Elmhurst Nursing Home Resident: ‘Fight is Not Over’ for Fremont Avenue Access

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Indiscreetly dipping a previously-used Lipton tea bag into a 16-ounce fiber-based cup full of piping hot water, Elmhurst Extended Care Center O.G. Phyllis Royal told reporters sharing a booth with her at the York Street Arby’s on Wednesday afternoon that “the fight is not over” for she and the other long-term care residents, who are disappointed that the city’s Zoning and Planning Commission rejected a conditional use permit last week for building expansion at the nursing home that would have included an additional parking lot just south of the existing facility, with access from the residential street of Fremont Avenue.

“I don’t care about a bigger building with larger rooms,” said Royal, squeezing a fourth packet of Horsey Sauce on top of her Jr Bacon Cheddar Melt. “I want the parking lot and a way to get in and out of that place on the down-low.”

Citing a strict care center curfew of 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 p.m. on weekends, Royal said that she and her posse want to avoid detection when returning after midnight from excursions to Gold Strike Bingo in Melrose Park or a local drinking establishment she referred to as “Galway’s”.

“Nobody needs to know when we’re coming or going,” said Royal, who added that she had also planned to leave her Crown Victoria in the new parking lot so that she can “get the hell out of Dodge” whenever her son-in-law unexpectedly showed up for a visit.  “I keep a ‘go bag’ in my car at all times with a few hundred dollars and an open-ended Amtrak ticket for those types of situations.”

While the nursing home’s requests for a zoning change and property consolidation passed fairly easily, the commissioners rejected the amended conditional use permit based on a concern that the proposed parking lot and its access from Fremont would damage the residential nature of the neighborhood.  Royal dismissed the feelings of Fremont residents as “jibberish” and promised that the city hasn’t heard the last from her and fellow care center residents.

The proposal now moves on to the City Council’s Development, Planning and Zoning Committee, who are expected to uphold the decision by the commission when they take up the issue of the nursing home facility at its April 10 or April 24 meeting.

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

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 green.

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