Monday, June 30, 2008

Orland acts on unkempt lawns ... not their own, of course

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(C) Copyright Ray Hanania 2008
Village of Orland Park policy on unkempt lawns

Orland Park government hypocrisy -- as usual

Not a few days went by since we noted the unkempt condition of the new ("award winning") Orland Park Police Headquarters than the Village of Orland Park sent out a press release on the topic. Not about their failure to maintain one of their properties that had weeds and grass growing more than a foot tall all over the lawn, but about the poor, hapless folk who have lost their homes to mortgage scams and scumbag banking practices protected by the Bush administration and targeted for relief by John McCain.

Sure, village property gets a pass, but if you have your home snatched up by a banker and the bank is not taking care of it, the village wants to hammer you.

The village didn't say peep when the Police Headquarters was getting moans and graons from its citizens, who complained to me and I posted the story last week.

Village officials are so thinned skinned, they took the posting as a personal attack, insteasd of being responsible, because that's the way they are in Orland Park: hypocrites. They love to bask in the glory and public praise -- Mayor Dan McLaughlin is the worst -- his name is all over the village newsletter, the village postings, the village flyers and handouts and all the press releases. But not a peep when the screw up.

Of course, there are a few village employees running around throwing around their weight threatening businesse to get their daughters placed in programs, telling business owners if they don't give their daughter a break, they have clout and can "make you are break you." A direct quote from one business owner.

You won't see McLaughlin do anything about that. Hell, he can't take any criticism at all about Orland Park.

Here's the story from the Southtown on plans to crack down on unkempt properties.

McLaughlin used to be a great guy, long before clout and power and privilege got to his head. Too bad. He could have been great. But that's one reason why he's not in statewide office, and the talk is to push others around him who have the talent, like Police Chief Tim McCarthy, who many admire as wanting to do the right thing.

Ray Hanania

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where's the charitable money in Orland Park

Well, the Internet is an amazing thing. You can look up all of the charitable institutions 501 (c) 3s all the way to 501(c) 7s and up to c13s, too. Contributions to a C3 are tax deductible. Contributions to a C7 are not, they are social and recreation clubs who also have to make their financial funds public.

So who has the most money?

Not surprisingly, the Crystal Tree Golf and Tennis Club has more, according to the latest report. They have $16.1 million in the bank, with $5.4 million in non-tax-deductible donations collected this year. That's a lot of tennis balls.

The Andrew Family Foundation is a C3 and has $12.6 million in the bank with $4.97 million in taxable donations this last reporting period. That's a lot of library books.

Then, there are the common sized funds:

Orland Park Open Lands Corporation has $5 million in the bank, having collected $222,164, which is tax deductible.

The Michael A. and Frances Halikas Charitable Trust has $1.6 million in its tight coffers, collecting a mere $780 in the last reporting period.

The Lambrecht Family Foundation has $1.1 million in the bank, and collected $1.4 million. Someone should hire their manager for the other funds, though the description doesn't say what the LFF does.

And then there are a list of smaller ones, under one million in the bank.

The Lions Club has $152,000.

The Rotary only has $130,000.

The Kiwanis have $85,000.

Knights of Columbus? Zilch! Same for the American Legion.

The Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce has $131,596, from $236,944 they collected.

You can go to:

And put your zip code in to see what foundations and charitable institutions exist and how much they have.

Ray Hanania

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Orland Park socked by home mortgage foreclosures

You think the news doesn't hit your own back yard, but just look in the community newspapers. Every week, a dozen or more properties are being sold by the banks that have been processed through the Cook County Courts.

It's depressing. Property owners were enticed into remortgaging and squeezing out money that looked like equity before last year, and borrowed to the max believing homeowners was sacrsanct. And then the industry collapses and their properties drop in value and soon, what looked liek extra money is now debt that not even the sale of a home will cover. All of their equity disappeared for many.

It's very depressing, especially when you think that the government is only concerned about shoring up the banking industry, bailing them out while letting homeowners drown in endless, impossible debt.

Too bad the homeowners do not have a lobby to fight for their rights, and politicians who talk the talk (to get votes and money) but never walk the walk, because they're taking money from the banking industry and home mortgage industry through the back door.

Look up the addresses and you'll probably find a home that has collapsed into home mortgage debt hell right on your own block or very closeby.

Ray Hanania

Tall Grass Cartoons ...

Click cartoon to enlarge & view:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grass gets attention in Orland Park, even when it's not officially "Tall Grass"

The amount of email letters and even some calls on the Orland Park Police Department's unruly lawn problem (Some language has been cleaned up to keep this site PG):

  • Great web site. I love the local news. The other papers just do not tackle any controversy. It's good to see your site. The OPPD center is an eyesore. I drive by it everyday wondering the same thing. Keep it up. TJ West Avenue
  • As a police officer, I know there is much talk at the station about your blog reference. The most interesting gossip is speculation that Chief Tim plans to run for Mayor. Forget about the senate, but Mayor is possible. Anonymous. PO
  • Tim McCarthy for mayor? Yes!
  • Cut the damn grass! I see the mayor's lawn is always cut nice and neat. Check that work out sometimes. LB, Glenlake Dr
  • I thought it was an English Garden, but that doesn't sit well with our Irish Mayor. Debbie, Mallard Drive
  • I love the site! Shake-em up Ray. RD
  • Whatever happened between you and Mayor Dan? You were pals once and you served on the Civic Center Commission. Was it the Mike Brennan battle for the Orland Township? Will you be writing about that topic?

We love email here at the ... send it directly to me, if you don't want to post or subscribe to the system at We'll keep it all anonymous but you can identify your street name if you want it published.

BY THE WAY ... I saw two workers digging through the weeds in front of the Orland Park Police Department site this morning. The is read ... even better than the former site we ran several years ago when we were attacked by McLaughlin and Dodge. They workers didn't look too happy sloshing around in the drizzle and pulling the large plants out and putting them in a wheel barrel.

But, the McCarthy rumors are swirling around the community. I've heard them from a dozen residents and a few friends in City Hall. McLaughlin "retiring?" I don't think so, but that rumor is prompting the McCarthy for public office rumors and to be honest, McCarthy would make the town's BEST Mayor. I hope that either he does it or, if McLaughlin clings to office (as all mayors-for-life do) that Chief McCarthy will run for the U.S. Senate seat. No one is more recognizable than McCarthy, who is considered a heor for his act of saving the life of a president.

