Monday, December 23, 2013

Orland Park continues reduced property tax rebate program; But maintains the Orland Park sales tax hike of .0075 cents

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Orland Park continues reduced property tax rebate program
But maintains the Orland Park sales tax hike of .0075 cents

Orland Park Taxpayers will take another hit. In 2002, Orland Park increased its sales tax by .75 percent. The intent was to increase revenues from non-residents who came to the Orland Mall to shop.

To protect residents, Mayor McLaughlin explained back then, he would rebate the majority of homeowner village property taxes. It was called the Property Tax Rebate for Sales Tax Increase Program. 

In 2003, the first rebate averaged $240 a household. It was a fair system. In 2008, as the economy worsened, McLaughlin and the village reneged on their promise and reduced the Property Tax Rebate for the Sales Tax Increase Program. 

In 2009, they revoked it completely. Then, as their re-election fortunes started to look bad, they began re-implementing a weakened version of the Sales Tax Rebate program to shore up their vote. 

Last year, they reimplemented it, but at a reduced rate by putting a rebate pool ceiling and then requiring that it be divided up by how many residents actually apply. 

The more that applied, the lower the rebate amount. 

This year, they are offering the limited rebate again, even though the Orland Park .0075 cent Sales Tax (three quarters of a penny tax) remains in full force. This year's average rebate will be even less than last year, the Village is reporting. That's pretty sad. 

Here's some background info:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rauner victory in Cook County gives him the “Big Mo” moving into March GOP Primary battle

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Rauner victory in Cook County gives him the “Big Mo” moving into March GOP Primary battle

Gorman gives Rauner the “Big Mo” in Republican battle for governor

The media is focused on what they say is the “big story,” that the Cook County Republicans finally rallied behind a candidate for governor for the first time in anyone’s memory.

The Cook County GOP overwhelming backed wealthy Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner for Governor in the Republican Primary on March 18, 2014.

But the real story may be about Rauner himself and a critical error on the part of Kirk Dillard, a great candidate who might have become governor four years ago had he been able to defeat Bill Brady, who went on to lose to Pat Quinn.

Rauner may be new to politics, an independently wealthy businessman who has committed his resources to this race. But he showed that he probably knows more about Illinois politics than the so-called veterans like Dillard and even Dan Rutherford.

In seeking to win the backing of the Cook County Republicans, and thus giving himself a public relations victory – perception has a lot to do with victory in Illinois – Rauner was smart enough to approach Cook County Commissioner and Orland Township GOP Committeeman Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman for her support.

It was a strategic move considering that Cook County represents 21 percent of the Republican vote in Illinois. In the 2010 GOP Primary, more than 765,000 Republicans voted with 162,000 of them casting ballots in Cook County.

It was a fatal mistake on Dillard’s part to turn to the North Side Republican extremists for support and not go to Gorman, who backed Dillard so many times in the past.

The Cook County GOP has not endorsed a candidate for governor in years. They didn’t endorse Big Jim Thompson, one of the state’s most successful and popular governors. And they didn’t endorse Mr. Politics himself, George Ryan who threw poor political alliances and choices sent himself to prison for six years on corruption charges, only to be released this year.

But in the battle to defeat Gov. Pat Quinn, whose popularity has soared on the backs of several key issues from his marksmen-like play to push for pension reform and his undying support for Illinois’ military veterans, you have to be especially smart.

Rauner, apparently, is the only one who apparently is thinking ahead.

Dillard had the support of Ruth O’Connell from Wheeling, a well known foe of Gorman and a foe of the equally popular Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka. Dillard put all his eggs in O’Connell’s basket and watched as they all cracked wide open, winning a mere 10.2 percent of the Republican vote at the Cook County GOP meeting.

Rutherford, the Illinois Treasurer who is an amiably and as capable candidate like Dillard, also made a critical mistake by not approaching Gorman for her support. He won 5 percent of the Cook County vote.

Both Dillard and Rutherford made a critical mistake, but more so Dillard. Rauner, with Gorman’s backing and the backing of Committeeman Sean Morrison, won a whopping 63.3 percent of the vote.

It was unprecedented, but may give us a peek into the course of the Republican primary battle in the coming months.

Bill Brady, by the way, who won the Republican primary for governor four years ago, got nothing in Cook County. Brady got “zero” voter support in Cook County, which is the second biggest story to come out of the party leadership vote.

