Angry Elmhurst Residents Utilize Freedom of Speech to Stop York High School from Teaching Freedom of Speech


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Duly vilified for endorsing an exploration of constitutionally-protected rights, York Community High School principal Erin DeLuga announced Wednesday that the school will refrain from conducting school exercises in the future that open up a dialogue, encourage freedom of expression or raise important questions regarding First Amendment rights after the re-creation of a controversial American flag display at the school sparked strong criticism from parents, military veterans, and other members of the Elmhurst community.

An examination of real cases surrounding freedom of speech designed to engage sophomore students was set up at the school on Tuesday and included the re-creation of Dread Scott’s “What is the proper way to display the U.S. Flag?” art exhibit by placing a United States flag on the floor of the school’s library. Once a photograph of the display was published on social media, members of the community quickly rallied to expose the school’s unconscionable act of teaching students how to think instead of what to think.

“I contacted the media last night to let them know what they did to the flag,” said York High School parent Bill Lofton, who aborted a “lengthy” discussion initiated by his daughter Tuesday evening about the flag and the First Amendment in order to email the Chicago Tribune, WGN and Mancow Muller about the flag display. “I’m taking her out of York High School immediately.”

Lofton was among the majority of people interviewed near the York High School campus and around Elmhurst who were angry about the school’s flag display.

“It’s really heart-breaking to hear about the disrespect they showed toward the flag,” said Elmhurst resident and former U.S. Army Sergeant Larry Melvin, enjoying the “Blue Plate Special” of Homestyle Pot Roast with potatoes, carrots and gravy at the Elmhurst American Legion on Wednesday afternoon. “I didn’t risk my life fighting in Vietnam to watch someone place a flag on the ground, bend a knee during the National Anthem or wear Stars and Stripes Speedos with a picture of an American Eagle over their pecker.” 

While most people interviewed were understandably focused on the display of the flag, many residents were just as angry about other exhibits in the social exercise that were diabolically designed to make students feel uncomfortable and encourage discussion.

“I’m mostly upset about the flag display, but they were also playing Negro music about killing police officers, and they had a sign accusing our Lord of smoking the devil’s lettuce,” said resident Claire Stevens, referring to one station at the exhibit where a song titled “Cop Killer” by rap artist Ice-T was played and another station that featured a banner with “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” written on it. “This isn’t what education is all about.”

Principal DeLuga stated that a beach towel will be used in place of the flag if the same exhibit is put on display next year, which will “hopefully” stifle any reactions or feedback from students.

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Preparations Continue for Sold-Out Elmhurst Quarry Tours


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Standing in the same area where NASA purportedly filmed astronauts “landing on the moon” nearly 50 years ago, stormwater management committee chairman Jim Zay told reporters gathered at the bottom of the Elmhurst Quarry’s east lobe Friday afternoon that safety measures and security precautions are still being finalized as the flood control facility prepares to open later this month for a day of tours.

A signed waiver from visitors and the implementation of a “buddy system” are just two of the ways that DuPage County and the Elmhurst History Museum are working together to protect classified areas of the massive reservoir and to assure ticket-holders for the sold-out quarry tours on September 30th that they will return unharmed. Zay acknowledged that 28 people were unaccounted for at the conclusion of the last set of quarry tours in 2015.

“We’ve made several changes this year to improve safety,” said Zay, who assumes that most of those who went missing two years ago were persuaded to join a colony of former Elmhurst residents who have been voluntarily living in an uncharted section of the quarry since the early 1990’s. “But with more than 500 visitors booked this time, getting back with 100% of them is asking a lot.”

After parachuting to the bottom of the 200-foot east lobe, tour visitors will be required to wear hard hats for protection from falling debris and trash that is occasionally thrown over the perimeter fence from vehicles driving along the high rock wall that supports West Ave. DuPage County Archeologist Sam Weaver will discuss the latest fossils uncovered in the quarry, while Zay himself will explain how the facility is used to manage stormwater. Visitors will also get their first look at a recently-completed monument dedicated to former York High School cross-country Joe Newton and local rock band The Orwells.

A 15-pound souvenir rock will be given to each person on the tour before they climb their way out of the quarry, along with a coupon for 15% off their next purchase of 100 pounds or more of wet cement.

