Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Orland Fire Protection District responded to a fire reported in a home located on the 108th block of West Scarlet Drive in Orland Park early Wednesday morning.
The fire was reported at about 2:46 am on Wednesday July 29, 2015 and initial arriving fire companies found heavy fire had spread through the attic and roof areas of the 5,000 square foot residential home. Firefighters reported that heat radiating from the blaze was extensive.
OFPD Chief Ken Brucki said that firefighters immediately went into a defensive position to get the fire under control preventing any injuries.
“This fire had a tremendous amount of heat and it concerned us,” Brucki said. “We were concerned about structures around the property and took appropriate precautions to keep nearby properties safe.”
Brucki said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
“Crews were able to conduct a rapid primary search to confirm there were no occupants in the property at the time, and we were able to verify that the family was vacationing,” Brucki said.
The alarm was elevated to a full still to bring in additional companies. A total of two aerial master streams and five large diameter hand-lines were required to extinguish the fire.
The structure suffered major fire damage to the entire roof and extensive damage to the interior of the structure from fire, smoke, and water.
It took approximately an hour to bring the fire under control.
Brucki said one possible cause of the fire may be lightning noting “there was a tremendous amount of lightning in the area at approximately the same time of the fire.”
Brucki also said that the fire department was able to deploy a drone to assist in quickly identifying the fire location on the home.
“It was a very large home and the drone helped give us an immediate, aerial view of the property and the fire,” Brucki said. “The aerial view assisted the Battalion Chief to direct suppression efforts to bring the fire under control.”
Drone Video Link
Drone still Pic’s Links
Village of Orland Park to Host 12th Annual Taste of Orland Park - July 31 to August 2, 2015
A Village of Orland Park summer favorite, the Taste of Orland Park, will return July 31 to August 2, 2015 at the Orland Park Village Center, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue.
Now in its twelfth year, the Taste of Orland Park showcases Orland Park eateries, community organizations, event sponsors, and offers a number of activities, including Kids’ Day, a car show and live entertainment on two stages.
The Taste of Orland Park will be held Friday, July 31 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, August 1 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, August 2 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission and parking are free with participating restaurants selling tastes of signature dishes at individual food booths.
“We look forward to the Taste of Orland Park every year,” said Mayor Dan McLaughlin. “It is a summer favorite for everyone and this year will be no exception. This is a great way to learn more about and taste the different dishes from Orland Park restaurants, learn about our wonderful community groups and enjoy a great entertainment-filled weekend,” the mayor said.
Participating Orland Park eateries include 94 West Grille and Tavern, Beggars Pizza, Blissful Banana Café, The Brass Tap, Café Gaston, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, El Famous Burrito, El Pueblito, Granite City Food & Brewery, Mo’s Chinese Kitchen, Oberweis Dairy, Orland Park Bakery, Palermo’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant, Q Restaurant, Riviera Country Club, RoccoVino’s Italian Restaurant, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Square Celt Ale House and Grill, and Wooden Paddle Pizza.
A number of food items food items will be sold including, fried goat cheese and gluten free gelato from Wooden Paddle Pizza and fish and chips and candied beer bacon from Square Celt Ale House and Grill. Select restaurants are alcohol vendors with soft drinks and water being available for purchase from all participating restaurants.
“There are so many great things about the Taste of Orland Park,” said Trustee Patricia Gira, chair of the village’s Recreation and Parks Committee. “The food, the activities, the people and the entertainment, among other things, are what make it such a great weekend for everyone to enjoy.”
A variety of musical talents will perform on two stages throughout the weekend. The main stage will have Nick Lynch of American Idol and Trippin’ Billies perform on Friday, July 31, Dr. Rock, The Chicago Kingsnakes and 7th Heaven perform on Saturday, August 1 and The Lowdown Brass Band, Tumbling Dice and American English perform on Sunday, August 2.
Kid’s Day will be held at the adjacent John Humphrey Sports Complex Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A number of free games, activities and programs will be held for kids of all ages. The Annual Taste of Orland Park Car Show will be held at the Humphrey Complex on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Orland Park’s Got Talent live finals will be held on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Stage.
The Orland Park Lions Club will host Bingo inside the Civic Center on Saturday and the Orland Park Kiwanis Club will do the same on Sunday, with both events starting at 1 p.m.