Ray Hanania

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That Don Imus, what a putz

Don Imus is insufferable. What a racist bigot. They cut him slack every time, firing him for racist remarks and then rehiring him. That would never happen to someone of color. But in New York at Citadel Broadcasting, where racism abounds (just listen to Sean Hannity sometime) it's very disturbing.

Read story?

It is the same old Don Imus garbage, a trash talking jerk who slams everyone and then whines when he gets slamed. "Oh come on" was Imus' response.

You're not going to fire Imus this time? Oh come on!

Ray Hanania

Monday, June 23, 2008

Award winning Police Department needs grass mowed -- badly

I am a big fan of the Orland Park Police Department and its chief Tim McCarthy. We're lucky to have him. And I thinkt he village of Orland Park should feel the same way.

But, according to a few sources in the village's tight little political system, you have to wonder.

For example, last week, the Village of Orland Park Police won a prestigious award, taking first place in the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) 2008 Merit Award Program for Rehab Construction.

Orland Park was one of four finalists in the rehab category, including the Peoria Civic Center, Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Powerhouse and the Metropolitan Tower on the Park, a high rise condo conversion project on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The award was accepted by Trustee Patricia Gira, who I also admire for having an openness that is a bit rare among some of the village officials, Chief McCarthy and Deputy Chief Jerry Hughes. The award was presented at the Chicago Building Congress Award Program at the Union League Club.

The Village boasts the award, too, bragging deservedly, "The award celebrates the collaborative effort required by the building process and the impact upon the community at large. Judging was based upon the distinctiveness of design, quality of construction, positive impact on the surrounding community and safety record."

And, it's the Police department's second award. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the Police Department with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification last November. Orland Park is the only police facility in the country and the first project of this kind in the south suburbs to achieve the LEED Gold Certificate.

Well, if the village thinks so highly of the Police Department and its police chief, why is the village Public Works Department allowing the grass to grow so wildly around the building. It really looks unkempt. It certainly does not reflect pride in the Police Department and their new building to keep the property so disheveled.

Come on people. It looks like the Police Department is abandoned property, not award winning property. (Maybe the Police Department is just on a long list to receive sod and no one cares? So they're not cutting the weeds knowing they will eventually replace it with sod. Still, not good enough an excuse.)

McCarthy is well thought off not just in Orland Park but in the entire state of Illinois. Many insiders believe he still has an excellent future in regional politics (he could run for the U.S. Senate to succeed Barack Obama and do very well given his police credentials which are tops and his highly publicized bravery in defending President Ronald Reagan from an assassin's bullet -- which McCarthy took.

Actually, McCarthy is more thought of than Mayor McLaughlin, who rumors have it plans to not seek re-election. I newver believe rumors about Mayor's-for-Life like McLaughlin. They said the same thing about Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley before the last election, and of course, he did run for re-election and won handily.

Well, if McCarthy doesn't run for U.S. Senate, he can always fill McLaughlin's shoes if the rumors are right.

Ray Hanania

Friday, June 20, 2008

Performing standup comedy in Five Towns Long Island New York

I just spent a wonderful evening with a Jewish family for their Shabbat Services in their home with Aaron Freeman and Yisrael Campbell, two of the three other members of the Israeli Palestinian Comedy Tour -- Charley Warady was jet-lagged and only arrived from Israel a few hours before. We will be performing for a fundraiser for Shalva tomorrow, Saturday night, in Lawrence to help raise money for a Jewish ageny that supports children with disabilities.

The host family that invited us for dinner was unbelievable. Their hospitality was amazing. The serious discussions we had about Arab-Jewish relations, politics, family and more made for an inspirational evening.

I know a few Arabs from the extremist side might be upset wondering how I can spend an evening at the home of a Jewish family as tensions continue to escalate despite an Egyptian-brokered truce between Hamas and Israel, but I have to respond by saying that we should not focus our anger or politics on what is happening in the Middle East on people. We don't blame people. We don't blame religions. We look at the politics and address the politics, not in anger or hatred but with reason, principle and understanding.

Yes, people are suffering on both sides, some more than others, but suffering is everywhere nonetheless. It's not just one side and to blame an entire religion and a people for a conflict that has been raging for generations is just plain wrong.

We need to see past the hatred and past the anger and past the emotion if we plan to resolve this conflict. Yes, there will be suffering but I know many of the cautious and the extremists would be surprised to know how many on each side feel for those on the other side who suffer.

The answer to conflict is not more conflict. It is understanding. Benefit of the doubt. Controlling our emotions. Controlling our rhetoric and always applying principle to others that we would hope would also be applied to ourselves.

Friday night I saw people. Good people. And I wish that Palestinians and Israelis will have the experience of seeing real people face-to-face instead of being blinded by only seeing stereotypes.

Ray Hanania

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Revisiting the Orland Park Mosque Controversy

About four years ago on June 21, 2008, residents of Orland Park crammed the Orland Park Civic Center when the Village Board convened a meeting to discuss a proposal to build an Islamic house of worship, a Mosque, in Orland Park. This was one of several meetings that had been held to allow public input that ranged from anger to understanding.

It was one of the most ugly scenes I had ever witnessed. Residents who "testified" against the Mosque plan said that if they build it, Osama Bin Laden would come to Orland Park and murder Americans there.

The Mosque was built. No one has been murdered. But the anger is still alive.

Here is a video news documentary that I produced, in two parts, that examines the controversy from all sides and documents testimony delivered at the public meeting that day.

Part I: "Eyes of the Beholder: The Orland Park Mosque Controversy"

Part II: "Eyes of the Beholder: The Orland Park Mosque Controversy"

Ray Hanania

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Should Orland Park secede from Cook County to avoid the high sales taxes?

Should Orland Park secede from Cook County to avoid the massive and repressive retail sales taxes that are coming our way thanks to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger?

Palatine under progressive mayor Rita Mullins is looking into that possibility.

Here's an interview I did with Mayor Mullins on May 1, 2008 on my Radio Chicagoland radio show ... Click here to Listen to the Podcast with Mayor Mullins discuss the secession proposal. (All of the radio interviews are archived at ... and my separate new audio and video podcasts are available at

Orland Park can secede from Cook County and merge with Will County. It's worth discussing. Stroger's repressive taxes will slam us this Fall. He did it hoping to buy time between the passage of the taxes -- with the help of several Cook County Commissioners.