You could only imagine that had Dillard turned to Gorman in Cook County, he not only would have won the Cook County endorsement and would be riding high on the wave of publicity that Rauner is now enjoying. But he would probably have taken the party nomination this time around.

Dillard has always had appeal to moderate Democrats, in much the same way as the late President Ronald Reagan. Many Democrats in Chicagoland, especially in the Southwest region, viewed themselves as “Reagan Democrats.” They voted Democratic locally but Republican nationally. Some of that Republican inclination also helped Republicans win in local regional races in the legislature, too.

But we’ll never probably know, though. Gorman has proven to be one of Illinois’ most popular Republicans over the years because of her fierce allegiance to taxpayers. And Rauner won her support simply by showing respect.

It’s something Rauner will be able to use to empower his campaign, probably giving It a burst of momentum that might be tough to stop as we round the corner to the primary in the next few months.

That’s not to say that Quinn will be an easy candidate to defeat. For Quinn, Rauner’s “Big Mo” might help him keep the conservative Democrats from jumping ship for someone like Dillard. That won’t happen now and Quinn can count on conservative Democrats to stand with the party in March and for sure in November.

But Rauner winning Gorman’s backing might still give him an opportunity to carve out a strategy to appeal to Cook County voters who in every election have backed Gorman in landslide turnouts.

Gorman and Morrison have become the key Republican leaders in Cook County. You have to wonder about any Illinois politician who couldn’t see that a mile away, or who thought there is a better strategy in some nook and cranny up in northern Cook County.

Cook County Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar, who is a close Gorman ally, told the media his plan is to change the party and have them back the strongest candidates, rather than keep playing inside favorites. Del Mar noted this is the first time Cook County Republicans have stood up to become major players in a statewide race.

Gorman is also backing Jim Oberweiss in the U.S. Senate battle, a tough uphill fight against incumbent U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

Rauner’s strong campaign war chest will only benefit all of the Republican candidates running in Illinois. He’s come out swinging with a battery of campaign commercials that have defined him as a moderate Republican and successful businessman in a state, he says, needs business smarts.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gorman takes first spot on Cook County election ballot

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Gorman takes first spot on Cook County election ballot

Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman won the top spot on the ballot for her re-election in March 2014 over controversial challenger Barbara Bellar in the Republican Primary.

Although honestly, her name could have been off the ballot and Gorman would still win. Gorman's record of fighting for the rights of taxpayers is unprecedented in Cook County. Her persistence in her bid to repeal the hated one cent sales increase imposed by former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. It won her tremendous public respect. Most officials wanted to drop the fight after the first repeal effort failed, but Gorman refused to give up.

She won my undying respect and she deserves you.

Not much is known about her challenger, Bellar, except that she was profiled in the past in a few columns in the Southtown by writer Phil Kadner.

Bellar is described as a "darling of the Tea Party," which means she is way off the radar when it comes to extremism. The Tea Party is not very popular in centrist Illinois.

Worse, when Bellar was running for the Illinois 18th Senate District seat in 2012 against incumbent Bill Cunningham, she claimed on her website she had been a "Nun." Bellar's campaign slogan was "There's Nun Better."

That would be pretty impressive, if it were true. Kadner wrote about how he tried to confirm it with her but she ducked and dodged him everywhere. Apparently she studied one year to become a Nun but never finished, which means she wasn't even close to becoming a Nun.

Although maybe she is good with rapping knuckles with rulers in classrooms, I don't know.

Bellar is also from wealthy Burr Ridge and frankly that's a bigger issue for Orland Park residents. Do you really want to hand the district over from an Orland Park native to a Burr Ridge carpet-bagger?

Regardless, Gorman couldn't have it better. She's been on a roll. But there are a lot of people who would love to take her down, including some at Orland Park's Village Hall. There seems to be a detente in the rivalry with Orland Mayor Dan McLaughlin, the Democratic Committeeman. It's a smart move. The two of them together could do wonders for the region. But a few trustees still don't like her after she took out the scion of the Hynes dynasty, Pat Maher, a few years ago in a smack-down that is unprecedented in Cook County politics.

All the plans the old 19th Ward had for Orland Park went up in smoke with that questionable candidacy.

In 37 years in political reporting and coverage, I'd never seen anyone beat down as bad as Maher had been.

