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Shnay: Catching up, and a reminder about why you should vote

Updated: September 26, 2013 6:17AM



This week, some notes from the “Bottom of the Pile.”

Even our friend Burt, who sometimes grumbles about the timing of stoplights on Orchard Drive, is pleased to discover that there is a good side to the wait for the light to change from red to green. At least now he can read the street signs.

It wasn’t always thus, and it’s not that way on all streets in Park Forest, but Orchard Drive, as well as Sauk Trail, is an exception to the “guess” rule for visitors to our community. That’s “guess” as in “I guess this is the street, but I can’t read the sign.”

Because there was some money from Springfield in the bucket when Sauk Trail was reconditioned a few years ago, Cook County was able to install bigger street signs.

When Orchard Drive was repaired last year, as part of the financing Washington chipped in with money to replace old signs. You can send your thank-you note (along with your check) to Uncle Sam next April 15.

Blackhawk Drive was repaved this year, but according to the village’s public works department, the financing was such that no new street signs were available.

We were told that at one time our friends in Springfield insisted that all old, weather-beaten or misaligned street signs throughout Illinois must be replaced within the next four years. Since then, the deadline has been pushed back.

The way things are these days with the Legislature, failure to do something is par for the course.

Mark of time

This Wednesday, Mark Greenburg, of Richton Park, celebrates his 96th birthday.

“It will be just another day for me,” he said. “I’ll have to go to work as usual. They’ll probably have a cake for me, but I really don’t care for all that.”

Work?

For nearly 24 years, Greenburg has been a full-time employee at Wal-Mart, putting in 35 hours a week, week after week. He started working for the company in Florida in 1990 and continued when he moved back to the Chicago area in 1997.

Greenburg said he’s not even the giant retailer’s oldest employee.

“I was told there is a 106-year-old woman in the company’s main offices in Arkansas, and there is a 103-year-old Wal-Mart worker in Milwaukee,” he said.

Any birthday celebration will be at a south suburban restaurant, where, in celebration of his 96th birthday, he will get a 96 percent discount on his meal, he said.

The question was asked whether the establishment will refund him 1 percent of the cost of the meal when he reaches his 101st birthday.

“I asked them once what they would do for a 100th birthday,” Greenburg said. “I was told they’ve never had one. I guess we’ll have to see, won’t we. I’ll let you know.”

Rich East redux

Our column about the potential closing of Rich East High School, and the effort by Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg to keep that from happening drew more comments than anything else we’ve written in the last five years.

Almost all the personal responses sided with the mayor. A few told me they’ve heard rumors about such a move in the past, but because the school kept its doors open little attention was paid.

One or two of those commenting wondered why Park Forest doesn’t have more of a voice on the Rich Township High School District 227 Board.

Well, folks, it’s like this. The school board is elected and its members run at large, meaning there’s no requirement that a town has a certain number of residents on the board.

You want your voice heard? You have a chance.

What’s that? You did not vote because you did not know the candidates, and you had no idea about the issues?

That’s OK, someone else showed up at the poll and essentially took your vote. How does that feel?



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