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 1,200 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 that gave him an appearance somewhat resembling Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil, Morley and his bandmates (also clothed to resemble the real band) 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 between every song, Morley also took time during the performance to explain the difference between “customer-only” and “free shopper” parking in the downtown area before the band launched into “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)” and later dedicated “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 delight 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.

Winner
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.

Winner
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.

Winner
Tie.

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.

Winner
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.

Winner
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.

Winner
Tie.