I think we should organize a petition drive and begin a community discussion.

Ray Hanania

Welcome to our New Village Manager in Orland Park

Orland Park has a new village manager, Paul Grimes. He's from Warwick, Rhode Island. As we like to say in Orland Park:

"Welcome. Watch the Geese. Get ready for long traffic delays. Don't take it
personal when the politicians ignore your needs. At least you'll get a rebate
check in the mail. Don't criticize our elected officials because most of them are thinned-skinned whiners!"

Grimes moved into one of the handful of homes impacted by the flooding we've had here that the Village of Orland Park stupidly purchased at outrageous market prices a few years back that they have been having a hard time re-selling -- certainly, they haven't been able to get the exhorbitant prices they paid. Oh? You didn't know the Village of Orland Park is in the real estate business?

Bitter? Sure. They bought my neighbor's house at some outrageous price after ignoring the flooding problems that other neighbors were having. I mean ignoring. It was all about helping certain families.

The home down the street finally sold, at way below the purchase price and after the village spent thousands to "fix it up."

The young family that bough it was directed to it by Orland Park Trustee Pat Gira. I'm glad a good family did move in there and Gira's help is much appreciated. Maybe the Village should put Gira in charge. She seems to know how to get things down around here. And she also seems to care. They deserve the break, though.

Grimes is living in the home "across the alley" (an old Chicago expression) from the home two houses from me that Gira's friends purchased. At least the village didn't turn it into a retention pond, a suggestion from the engineers they hired who never bothered to get their asses out on the street to find out firsthand what the real problems were. But why would expensive consultants get their hands dirty or deal with facts?

It took years and a lot of protests -- led mainly by several very active families on the other side of the street who really deserve the credit (hey, one of them should run for mayor) -- but the village FINALLY put in a new water drainage pipe system to drain off the water that was backing up from the nearby pond onto Windsor Drive creating a small lake.

WARNING TO THOSE PEOPLE BUYING HOMES: Don't purchase a home near one of those Duck/Geese ponds. They flood. Yea! And they backup and they will destroy your home. The damage to my home was over $40,000 and I took out a FEMA loan (high interest scam artists who sold it to a private mortgage lender who proceeded to harass me to refinance). What a disaster.

Having gone through the flood in Orland Park in July 1997, I can certainly feel for the people whose homes were lost recently in Iowa and in other parts of Illinois and around the country. The media loves to cover their suffering, but no one really cares about them. I hope they have real friends and family to help because the public won't help and the government won't help.

So welcome to Orland Park, Mr. Grimes. I hope you can improve the shoddy service we receive around here in Orland Park, and maybe start looking at everyone in the village as a citizen instead of just catering to Mayor Dan McLaughlin's family friends, pals and political cronies and election volunteers.

(My only concern about Grimes is his past work with United Healthcare. I hope UH is more concerned about the public than Humana and Blue Cross, Blue Shield insurance. Issues? Issues? I have issues!)

Ray Hanania

PS ... the one GREAT thing about Orland Park is our schools. They are the best.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Car accidents make a horrible sound and father's Day, too

We were in our backyard preparing for a backyard barbecue when the distinct sound of an accident took place on 151st Street, about a half a block north. It was that kind of ugly sound that cars make when they slam into each other. This one clearly was that of two cars hammering each other, hard. And then a second later, a second crash followed.

I grabbed the telephone and called 911 to report our suspicion of a car accident minutes after the sound and the 911 operator surprised me to say an Orland Park police officer "is already at the scene."

Wow. That was either a fast response or the police car was driving in the surrounding traffic when the accident took place. Maybe it was at the 7-Eleven when it happened.

It was hard ot tell from observing what happened as the police and medical teams and fire trucks started to arrive quickly. Traffic was backing up in each direction on 151st Street and the hook and ladder was parked in the center of the road behind an ambulance. A fire chief's SUV parked sideways in the middle of the street with lights on to slow traffic in the distance from the west while a police car parked sideways in the middle of the street with lights on to slow traffic coming from the east.

It looked like four cars were involved, or for sure at least three looked like they had damage at the intersection, of course. A fourth car may have witnessed the accident and stopped behind another car.

It must be a terrible thing to happen on a Father's Day for all of the families involved.

Ray Hanania

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Garage Sale" fun and frolic

I decided that I don't like the "typical" people who make garage sale hopping a hobby?

You would be amazed how many people spend their entire daylight hours going from one garage sale to another. And clearly, known of them use computers.

I noticed this years ago, especially in the summer, of course, when garage sales are most popular. People who drive past as I was working outside and they would stop and yell their question about street directions.

"Do you know where Regent Drive is? Or Royal Foxhunt?"

What do I look like the porter or something? Go look it up on Mapquest. I have no idea where all those streets are.

They are all clutching rolled up newspapers with listing and listing of garage sales.

Well, I finally crossed the line and had my own garage sale. Yup!

I have three large pieces of furniture taking up all of one parking space in the two and one-half car garage. A table with a tile top and six wooden chairs, a large three-section backyard jungle gym and a racing car bed, both made of that very strong plastic that never breaks. It forced me to keep my car parked outside on the drive way.

Why? I have a two and one-half car garage! It makes no sense. But nothing ever does.

I finally broke down and decided to sell them. So I put a sign out in front of the house that read "Garage Sale" and listed all three items.

Orland Park doesn't require a permit to have a garage sale, which is great. But you are limited, technically, to no more than three a year.

It really wasn't a garage sale, though. Just a furniture clearance.

Driver after driver came buy. You don't need to buy an advertisement to promtoe your garage sale because all it takes is one ad and there is at least a dozen or more every week. People come driving through Orland Park and they will stop at every garage sale they see, even if it is not publicized in a paid classified ad.

These two ladies got out of their beater and just walked past me to my garage. Past the race car bed. Past the jungle gym.

"Excuse me. What are you doing?" I asked politely.

"Can we buy that?" one lady asked poingting to my 10-speed.

"No. That's not for sale. These are," I said pointing to the bed and gym.

They looked at each other, squinted their noses and one said, "I told you."

And they walked out as if I wasn't even there. These garage sale people are living in their own world.

People who drove up in the juniest cars gave me the most arrogant attitudes.

"Huh! That is $100?"

"The table costs $600."

"Huh! I can buy it cheaper some place else."