And, there are a few others who are still smarting from the changes at METRA. Egos always get in the way of what's in the best interests of the public.


Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK -- what we really remember and want to forget; an American Arab remembers

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JFK -- what we really remember and want to forget
an American Arab remembers

By Ray Hanania
English: John F. Kennedy, photograph in the Ov...
English: John F. Kennedy, photograph in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Probably more than half of the people living in America today were not born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was only 10 years old and to be honest, I knew nothing about him. My parents generation would often talk about how handsome he was and how beautiful the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was.
There was another "politician" that my parents generation were talking about, too, at the time who took Kennedy's place after he was killed. His name was Charles Percy. His daughter had been murdered the five newspapers that came to our house screamed in giant headlines. During his election, our elementary school asked who would we vote for -- everyone picked him because he was "better looking" than the other guy, Senator Paul Douglas.
Good looks meant a lot in politics and elections in those days.
But that was it. I was too young to understand the Bay of Pigs invasion screw-up in Cuba. It meant nothing to me that his brother, Bobby Kennedy, was appointed the U.S. Attorney General and his priority was to crack down on the Mafia, which FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover insisted did not exist. I didn't know that either.
I knew the United States and Russia were at odds and we might blow ourselves up with nuclear weapons because I had watched movies like "Them" in which nuclear weapons explosions had created giant ants. As a 10 year old, that was scary, even though when I watch the movie "Them" again today, I wonder how the simplistic filmmaking could have scared anyone. But there was the Russian satellite, called "Sputnik" which was a round silver-like ball of metal with three "legs" or antennas.
Sputnik had been launched in 1957 just before Halloween -- I was only 4 then and a few people had dressed up like the frightening Russian satellite. Sputnik flew around the earth for about 22 days before it stopped working and then came crashing down weeks later in January 1958. But the fear that overcame America lasted years and fueled the "Space Race."
November 22, 1963, that Friday morning when I was walking up the slight hill of Chappel Avenue at 92nd Street to return to school, was just a normal day. I went to Joseph Warren Elementary school -- yes, we literally walked a mile four times a day including to and from school in the morning and afternoon, and to and from school for lunch. There wasn't any snow because it wasn't slippery. As I walked back to school, a friend who was inside the fenced playground that was adjacent to the side walk yelled to me, "Hey Ray. The President is dead."
English: President John F. Kennedy, First Lady...
English: President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Senator Patrick V. McNamara (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What president? Who? Kennedy? We didn't call him JFK. The handsome guy our mom's liked. He was dead. Shrug. What did I know. Seriously. I meant nothing to me. Except that the school gathered us all together into the auditorium and the Principal and some of the teachers said things that I don't remember. And then they sent us home, which was not cool because my dad worked at Sinclair Oil downtown and my mom worked at Solo Cup not too far from the school, after we finished lunch.
That's what I remember. That's all I remember of that exact moment. I see the uphill inclined sidewalk. The fence. The kids playing in the playground next to the new yellow bricked school building with the flat roof that made it look like one of those Frank Lloyd Wright homes my dad was always talking about, a few were in the neighborhood. The old, brown bricked school building with the steep inclined roof was straight ahead.
That's it. But that's what has haunted me ever since. The memory of "where I was" and "what I was doing" has remained burned in my mind ever since. And instead of fading away, it has festered like an open wound. The Kennedy Funeral dominated everything the entire weekend. We had little transistor radios made of plastic that we purchased for a few dollars with little ear plugs to listen to the Beatles music and rock and roll music. Between the songs, there would be a lot of talk. We'd switch from WLS to WCFL. It was a radio station battle back then and we picked up the Silver Dollar Surveys from the local record store which listed what new songs were out and how they ranked.
Hananias1957The television was small. Black and white. I recall watching the funeral procession. And seeing the rebroadcast of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man the media and police immediately concluded had killed Kennedy. There was never any doubt and there was never a real investigation. It was Oswald and that was that. The Warren Commission and everything that came out of the mouths of our government, including "LBJ," that "cowboy" who no one really liked but who was no president, all said the same thing. Done. Closed, That's it pal.
We were afraid that the Soviet Union was going to bomb us with nuclear weapons and I would transform into some kind of monster bug from the radiation, if we didn't burn up. Thank God for our little classroom desks with the shiny beige tops that would protect us from the fallout that we climbed under during Nuclear Attack Air Raid drills in school.
