Mayor Morley’s Self-Portrait Collection Steals the Show at ‘Art in Wilder Park’

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Universally praised by art critics from the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild, The York High School student newspaper and Hobby Lobby, Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley’s expansive collection of self-portraits on display this weekend at the 22nd Annual “Art in Wilder Park” drew large crowds and overshadowed the works of more than 125 other artists.

A whopping total of 48 pieces portraying the mayor – comprised mostly of paintings, abstract line drawings, and sculptures created using raw materials sourced from Salt Creek and the Elmhurst Quarry – covered numerous artistic styles and were quickly purchased for $250 to $14,000 apiece. A renaissance piece titled “Mona Morley” Morley donated to the Elmhurst Art Museum and a screen print titled “Morley Monroe” purchased by The Elmhurst Park District were among the critics’ favorite pieces.

“I see a man-child crying out for love – an innocent orphan in the post-modern world,” said Elmhurst Artists’ Guild President Cassie Swierenga, staring at an oil painting of the mayor posing in a wide-collared leisure suit. “He disgusts me. Yet, I can’t look away”.

Held on Saturday and Sunday outside of Wilder Mansion, “Art in Wilder Park” drew thousands of thrifty Elmhurst residents eager to “bargain with gypsies”. The outdoor event featured live music, food vendors and children’s activities.

Artists from throughout the Midwest who took part in the event were reportedly in “stable” condition Sunday evening after being exposed to Elmhurst for two full days.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Elmhurst Social Media Manager Under Scrutiny for Timing of CodeRED Alert

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Carefully cropping a photo of Mayor Steve Morley’s head onto an image of King Kong swatting at low-flying airplanes from atop the Addison St. parking garage, City of Elmhurst Social Media Manager Kenny Grant told reporters squeezed into his cubicle at City Hall Wednesday morning that he believes his job is in jeopardy after he delayed posting a CodeRED Alert to residents about a local manhunt for an “armed and dangerous” suspect during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“The shit hit the fan right away,” said Grant, referring to an onslaught of criticism from residents who wanted to know why they were not immediately notified about the capture of two robbery suspects and the pursuit and subsequent capture of a third suspect in Elmhurst following a single-car crash off of North Ave. around 1:30 a.m. “It was certainly a judgement call. But I figured everyone was sleeping at the time, and I didn’t want to cause panic.”

Visibly distraught while reviewing the disparaging social media comments regarding his decision to wait until 5:30 a.m. before utilizing the city’s CodeRED system intended for emergency situations and important community concerns like bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices and the opening of a new yoga studio in town, Grant pointed out that #firekennygrant was currently trending on Twitter, and that a Facebook Page created under a similar name had already garnered 27 Likes.

“They didn’t tell me I’d have to make a big decision like this when I got the job,” continued Grant, a 2013 York High School graduate who noted that he was given “carte blanche” to issue a CodeRED Alert any time and the authority to use the city’s Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts for posting news, announcements and creative memes appropriate for all ages. “Up until now, the hardest part of my job was finding the appropriate emoji to accompany each CodeRED Alert.”

At press time, Grant was seen scurrying into City Manager Jim Grabowski’s office with doughnuts and an idea for a Facebook Event for residents who wish to attend Wednesday’s scheduled natural gas release by Nicor.

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.

Mayor Morley’s Mötley Crüe Tribute Band ‘Rocks the Block’

by Dave Noble, Elmhurst Funion Music Critic

ELMHURST – A crowd of more than 2,500 people at Elmhurst City Centre’s 3rd Annual “Rock the Block Party” Friday night were treated to an unscheduled and raucous 75-minute heavy metal set from Mötley Crüe cover band Theatre of Pain, led by Elmhurst mayor Steve Morley on lead vocals and backed by city manager Jim Grabowski (lead guitar), and aldermen Mark Sabatino (bass) and Bob Dunn (percussion).

Dressed head-to-toe in black and donning blonde hair extensions, Morley and his bandmates opened with “Shout at the Devil” and ripped through 13 more Mötley Crüe songs, delighting the crowd with power metal hooks, scream-along choruses and multiple choreographed pyrotechnic explosions.

Relying on the classic hits rather than deeper cuts, the band’s intoxicating combination of serrated guitars and polished drumming focused on the musicianship but was complimented by a spectacle of fog bombs, sparkle showers and Roman candles launched from the stage, located at the corner of Schiller and York Streets. While some numbers like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” were hindered by overpowering vocals from Morley, the band’s thick, nasal distortion highlighted by Grabowski’s intricate and expressive guitar solos and licks created a sound that blended well with the rest of the band’s instrumentation. Dunn’s powerful and technical style of rhythmic drumming was outdone only by his cowbell solo on “Live Wire”, while Sabatino’s bass playing never reached any level of prominence during the show.

In addition to screaming “Hello Elmhurst!” into the microphone at an ear-piercing level before and throughout each song, Morley also took time during the performance to announce a surprise roadside safety inspection in multiple locations throughout town over the next six hours.  The band then launched into “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)”, followed by a dedication of “Helter Skelter” to everyone who works at City Hall. 