Fine. Get that stupid jalopy away from the front of my house. And take your attitude with. If you want it, it's gonna cost you $125, pal! I thought to myself.

Most of the people garage sale hopping are ladies. But they're not looking for good deals. They're looking for small junk.

"Don't you have any nicknacks or old toys you want to sell," one lady asked.

I got it. Garage sales are supposed to be dollar deals?

I'll keep them out all weekend. I fugure, why not. I'd buy the bed. Hell. I did buy the bed. And I bought the jungle gym, too. It cost a fortune.

I just want to park my car in front of the house.

Eventually, someone came by and bought the table and six chairs. Good deal. $75 down from $150. I'm not trying to rip anyone off. I just want to get rid of the junk to make room for the car in my garage.

So, we'll see how it goes the rest of the weekend. I'm on Windsor Drive, just in case you come by. Or email me at

Race card bed. Jungle gym. Going. Going. Soon to be gone!

Ray Hanania

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Six Flags Great America -- Maybe, three Flags at best

It wasn't even the high point of the season. The place wasn't even packed at all. It was, we thought, the perfect time to go and enjoy Six Flags Great America before the mad rush of people that usually happens in the summer.

What a bummer, with some fun!

First of all, the tickets cost almost $60 a person to get in. The parking costs $25 in the general lot and $15 in a distant out lot. They offer "discounts," which always annoys me because the discounts usually become the rule but so many people don't know it, they get scammed. We got two for one, and $20 off a third adult ticket using a Diet Coke Can -- our son is just above 48 inches tall. So, for the three of us, two parents and one child, it cost us $125 just to get into the park.

The longest ride was the one sitting at the entrance for 45 minutes as the employees tried to process each car as it drove in -- with eight lines, maybe 70 cars deep off the main road. I mean 30 minutes sitting there and crawling up to the gate. They had one employee at each gate taking tickets. It didn't seem to matter whether you paid cash, credit card or in advance on the computer as we did.

Once inside, many of the rides were not opened. The Space Shuttle has never been opened during any of my family trips to Six Flags Great America. And many of the other rides were closed, too.

It's the middle of freaking June!

This isn't about quality. It is all about the money. The only thing that made it worthwhile -- maybe -- is that the park was not filled. So the wait for rides wasn't that bad. I can only imagine how horrible it will get when crowds do come. Yikes!

Now, when you are a parent, and you have a young child, the big focus is on the child, right? He had fun. It wouldn't matter if he were playing in a muddied field or Six Flags Great America, though. He had fun. He even graduated to the middle level exciting rides. We went on the Ragin'Cajun as a family. The good rides, like this one, had about a 30 minute wait.

I bought the photograph, four pictures and two keyt rings for about $19. (Money will start to cash register ring as fast as time passes at Six Flags Great America -- oh, that's a good idea. Six Cash Registers Great America is a better name!)

The brief, 20 minute movie about the Planet Earth was phenomenal. They could have offered a longer film. The theater is huge. I bet it can seat 1,500. (Just a guess.)

There were also many rides in the park you had to pay for. We didn't go to the water park inside, though, which is open to attendees. The lack of cleanliness at the park made me think that the water probably wasn't going to be the best there.

But the absolute WORST part of the entire trip wasn't the difficulty in getting in to the park, or the enormous costs involved in going there and getting in, or the fact that many rides were closed, or that even that many of the rides IN THE PARK are rides you have to pay a surcharge to get on -- the go-carts, for example. No, the absolute worst part of the entire trip was the pathetic quality of the food. In fact, I hate to use the word "quality" to describe the food there.

We went to a "Moose Lodge" inside the park first and ordered the big burder and kids meal. The burger was like a frisbee. And I kept scratching my ankles, like there were fleas in the place or something. WHAT A DUMP!

There were only 10 people in line and it took 20 minutes to get the food. It sat ont he counter while the employees bumped into each other and joked and had fun. People were bitching the whole time. Although, there was one lady inf ront of me who kept saying to her husband, "When we're done. Let's go to the Cracker Barrel to eat."

So I'll rate it. Three Flags, six cash registers and a son who was happy no matter what! No thanks to Great America, in theory, though. He just is a great kid who will make the most of whatever he does. Ah. There's a good slogan for Great America! Come and enjoy our park and make the most of what little you can!

Ray Hanania

Monday, June 9, 2008

Things that irk me, and others that make me smile in Orland Park

Probably the one thing that really irks me is when drivers park their cars in front of the Orland Park satellite Post Office on 151st Street in the Mall on the west side of the street. The traffic going past the post office is often very busy and with kids and seniors walking in and out, it becomes dangerous for everyone.

Yet, people in perfect health and no handicaps or disabilities are so damn lazy. They park in front, walk in, check their PO Boxes and then walk out. It's no different than parking illegally in a handicapped zone if you ask me.

Here's a photo of an SUV recently that parked in front of the Post office and the lady got out and did her business, like it was no one else's business.


And things that make me smile and remind me why I love living in Orland Park, Illinois:

Here's a shot of some Geese with their gaggle of babies right behind them at one of the dozens of ponds and lakes in Orland Park. It is not unusual foir traffic to literally come to a halt on busy streets like 151st as the geese and their babies waddle across the street. Drivers are often very patient and watch with huge smiles as they cross.

Drivers are very cautious and aware of the geese and the ducks in Orland Park -- the ducks tend to pair up and hang out in backyards.

(This is what you get when you put a camera in my hands :) )
Ray Hanania

Pioneer Football goes on minus former coach convicted of pornography

Last week, Lindsey "Dick" Dickinson, best known as a coach for the Pioneer Football Leagues ( in Orland Park, was sentenced to six years imprisonment for harboring a collection of child pornography. The issue of his religion came up in a very subtle way, but religion of the "wrong-doers" is a major issue these days, isn't it?

Southtown Story:,060568coach.article

Chicagoist Story:

While most reporters focused on the story, a writer at the Chicago Sun-Times (who happens to be Muslim) emphasized the fact (headline and story) that he also played "Santa Claus" at Christmas events -- if this had been reversed some how and he were Muslim and leading prayers at a Mosque, I wonder how high his religious affiliations would have been played in the story?

Anyway, as a member of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), I passed along the thought to the Media Watch Committee, where I also participate as a volunteer, and the consensus is it is pertinent to the story.

The larger issue, though, was his huge role in the local football league, which would seem like the better choice for the story lead and headline.