If we had children hiding under desks at school for any reason, parents would go berserk today. Screaming and filing lawsuits against the schools and teachers and it would turn into a political crisis. But back then, we were afraid. And everyone had to been afraid that just maybe the Soviet Union was involved in murdering Kennedy. That's why the government had to fight so hard to convince us it wasn't the Soviet Union because if it was, we would be screaming for revenge. We would bomb the hell out of those "Communists." Those "Commies."
I knew those words. Fear of nuclear bombs and a Soviet invasion was real. It was only 18 years since the end of World War II and the Nazi invasion and destruction of Europe. And the Nazis did horrible things. The gassing of prisoners and mass murder, later called the Holocaust, was frightening.
Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on...
Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
George Orwell's book "1984" was not a piece of fiction. It was the boogieman that lived in our minds. And we were headed in that direction back in 1963, only 18 years after World War II. The war had only been over 8 years when I had been born. It was fresh in our minds.
If there was even a hint of a conspiracy or Soviet involvement through Oswald, we would have gone to war. Although, maybe no one really wanted to go to war. Maybe our technology wasn't as great as we thought. The Soviets, after all, beat us to Outer Space. When we look back at it from today's perspective, "Sputnik" was just a metal ball. A symbol of the space race. But back in 1963, Sputnik flew above our homes and scarred the crap out of Americans. Our imaginations were bing fed fear. What did we really know?
If we attacked the Soviets, the Soviets would attack us. Nuclear carnage. A nuclear nightmare. We might beat them, our politicians assured us, but everyone knew that in a nuclear exchange both places would be sizzling, smoldering wastelands of radioactive rubble, breeding giants ants, gila monsters and awakening God knows what from the Earth's crust. Was our nuclear arsenal really better than the Soviet nuclear arsenal? We didn't know for sure. They told us it was but no one really trusted to government.
Today, all of that is meaningless. And when we try to understand the pathetic investigation that was decided minutes after JFK was shot that Oswald was the killer, the fear of a conspiracy drove people to the edges of paranoia. We didn't want to go there. We didn't want to go there.
The body of President John. F. Kennedy lies in...
The body of President John. F. Kennedy lies in repose in the East Room of the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blaming it all on Oswald was a convenient way to relax the American people. It made us feel comfortable. It made us feel safe. It was just one guy. Never mind all the strange and contradictory facts that were never really explored or considered.
Oswald tried to kill a retired American General a few months before using the same Italian-made Mannlicker Carcano rifle. He was 100 feet away hiding behind a bush outside the guys house. And he missed.
And from atop the 6th Floor of the Texas School Depository Building he fired a first shot when the limousine was closest and clearest in front of his site, and missed. And then finally hit Kennedy in the upper back with a second shot as the limousine was further away. And then finally, hit the president in the kill zone, cross hair shot in the back of the head from even further way, a distance almost three times what he tried to do when he missed the General who was standing and not moving 100 feet away months before.
How is it that almost four miles away, a Dallas police officer just happened to see a White Guy walking the street doing nothing to bring attention to him except walking the street, and the decide to pull him over for a first look because a few descriptions had been given of the killer? And Oswald just went home and grabbed his handgun and decided to go out of his apartment. All that time passed since the killing. So many White guys with light hair and jackets walking the streets, but Oswald is picked out like a needle in a haystack. And then after a second confrontation with the police officer, Oswald shoots him.
The Dallas police were corrupt in 1963. The Mafia that Hoover claimed didn’t exist had their little tentacles into the police. Jack “Ruby” Rubenstein, who murdered Oswald on live television 48 hours after JFK was killed in the basement of the Dallas Police headquarters, was a pal of the Dallas Police.
English: Grave of at the Shannon Rose Hill Mem...
English: Grave of at the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The police confronted Oswald in the Texas School Depository building less than 2 minutes after the killing on the 2nd floor cafeteria of the building. He was holding a bottle of pop. He wasn’t rushed. Wasn’t sweating from running down the stairs from the 6th floor only seconds earlier. Not disheveled. Calm. And just shrugged his shoulders when the police officer asked who he was and the building manager said he’s an employee of the building. And then let him go.
And then we are supposed to believe that this man who shot the Dallas Police Officer who had Soviet ties but didn’t have Soviet ties was the sole killer because the gun was found on the floor where he was supposed to be working.
Why ask those questions? Why try to find out the truth? Why not just lie and makeup a set of facts and have your government buddies print it in a massive document that no normal person could or would bother to read, and just tie the bow and put the whole sordid crisis away in the back of our minds where it sits refusing to leave. Unanswered. Unfinished. Suspicious. And full or questions and concerns. A dark place in our minds from a dark period in our lives where fear really reigned but today sounds so ridiculous to try to argue.
But it was.
That’s what I remember.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him at Or follow him on Twitter @RayHanania.)
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Censorship at Orland Park library is wrong move