Taste of Orland Park sponsors include The University of Chicago Medicine, The Orland Park Prairie, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., Mercedes Benz of Orland Park, JamesHardie, Brannigan Chiropractic Center, Bear Home Improvements, Inc., ComEd, Illinois Energy Windows & Siding, Inc., Saint Xavier University, Moraine Valley Community College and Xfinity.
For more information, visit the Taste page on the village's website or call the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department at 708/403-7275.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Gorman leaves Cook County office at top of her public service
Popular Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman shocked the public Wednesday when she resigned her county board seat to take a position with a major Fortune 100 Chicago corporation as director of Government Affairs. The District’s GOP Committeemen will meet to select a successor but the leading candidate is Gorman’s closest political ally, Palos Township Committeeman Sean Morrison. Gorman’s announcement came after announcing she would not criticize but could not support Preckwinkle’s 1 Percent Sales Tax increase, which passed 9 of 17 votes
By Ray Hanania
Here are Gorman’s prepared remarks that she presented to the Cook County Board this morning:
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Support the Orland Par LibraryThey have been targeted by out-of-town extremists who want to impose their views on the library and the Orland Park community.
The critics exaggerated claims about pornography cost the taxpayers a lot of wasted money. If they want to change this country's and state's laws regarding censorship and free speech, they should take their fight to the State and the Federal Government and change the laws. But they can't, so the critics bully people.
Keep up the GREAT WORK Orland Park Library. The MAJORITY of Orland residents support what you are doing and recognize the extremists for what they really are.
LIKE the Orland Park Library today https://www.facebook.com/orlandparklibrary
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Q Restaurant in Orland Park offers a unique dining experience
By Ray HananiaQ Restaurant in Orland Park is a new Asian fusion that offers a mix of Vietnamese and French cuisine. The design of the restaurant's dining room is very impressive and the food is even better. It not only offers a phenomenal menu of meal selections and appetizers, it also offers Martinis of all sorts.
The service was attentive but not annoying. The waiter was very professional and courteous.
We ordered Shrimp rolls with bacon, mozzarella, and sriracha pineapple sauce. Sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt and is named after the city of Si Racha in Thailand.
It was great.
I ordered a bowl of Noodle Soup which was so good I could have just had that for the luncheon meal. It was packed with tasty chicken and a variety of Asian veggies. It also comes with Tofu instead of chicken.
Our dinner consisted of two plates from the dinner menu, which the restaurant offers as an option during lunch. I had the lobster and shrimp dinner and Alison had Seafood Lover which offers an assortment of blue sea scallop, shrimp, crab meat, calamari, crunchy noodle, herbal brandy red curry sauce.
I also tasted the coconut Martini. It tasted so nice. I'm not a big Martini drinker, but I did sip it during the meal.
The dining room really set the stage for a great dinner. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you are impressed. It reflects that kind of colonial Vietnamese culture that was common prior to the devastating war of the 1960s. It was so enjoyable. And perfect.
11379 West 159th Street
Orland Park, IL., 60462
They also offer live music performances on specific dates. Check with the restaurant. Click here for their Facebook Page.
Enjoy these photos of the restaurant and the meal.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the managing editor of The Arab Daily News www.TheArabDailyNews.com and Illinois News Network online www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Saturday's are always rough, especially with disrespectful people
By Ray Hanania
|Norman Wait Harris (N.W. Harris) founder and president of N.W. Harris & Co., Harris Trust & Savings Bank (later Harris Bank) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
But once that's over, and I make breakfast for the family, it's out and about to do my rounds which consists of certain very specific things. Post Office. Then the Bank. Then maybe Best Buy to just browse the computer equipment and new movies. I don't buy movies there. I buy them online at Apple and watch them on Apple TV.
Yet, it's at both the Post Office and the bank where I always have the same hassles. And it's all because of inconsiderate people.
Take the post office at 150th and LaGrange Road in Orland Park. It has a huge parking lot. There's rarely a problem finding parking, although on Saturday when everyone is bumper-to-bumper on LaGrange Road, parking can be tight.
But tight or not, there are always a bunch of morons who just don't want to park. They can't wait. They need to jump in front of the line, push you aside, make your life inconvenient so they can save a few seconds. So, they park their big assed Vans and Trucks along the Yellow Painted curb -- that means NO PARKING, and then step inside the U.S. Post Office to mail their letters and even wait in line to buy stamps or ask stupid questions.
And you what I have noticed, the people who park along the curb illegally in front of the Post Office causing traffic jams in the parking lot and creating dangerous encounters with cars trying to squeeze past their fat ugly trucks and vans and big boats (Do people really still drive 1990s Cadillacs?)