The band closed out the first set with “Home Sweet Home” as hundreds of people waved their cell phones back and forth throughout the ballad. After performing “Wild Side” for the first encore and looking on with approval as a mosh pit formed near the City Centre fountain, the band returned to the stage for a second time and jammed “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”. The song was halted prematurely, however, after Morley dove into the crowd during the second chorus and body-surfed out of sight from the stage, never to return. The start of headlining act Lucky Boys Confusion was delayed by approximately 25 minutes while security detail located Morley and maintenance crews removed explosives debris from the stage.

The Rock the Block Party continues Saturday with School of Rock at 11 a.m., followed by American English at 2 p.m., Run Forrest Run at 4:45 p.m., ARRA at 6:30 p.m., and Sixteen Candles at 8:45 p.m.

Elmhurst Mayor Denies ‘Pokémon Go’ Addiction Despite Erratic Behavior

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Describing recent accusations as both “blasphemous” and “fabricated”, Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley told reporters following him through Wilder Park at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning that his interest in the new and wildly popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go is merely a “hobby” and not an addiction, despite contrary reports from multiple sources within City Hall and from other local “Team Red” members of the Pokémon gaming community.

“This is just something I’ve been playing around with for fun,” said Morley, who was assigned around-the-clock security detail earlier this week after he was lured to a Pokéstop at a vacant lot on the south side of Chicago late Saturday night and was then spotted by a nearby resident the next morning climbing a fence near the Elmhurst Quarry in pursuit of a “Snorlax”.  “There’s no reason for anyone to worry about me at all.”

While Morley downplayed the danger and potential miscommunication that can happen when he tells strangers unfamiliar with the game that he’s looking for “candy” and “stardust” in order to “power up”, the mayor admitted that he’s invested a “fair amount” of his free time playing Pokémon Go and that he has spent more than $100 on in-app purchases of Pokécoins since downloading the game last Friday.

“I’m not even sure if he’ll be at Monday’s city council meeting,” said one Elmhurst alderman, who asked for his identity to be kept anonymous.  “He keeps saying that he has to go out and collect ‘Razz Berries’ and ‘Master Balls’ next week.” 

Fellow game players expressed irritation and jealousy over the attention Morley is receiving.

“He’s only on Level 7,” said 16-year-old local resident Justin Kenny, who witnessed the mayor battling a “gym” while standing in the middle of the Elmhurst City Centre fountain Tuesday afternoon.  “And then before he got out, he made these two dudes following him around climb into the fountain and pick up a bunch of pennies and nickels.”

Several members of the city council said they plan to approach the mayor this weekend to confront him with their concerns. 

Comparison Study: Elmhurst Farmers Market vs. Villa Park French Market

by Dave Noble, Your Business is Our Business Beat Writer
In many ways, they’re very similar:  The Elmhurst Farmers Market and the Villa Park French Market are both open only one day per week during the summer and sell fresh produce, meats and cheeses along with hand-made soaps and other locally grown and manufactured items.  And they both offer entertainment for shoppers.

In other ways, they’re very different:  The Elmhurst Farmers Market appeals to locals looking to create a table accent with a bowl full of carefully placed fruits that are for “display only” and will often never be eaten, while the Villa Park French Market is reminiscent of a European bazaar with locals in search of ready-to-eat Confit de Canard, Black Périgord Truffles, and livestock.  And the vendors speak little or no English.

So how do these two weekly summer shopping options stack up against each other?  The Elmhurst Funion has compiled a list of key variables that will help you decide which market is better:  The Elmhurst Farmers Market, or the Villa Park French Market.

Location of the market

Elmhurst Farmers Market
About a mile south of the skyscrapers and construction-riddled urban jungle of downtown Elmhurst.  The ease of swiftly moving in and out of this section of town without hassle has been documented by a history of successful bank robbery escapes.

Villa Park French Market
Just off The Illinois Prairie Path, shoppers often ride to the market in horse-drawn carriages.

Villa Park French Market, because Elmhurst parking regulations require Farmers Market shoppers to move their cars every 15 minutes.

Weekday vs. weekend market shopping

Elmhurst Farmers Market
Wednesday morning shopping is a virtual “who’s who” of Elmhurst seniors, stay-at-home moms, and unemployed dads who are eager to discuss the weather and local news.

Villa Park French Market
A typical Sunday draws more people than the Mexican Soccer League Finals at The Odeum Expo Center, making it difficult to maneuver around other shoppers.

Villa Park French Market, because you can only discuss parking garages, new condo buildings and empty storefronts with your neighbors for a certain length of time before your head explodes.

Noteworthy shopper at the market

Elmhurst Farmers Market
Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley, who has a reputation of haggling with vendors until he gets the deepest discount possible for jicama and black radishes.

Villa Park French Market
Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley, loosely disguised with a beret, sunglasses and a scarf.


Creative display of merchandise

Elmhurst Farmers Market
Raw vegetable arrangement depicting the York High School football stadium.

Villa Park French Market
Foie gras shaped into a 5-ft. high replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Elmhurst Farmers Market, because foie gras is gross.

Live entertainment

Elmhurst Farmers Market
Acoustic guitarist performing covers of John Cougar Mellencamp songs.

Villa Park French Market
A mime.

NOT the mime.

How foreigners are treated

Elmhurst Farmers Market
Local residents have a keen eye for identifying outsiders, but will generally avoid eye contact and “play dead” if you get too close to them.

Villa Park French Market
Everyone knows the French hate Americans.