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Censorship at Orland Park Library is wrong move

A women activist from New Lenox decided to target the Orland Park library system a few months ago and she made the accusation that a man was viewing "pornography" on a computer used only by adults in an adult section; children use computers in a different area.

She went to a meeting of the Orland Park Library with a friend and they together confronted the board, not in an informational or polite way, but in a confrontational style, almost making demands. They accused the Orland Park Library staff of being rude and inconsiderate of their concerns.

Later, it was reported that police were called by "a woman" regarding a man who the woman claimed was a "pedophile" but when I spoke with Police Chief Tim McCarthy, he explained that when police arrived, the woman refused to comment and the alleged "perpetrator" -- a man who was using the computer -- was no longer there.

Instead, the woman supposedly gave info about the man and the police went to his home and discovered he had nothing to do with the library.

Over the past few weeks now, the Orland Park Library has been turned into a cesspool of filth and pornography. The woman from New Lenox who raised these issues has given Orland Park a Black eye. She has given the Orland Park Library a black eye. People are talking about the Orland Park library like it is a resource center in a prison for pedophiles, instead of being one of the best library systems in the Midwest.

The New Lenox activist has the right to express herself. That's what our Freedom allows. But I don't agree with her views and demands and I think her concerns contradict our concerns as a community.

I go to the Orland Park library with my 12 year old son all the time.

I have NEVER seen an adult sitting at an adult computer viewing "pornography."

But more importantly, when I am with my son, we don't go to the adult computers. I help him at the children's computers, where he belongs.

The woman got what she wanted, however She has turned the phenomenal and great Orland Park Library system upside down in the media, defaming not only the integrity of the employees and the library administration but also casting a shadow of filth on a system that deserves so much more.

To quiet the lady, the library board is now considering to apply "filters" to the adult library computers. Those filters sound great in principle, but they don't work very well. Not only do they prohibit access to pornography sites -- sadly in America where FREEDOM is still an important concept, the Congress and laws allow pornography to be displayed -- but filters will also prohibit access to many other sites that are not pornographic or related to pornography. In fact, many news sites that cover the pornography debate will be banned. Websites that deal with R rated issues and terms -- like politics, and the Orland Library "pornography debate" will be banned.

If the carpet bagger from New Lenox gets her way, because she wasn't too happy with the way the Library responded to her concerns, according to the news reports I can read online today, then the Orland Park Library will surrender to bullying and intimidation and limit access to adult users of the public computer system paid for by the law-abiding taxpayers.

Mayor Dan McLaughlin is a good person and I know the new Library Board President Nancy Healy very well. They are good people. They want to do what's right. But placing filters is not the way to "protect" our children.

It will simply reduce the amount of research data that adults will be able to access on the computers. And it will give adults who ask that the filters be lifted the "aura" of being pornographers, as defined by the selfishly-motivated activist from New Lenox whose video has been distributed throughout the Internet to embarrass Orland Park.

The Mayor should withdraw his proposal to place filters.

Let society take care of itself.

All the library needs to post at the computers is that these computers should not be used to view pornography because they are located in a public place. That's not an act of censorship, but a caution to keep people from viewing pornography -- if in fact that is what they are doing AND I SURELY DOUBT THE ORIGINAL CLAIMS THAT SOMEONE WAS.

If a person is viewing pornography in a public place where children are nearby -- and it can be proven, then the library should be notified and then can eject the library user.

Accusing someone of being a "pedophile" because they were allegedly viewing something that the New Lenox activists doesn't like is outrageous. I didn't elect her to manage Orland Park or the Orland Park library.

But I do live in America where freedom is more important than censorship. Falsifying claims just to enact laws should be treated harshly, as harshly as the activists are calling for censorship in our library.