City of Elmhurst Offers Advice in Event of Nuclear Attack


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Standing at the doorway of a classified fallout shelter located 75 feet below the ground somewhere in Elmhurst, Mayor Steve Morley told still-blindfolded reporters on Wednesday that due to the current international political climate – coupled with escalating military threats from North Korea – the city has created an informational piece for Elmhurst residents, explaining what they should do in the event of a nuclear attack in Chicago.

“We don’t want to alarm anyone,” said Morley, leading reporters into the small room where his security detail will take him in the event of a nuclear attack or a surprise invasion from a neighboring town like Villa Park or Bensenville. “But if Chicago is indeed a target, then the city of Elmhurst and its great people must be prepared for a nuclear attack.”

While admitting that the level of destruction to Elmhurst would be difficult to predict, the mayor noted that residents should expect little to no damage to their summer cottages in Michigan.

The information below is listed on the City of Elmhurst website, and free copies are available at the City Centre office and in a brochure holder on the Explore Elmhurst Trolley.

 

From the City of Elmhurst

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF ELMHURST ISSUES WARNING OF IMPENDING NUCLEAR ATTACK:

  • Gather enough food, bottled water, K-Cups and liquor to last 48 hours.
  • Return all borrowed materials to the Elmhurst Public Library.
  • Use the City of Elmhurst website to settle any outstanding traffic tickets.
  • Place all of your City Centre gift cards and coupons in a safe and easy-to-access location, in case they become the medium of exchange for good and services in a post-apocalyptic Elmhurst.
  • Identify which of your fanatical friends on Facebook have likely built a bomb shelter already, and initiate contact.

 

IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE WHEN THE BLAST OCCURS:

  • Turn away and close and cover your eyes to prevent damage to your sight.
  • Find something to cover your mouth and nose, such as a scarf, handkerchief or other cloth.
  • If you are in downtown Elmhurst, move your vehicle from three-hour parking to the top level of any parking garage and pay the $2.00 daily fee.
  • If you are in a residential area, seek shelter in the nearest house or castle. Remove scarf, handkerchief or other cloth from your head when approaching so that you are not misidentified by the homeowner.

 

IF YOU ARE AT HOME WHEN THE BLAST OCCURS:

  • Proceed immediately to your basement media room or wine cellar.
  • Remain in your home or shelter for a minimum of 48 hours.
  • Send your housekeeper or nanny outside to verify that the air is radiation-free.

 

IF YOU SURVIVE A LIMITED NUCLEAR ATTACK:

  • Identify which downtown Elmhurst storefronts are non-vacant and suitable for looting by using your shirt sleeve to remove nuclear dust from the windows.
  • Check Elmhurst Area eParents and Elmhurst, IL Moms for drastically-reduced pricing on jet skis and recreational vehicles for sale.
  • Go to the District 205 website for information regarding potential school cancellations. 
  • Place all nuclear debris from your property into garbage bags no heavier than 50 pounds each, attach a yard waste sticker to each bag, and place the bags at your curb no later than 6:00 a.m. on your regular garbage pick-up day. Please note that your normal pick-up day might be delayed due to the nuclear attack.

Dozens Uninjured at City Hall Rally


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Dozens of participants were unscathed and numerous bystanders were left feeling unsatisfied at the lack of turmoil during a rally outside of City Hall on Sunday, the first large-scale demonstration of its kind on Elmhurst soil since the failed “March for North Elmhurst Sidewalks” in 1978.

Marred by poorly-constructed signage, novice marching skills and the absence of a memorable chant, approximately 40 local members of the progressive group Action for a Better Tomorrow (ABT) were left mostly unchallenged as they paid vigil to Charlottesville, VA, victims with a peaceful gathering that was highlighted by participants waving their handmade signs and imploring drivers to honk their car horns.  

“I wasn’t sure how people would react to us being here,” said organizer Lori Valentine, drinking a lukewarm root beer with an insufficient amount of ice that she purchased at Hamburger Heaven before the 5:00 p.m. start of the rally. “But people have been mostly supportive of what we are doing.”