Those people should be ticketed. They should be punished. Why not put a Police Traffic Camera there and start recording license plates of cars that pull up and wait for 10s of minutes along the curb, creating parking lot havoc?
I can support that kind of Police Traffic Camera.
And once I check the mail, drop off some mail going out -- yes, I still like to mail bills using the U.S. Post Office and stamps -- I am off to Harris Bank. BMO, they call it. Some British company bought them up just like a British company bought up Amoco. Is anything American any more?
My favorite bank stop is at 143rd and 82nd Avenue. That Harris Bank Branch, at 8150 W. 143rd Street, is phenomenal. They have the best employees. They are all so polite. Considerate. They just want to help. And you can never be a hassle for them no matter what you ask. Deposit this. Withdraw this. Can you give me $300 in all fives?
Not a problem. They're all women, too, by the way and everyone of them is super polite.
You could turn that place into a coffee shop and I'd hang out there the employees are so courteous. GIVE THOSE PEOPLE A RAISE, please.
And then I drive by the coin store at the other end of Orland Park, at 159th just west of Harlem to check out some old coins. I love coins. My son loves coins. And when I'm done, I drive to the Harris Bank at 8400 West 159th Street. I think this is one of BMO's "main" banks.
So I walk in and the two ladies are chatting with each other. Loudly. Or maybe they just have loud voices. So I get in the line area. I'm the only one there. And I stop at the line and wait for one of them to say "Can I help you?"
Should I be rude and just push my way to the counter if no one is there? No. I wait until I am asked to come to the counter. I'm a glutton for punishment.
One of them finally says tells me to step up to the counter. But it's not polite. And I ask the question that must have just ruined her day.
"Can I buy some rolls of coins. JFK Half Dollars? Gold Dollars?"
The woman looked at me like I was an alien, with that sour puss look that people with bad attitudes always seem to have. I could almost see her head doing that swivel thing of "You want what?"
And she looks at me like I'm nuts.
"Rolls of coins" I repeat. I collect them. I'm about to tell her I'm not just some bum off the street. I have several accounts at this foreign-owned Bee-Mo bank. But before I can assure her I am a customer lady, not some riff-raff off the street.
She blurts out rudely, "We don't have any rolls. No. We don't."
I look at her like, maybe I should explain exactly what a freaking bank does. This is a Bank, isn't it? I start thinking. And before I can blurt out the declarative question, she turns to her chat-buddy and says, "We don't have rolls of coins, do we?"
Oh, now you're basically saying you really don't know if you have rolls of coins and have to ask the other mean-faced lady at the other clerk window. What? For support?
"I didn't order any. I don't get a lot of customers who ask for them," the other mean-faced lady says.
Oh I'm sorry. Did the bank make you work through lunch or something. Taking out your anger on me? Is that a Canadian thing just because we can't get over the fact that Canada became a refuge for pot-smoking draft dodgers back in the 1960s? More than 50 years ago? You keep a grudge that long? The Bank of Montreal (BMO) hasn't owned you that long, I want to scream. They just bought you a few years ago and this is what they did to my neighborhood bank?
BMO Harris Bank needs to clean house at 159th Street. Those employees should see what it's like in the unemployment line. And as for the employees at 151st and 52nd Avenue in orland Park, those employees should be given a pay raise and promotions. They should be running both branches. If they did, I wouldn't get attitude with my bank statement.
You can take that to the bank!
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at email@example.com.)
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor’s criticism of fighting drug abuse
Orland Fire District rebuffs criticism from Orland Park Mayor McLaughlin and urges government agencies to work together to fight rising drug use
The Orland Fire Prevention District is puzzled and surprised that Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin would criticize the Fire District for hosting a program to raise awareness among parents about drug and substance abuse in the suburban region.
The program was held on Tuesday night (July 15) and has been hosted annually for the past four years. It was widely publicized, showcasing student role models and parents whose children and families have experienced the tragedy of drugs and substance abuse.
McLaughlin issued a press release Friday that falsely accused the Fire District of disseminating “inaccurate information” about drug use. It implies there is no heroin or substance abuse problem in Orland Park or the immediate suburbs and contradicts public statements made only four weeks earlier by Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy.
“We are deeply disappointed McLaughlin would issue his criticism without even contacting us to discuss the issue, or even attending the event which was widely publicized in the media,” Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey said.