If they can ban access to websites, then the next thing you know they will be able to impose bans on who can access the computers, maybe ban Arabs like me. Who cares if I served active duty fighting for my country during the Vietnam War? Maybe people don't like Arabs in New Lenox and they might come here to shut down our library to people like me. Why not confront racism and hatred? Why not censor what people can say?

Don't censor the Orland Park Library.

Our population of Adults are Adults. We are smart and we care for our community. Let us police the computers. Let the employees apply the law, not someone else's judgment of what the laws should be.

The activist from New Lenox should instead take her battle to the U.S. Congress and get Congress to ban pornography -- but they have tried. Because trying to define what is and what isn't pornography has been a problem. Good Art sites would be injured, as would be good public debates about this and other controversies.

Don't submit to the bullies, Mayor McLaughlin.

We have a great library. Let's keep it that way.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Commissioner Gorman to be inducted into Mother McAuley High School’s Hall of Honor on November 2

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Commissioner Gorman to be inducted into Mother McAuley High School’s Hall of Honor on November 2

Chicago, IL – Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman has been selected as a member of the inaugural class for induction into Mother McAuley High School’s McAuley Hall of Honor.  The Mother McAuley/Saint Xavier Academy Alumnae Association will host the school’s first annual All-Class Reunion and McAuley Hall Induction ceremony on Saturday, November 2, 2013. All alumnae, friends and supporters of the school have been invited to attend this first-ever event, which will be held on the school’s campus, located at 3737 W. 99th Street in Chicago.

“I’m deeply honored by this recognition and to be a part of the inaugural class with such a distinguished group of fellow McAuley alumnae and staff is a truly special moment,” said Commissioner Gorman.

The evening will begin with Mass at 5:30 p.m. followed by a 7:00 p.m. ceremony recognizing the first-ever inductees, nominees and nominators of McAuley Hall – the school’s new Hall of Honor. Inductees were chosen from numerous submissions. McAuley Hall will be a permanent installation at the school, serving to educate and inspire current and future students, and all who visit the school.  Commissioner Gorman joins with the following members of the inaugural class:

Sheila Taaffe Reynolds, ‘39
Graduating from Saint Xavier Academy (former name of McAuley), Sheila Taaffe Reynolds had an ear for languages. She became a cryptographer, decoding messages sent from Japanese shipping yards during World War II.

Sharon R. Chester, ‘60
With roots at McAuley and wings all over the world, Sharon Chester traveled to numerous countries as a Pan American flight attendant and as a researcher, becoming an accomplished author. She’s written over 15 natural history books and travel guides and is an ornithologist, having seen every species of bird.

Sister Brian Costello, RSM
Credited with designing the liberal arts curriculum that McAuley still teaches today, Sister Brian Costello has been involved in all facets of Catholic education from teacher to principal to superintendent. McAuley continues to honor her legacy by bestowing the prestigious Brian Costello Award to a senior each year.

Karen Murphy, MD, ‘68
Although Dr. Karen Murphy was diagnosed with polio as a child, she didn’t let her illness define her. After graduating from McAuley in 1968, she became a Fulbright scholar and attended medical school at Northwestern University later in life, well after college, so she could live her passion – helping others as a family doctor.

Nancy Cunningham Benacci ‘73
Upon graduating from McAuley in 1973, Nancy Cunningham Benacci attended John Carroll University and is currently Director of Equity Research for KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. She leads the 65-person Research Department, which focuses on companies in the consumer, energy, basic materials, industrial, and real estate sectors.

Sylvia Reed Curran, ‘75
American Diplomat Sylvia Reed Curran’s lifetime advantage began once she graduated from McAuley in 1975. She has served the United States for more than 25 years as the Charge d'Affaires to Turkmenistan and United States Counsel General to Vladivostok, Russia, where she currently resides.

Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, ‘83
Graduating from McAuley in 1983, Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman’s foray into government began in 2002 when she was elected Cook County Board Commissioner. Although she already held a bachelor of arts in marketing from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, she made the conscious decision to further her education and received an EMBA from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. Ms. Gorman is in her third term as Commissioner.