Tribune Story:,CST-NWS-kidporn05.article

Religion plays a subtle role in media coverage, as does race. Why? Because the public is fascinated more by a Santa who collects pornography more than a community football league coach.

For example, even in the Lane Bryant Murder case from Feb. 2, 2008 in Tinley Park, many readers have emailed me (and I am sure other reporters and columnists) wondering why no one has picked up on the fact that the suspect was wearing a "skull cap" on his head. The skull cap would suggest that the suspect might be a Muslim.

The suspect is believed to be African American. But Muslim? That shouldn't be surprising. There are 7 million Muslims in the United States and only 22 percent are Arab, many live on the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago. But the largest group of Muslims in America are actually Black Muslims.

That I haven't made much of the issue has prompted scorn from some readers. But then, no one has made much of that. Is it an issue?

Ray Hanania

Amateur video of tornado 66 miles south of Orland in Odell, Illinois

Amateur video of Tornado far southern town of Odell, 66 miles south of Orland Park, Illinois off I-55 ... (about 9 minutes of footage) ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Storm misses Orland Park, but vandals strike

Vandals hit Orland Park Saturday night: Several stop signs damaged

Although the big storm of Saturday missed Orland Park and slammed several communities south of us with tornadoes, vandals struck in Orland Park -- again -- this time downing stop signs at several intersections.

(These photos were taken by my son, Aaron)

(It looked like the stop signs were pushed down by kids, rather than by their car.)

Near the stop sign damage, an SUV was smashed up. We wonder if the car was in an accident as a result of the stop sign vadalism?

Wouldn't you like to catch these vandals?

It's just a matter of paying attention, or focusing your home security cameras on the street.

Ray Hanania

The VP choices of McCain and Obama can decide the election in November

Democratic Barack Obama has a historic opportunity to sweep the November elections by showing courage and true dedication to his ideals by chosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Clinton represents more than 18 million American voters, slightly more than the number of the people in the Democratic Party who voted for Obama.

Anyone else who Obama choses will always live under the shadow of that powerful pairing, and could never bring his candidacy to the heights it can achieve.

John McCain also faces a similar choice, either satisfy the fanatic GOP Jihadists who make up the crazy rightwing of the Republican Party, or chose a running mate who appeals to the growing base of mainstream centrists, many of whom voted for Clinton. Her base is the key to the November elections,w hen all the issues are set aside.

President Bush has destroyed the Middle East and chances for peace, and his war in Iraq is destroying the American economy. It's the economy, though, that can be salvaged and the War in Iraq that must be abandoned immediately.

Ray Hanania

Friday, June 6, 2008

Zalewski's son gets the nod for 21st State Representative

As we reported exclusively last week, Michael J. Zalewski got the nod to replace retiring State Rep. Bob Molaro in the 21st District. Zalewski's father is 23rd Ward Alderman and Democratic Committeeman.

Some of the media have their panties in a bunch, as I predicted. In particular, one columnist, a novice little lady who likes to look down on others from her perch. The columnist likes to take cheap shots, at others. As she always does. No problem. That's the way she writes. She writes for a great newspaper, by the way, my former alma mater. And she took at a shot at me, which I expected. Yes. I beat her out of several Society of Professional Journalism Lisagor Awards. I have won three (3) -- two in the last five years. (And, named Best Ethnic American Columist in America by the New America Media). And THAT makes me a bit more "credible" than she ... :)

But, even without the awards, I am a better writer.

The bottom line is Michael J. was named as a successor. Molaro resigned properly. But because he didn't call her, she is in a little snit. Slamming Molaro and Zalewski. Typical media hypocrites. They love to bash the politicians, but rarely every take on their own industry any more -- except when they are trying to deprecate rival newspaper columnists (with more credible journalism awards, anyway).

As I wrote in my column, Zalewski didn't sneak anything by the taxpayers or the voters. He announced in publicly and a week before the public meeting of the committeemen from the 21st District. Reporters who cover the 21st District were well aware of it, even if the other little lady was not. And as I also reported, Zalewski has to run in the November election. So in otherwords, although the little columnist with the out-of-joint nose doesn't get to tell the people of the 21st District who will represent them, the voters do get a choice. And they get repeated choices, too, when Zalewski runs for re-election.

The only person who needs a pacifier isn't Zalewski, as the little lady wrote. She does.

Waaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaa!

Ray Hanania

Darvin TV commercial lame

The Lame Commercial of the Year has to go to Orland Park's Darvin Furniture. A guy who looks like Rahm Emanuel -- you wouldn't know him, he's a congressman for the far north suburbs -- gets up and acts like a "Secretary of Something" at a Presidential press conference. And he takes questions about the government stimulus checks and why they should be spent at Darvin.

Oh yea. That's a smart thing to do. With the economy tanking because of the failed policies of our real President, George W. Bush, spend your extra cash by buying new furniture form Darvin in Orland Park. Instead of being smart and paying down credit card debt.

The commercial wasn't even creative. You couldn't understand the questions. Can it! It's embarassing.

Now, the furniture store that does have creative smarts is Walter E. Smithe Furtniture. They know how to make a commercial. And they're just down the street from Darvin.

Ray Hanania

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Storms hammer Orland Park and southwest suburbs

At first, I thought there was something wrong with my cable again. Comcast Cable TV is plagued with delays, signal breaks and freezing ... Wednesday night, the digital display where the time and channel show was replace dby the letters "EAS" ... at first, I was't sure what was going on because my sona nd I were playing the Wii System on the TV. The digital box displayed the "EAS," and returned to the Time and then displayed the "EAS" again.

As the sky really got dark outside, I figured maybe EAS wasn't just some scramble on the Comcast system, but a warning. "Emergency Alert System" I figured out later. Duuh!

As it turns out, the Alerts were not really for Orland Park, but for Northern Indiana and far south suburban counties where tornadoes were being predicted.

But overnight, the thunder and lightning lit up the Orland sky. The flashing blasts of lightening was right over our community. It was so loud it woke everyone in the house. The dog is so afraid of thunder that he hides under a pillow, but just can't find security anywhere.

Lightening doesn't strike twice in the same place but it did in the same town. Two homes were struck by lightning, with one home reporting their chimney had been blown off the house and tossed throughout the yard.

Some trees were damaged and even the water system seemed tested for a while. But all is reported well today.

