lives closer to York than the Mitchell Avenue side street. 

Students who live further away from York expressed concern over relearning the etiquettes of riding on a school bus.

“I don’t know if they still segregate students on the bus based on popularity, and I’m worried that I might have to share a seat with someone,” said senior Piper McComb, who noted that she only dates boys who drive cars to school but finds herself “temporarily” single as the new school year approaches. “But the good news is that my mom will have to let me hold on to her Amex card so I can pay the bus driver.”

Assuming the ordinance is officially approved during the next City Council meeting on August 15th, signs would go up on Mitchell August 16th, the day after school starts.

Elmhurst Mom Limps Reluctantly Into Back-To-School Shopping Mode

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods

ELMHURST – Sluggishly searching the black market for a Sixth Edition Trigonometry textbook and a Spanish 3 ¡Exprésate! workbook through a York High School parents Internet group, Elmhurst mom Stacey Mitchell told reporters gathered around the breakfast nook table in her East Cayuga Avenue home Sunday morning that she’s short on time, money and enthusiasm when it comes to preparing for the looming new school year and suggested that some or all of her four children will be forgoing their “My School Bucks!” meal cards this year in favor of traditional sack lunches.

“Why didn’t I just order the damn school supply boxes?” asked Mitchell rhetorically, momentarily forgetting her pledge earlier this summer to save money on necessary school supplies by driving around to 8 or 9 stores instead of buying the nearly all-encompassing kits through a school district-endorsed web site. “Where am I going to find purple and orange plastic pocket & pronged folders this late in the game?”

Acknowledging a blown summer recreational spending budget impacted mostly by squandering “about $50” each week at the York Theater $1 admission Wednesday Morning Movie Series, Mitchell said that her family will have to stretch every dollar between now and the start of the school year. 

“She’s normally prepared for things like this,” said husband Wes, who added that he fell “significantly short” in his own effort to complete the school supply lists with a spur-of-the-moment trip to West Suburban Office Products on Friday but “hit a home run” just hours later at Target with the purchase of a dozen 22 oz. cheese balls containers for lunch snacks. “I just hope that we have enough time to label all the school supplies.”

At press time, Stacey Mitchell was seen distracting her kids in order to discretely remove a prominently-placed Groupon for Santa’s Village from the refrigerator door.