Dr. Roz Iasillo and the EcoMacs
Teaching for more than 25 years, Dr. Roz Iasillo previously served as Department Chair of Natural & Health Sciences, and now serves as S.T.E.M. Coordinator. She developed and currently oversees the environmental science club, EcoMacs. In 2010, Dr. Roz (as she’s affectionately called by students) oversaw Operation Haiti, in which the EcoMacs built a biodiesel processor for a school in Haiti after the area suffered a devastating earthquake.

For more information on the event, please visit:

Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Republican from Orland Park, represents Cook County’s suburban 17th District. She has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, and budget and operational efficiencies. Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


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The Fresh Fish Experts Bring Innovative Recipes and New Brunch Options to Orland Park

Local dignitaries celebrate the opening of the Orland Park Bonefish Grill with a ribbon cutting. (From left to right: (unidentified); Trustee Pat Gira, Orland Park; Trustee Kathleen Fenton, Orland Park; Nick Kapellas, Bonefish Grill; Mayor Dan McLaughlin, Orland Park; Ryan Rogers, Bonefish Grill; Trustee Ed Schussler, Orland Park; Orland Chamber Director Keloryn Putnam, Orland Park; Marc Lochow, Orland Park; Walter Krop, Tinley Park; and Kathryn Staniero, Tinley Park.)

ORLAND PARK, IL (Sept. 17, 2013) – Orland Park’s dining scene now has a new hot spot in town. Bonefish Grill opened its doors on Monday at the restaurant’s newest location at 15537 S. La Grange Road, Orland Park, Ill. The grand opening follows a charity event which took place on Saturday, September 14, benefitting Together We Cope and helping the group to raise $8,815. Proceeds from the event will support Together We Cope as they work to assist families in temporary crisis in 22 of Chicago’s south suburban communities.

“This weekend’s event with Together We Cope was the perfect way to begin our relationship with the Orland Park community,” said Nick Kapellas, Managing Partner of Bonefish Grill in Orland Park. “Together We Cope and their supporters welcomed us with open arms, and we look forward to welcoming the rest of the Orland Park community in the coming weeks to show them what we do best: attentive chef’s coat service that brings fun, inviting dining and a big-city bar to the area.”

The ZAGAT award-winning, polished casual restaurant brings its wood-grilled fish, seafood and chops, innovative sauces and indulgent desserts to the area’s top dining and shopping destination. Coupling great-tasting food with a welcoming bar that features an array of “bar-fresh” cocktails, extensive craft beer selections, and an adventurous wine list, Bonefish Grill will excite and delight guests.

The “fresh fish experts” will tantalize taste buds with signature appetizers and handhelds including Bonefish Grill’s famous Bang Bang Shrimp, Ahi Tuna Sashimi, PEI Mussels Josephine and “American style” Kobe beef burgers. Guests can choose simply-grilled fish with a choice of four signature sauces or truly indulge with market-fresh specials to offer guests a variety of seasonal flavors and selections from around the world. Happy Hour drink and food specials run Sunday – Thursday from 4 – 6:30 p.m.

Orland Park will serve Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and diners can decide between the beloved Traditional Eggs Benedict and other new menu additions including Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict, Huevos Benedictos with crispy corn tortillas and chorizo, and Spinach and Mushroom Eggs Benedict. Other new dishes include “American Style” Kobe Beef and Egg Burger as well as the Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Garden Fresh Omelet, and Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal. For health-conscious guests, all omelets can be prepared with egg white substitute upon request.

The restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week:  Monday through Thursday, from 4 – 10:30 p.m., 4 – 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 – 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday.

While reservations are not required, they are available by visiting the Orland Park website,, where a new online reservation system is offered (for select Bonefish Grill locations) or by calling (708) 873-5170.


Founded in St. Petersburg, Florida, Bonefish Grill specializes in market-fresh fish from around the world and other savory wood-grilled specialties. Guests receive “chef’s coat service” and are guided through an innovative, seasonal menu and specials featuring the highest-quality, fresh ingredients. Combined with a big-city bar, Bonefish Grill offers hand-crafted cocktails and an affordable list of 30 wines by the glass offering a great match for any food pairing. The restaurant provides a fun and lively place to eat, drink, relax and socialize on any given day of the week. The experience is based on the premise of simplicity, consistency and a strong commitment to excellence at every level. In thirteen years, the award-winning Bonefish Grill family has grown to 188 restaurants in 32 states. For more information, visit, or follow on Twitter @bonefishgrill.