Here's a link to a WMAQ TV news Report:

Ray Hanania

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Don't rule out Hillary Clinton so quickly

I want change as much as anyone else, but despite Barack Obama's lead in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, he's still only in the stretch with a slightly better lead than Hillary Clinton.

Neither candidate has secured the locked delegates to win the nomination, and the popular vote has been frighteningly split almost equally in half. I think the enthusiasm to end this contest contradicts the primary season itself which has dragged on more than six months since Jan. 3 in Iowa.

The Democratic convention is not until August, more than two months away. That's where we will know or not know the real intent of the so-called "Super" delegates. The term "super" delegates is a phrase coined to described the gaggle of insiders who have been given "unpledged" delegate positions. They can change their minds and support any candidate they want, crossing back and forth from one candidate to another as often as they want.

What that means is that Obama does lead in pledged delegates and allegedly in unpledged delegates, but the reality of those unpledged delegates does not become final until the convention.

So why rush it? Why circumvent the very Democratic process we embrace and try to use numbers, and statistics that can be twisted in many ways to come up with many answers? Why not celebrate the power of the Democratic Party having two powerful and charismatic leaders, Obama and Clinton, and allow that leadership now to move towards the convention where the pledged delegates MUST cast their vote for the candidate they have been assigned to by the will of the American voters, and unpledged delegates can still weigh the real challenge: who is the best candidate to win the nomination and defeat Republican John McCain.

McCain is not a real choice for most Democrats who voted in the heated Obama-Clinton fracass. But, Hillary Clinton remains a real choice for nearly 50 percent of the Democrats who voted. Are we that sure that Obama can blow the doors off McCain in November that we can afford to tell those Americans who supported Clinton that their intentions are basically dimpled chads that can discarded, too?

I say slow down. I say take pause. I say build the Democratic Party and don't allow it to be torn down as we move towards the Democratic Convention. This race is still close and if Hillary Clinton does not drop out -- a right she has and has earned through a phenomenal performance that so closely matches Obama's own campaign showing -- we should work with both.

The Dream Ticket of Obama and Clinton is one that would be powerful. In fact, that is what Democratic voters have said very clearly as we turn the corner to the final stretch into the Democratic Convention. Let's not turn Denver into Chicago by ignoring the feelings of so many.

Ray Hanania

Don't rule Hillary Clinton out so fast

I want change as much as anyone else, but despite Barack Obama's lead in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, he's still only in the stretch with a slightly better lead than Hillary Clinton.

Neither candidate has secured the locked delegates to win the nomination, and the popular vote has been frighteningly split almost equally in half. I think the enthusiasm to end this contest contradicts the primary season itself which has dragged on more than six months since Jan. 3 in Iowa.

The Democratic convention is not until August, more than two months away. That's where we will know or not know the real intent of the so-called "Super" delegates. The term "super" delegates is a phrase coined to described the gaggle of insiders who have been given "unpledged" delegate positions. They can change their minds and support any candidate they want, crossing back and forth from one candidate to another as often as they want.

What that means is that Obama does lead in pledged delegates and allegedly in unpledged delegates, but the reality of those unpledged delegates does not become final until the convention.

So why rush it? Why circumvent the very Democratic process we embrace and try to use numbers, and statistics that can be twisted in many ways to come up with many answers? Why not celebrate the power of the Democratic Party having two powerful and charismatic leaders, Obama and Clinton, and allow that leadership now to move towards the convention where the pledged delegates MUST cast their vote for the candidate they have been assigned to by the will of the American voters, and unpledged delegates can still weigh the real challenge: who is the best candidate to win the nomination and defeat Republican John McCain.

McCain is not a real choice for most Democrats who voted in the heated Obama-Clinton fracass. But, Hillary Clinton remains a real choice for nearly 50 percent of the Democrats who voted. Are we that sure that Obama can blow the doors off McCain in November that we can afford to tell those Americans who supported Clinton that their intentions are basically dimpled chads that can discarded, too?

I say slow down. I say take pause. I say build the Democratic Party and don't allow it to be torn down as we move towards the Democratic Convention. This race is still close and if Hillary Clinton does not drop out -- a right she has and has earned through a phenomenal performance that so closely matches Obama's own campaign showing -- we should work with both.

The Dream Ticket of Obama and Clinton is one that would be powerful. In fact, that is what Democratic voters have said very clearly as we turn the corner to the final stretch into the Democratic Convention. Let's not turn Denver into Chicago by ignoring the feelings of so many.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Forecloser advice for homeowners


Lombard, IL – June 3, 2008 – As Americans continue to see the economy fall, they also see foreclosure rates rise across the nation. According to, Illinois ranks as the 14th highest state with foreclosures. Consumers can sometimes prevent foreclosure on their home before it happens. The non-profit Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals (IAMP) and the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals Educational Foundation (IAMPEF) offer tips for troubled homeowners to consider.

Consumers should be aware of how a foreclosure will have an impact on their credit report. Foreclosure is a negative mark that is hard to erase from your credit history. However, there are steps you can take to avoid the loss of your home. Communication with your mortgage broker or lender will help you navigate through the troubled waters of foreclosure before and after you find yourself facing such a situation. Consumer tips provided by the IAMP and IAMPEF are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

Before You Miss a Payment:
· Take out a loan product that makes sense for your individual financial circumstances, and ask your mortgage professional whether an adjustable or fixed rate is best for you.
· Know how much you can afford for a house payment and don’t be talked into more. Mortgage loan applications only take into consideration monthly obligations on your credit report and child support or alimony. Many times, child care expenses, private or college tuition can take up much more of your disposable income than you have left after you commit to a mortgage payment based solely on what your mortgage professional considers. Look at your budget and make sure you can fully afford your new mortgage payments along with your other monthly obligations.
· After you close and move into your house, manage new expenses and purchases very carefully. It takes money homeowners don’t usually put into their budgets to maintain a home. Many new homeowners over extend themselves after they close on their new home which can put them into a financial bind and cause foreclosure.