On the heels of a smaller vigil held at the same location the night before, local ABT members covertly organized “Operation: Spontaneous Gathering” within their maximum security Facebook Group with the intent of showing that Elmhurst cares about the national tragedy that unfolded over the weekend.

“This is my first rally, and I’m a little disappointed at the lack of excitement out here,” said Elmhurst resident and rally participant Larry Sutter, holding a sign with “End Hate” scribbled below an Abt logo that is clearly a trademark infringement on the independent electronics and major appliance retailer in Glenview, Illinois. “I almost wore my Cubs helmet here tonight in case things started to get out of hand.”

While a police presence was limited to the appearance of one parking enforcement officer who drove by the scene and subsequently ticketed four vehicles in the City Hall parking lot for expired city stickers, things became tense for a short period of time when nearly all 57 residents of Elmhurst 255 Downtown Apartments wandered out of the building and walked down the street to see what was going on.

“That’s when I was hoping the action would start,” said Elmhurst Patch reporter Joe Carlton, who stated that the only other high point of the event was when he witnessed a rally participant with a damaged sign shout a profanity after walking over to West Suburban Office Products and realizing that the store was closed. “Overall, this is kind of boring. I think I’ll just run with the story about the liquor store robbery in Joliet for tomorrow’s Elmhurst edition.” 

At press time, customers and employees inside of Rainbow Restaurant were seen hiding on the floor in fear after rally participants began marching over to the diner for a late meal following the conclusion of the rally.

Park District Designates Land Purchase for ‘Elmhurst Animal Kingdom’


by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Donning a safari hat, an overly-starched khaki trail shirt, and a pair of rather-short khaki shorts, Elmhurst Park District Executive Director James Rogers told reporters trespassing inside a heavily-wooded area in unincorporated Yorkfield on Wednesday that the 3.4-acre former trailer park – once considered the “Gateway to Elmhurst” – will be transformed into an animal sanctuary where visitors can observe, interact with and learn about some of the common mammals that inconveniently inhabit Elmhurst and intrude upon the everyday lives of local residents.

The “Elmhurst Animal Kingdom” – scheduled to be completed by next summer – will feature bewildering creatures such as coyotes, foxes and skunks that are increasingly seen roaming throughout town after failing to adapt to the ever-changing environment of Elmhurst. Animals captured by residents or park district staff will be safely transported to the property at 0S761 Old York Road and released into the sanctuary, joining hundreds of their furry friends in a parcel of land recently purchased by the park district for only $500,000 more than what it was sold for six months earlier. After paying a general admission fee ($3 residents/$23 non-residents), visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the grounds in an open air safari train, or venture out on their own “into the wild” for a more intimate experience with some of the intimidating species that frighten and disrupt Elmhurst humans and their pets.

“This will be a destination spot for tourists, school field trips and wedding parties,” said Rogers, who believes that the dog-friendly sanctuary’s late hours (open daily from 11:00 a.m. until midnight) and open alcohol policy will attract visitors of all ages and coherences.” And at the same time, we’re ridding the town of these beasts that are slowly taking over Elmhurst.”

While numerous details such as thrill rides, concession stands and merchandising rights have yet to be resolved, Rogers stated that the park district’s first priority is to work with agencies such as The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Explore Elmhurst Trolley and Uber to figure out how an expected 5,000 daily visitors can get to and from the sanctuary.

“We’re hoping IDOT will allow vehicles and buses to park on the shoulder of Roosevelt Road for a few hours at a time,” continued Rogers, who has also contacted the Elmhurst Police Department about potential drop-offs and pick-ups on the York St. exit ramp near the southeast corner of the property.  “The last thing we want to do is disrupt the neighborhood.”

The designation for use of the land came after a public discussion on July 27th at the stately Butterfield Park Recreational Building, where a formidable group of two dozen residents suggested frivilous ideas such as a dog park, a playground or a sledding hill. “The dog park was a ‘no-go’ for sure,” said Rogers, who indicated that up to 75% of park district staff would resign from their position if they were required to maintain the grounds of a dog park.  “And none of the other ideas had any real pizzazz.”

The park district also plans to build a 2,500 square-foot laboratory on the property and hire a small team of scientists to perform genetic experiments on the animals.

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.