“The mayor’s press release was filled with inaccurate and irresponsible statements. I am deeply disappointed when public officials show more concern for their public images rather than for the safety and well-being of our citizens.”
Hickey said the information disseminated at the Fire District’s public meeting was accurate and correctly defined the threat of heroin and substance abuse as serious concerns that must be addressed by an educated community.
“It would be shameful to believe public officials would bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no drug abuse problem in our region. The data shows a frightening increase in heroin and opiate abuse in this region and it needs to be addressed,” Hickey said. “That’s the only conclusion I can make from the mayor’s actions.”
Hickey said McLaughlin overreacted to a newspaper article which may have unfairly characterized the school district as being unresponsive, but the fact is there hasn’t been a concerted effort to address the rising drug problems.
“Drug use isn’t a problem that plagues ‘bad neighborhoods’ or ‘poor communities.’ It’s a problem everywhere and responsible public officials should do everything they can to educate and inform the public. That’s what the Fire District has and will continue to do,” Hickey said.
The Fire District is more than willing to meet with Mayor McLaughlin, Police Supt. McCarthy and officials from the local schools, Hickey said, to work together and develop a unified stand against drug abuse in a more appropriate manner rather than through public criticism from officials who didn’t even attend the meeting.
The Fire District program was not funded by taxpayer dollars and was conducted by volunteers who included three current and former Sandburg students, Michael Schofield, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist Kendall Coyne, and Patrick Brucki a current Sandburg student athlete. The three students reached out to the more than 100 parents and students who attended the two hour long seminar.
Their message was clear: “Drugs are not fun. They are dangerous. And students must resist the temptation to hang around other kinds who are using drugs.”
The meeting included the experiences of two parents whose children were involved in drugs and substance abuse, including the father of a high school senior who died of heroin use. They related how their children made the “wrong choices,” destroying their lives and their families. Tami O’Brien and Brian Kirk represented the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) and The Hero Foundation.
The program, cohosted by In the Blink of an Eye Foundation headed by OFPD Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, was widely publicized for six weeks. It attracted many community leaders including Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello.
The information reflected firsthand data as experienced by emergency medical personnel and first responders from the Fire District.
“Firefighters are oftentimes the first people at the scene of a drug or substance abuse incident. We are called to save their lives,” said Fire Chief Ken Brucki.
“Helping parents understand what is involved and what can be done can help save more lives. That’s why we continue to host this program and will host it again next year.”
Data clearly shows an alarming increase in heroin use in Orland Park, in the Fire District, and in the suburban region.
During the presentation, Brucki said he spoke about drug use among elementary school children “throughout the region,” not specifically or just in School District 135 or with respect to the local schools.
“At no time did we criticize the Village, the Police or the school districts. We noted the drug problem is growing not just in Orland Park but in neighboring suburban communities,” Brucki said.
Brucki cited an article in the local media on Friday July 18th that highlighted the success of the HELPS program started in Will County which has created "a phenomenal downturn in heroin related deaths" and which works to combine efforts from various branches of community leadership.
“We have most recently had a great relationship with the leadership of local school districts, including District 135, on education and prevention and we want that to continue,” Brucki said.
Hickey said that last month, Police Supt. McCarthy told local media that heroin use was a problem. He announced police will carry Narcan (Naxalon) in their vehicles to respond to drug abuse issues. Narcan can reverse the effects of opiate and heroin overdoses.
McCarthy’ was quoted as saying he “first noticed” an increase in heroin use in 2009, noting last year “Orland Park had 13 drug overdoses and six deaths, including five that involved heroin.” This year, McCarthy said, the department has seen eight overdoses and one death.
Hickey said McCarthy’s observations only reinforce the need to bring government officials together to address this growing problem.
Orland Park is only one community in the Orland Fire Protection District, which serves 75,000 residents in 33 square miles, including in Orland Hills and areas of unincorporated Orland Township.
The Fire District released the following incident report which shows a steady increase in heroin and opiate use since 2009. The figures do not include substance abuse incidents where Narcan was not administered.
“The incidents involved patients who displayed extreme drug seizures, were visibly unconscious, or were facing an extreme danger to life, such as experiencing a Heroin or opiate-like overdose,” Hickey said.
2009: administered Narcan 47 times, with 22 positive results.
2010: administered Narcan 49 times, with 23 positive results.
2011: administered Narcan 49 times, with 33 positive results.
2012: administered Narcan 63 times, with 32 positive results.
2013: administered Narcan 59 times, with 30 positive results.
(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)