· Make sure that after you make your mortgage payment each month there is enough money to cover your other expenses as well as put money into a reserve emergency account
· Use the equity in your house in a careful and a sensible manner; for example don’t use money from a line of credit to go on vacation

After You Miss a Payment:
· As soon as you know you are going to miss your first mortgage payment, contact your lender
· If you obtained your loan through a mortgage broker, ask your broker for guidance on the situation
· Cut out any unnecessary expenses and try to trim your budget where you can
· Don’t make any large purchases
· Be aware of “rescue” offers, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
· Don’t sign any documents before they are thoroughly read and reviewed or if they contain blank spaces
· Work with your lender to determine if selling your house is an option or if there are any other options they can offer to improve your circumstance
· Talk to as many people at the lending institution that you need to in order to find someone that will help you. Write down names and departments.
In spite of your best efforts to bring your mortgage current, sometimes temporary financial setbacks occur. Rather than foreclose, most lenders would rather work out a solution with you. Foreclosure workout plans depend on several factors. Becoming familiar with all your financial options places you in a stronger position when dealing with your lender. Most lenders administer the following specific plans:
· FHA Special Forbearance (SFB): a written re-payment agreement between a lender and a borrower, which contains a plan to reinstate an asset that is a minimum of three mortgage payments due and unpaid.

· Loan Modification: one or more of the terms of the loan are changed to bring the delinquent mortgage current.

· Pre-foreclosure Sale: the proceeds of a sale are accepted as full satisfaction for the mortgage obligation even if it is less than the mortgage balance.

· Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure: the borrower voluntarily deeds the property to the lender to avoid foreclosure.

· Repayment Plan: a formal re-payment plan that may include special forbearance and is structured allows the consumer to repay delinquent installments and/or payment advances to bring the mortgage current.

· Assumption: an enforceable "due-on-sale" clause, which is waived to allow a qualified buyer to assume the mortgage of a delinquent borrower.

· Special Circumstances: these are special situations involving natural disasters and bankruptcy where an agreement can be worked out with the lender and the borrower.

· Special payment arrangements: there can be special agreements made in order to allow the borrower to “catch-up” by stretching payments over a set period of time or allowing extra time to make payments on the delinquent amount.

· Interest only payments: a lender or servicer can agree to take interest only payments by waiving the requirement for principal over a period of time to assist the borrower.

· “Short” sale: the lender takes less than what is legally owed, reducing the payoff balance to the agreed upon amount, in order to allow refinancing or sale.

All the above listed items need to be agreed upon by your servicer or lender in writing. Do not hesitate to communicate and seek alternatives if you want to keep your home.

Please understand that the lender does not want your house and will try to work with you. The first thing you need to do after you have received a foreclosure notice, or a Lis Pendens, in writing is to respond immediately. Consumers usually have 20 to 30 calendar days to respond. These 20 to 30 calendar days begin from the date you were served the Lis Pendens notice.
It is also advised that you attend the hearing. The judge will listen to your side. If you don't attend, a sale date will be set for approximately 20 days after the hearing date. If you do attend the hearing, you may be able to get up to 60 days to work out a resolution.
For more information, or to find a mortgage professional in your area, visit the consumer information page on the IAMP web site at


PRESS RELEASE: Flag Day Press Release from American Legion

Legion Flag Experts Available for Interviews as Flag Day Approaches


National American Legion experts on the U.S. Flag Code, flag etiquette
Available to discuss proper methods to display flag; why flag protection is important

Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 13. Available live between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (EDT) or taping by phone. To book a spokesperson, call Kara Albert at (317) 630-1253 today.
Flag Day is Saturday, June 14. Where:

National Headquarters of The American Legion in Indianapolis, IN. Background: Founded in Paris, France, in 1919 by a group of World War I veterans, the 2.7 million member American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans organization.


The American Legion is recognized as the preeminent expert source of information on the U.S. Flag Code. It publishes and distributes the pamphlet, “Let’s be Right on Flag Etiquette,” a comprehensive guide on how to properly display the U.S. Flag under all conditions. Additionally, the Legion awards flag appreciation certificates to honor those individuals, organizations and businesses that display the Flag on a daily basis. A number of youth-oriented comic books relate the history, significance and proper treatment of the United States Flag. The DVD, “For Which It Stands,” provides U.S. Flag etiquette training for America’s classrooms. Information on the proper display of the flag can be found at The American Legion Internet website:

Rekindled the tradition of the Blue Star Service Banner to recognize and honor our Armed Forces and their families during this war on terrorism.

Established the Blue Star Service Flag (Government and Corporate) to enable municipalities and businesses to fly a flag recognizing their employees in the National Guard and Reserves who have been called to active duty in the war against terrorism.

Founded the Citizens Flag Alliance, a group of over 140 civic, fraternal and veterans organizations with one purpose: restore the right to protect Old Glory from acts of physical desecration to the people through a constitution amendment.

Media Contact: Kara Albert (317) 630-1253.

Kara Albert

Boys Nation Media Representative
National Headquarters of The American Legion
P.O. Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Office Phone: 317.630.1255
Cell Phone: 309.826.0586
Fax: 317.630.1368

Chicago's Olympics and Orland Park

Mayor Dan McLaughlin said Monday he pushed through a resolution endorsing the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid because "... what's good for Chicago is good for the suburbs."

That would come as a shock to most people living in the suburbs, including in Orland Park. Many suburbanites moved from Chicago to get away from the city's corrupt political system, seeking freedom in much the way as our immigrant ancestors once fled the persecution, corruption and repression of their countries to settle in America.

No, Chicago's interests are NOT Orland Park's interests, unless of course, you work for a union that has much at stake with Chicago politics.

But jeez, if you criticize Hizzonner "da Mayor" -- I'm not talking about Mayor Daley but Mayor McLaughlin -- he get's his royal monarchy feathers in a ruffle. McLaughlin's idea of "serving the public" is to serve those who are loyal to him. If you are a voter who doesn't agree with his policies, then he ostracizes you.

I've been there with da Mayor. We've had our differences. he didn't mind soliciting my support when he was first running as an officeholder in Orland Park ... but once in office, turned and got sour.

Now, without any public discussion, the Orland Park village board approves a resolution endorsing the Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics.

Great. What do the Southwest Suburbs really get from the 2016 Olympics. As a reporter, I've spent a lot of time pouring through the proposals and the fact is the Southwest SUburbs get nothing. Zilch! Nada! The South Side of Chicago gets a lot. Daley is smart. He is using the Olympics as a plan to rebuild and revitalize the depressed South Side of the city, which has needed help for years. Even the South Suburbs -- which are NOT the same as the Southwest Suburbs -- get programs and benefits. Which is why the South Suburban Mayors Association has endorsed the plan.

Orland Park is NOT a rubber stamp for Chicago. We should be always defending the rights and needs of Orland Park First! We should be transparent about our conflicts of interest and insure that when our elected officials act they are acting in our interests and not the interests of others where they may work.

Some elected officials will get angry at this as they always do. It's their only response to demands that they be accountable.

But leadership means that they must be accountable to the people of Orland Park. And accountability means answering the tough questions and TAKING THE CRITICISM, which does not come often enough in Orland Park, where some of our officials seem to reign like monarchs and royalty.

Ray Hanania

Monday, June 2, 2008

Orland Lions get their dander up over criticism of Orland Days Parade

I went to the Orland Days Parade this past week, but decided not to go to the Orland Days festival. The fact is the past three years of Orland Days have been a real disappointment. They just haven't been the same as they were in past years where the quality of the events seemed to far better. That doesn't mean the volunteers who work hard each year with no pay do not deserve credit for their efforts. But it does mean that something has been wrong and recognizing that wrong should be as important as patting yourself on the back.

So, I wrote about my feelings about Orland Days and the parade for the TribLocal, which has a popular segment called "Citizen Journalism." I expressed my admiration for the efforts of the Lions volunteers -- they are all volunteers, but also expressing my feelings that the quality just hasn't been the same.

Dave Neubauer, President of the Orland Park Lions Club which hosts and organizes the event, wasn't too happy about the criticism. They always love the praise but some just hate to be held to the standard of accountability.

But Neubauer made some good points. The volunteers worked hard to make the festival as good as it was. Maybe I will bring my family back to it next year -- we've attended everyone except this year, intentionally because last year's just wasn't that great at all. That's my opinion, but, it must be one shared by many Orland Park residents because I just didn't see that many at the Parade.

Now, the fact is I made some legitimate criticism that Neubauer either doesn't want to hear or he just doesn't agree with:

1 -- turnout at the parade was low. Why?

2 -- the past few years of Orland Days have been terrible, among the worst of any prior year.

3 -- It could have been a lot better.

4 -- With the economy tanking, it just didn't seem like a place where I wanted to spend my money.

I will say that Neubauer may be too sensitive to criticism, but he is a volunteer trying to do good. My suggestions to him include: doing a better job of public relations. Bring some volunteers in to help you do a better PR Campaign. Second, if this year was better than past years, you can't say it was the best and not acknowledge the poor performances of the past. Say that the past years haven't beebn the best but that the Lions are trying to do better. I think in fairness to Neubauer I should say he deserves applause and credit for doing what he can. At least he has his eyes on the priority, making it better and achieving the goals of the Lions organizations, which is one of the nation's best community service groups.

One of the things that everyone should keep in mind is is that good leaders are not people who pat themselves on the back. Good leaders are individuals like him who demonstrate that they are "accountable" to the publics they claim to serve by accepting both praise and criticism. Criticism is not destructive but rather a necessity to help make public good even better.

Dave Neubauer and the Lions Club deserve a lot of praise for what they have done for Orland Days ... I know they will make it better next year.

Ray Hanania

Lane Bryant suspect still on the loose

Tinley Park police continue to hunt for the killer of five women at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park on Feb. 2, 2008. One woman, a sixth victim, survived the murder spree and provided this composite description of the suspect.

Tinley Park has set up a telephone tip line:


and an email tipline

The web page of the Tinley Park Police Department is

Contact police if you know anything about this suspect.

# # #

Village of Orland Park should start broadcasting its village board meetings on Cable TV

I think the village of Orland Park should start broadcasting its board meetings on Comcast Cable TV. Right now, the village has a municipal channel that is more or less a self-promotional vehicle for the village board members and its Mayor Dan McLaughlin.

The people of Orland Park deserve more accountability.

Go to our chat board and share your thoughts.

Ray Hanania

BREAKING NEWS: Orland Park swimmers flee pool in squeamish panic

BREAKING NEWS: Orland Park swimmers flee pool in squeamish panic
By Ray Hanania

(Orland Park, Sunday June 1, 2008) – Swimmers enjoying the first real summer-like Sunday rushed out of the waters of Orland Park’s Centennial pool in a panic Sunday after what appeared to be an attack of “Baby Ruths.”

No injuries were reported, but the Orland Park pool was evacuated immediately.

Witnesses said that around 4:48 PM, as the Ed and Patsy Bruce Country music favorite “Mama Don’t Let Your Children Grow up to be Cowboys” was playing on the pool intercom system, a swimmer saw the shadow of the frightening image floating around in the “children’s section.”

Orland Park lifeguards acted quickly and ordered swimmers to flee the pool as other lifeguards braving the shocked gasps of nearby swimmers, cordoned off the section of water with chaise lounge chairs.

One witness said she was in shock. “This doesn’t happen in our neighborhood? My gosh!”
Another witness told this reporter, “Why do they have to call them Baby Ruths? I like Baby Ruths. Why can’t they call them Clark Bars? I don’t like Clark Bars.”

In fact, many witnesses stared at the cordoned off section of the pool in disbelief. “I’ve been through many evacuations at the pool. A lightening warning. They have a light for that. Thunder storm warnings. They use the same light. We’ve never had a Hurricane or Cyclone alert. Why no special alarm for Baby Ruth sightings?”

The pool was immediately evacuated of all its swimmers and closed for the remainder of the evening. “Baby Ruth” counselors were reportedly called in and made available to any families who might have suffered shock. It was even rumored that pamphlets were distributed that listed Comcast Cable TV showings of Harold Ramis’ 1980 movie “Caddyshack” as a part of the post-traumatic shock information campaign.

People who looked like pool officials said, “Baby Ruth attacks happen occasionally. This is the first one this season.”

According to other sources, “Baby Ruth” attacks happen quite often.

“I remember back in 2000 odd 2, we had a string of attacks,” one elderly swimmer with his swimsuit drooping down his backside remarked.

Health officials say pool operators have only one choice when a “BR” attack occurs: “Close the pool, period!”

No one was available from Orland Township to provide health guidance.

The Orland Park Centennial pool combines the baby swimming area with the adult swimming area in a “zero depth” setting. It was expected to be cleaned, sanitized and refilled with fresh water and readied for re-opening Monday morning.

In other news, the pool raised its fee for non-residents and non-season pass holders to $12 per day. Residents without a season pass pay $6 per day or $3 after 5 PM.